Dudleytown: The Village of the Damned
Nestled in the corner of Northwestern Connecticut is the little village of Cornwall. On the outskirts of Cornwall is yet another hidden rural area known as Dudleytown. Dudleytown, called by locals, is known as the village of the damned. Although the village has longed been abandoned since the mid 19th century, it is considered by many to be a hotbed of paranormal activity. This rural area attracts many hikers, ghost hunters and paranormal researchers, but as of recently local law enforcement is starting to severely crack down on trespassers by imposing fines and jail time.
The History Of Dudleytown
This village first received its name from an individual by the name of Gideon Dudley in 1747. Dudley bought the land from Thomas Griffis and it was here where a curse and legend was birthed. Gideon’s two brothers eventually joined him and a large family settlement began. There were also friends and others who came to settle in Dudleytown, but soon afterwards very strange and bizarre incidents started to take place.
Local legend and folklore claim that the area is cursed. The curse was said to have begun in Tutor England in 1510. At the time, Edmund Dudley, who was an administrator and financial agent of King Henry VII, was beheaded for the supposed crime of treason. He and a colleague by the name of Empson were executed by decapitation on Tower Hill on August 17, 1510. According to family folklore, the immediate offspring and descendants of Edmund had a curse placed upon them.
Manifestations of the Curse
These descendants immigrated to the New World and became the Dudley’s who were to become the infamous pioneers of Dudleytown, Connecticut. A few years after the settlement began, it was reported that one of the brothers became insane. Apparently, the insanity spread to other people as well and many committed suicide. Two of the suicides have been very well documented. Two women by the names of Mary Cheney and Harriet Clarke claimed that they were plagued and tormented by demons. The insanity from such diabolical encounters eventually led to their untimely demise.
Another individual lost his wife to consumption (tuberculosis) and his children disappeared without a trace. It was said that out of despair that he wondered into the woods never to be seen or heard from again. One woman was simply standing on her porch where she was struck and killed by lightning. After her death, her husband, General Herman Swift, went insane. Sadly, the curse not only affected the family, but anybody who was associated with them that lived in the village.
The True Story of Dudleytown
Dark Encounters with Dudleytown
Adoniram Carter and his entire family died from a mysterious epidemic that nobody, even to this present time, as ever been able to figure out. After their deaths, his brother Nathaniel moved his family to New York only to be murdered by Indians and three of his surviving children were taken as captives into Canada where they lived out the remainder of their lives. Another gentleman was killed while constructing a barn. Fast forward to the early 20th century and strange and bizarre incidents are still taking place.
Dr. William Clark, an oncologist from New York City, bought the land with many friends and investors and formed the Dark Entry Forest Association. After a routine trip back from New York City, he found his wife to have gone completely mad. She had claimed to have been attacked repeatedly by a poltergeist that was dwelling in the woods. She was institutionalized for the remainder of her life in a mental hospital. However, due to the consistent deaths and disappearances attributed to the cursed Dudleytown, nobody has ever lived there again.
Even in the last half of the 20th century and well into the 21st century, claims of strong paranormal activity are still being made. Demonologist Ed Warren paid a visit to Dudleytown and said that the area was definitely cursed. Some of the people who have died at Dudleytown are said to be buried at Union Cemetery just a little over an hour’s drive from Dudleytown. This particular cemetery is known to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the United States.
Some recent visitations to Dudleytown have yielded some very creepy stories. One woman, who is a paranormal enthusiast, has visited Dudleytown a handful of times. The last time she visited the area she claimed that she had seen a black moving apparition roaming the woods. When she went to flee the area in her automobile she completely lost control of her brakes. However, when law enforcement and a tow truck arrived, it was discovered that one of her brake calipers was completely snapped off.
Other people have heard sinister disembodied voices whispering and laughing in the woods and have sworn to never go back. It is now illegal to trespass on the area, but that does not prevent some people from breaking the law in order to get a thrill. All that is left of the village are a few cellars with trees growing through them and stone wall structures. Some skeptics may dismiss these claims and stories as nonsense, but it is undeniable that something is not quite right with this particular area given all the deaths and disappearances. Unfortunately, we will probably never really know.
Stephen A Brown (author) on November 27, 2019:
Although the genesis of the curse is relatively unknown (although there are different theories) I would venture to say that it probably had more to do with the family and the beheading of Edmund Dudley although the ancient burial ground theory cannot be ruled out. Thank you for responding.
littonya on November 14, 2019:
So, I'm wondering if the curse came because of the family or if the ground itself was cursed? Maybe built on an ancient burial ground or something?
If the curse was due to the family, then I would love to know who put the curse on them and why? Interesting stuff.