The Spirits of Milford Ghost Walks are a scary good time! What better way to celebrate Halloween in Connecticut than with a bit of history, and a bit of haunting? This 1.5-mile walking tour winds through the beautiful historic district of downtown Milford.
The Ghost Tour
The Ghost tour is led by lifelong Milford resident and award-winning journalist and playwright Cindy Wolfe Boynton. They each share the compelling history and theatrically narrated true stories of Milford, CT’s haunted past.
At the beginning of the tour, Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) readers were lent to participants. EMF readers are used to pinpoint areas of higher than usual concentrations of energy. This may be indicative of paranormal energy.
The tour appropriately begins at one of the oldest areas of Milford. It is the very spot where, in 1637, the Reverend Peter Prudden officially formed the Milford colony on the Wepawaug river. The river encouraged the dangerous and often deadly industry of shipbuilding. This industry thrived in the 1700s causing many accidents and deaths. Residents often report “disembodied lights along the riverbank that can not be explained.” They attribute these sightings to these tragedies, Cindy tells us.
A Haunted History
Another rich history that is surmised to have led to hauntings surrounds the original residents of Milford. These residents were the Mohawks and Paugussets colonists who sometimes had disagreements with the colonists as well as each other. One Paugusset mother was so upset over the colonists’ appearance that she broke both of her son’s necks and buried them along the river.
Residents report witnessing a woman sitting on the river bank and sobbing. In one bloody battle, the Paugussets though outnumbered, defeated the Mohawk attack. To showcase their victory, they skinned and scalped their Mohawk captives and skewered their bodies to posts along the river.
Nearby, Charles Island is purportedly one of the most haunted places of all. It has been cursed three times. First by Ansantawae, chief sachem of the Paugusset Tribe who had forbid colonists from trespassing on this sacred land. When his warnings were ignored, he placed a curse on the island that nothing built there would ever stand. Despite several building efforts including the grand “Island House” hotel as well as a monastery, this remains true to this day.
Captain Kidd’s Buried Treasure?
Captain Kidd is also rumored to have buried treasure there. He is believed to have cursed the treasure and the island if anyone tried to remove the spoils other than Captain Kidd. The third curse was brought back to the island by a group of mariners. They had returned with a cursed chest from Mexico which they buried on the island.
The Ghost Tour, Continued
Next, we walked past the Milford Historical Society. The historical society shares property with the Eells-Stowe House and the Bryan-Downs House. Each house has been investigated and found to be haunted. This property was originally home to a stockade house where on-duty guards tasksed with watching the perimeter dwelled.
It was also the site of the first hospital in town. People report hearing cries of alarm and cries of pain. A video on the Spirits of Milford Ghost Walk website depicts a spinning wheel located in one of these homes spinning without assistance.
The Founders House Restaurant
Then, we walked past the Founders House restaurant, a restaurant alleged by the staff to be haunted for many years. Many staff members refused to go into the basement or attic, where unexplainable events were common. This restaurant was also confirmed haunted by paranormal expert Lorraine Warren. When we passed the Chamber of Commerce, guests were invited to try their hand at using dowsing rods to point to a selected friend or family member. All five volunteers were able to perform the task.
A ‘Witch’ Buried at Milford Cemetery
The grand finale of the tour was a walk into Milford Cemetery. Established in 1642, it is the gravesite of the infamous Andrew Sanford, husband of Mary Sanford, who was executed for witchcraft. The opportunity to walk a historic town in search of the favorite haunts of local spirits after dark by the light of the full moon is quite the exhilarating experience. A perfect way to celebrate Halloween in Connecticut!
The event takes place on a rolling basis and runs through November 21st. Check out the website to select a date and purchase tickets.