Weather is the most slippery of topics to report. Hurricane Sandy is moving up the East coast with a prediction of hitting my home state, Connecticut. The weather reports predict anything from a direct hit to a vague miss with high tides. Maybe it will be hitting on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday with the storm hovering for another four or five days.
We’ve been hammered before. Irene took out sections of the coast last year.
The October snowfall kept us without power for ten days. I learned that gas station pumps work on electricity, so do ATM machines and cash registers. My cell phone took longer to charge connected to a generator.
We’ve learned a lot about survival. We have bottled water even when no dangers threatens. We have dry goods to provide meals, our prescriptions are filled, the propane tank for the grill and gas cans for the generator.
I hate to admit I remember Hurricane Carol in the early fifties that wiped out parts of Connecticut that have never recovered. Twelve inches of rain fell, rivers flooded, dams broke and sent dirt and mud downstream. Luckily our house is on the north side of one of the highest hills in town. If Sandy turns into a Northeaster, we’ll be sheltered from the heaviest gusts. The nearest river is a block downhill so flooding isn’t a big worry. Heavy rain might do damage.
Water and wind are the biggest threats.
Batten down the hatches is an old mariners’ term. Sail ships had covers over the loading openings into the hold called hatches. In a severe storm the cover could blow off and water pour into the hold. The Captain would order them tied or battened down, a sure sign bad weather was at hand.
Haunted cemetery features ghost of bride should be the description of most creepy stories. I decided to be logical about the over-abundance of dead young brides if there is any kind of logic to deciphering deadly tales.
My opinion is that there aren’t more brides fluttering over gravestones than any other demographic.
So what causes the stories?
In times past burial was a simpler matter. Wash the body, cloth than wrap in a shroud or winding sheet, put in a wooden box (this is if there was someone to build it in the time left), dig a hole and insert remains. Cover with dirt.
Now comes the interesting part.
The body decomposed. TaDa- gas is released. At night this could appear to be a mist or cloud rising from the grave. Thus anyone passing the cemetery at night might be treated to a scary sight.
Imagination would provide the identity in a small town where everyone knows who was the most recent person to die.
Would you expect to see the actual person or a misty form floating near the grave?
My favorite local story is in a Harwinton Cemetery and she is called The Green Lady. The story says the Green lady was murdered by her husband on their wedding night. He threw her body into the swamp bordering the cemetery and claimed she ran off. This was in a time when the settlers were sparse, the graves few in number and the area not well-traveled.
Since then the area has been populated, the old cemetery expanded to hold hundreds of graves and a major highway passes close by. The swamp still exists due to inland-wetland preservation.
My two sons went there one dark night near Halloween to check her out. They parked the car and walked in, daring each other and talking the trash boys exchange when trying to scare each other.
I don’t know what they saw.
A green light floated over the swamp. Growing brighter, larger, it drifted toward them. They ran like rabbits and almost blew the tires speeding out of there.
They were laughing by the time they got home, but they did say ‘no’ when I wanted to go there, too.
Do you have a scary story?
Read my paranormal romances, Ancient Awakening and Ancient Blood for some frightening scenes.
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Dudleytown doesn’t exist anymore, but stories of madness, suicide and horrible happenings keep it from fading into history. Hikers report a dead zone minus any animal activity. Similarly birds are absent except for the day-time hooting of owls.
Was Dudleytown haunted by something evil? Does the haunting continue even though the houses have fallen into the ground and little remains to mark the spot? I don’t know. According to some local historians, the town’s remains have witnessed madness, suicide, fatal accidents, natural disasters, and vanishings
A curse befalling residents from the mid-1700’s to the early-1800’s makes a scary story. The curse has been traced to an English nobleman, Edmund Dudley, ancestor of the Dudley brothers who settled the town. His head was chopped off for plotting against King Henry VII. A curse on Edmund followed his family to the New World.
One of the Dudley brothers went insane. Other strange incidents included a barn raising where a man fell to his death. Lightning struck and killed a Dudleytown woman on her porch. The curse destroyed a sheep-herder’s family. His wife died of tuberculosis, and his children disappeared. When his house burned down, he wandered into the woods, never to return.
Rev. Gary P. Dudley, a Texas resident and the author of The Legend of Dudleytown: Solving Legends through Genealogical and Historical Research (Heritage Books, 2001), traced the genealogy of his name, found no historical basis for Dudleytown’s cursed reputation or genealogical link to Edmund Dudley.
The final resident of Dudleytown was Dr. William Clarke, a New York City physician who built a vacation home in the early 1900s. The traditional story alleges that Mrs. Clarke was left alone overnight while her husband was summoned to an emergency in the city, and she descended into madness. Rev. Dudley says Mrs. Clarke committed suicide, but in New York, not in Dudleytown.
Before leaving, Dr. Clarke helped found Dark Entry Forest, Inc., an association of property owners that designated the area a nature preserve. As Dudleytown fell to ruin, the land reverted to forest.
he Cornwall Covered Bridge is nearby and worth a trip.
Anyone can follow directions in a guide to nature walks in Connecticut to the preserve’s main entrance at the end of Bald Mountain Road in Cornwall. The way is blocked by a locked gate and signs announcing “No Parking” and “No Trespassing.” Instead enter Dudleytown from the Mohawk Trail, a bit farther north. Dudleytown is about 1.5 miles from the trail’s entrance.
It’s obvious why Dudleytown’s neighbors don’t cotton to strangers.
The town’s legend attracted paranormal investigators, journalists, hikers, the occasional birder, curiosity-seekers, and just plain folk inclined toward the supernatural. Until in 1999, after the release of The Blair Witch Project (the hugely popular movie about haunted woods in Maryland), trespassers got out of hand.
The internet spread the legend far and wide.
The members of Dark Entry Forest, Inc placed Dudleytown off-limits after complaining of drinking parties, campfires, littering, disorderly conduct, and vandalism. A news release they issued stated in a single year, “law enforcement officers have been summoned 79 times”.
A sign in the Mohawk Trail parking lot warns hikers to keep out from October 25 to November 4. The trail crosses a corner of Dudleytown. The Connecticut Forest and Park Association closes this trail section for several days around Halloween.
I’ve personally hiked the fabled Litchfield Hills in their autumn colors.
The Mohawk Trail follows Dark Entry Road, which climbs steeply past houses and towering tree before narrowing near Bonney Brook. In the forest, a broken stone wall crosses the brook. Once it was a dam—Witches’ Dam, some now call it. Nearby, a hollow moaning comes from a thin stream of water spouting into a rocky pool.
A half-mile beyond the brook is Dudleytown. The trail guide calls it “an abandoned community.” It is so quiet around the doomed settlement’s stone ruins that belief in a dead zone is brought to mind.
Visitors have experienced vortexes and cold spots in Dudleytown; others have seen spirits. A few are recorded on film although cameras and other battery-powered equipment are unreliable here. A few claim to have been chased, even slapped, by ghosts.
I can’t claim to know if the stories are true, but it does make me shiver.
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Bar Harbor, Maine has changed since our last visit.
Five years ago we camped at Acadia National Park for a week. Dry camping is a challenge, but well worth it for the wonderful access to the rugged Maine coastline.
Bar Harbor is a typical resort area with large private residences nestled so far into the woods you can’t see them. It stars waterfront properties with all types of boats at anchor. In the intervening years, cruise ships have increased stops. The response from the
town is a pretty new marina area and easy access to the small shops run by local business people. Despite the increased traffic, the people are friendly and helpful.
I drove my husband crazy reminding him I wanted to buy a piece of watermelon tourmaline. If you’re not familiar with gemstones, you don’t know about Tourmaline. It comes in lots of different colors and makes beautiful jewelry. I coveted the watermelon: striped with green, white and bright pink. I never saw it anywhere else for good reason. It’s a local stone and the artisans here are smart enough not to share.
We spent the day, had a fresh Maine lobster for lunch and returned to the ship. The leaves hadn’t changed color last week, but I bet a trip up the New England coast now will show glorious views.
I set my paranormal romances in New England because I love it so much. Does it show?
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The stress of my husband’s heart attack, even with the hopeful outcome, left me exhausted. I didn’t realize how much until I looked at my current manuscript, a short Christmas story due December first and suggestions from an editor for rewrites for another short novel. I haven’t worked on anything since his attack.
Not that I didn’t have ideas churning in my head screaming to be let out. I didn’t have the energy. When I sat in front of my computer I was just tired. The opportunity to go on vacation, actually leave the house with the dirty dishes, laundry, and unmowed lawn for ten days on a cruise sounded like heaven. Who could refuse.
I packed my computer. I said I would get back in the groove. Instead I took the advice of another writer friend. I sat on a deck chair and watched the waves. I took naps. I smiled at my husband and
told him to have fun as he wandered the ship. I took advantage of my kindle to reread some old favorites like “This Rough Magic” by Mary Stewart, several by Barbara Michaels, the first twenty in the Death series by JD Robb… Did I mention I’m a prolific reader?
The writers provided a remembered pleasure, a recognition that some things never change, that you can find a kind of comfort in knowing the end and just enjoying the power of the words to carry the reader to another world.
Getting back to life as normal hasn’t occurred yet. Unpacking, doing laundry, getting my dog back from her favorite family other than me, and shopping for groceries took the first couple days. I spent hours deleting old email since my connection to the internet cost me $2.99 per minute and I put everyone on digest. And I missed Skhye’s class on Triberr. Shoot.
To get back to my point. I am happy to say I feel better. My husband is still improving day by day.
Maybe life will never truly return to the old normal. Knowing that my favorite books remain to provide pleasure helped me to move forward. Better for my waist than comfort food.