Conn. (WTNH) — October is here, which means spooky season is officially in full swing, but some urban legends across the state aren’t reserved for just the fall months — they’re talked about all-year-long.
We’ve compiled a list of Connecticut beliefs, folklores, and stories that have been passed-on over the generations. Whether they’re real or just a myth is for you to decide.
The Melon Heads — Milford
They hide in-between the trees and emerge at the prime moment to attack — at least, that’s how the legend goes. Melon Heads, described as small humanoids with bulbous heads, isn’t just a Connecticut folklore; they’ve reportedly been seen in Michigan and Ohio as well.
In Connecticut, the Melon Heads were reportedly spotted in Fairfield and New Haven counties, usually on secluded dirt roads. It is believed that the stories were inspired by the surrounding haunted landmarks: Newtown’s Fairfield Hills State Mental Asylum and the Garner Correctional Institute, as well as the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury.
According to the New England Historical Society, the Melon Heads served as an explanation for runaway teens and missing hikers. Residents believed the deformed people survived by eating small animals, stray cats, and human flesh.
Dudleytown — Cornwall
The disturbing history of Dudleytown dates back to the 1500s. The Dudleys, who reportedly fled to America from England to escape a curse after their father was beheaded, were met with tragedy after tragedy following their involvement with a mythical book. According to legend, the townspeople suffered murder, suicide, and madness, as well as failed businesses and crops.
While the town was established in 1740, it was abandoned in the 1800s. Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors who established the oldest ghost-hunting group in New England, declared the area as possessed in the ’70s.
Now deemed a ghost town, hidden between trees, the only remnants of Dudleytown are off-limits. The site is no longer open to the public due to vandalism and trespassers, and it is heavily patrolled by local and state police.
The White Lady — Easton
Think you’re safe traveling around Easton’s Union Cemetery? Think again. The story of “The White Lady” dates back to the 1700s, taking place in one of the most haunted — and 400-year-old — cemeteries in the country.
Ghost hunters describe the White Lady as a ghost wearing a white nightgown or wedding dress. She reportedly roams the cemetery and has even been known to stop cars in their tracks. According to Damned CT, she stops in the middle of Route 59 and is “hit” by a car, but once the driver stops, she’s nowhere to be seen.
Paranormal investigator Ed Warren claimed to have seen the ghost and even captured a video of her. The Warrens released a book about their encounters at the site, titled “Graveyard.”
Hannah Crana — Monroe
You’ve heard of the Wicked Witch of the West, but what about the Wicked Witch of Monroe? Locals have told the tale of 77-year-old Hannah Crana for over a century. The story delves into the end of Hannah Hovey’s life. While she lived fairly normally during her time on Earth, dying of natural causes, she was known for practicing the dark arts.
Hannah was suspected of witchcraft after her husband mysteriously fell off a cliff, earning her the nickname. According to the New England Historical Society, Hannah lived alone and was described as a poor widow. There are stories of Hannah putting spells on others, cursing them, or leading to their demise.
Even her death seemed suspicious, as her grave reportedly engulfed in flames after neighbors did not listen to her burial instructions. Now, Hannah lies at Gregory’s Four Corners Burial Ground in Trumbull where legends say Hannah is the cause of passing car crashes.
Winsted Wildman — Winsted
Everyone knows the story of “bigfoot” or “yeti,” who hides in the wilderness. Even in the small state of Connecticut, a reported being has been spotted over the centuries, known as the Winstead Wildman.
Dubbed as Connecticut’s own “bigfoot,” the Winsted Wildman is described as a large, naked man covered in dark hair. The story of the Wildman delves back in time to 1895. He reportedly terrorized locals on two occasions, nearly 80 years apart, when the six-foot-tall figure emerged from the woods. He was last seen in the ’70s, according to the Hartford Courant, where witnesses swore that the figure they saw “was no bear.”
Brandon T. Bisceglia of the Hartford Skepticism Examiner said that the story of the Wildman may have been fabricated by the editor of the Winsted Herald in order to garner attention and readers. It’s unknown if the Wildman was ever caught, or if he’s still lurking in the woods today.
Saw Mill City Road — Shelton
To most, it may just seem like another road, but to locals, the winding, light-covered pathway is avoided at all costs.
Saw Mill City Road, which stretches across 1.5 miles in Shelton, is narrow and creepy. There are no lights on the road, with trees hanging overhead like a canopy, making it hard to see at night. The scariest part of the road runs parallel to the Means Brook Reservoir.
Witnesses have described dark figures darting across the road and some even say the Melon Heads lurk in the area, causing accidents. Orbs have also been spotted on the road, as well as screams in different directions. It’s even home to a reported haunted house.
Fairfield Hills Hospital — Newtown
Fairfield Hills Hospital, tucked within the small community of Newtown, has a dark and sad history.
The hospital, which operated in the 1930s, housed up to 4,000 patients. Doctors attempted to treat mental illnesses with now-limited practices like hydrotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and even lobotomies. Then, patients were transported through an underground tunnel, which has since been closed shut. The now-abandoned space seems to have been abruptly vacated; items are still inside the rooms, and dirty, old curtains still hang in the windows.
It’s deemed haunted, and explorers have reported that shrieks and screams can be heard when you listen closely. There have also been reports of footsteps, children laughing, and orbs on cameras. While no one is hospitalized there anymore, the patients’ spirits may have never left.
Gardner Lake — Salem
While Salem’s Gardner Lake may be beautiful — and offers a perfect spot for fishing — it’s also home to a house, sitting at the bottom of the lake.
As the legend goes, a family was attempting to move their house across the frozen lake in 1895. They took the night off to continue moving the house in the morning, but a portion of the house sank into the ice overnight. Although the family was able to grab their belongings before the entire house sank, they were unable to retrieve the piano.
Now, people who visit the area have claimed to hear faint piano music, as if someone is controlling the keys from down below.
Annabelle Doll — Monroe
Annabelle may just look like a regular Raggedy Ann doll to most, but behind her red locks lies a creepy, twisted tale. The cursed doll was originally owned by a student nurse back in 1971. The nurse told the Warrens that a psychic medium told her the doll was inhabited by the spirit of a dead girl named Annabelle.
According to the New England Society for Psychic Research, the doll reportedly displayed malicious and frightening behavior. Although the nurse and her roommate tried to accept and nurture the doll, the Warrens deemed it demonically possessed and took it from the home. The evil didn’t stop there, however, as the doll was reportedly responsible for a man’s death.
The Warrens kept Annabelle in a glass case, backlit by a red light, in their Occult Museum in Monroe. The museum was home to items the couple defined as evil, kept hidden away from the public. Since the Warrens’ passing, the museum has closed, leaving Annabelle – and the hundreds of other cursed items – alone.
Annabelle’s story lives on in “The Conjuring Universe,” a film series including films: ‘Annabelle,’ ‘Annabelle: Creation,’ and ‘Annabelle Comes Home.’ The character also appears in all three Conjuring films: ‘The Conjuring,’ ‘The Conjuring 2,’ and ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,’ as well as ‘The Curse of La Llorona.’
The Sea Serpent — Essex
What’s more terrifying than a 100-foot-long giant snake? An eel or snake-like serpent caught the attention of the New York Times and Scientific American in the early 1800s after Middletown residents spotted the monster at sea.
Witnesses described the sea serpent with a 10-foot-tall black head with “eyes as big as small plates.” It reportedly fled up and down the river — its motives unknown.
The Sea Serpent is rumored to have found a home in the Hog River Tunnel underneath Hartford. It’s been over 100 years since a sighting, but the monster could always make an appearance again.