Halloween haunts: A walk along Downs Road

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– At the end of Downs Road in Hamden sits a closed gate and two bright red stop signs. The road, once a connection between Hamden and Bethany, has been closed for well over a decade.

“As you’re walking you can kind of feel the eeriness,” said nearby resident Maria Case.

Maria has lived in the home closest to the site since 2001. It was closed to thru traffic about 9 months after she moved in. For as long as she can recall she has heard and seen people venturing into the woods, some running out in panic.

Maria chooses to only walk the road during daylight hours. She says even then she gets spooked. Dotted along the once paved roads are ruins of old foundations and signs of life that is no longer there.

“As you’re walking your mind wanders. What was here? Was there anybody living here? Is there people still out here?” said Maria.

Another nearby resident, Mia Bonadies, is so fascinated by the area she researched it for a college paper. She claims the area was once home to Native Americans and farmers, some of whom were banished into the woods. Many people believe they’re still there.

“We went all the way down, maybe about half a mile down the road, there was a light just sitting in the middle of the path. We turned our flashlights on and off really quickly and the light just darted like a hundred miles per hour back into the woods,” said Bonadies.

The haunted stories include reports of apparitions of children and other ghosts, cars breaking down and being clawed at by creatures and hikers being chased out of the woods. One legend is there is a Downs monster that roams the area.

Until Saturday night, Maria had never ventured all the way to the other side of the road. As she walked with News 8 reporter Jacquie Slater, the evening was eerily quiet and there was a notable absence of birds and animals. At one point a strange noise was noted coming from inside a tree.

As dark set in Maria was happy she walked the entire road but says she isn’t likely to do it again.

“Just walking now, if it wasn’t for him being here, the cameraman, I think I’d be a little spooked right now,” said Maria.

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