It's called the "Village of the Damned", and it's one of the most mysterious 'ghost towns' in America. But, that's not entirely accurate. In the 1700s a group of farmers settled an area near Cornwall, Connecticut, but they never actually made it an official town. The Dudley family owned the land and allowed people to come and live there for a time. Unfortunately, the land wasn't good for farming. By the 1800s the settlement was abandoned. According to legend, if you venture into the ruins of "Dudley Town" (AKA "Dudleytown") you're warned against taking anything home with you, unless you want a curse placed upon you and your family. 

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The folklore regarding the cursed land began way back during the reign of Henry VII, when Edmund Dudley was beheaded for being a traitor to the crown. Ever since, the Dudley family was believed to be cursed. A curse which would follow Edmund's descendents from the Old World to the New World. However, local historians dispute the claim that the Dudley family was cursed. To date they haven't been able to link the Dudleytown founders with their Old World descendents. 

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Creative Commons

"In what is often cited as the first manifestation of the curse, one of the Dudley brothers went insane. Other strange incidents: At a barn raising, a man fell to his death (or was it murder?). Lightning struck and killed a Dudleytown woman, right on her porch. A sheep-herder watched helplessly as the curse destroyed his family. His wife died of tuberculosis, and his children disappeared. When his house burned down, he wandered into the woods, never to return. According to the chroniclers of Dudleytown, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley should have followed his own advice to "Go West, young man," and taken his wife with him: Mrs. Greeley, better known as Mary Cheney, is said to have hanged herself in Dudleytown in 1872." - National Geographic

Over the years, it's also been reported that two women, Mary Cheney and Harriet Clarke, went insane in Dudleytown and committed suicide. In fact, Clarke allegedly claimed she saw demons before she died. However, again, local historians dispute this, arguing Mary Cheney died of lung disease, and had never actually visited Dudleytown. Likewise, Harriet Clarke actually committed suicide in New York. So, why was the settlement completely abandoned? Well, in addition to the fact that the soil wasn't fertile enough for farming, it's been theorized that the soil may have been contaminated by lead.

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After the settlement was abandoned the "Dark Entry Forest Association" reclaimed the land and planted loads of trees. Over the years trees have overtaken the ruins left by the settlers. 


Today, Dudleytown is on private property and access is forbidden. Hikers near the area have claimed to have seen orbs, and that there's a suspicious quiet in the area. Meaning, the wildlife in the woods rarely make noises.

Read More: Connecticut Curiosities; Birders Journal: Old Curse Haunts New England Town; Courant

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