A short forty minute drive from a well known submarine
base in Groton, Connecticut exists a park with a
rather questionable history. Devil's Hopyard State Park in
East Haddam, Connecticut is a place of summer fun for
those who are unaware of the past that is hidden by the
lush landscape. Most go there for a picnic or a night out
beneath the stars while camping. Two years ago a group
called Entity Seekers ventured out to investigate the paranormal
occurrences and reports. I was a member of that
Devil's Falls in Devil's Hopyard State Park
Upon arriving at Devil's Hopyard, we found a sign
that listed several of the parks legends. The most common
legends involve the prince of darkness himself. Supposedly
he was walking along a stream when he came to
Chapman's Falls. There he stopped and got his tail wet.
In his anger he stormed off leaving deep hoof prints in the
rocks below. Yet another legend portrays him as a violin
player. His music accompanies the evil witches of East
Haddam as they stir their wicked brews in their cauldron-like
holes in the rocks. Still another tale tells of a Native
American tribe that performed "blood rituals" at the falls
causing the water to flow red like blood. Truth be told, the
deep holes in the rocks that line the bottom of the falls
have a simple geological explanation. Stones that were
pulled downstream by the waters current formed the holes.
Later they were trapped in an eddy where the stones were
spun. This wearing motion left depressions in the rocks.
When a rock became worn down, another would catch in
the same hole and enlarge it. Though the odd formations
have been found to have a logical explanation, paranormal
events have been reported there for nearly 100 years.
Entity Seekers (www.entityseekers.com) wanted
to conduct a paranormal investigation of the site. We
mingled around the parks trails until dark. Armed with cameras,
camcorders, EMF (electro-magnetic field) meter, and
our senses we set off on a small jaunt around the falls. It
seemed the closer to the falls we were the more eerie of a
feeling we received. We carefully made our way down to a
covered bridge, snapping shots in particularly creepy areas.
As we entered the bridge area, a member of the
group sensed something swirling around his neck. The
sensation became stronger as he neared the center of the
bridge. The EMF meter detected sporadic surges in the
area. We stayed for a short while then made our way
back. Along the path, I felt as though my breath was
suddenly taken away and an all-encompassing cold feeling
had engulfed my body. The feeling was short, but it
was clear and real. When we arrived back at our vehicles
we stopped to take some readings near the entry to the
parking area. The readings were higher than most areas
we had been in before. We sat there for a little while
longer and took some photos. The empathic person in
the group was sure he could feel "something".
Overall the night was not completely uneventful.
There was some sort of paranormal activity in the park
that night. The photographs that we took revealed some
interesting things. Photos of the bridge when developed
revealed small orb lights that we did not see while there.
Is the park properly named Devil's Hopyard? Well,
that I don't know. Perhaps it should be renamed Paranormal
Originally published in Acrimony Magazine August 2003