Dudleytown II: The most haunted place in the U.S.?
By THOMAS D’AGOSTINO
The Carter family left Dudleytown for the wilderness of Binghamton, New York. The Dudleytown curse followed them to their new home. Not long after they settled into Binghamton, the entire family was slaughtered by Indians.
Ed and Lorraine Warren mentioned the village in their 1989 book “Ghost Hunters.” The Warrens wrote about accounts from the 1930s where local youths would drive up the old roads to the highest point of the hill to make out. The deserted village was also the perfect place to scare their dates. One story pertains to a certain football captain who took his girlfriend up to the ghost town and began to tell her stories of ghosts and demons. He got so into the story, he spooked himself and ran from the vehicle, leaving the girl behind. Was it a prank, did he really see something, or did his imagination overwhelm him?
Many of the stories in regard to the early days of the town, its people, haunts and creatures began circulating around the 1930s. The town is mentioned in 1939 but again, not so much in regard to the horrors, but in the famous people who founded it. In 1960, Fessenden Blanchard wrote about Dudleytown and mentioned the curse as it was related to him. He described the vanished settlement as, “a few crumbling cellars, massive stone walls and overgrown footpaths which were formerly roads.”
The tales of monsters and cursed ground in Dudleytown have drawn people from far and wide and unfortunately, not all of them were harmless ghost hunters. Satanic rituals became a common problem in the woods, and many are certain this may have released negative energy into the air that still lingers to this day. If Dudleytown was never haunted, it most certainly may be now.
In 1971, Joseph Owens wrote about the history of Dudleytown. It was mostly a recount of the events that plagued the villagers through the years, and once again, the “curse” was to blame.
In 1983 a film crew decided to do a story on the ghost town. Their accounts only helped cement the legend when the reporter got violently ill while trying to tell the story, and the equipment refused to work while in the confines of the village.
I was very fortunate to be able to visit Dudleytown many years ago before it was forbidden and illegal to enter. The trails, during our visit, were thinly defined in most cases with Dudleytown Road and Dark Entry Road meeting a few miles from their origin in the center of the old town. Any evidence of a once-thriving village was either long gone or covered by the overgrowth of time. The woods were eerily quiet and void of wildlife, yet there was a certain serenity about them. It felt as if the trees and remains of stone walls and foundations were eager to speak of the history that made the place so famous. There are plenty of tales to peruse of the place and plenty of people who swear the stories are true, whether they have experienced the town for themselves or have only read about the history and haunts.
The area of Dudleytown is privately owned and has been for some time. Anyone caught within the boundaries of what was once Dudleytown will be arrested for trespassing. The town has gone as far as to rename the roads in order to confuse and thwart thrill seekers from going up there in the first place. Why Dudleytown? Is it the story of the ill-fated Dudley family coming to New England to settle?
Is it the stories of cloven-hoof beasts that drove residents to the brink of their sanity? Was it the mysterious over publicized ill-luck of the townsfolk? Was it any of these or all?
Abandoned ghost towns create the perfect backdrop for the creation of scary stories and myths. The tales of ghosts, demons, curses, satanic rituals and tragedy have made many swear that Dudleytown is the most haunted place in the United States. Even if the place is now forbidden from the eyes, one may read about its history, using imagination to paint their own picture in deep corners of the mind.