Haunted Spotlight: Union Cemetery and Dudleytown

Easton and Cornwall, Connecticut hold two of the most haunted locations in the state.  In Easton lies the 400 year old Union Cemetery, known for the White Lady, a ghostly, long haired woman in a white dress.  Cornwall holds the settlement, Dudleytown, which accounts for strange occurrences and harbors a negative energy.    (Fred Dunn/Flickr Creative Commons)

Halloween has finally arrived, and what better way to celebrate than to discuss the various haunted locations that sit right in our backyard? Connecticut definitely has its share of old places with creepy histories that are bound to send shivers down your spine. Today the spotlight shifts to two cities that have reaped quite the reputation: Easton and Cornwall.

In Easton lies a small plot of land named the Union Cemetery, a spot that is almost 400 years old. It is allegedly one of the many haunted places in Connecticut, but for good reason. Eyewitnesses have all claimed to have seen certain phenomena that have yet to be completely debunked. Many ghost hunters, including Ed and Lorraine Warren—yes, the same couple that investigated the case that influenced the critically-acclaimed horror movies “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2” and “Annabelle”—have collected an ample amount of photographic and video evidence of the supposed happenings in the graveyard.

The most noteworthy story of the Union Cemetery is that of the White Lady, an apparition that has manifested itself for a wide range of witnesses. She has been captured on film and video by many avid ghost hunters, including a notable video by Ed Warren himself. The White Lady has been described as having long, dark hair and wearing a beautiful, white dress.

Although many of the cemetery’s visitors have seen the White Lady, her identity is shrouded in mystery. Nobody knows the real story, and there are several versions floating around on the internet. To some people, she was killed for murdering her own husband, while others claim she died during childbirth and searches the earth for her child to this day. Whatever you believe, this woman must be lurking behind the gravestones for a reason.

Just an hour away from the Union Cemetery is arguably the most haunted spot in Connecticut—Dudleytown, a settlement with a cursed past. Settled in the 1740’s by Thomas Griffis, Dudleytown began its troubled history before it was even established. Gideon Dudley arrived at the settlement with two brothers in 1747—the beginning of the name Dudleytown, and, consequently, the beginning of the end.

The curse that surrounded the Dudley family began in the early 1500’s when Gideon’s ancestor Edmund Dudley was beheaded for involvement in a plot to overthrow King Henry VIII. With this event, all descendants of Dudley would be plagued with bouts of horror and death. And, as it turned out, the “curse” was became reality—members of the Dudley family suffered deaths, tragedy, and have even gone forth to plague an entire community.

Of course, the “curse” of the Dudleys is completely speculative, but that theory, mixed with the isolation of Dudleytown and accounts of strange occurrences, leads many to believe that the curse followed the Dudley line to America and took up shop right there in the tiny Cornwall settlement.

The stories took off from there—strange deaths, mysterious disappearances, and cases of insanity filled the settlement. More and more families moved into Dudleytown, but death and plagues overtook them within months. Entire families would vanish or be killed in bizarre occurrences within a matter of a few days, and cases like these would happen for hundreds of years, up until the 1900’s, when the small village became entirely abandoned.

Now, the only aspect of Dudleytown that remains are the stone foundations of the houses that once stood there and its incredibly dark history. Hidden deep in the woods of Cornwall, Dudleytown lies in silence, and eyewitnesses claim that it harbors a negative energy. Why this settlement was completely abandoned will likely never be known, but it at least gives us something to ponder this Halloween season.


Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.