Okay, let’s have a little fun here — people love Top 10 lists (that’s why Letterman still has a show, right?) so here are some of the most popular haunted places in the state as determined by the visitor traffic on our website and my general knowledge of Connecticut. If you’re looking for Connecticut ghosts and paranormal activity, look no further! And if you want to read more, just click through for extended stories about these places.
The Top 10 Haunted Places in Connecticut
1. Union Cemetery, Easton — The home of the infamous White Lady, this 400-year-old grave yard has been popular with ghost hunters for decades, ever since Ed and Lorraine Warren started regularly investigating it. Consequently, it’s one of the best-known haunted sites in the state, and a place to which everyone who claims to be interested in paranormal activity eventually makes a pilgrimage — the true mecca of Connecticut’s haunted cemeteries. Most visitors also pair it with Stepney Cemetery at the other end of Route 59 in Monroe, where Ed Warren is laid to rest.
2. Dudleytown, Cornwall — If you were going to rank the most famous of Connecticut’s haunted places, you could say Union Cemetery and Dudleytown are 1 and 1A. Once declared “the most haunted place in Connecticut” by — who else? — The Warrens, Dudleytown has also been called “cursed,” “damned” and “demonically possessed.” Stories still abound of weird sightings and odd experiences in and around the remaining foundations of the former settlement, even if the legend of the curses has been thoroughly debunked. Of course, the Dark Forest Entry Association that owns the land aggressively keeps visitors out, which only helps feed the reputation of Dudleytown. Still those who dare to venture there report an unnatural stillness and feelings of terror.
3. Remington Arms, Bridgeport — Thanks to the constant repeats of Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” investigation, this has become one of the most popular haunted sites in the state. A former munitions factory in the heart of Bridgeport, the property — which has seen its share of tragedy and death — has been abandoned for decades and has fallen into utter disrepair. As such, it is truly looks like a place where bad things would be seen, and between its dark history, the dangerous conditions and its location in a troubled neighborhood, it’s easy to see why people are afraid of this place.
4. Fairfield Hills State Hospital, Newtown — The first of a trio of former abandoned “insane asylums” on the list, Fairfield Hills was closed by the state in 1995, and in the ensuing years has grown into a popular destination for ghost seekers as well as urban explorers. Like many former hospitals for the mentally disturbed, tales of cruelty and abuse surround the facility, which when combined with stories of odd happenings in the network of underground tunnels here — which have since been filled in — have helped forged its reputation, which was exacerbated when an episode of MTV’s “Fear” was filmed here. Plans to demolish the buildings and develop the 700+ acres keep starting and sputtering, but eventually this hospital of horror will only be a bad memory.
5. Seaside Sanatorium, Waterford — Another former “unrest” home for those seeking mental convalescence that has been abandoned by the state of Connecticut and is now in serious decay. A once-beautiful Cass Gilbert-designed edifice overlooking Long Island Sound, the sanatorium was built with the idea that the peaceful view would provide remedy. Unfortunately, patient abuse and a high suicide rate resulted instead, the perfect storm for departed souls who may never find peace. This place has been in the news since the governor swooped in at the last moment — for reasons yet to be explained other than her own vain desire to have a “legacy” — to block a sale to a private developer that had been years in the making, severely hampering plans for demolition.
6. Norwich State Hospital, Preston — The third member of the neglected state facility trio, Norwich is in lockstep with the others: long history of reported patient abuses and torment, closed down by the state a few decades ago, allowed to rot and fester, resulting in eventual hauntings being reported. This one has also been a political football, its fate bouncing between the state, the town of Preston and developers. Like the others, there are also plans to demolish it and replace it with something less creepy, but also like the others, it currently stands as a beacon for spirits and spirit hunters.
7. Bara-Hack, Pomfret — A former 18th-century settlement where all sorts of odd sounds, disembodied voices and laughter as well as supernatural sights have been reported . Like Dudleytown, Bara-Hack is currently on private property, but that (unfortunately) doesn’t stop unwanted visitors exploring the ruined foundations and home remains in search of the spirits of days gone by.
8. Little People’s Village, Middlebury — Another place like Dudleytown in that its reputation, although thoroughly debunked (it’s a former roadside attraction, not a home for pixies built by a madman), it still draws purveyors of the paranormal. Aside from the general creepiness that comes with finding a decrepit tiny village out in the woods, there is the “curse” of “The Throne” (sitting on it will bring death within seven years), reports of all sorts of weird lights and the rumor of fairies.
9. New London Ledge Lighthouse — Famously haunted by the supposed ghost of “Ernie,” a former lightkeeper, this lonely landmark in New London harbor has been investigated by paranormal groups from around the world, including T.A.P.S., aka “The Ghost Hunters.” A very active site, with all sorts of rappings, moving objects and random noises.
10. Gunntown Cemetery, Naugatuck — Even though there is no one particular legend associated with this cemetery that dates back over two centuries, there are all sorts of unusual phenomena that have been reported here. A virtual cornucopia of paranormal activity has been recorded here, everything from EVPs and disembodied voices to ghostly figures and disappearing dogs and children, as well as inexplicable feelings of dread.
11. Mansfield Training School, Mansfield — Originally built in 1917, this multi-building campus was designed as a refuge for the mentally ill. Set in bucolic eastern Connecticut, it seems as though it should’ve been an idyllic retreat; instead, there were allegations of abuse and neglect of patients. Since it was closed in 1993, there have been subsequent reports of spirit mists and orbs here, as well as experiences involving unexplained voices, sounds and shapes. A recent episode of “Paranormal Witness” investigated the haunting claims here and uncovered even more dark stories.
12. Undercliff Sanatorium, Meriden — Another of the creepy abandoned state mental hospitals, Undercliff Sanatorium has also been closed for decades, but that hasn’t stopped the ghost stories. Some allege to have heard the voices of children, both laughing and crying, while others have claimed to have seen the shadows and spirit of children in the windows of the now-empty buildings. One unsubstantiated story says the spirit of one resident who was attacked and murdered by his fellow residents still walks the now-closed grounds.
13. Poli Palace, Majestic Theatre and Savoy Hotel, Bridgeport — Despite having been closed for more than 40 years, this 13-acre, three-building complex right in the heart of Bridgeport still stands. Now an abandoned, dilapidated shell of its once-glorious self, some say more than the ghosts of vaudevillian memories tread the floorboards, be it the lost souls of two men murdered in the hotel or other dark energies that come with possibly being built on a Native American burial ground. Shadow figures, EVPs and many orb photos have been allegedly witnessed here.
14. Sterling Opera House, Derby — Unlike many of the other haunting sites in the state, the group who owns the Sterling Opera House has openly embraced their possibly paranormal history and has done extensive investigation of the facility, including having had multiple research teams come in, including SyFy’s famed “Ghost Hunters.” Multiple spirits are believed to be haunting the structure, including the entity of a young boy who is called “Andy.” Tours of the opera house, which is undergoing renovation, are offered from time to time.
15. The Yankee Pedlar Inn, Torrington — For more than 120 years, this 52-room hotel in downtown Torrington has welcomed guests—and ghosts, according to some. A few of the rooms have been alleged to house spirits, including Room 353, where the inn’s original founder, Alice Conley, purportedly died; her rocking chair is in the lobby, and has allegedly been witnessed rocking on its own. In February 2012, the horror movie The Innkeepers—filmed on location at The Yankee Pedlar, and loosely based around its alleged story—was released.
Honorable Mention: A few places that just missed the cut include Deep River Public Library, Seventh Day Baptist Cemetery, Carousel Gardens, Pettibone Tavern (now Abigail’s Grill), Huguenot House and the Daniel Benton Homestead.
So any others worthy of inclusion on this list?
PS: If you have haunted house pictures or videos, share them at our Damned Connecticut Facebook group page.