Dudleytown, A haunted place in Connecticut by Barbara Edwards #Giveaway

Dudleytown doesn’t exist anymore, but stories of madness, suicide and horribleSnarlolgy Halloween Blog Hop Yellow 2 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.

Map featuring Dudleytown
Map featuring Dudleytown

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map featuring Dudleytown

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.

Cornwall Covered Bridge, Cornwall, CT
Cornwall Covered Bridge, Cornwall, CT

Cornwall Covered Bridge, Cornwall, CT

The 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.

A brook bubbling near Dudleytown
A brook bubbling near Dudleytown

A brook bubbling near Dudleytown

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.
First Posted on October 12, 2012 by Barbara Edwards

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For those commenting here during the five day Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop, I’m drawing one name to receive an ebook book of Ancient Curse, my November release from The Wild Rose Press.

Evil never dies; and for psychic Rainie Gamble who accepts a job to weed out evil artifacts, this could not be more true. When she arrives at the home of Thomas Broquette, her new boss, she isn’t sure what to expect. But the handsome and intriguing Thomas is only the tip of the paranormal activity she encounters while going through his library.
After several near misses when Rainie is injured by evil forces, she wonders if her new boss is hiding a secret? What does the previous owner Mason have to do with the threads of doom encasing the estate? And why does Thomas bring her father, a well-known art thief, into their midst.
The attraction she feels for Thomas grows, as does the evil winning its battle against the inhabitants of what could be her new home. Rainie wonders if she will find and defeat the inhuman force causing all their problems before she and Thomas are sucked into its evil forever.


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Guest Helen C. Johannes talks about her fantasy

Booksigning2Please welcome my guest, Helen C. Johannes with her new release: The Prince of Val-Feyridge.

Tell me why you wrote THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE.
THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE is the book of my heart. I conceived the storyline and characters the summer before I began college. I’d been reading THE FOUNTAINHEAD, GONE WITH THE WIND, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The world was full of turmoil in the Middle East (no change there) and racism in the US (not much change there either). I wanted to tell a story about a broken country and the characters that would stitch it back together again. They would have to overcome class and ethnic divisions to do so.
While thematically that was the premise, the heart of the story was the against-all-odds love that grows between my warrior prince hero and my displaced healer heroine. While everything is stacked against them, what binds them together is honor. They can—and do—trust each other with their lives.
ThePriceofVal_Fey_w3415_680[1]You’re multi-published. Which of your heroes is your favorite and why?
That’s a hard one. I love my heroes, never more than when I’m writing their individual books, but they are very different people.
Prince Arn is a swashbuckler, a charismatic leader of men who puts his life on the line—recklessly, some would say—to single-mindedly pursue the lost Crown and restore the Kingdom. Having survived the assassination of his family at age 12, he loves no one, trusts but a few, and gambles daily to achieve what’s rightfully his.
Durren Drakkonwehr of BLOODSTONE was once a warrior, descendant of a long line of dragon-keepers, but his personal failure has led to his land’s collapse and the curse that makes his life a living hell. He lives in isolation, determined to protect his people from his cursed appearance and too proud to die at the hand of subhuman beings.
Flip sides of the warrior coin, one could say—success versus failure—but both scarred inside and out, with stone walls around their hearts that have to be chipped away by the heroines.
My heroes are two stubborn, prideful men whose emotional journeys are equally satisfying, but I think I had more fun torturing Durren. Still, if I had to choose, I have to go with my ‘firstborn’ Prince Arn because he’s been with me so long.
How do you keep writing when the ideas flow slowly?
Slowly? How about slogging through molasses? Normal speed for me.
One thing that works is having a critique partner who is a prolific writer and keeps expecting me to return the favor. Another thing is simply writing something, even if it seems like crap, because the act of getting words on screen/paper gets the juices flowing. Finally, I sometimes have to start a later scene because the current one isn’t going where I want it to. Then I can go back and fill in the gaps.
Thanks for hosting me, Barbara! It’s a pleasure to visit with a fellow Wild Rose Press author.

Blurb:
THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE
2011 EPIC Winner in Fantasy Romance

A warrior with a destiny, a woman with a gift. Can loving the enemy restore a broken kingdom? Or will forbidden love destroy it—and them—first?

Prince Arn has a destiny—an ancient throne—but he’s not waiting for fate to deliver when he can act now, before his enemies organize against him. The healer Aerid longs for her barely remembered homeland. Marked out by her gift and her foreign looks, she insists she is no witch. The swordsman Naed hopes to honorably defend his uncle’s holding, but he harbors a secret fascination for the exotic healer. Prince Arn’s campaign against Aerid’s homeland throws them into a triangle of forbidden love, betrayal, and heartbreak. Only when they realize love is blood-kin to friendship, and neither is possible without risk, can they forge a new alliance and restore a kingdom.
Excerpt:
The Prince’s arm tightened, drawing her hard against the planes of his chest.
Aerid sucked in breath, digging her fingers once more into his tunic sleeve. Every movement reminded her, perched sideways as she was on the saddle pommel, all that kept her out of the water and away from trampling hooves was the strength of his arm—and that arm was trembling. Not with the fear still rattling through her, for he was Tolemak and a warrior. Nor with weakness, though the wound she had stitched a scant seven-night before could yet give him cause.
No, in that moment when he had recognized her—in that awful moment after the shock—she’d seen all too clearly the fury vibrating through him now. And the knowledge that it had not abated even a whit made her flinch when he bent and his voice lashed at her ear.
“Tell me, witch, and tell me true—does Krenin know who you are?”
The question itself startled Aerid, not its harshness, for she had expected that. Twisting her head, she caught a glimpse of eyes like coals in a face dark and set.
“I mean,” he said, each word measured and knifesharp, “either who you are or who you pretend to be.”
She flushed, knowing full well what he meant. “I—I think not, m’lord. ‘Twas dark and—”
“Then you’ll do nothing to enlighten him. Hear?”
She heard him clearly despite the water-song and hoof splashes she was sure prevented their voices from carrying to Krenin. She understood, too, what underlay his warning. He wanted no one to know that he, the exalted and invincible Prince of Val-Feyridge, had been tricked—trapped—into sparing the life of an Adanak—and a woman!—only to cover the fact he and all his army had been duped into believing—for weeks!—that she was a boy, and a D’nalian. Oh, he had chosen well the moment for his question, Aerid thought, a rush of indignation beating back her shivers.
“Aye, m’lord, ‘tis safe with me, your secret.”
Buy Links:

The Prince of Val-Feyridge: http://amzn.com/B003JH8CO2
Bloodstone: Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00G8GTHRC

Helen C. Johannes lives in the Midwest with her husband and grown children. Growing up, she read fairy tales, Tolkien, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Agatha Christie, Shakespeare, and Ayn Rand, an unusual mix that undoubtedly explains why the themes, characters, and locales in her writing play out in tales of love and adventure.

Blog:
Brave Men, Bold Women—Hearts in Search of Home:

http://helencjohannes.blogspot.com/

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