NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Need to appease your coffee addiction? Or are you on the hunt for some ghosts?
Connecticut has options for you — but only in fiction.
The state’s two most popular towns are also two that do not exist, at least not anymore, according to data from Google Trends.
The ghost town without a ghost
When it comes to the most Googled town overall, that honor goes to Dudleytown. Which, is the town that never really was a town.
It’s been dubbed “the Village of the Damned,” according to the New England Historical Society. But what started the curse?
The Dudley family faced accusations of treason in England, and were then beheaded, in the 16th century, according to the historical society. Their descendants immigrated to Cornwall, Connecticut, in the 1730s, and from there, “those dark supernatural forces drove the villagers away, leaving a creepy forest that grew over a ghost town.”
According to the ghost stories, there was a murder. Then accusations about demons. The residents of the town were set with misfortune after misfortune until eventually abandoning the area altogether.
However, the real explanation is a lot more simple, according to the New England Historical Society. What really drove the residents away is poor farmland — and the Dudleys who settled the area had no link to the Dudleys who were beheaded.
The ghost town surged in interest due to a book published in 1926 that created the lore. The book suddenly became popular in the 1970s when “demonologists” Ed and Lorraine Warren filmed a special from the town, claiming it was possessed.
The rumors have led to trespassing and litter in the area as supernatural fans have tried to glimpse a peak of the dark forest for themselves. The Dark Entry Forest Association has closed the area to the public, and filmmakers who have tried to trespass have been arrested.
Fictional town, real influences
“Where you lead, I will follow.” But what if your destination doesn’t exist?
Following Dudleytown in Google searches is Stars Hollow, the fictional town that serves as the setting for Gilmore Girls.
The show was filmed in Burbank, California. Even Rory’s scenes at Yale weren’t filmed in New Haven.
But, you can still get a taste of that charm throughout Connecticut. The Connecticut Tourism Office has compiled a list of places that have served as inspiration for the show, and even where you can glimpse some familiar sights.
The town is reminiscent the Litchfield Hills region, according to the tourism office. The Mayflower Inn, for example, was the inspiration for the Independence Inn in the show. Marty’s Café in Washington is similar to Luke’s Diner, and New Milford’s gazebo is like Star’s Hollow’s main thoroughfare.