This story was sent to me by Doug from Connecticut:
My name is Doug. I read on your website about haunted buildings, curses on families, and attacks by strange creatures. Well, there’s an evil forest in northwestern Connecticut that combines all of those things. My buddy Andy and I knew about the 400-year-old family curse, the weird lightning strikes, sightings of dark spirits, glowing lights, weird creatures, bizarre phenomena of nature, madness, death, insanity, and lives destroyed by the Dudleytown forest. We just never thought it would happen to us.
Andy and I grew up in Ellsworth, Connecticut the best of buds. Every Halloween we talked about spending the night in the creepy Dudleytown forest. When you grow up in Connecticut you get used to playing in the woods, but everyone talked about how there was something sinister about the trees up around Dudleytown, and the place was always dark.
Of course, no one ever actually spent Halloween there. Even after Andy and I were in high school and could drive, fear always won out over our curiosity. Well, fear and girls. You ever notice how girls like to wear skimpy outfits on Halloween, even when it’s really cold out?
So our senior year finally came. We were each going to different colleges and this would be our last Halloween together for a while.
“It’s now or never, dude,” I said to Andy about two weeks before Halloween. “Are we really going to do this, or are we going to spend the rest of our lives e-mailing each other about how we really should have done it that year when we had the chance?”
Andy rubbed his chin for a moment, probably weighing the choice between really cool bragging rights and hanging out with our friends.
“Yeah,” he replied shrugging. “This is our last shot. Let’s go for it!”
Bragging rights won.
Andy and I ended up taking his car on Halloween night and headed out towards Dudleytown. I think back on that moment every day. My life would be completely different now if I had just gone to a party or maybe TP’ed someone’s house instead.
The sun was starting to set as we drove the half-hour to Dark Entry Road.
“Dark Entry Road! Man, if this were in a movie, people would be laughing. Could it be any more obvious?” Andy laughed.
“It is cursed, you know. It’s the only forest I’ve ever heard about that’s actually evil,” I said.
“Yeah, I know. All that stuff in England. Henry VIII was pissed Edmund Dudley tried to overthrow him so he chopped off his head and cursed the whole Dudley clan. Horror! Death! Insanity! Hemorrhoids!” Andy joked. “One of the Dudley kids thought he could escape the curse by coming here in the 1700s but he just brought the curse with him.”
“Remember the dude who bought the place after the Dudleys bolted? His whole family got some weird sickness and croaked. Then there was the general in the Revolutionary War whose wife got struck by lightening…even though it was a clear sky! That dude went mental.” I said, trying to remember even more crazy stories we’d heard over the years.
“Oh, oh!” Andy cried, “We’re leaving out Dr. Clark’s nutcase wife! Remember he bought the place in the 1920s? He had to go into New York City for two days and when he got back, his wife was flipping out about that dark creature who ran out of the forest and attacked her. She went mental, too and they put her in the nut house!”
“Duh, lady, don’t you know Big Foot when you see him?”
Even though we continued to laugh at all of the horror stories we knew, I was starting to get a little scared. I couldn’t admit it to Andy, but by the time we reached Dark Entry Road—which, despite its name is actually an idyllic-looking lane that leads into Dudleytown forest—I was thinking about bagging the whole idea and turning back. Unfortunately for us, Andy parked the car and started to get out.
“Doug, come on. Let’s go.” he said.
“We could just go back and hang out with Mike and Jordan instead. Tell them we got lost on the way.” I offered.
“What? Dude, ‘A,’ we drove all the way here and two, we would get so much crap from them about being complete chickens. I’m gonna see me some DEMONS TONIGHT, BABY!!!!” he yelled.
There was no use arguing with him. His reputation was at stake. Now we had to go through with it.
We left the car at the start of the road since we’d told everyone we’d go into the forest on foot, with nothing to protect us except our own wits. The sun was dropping low in the sky. It was starting to get dark.
Almost at once I noticed the total lack of sound. Whereas a second before I could hear the wind in the trees, birds chirping, and the scurrying of squirrels and chipmunks among the fallen leaves, now, nothing. Not a peep.
“Did it suddenly get colder?” Andy asked, turning up his collar and zipping his jacket up.
“Now that you mention it,” I replied. “The temperature did seem to drop when we stepped in here. And is it just me or is there no sound whatsoever? Where’s the wind? Why don’t I hear animals?”
“They’re probably all POSSESSED! M’uh a ha ha ha ha!” Andy shouted, doing the world’s worst Count Dracula impression.
We continued on in silence.
About half a mile in we heard a weird scratching noise behind us. We looked around but couldn’t see anything.
“What’s that?” Andy whispered tensely, pointing to the ground behind them.
There, carved into the soft dirt were the words: “NEVER RETURN…SATAN!”
“Shut up. You just did that on the ground. I’m not a moron.” I said, punching Andy in the arm. “The Satan part is a little over-the-top, man.”
“Doug,” Andy said seriously, “You and I both heard that noise and I’ve been standing right next to you the whole time. I didn’t do that, dude.”
“Fine,” I said, “Someone put that there to freak out people like us who were coming here to check it out.”
“I don’t know,” said Andy. “It looks like it was only drawn there a minute ago, like it was just scratched into the ground. Look at the piles of dirt around each letter. If this had been here for a while, they would have blown away in the wind.”
“Come on,” I said, actually surprised to find myself being the brave one. “There are supposed to be some ruins of old Dudleytown houses at the end of this road. Maybe we can spend the night there.”
As we left Dark Entry Road and entered the dense forest, the final crimson rays of sunlight faded to gray behind the stone foundation of an eighteenth century house.
“There’s nothing left of this place but some stones,” Andy said, peering over the edge of the foundation.
Suddenly a white circle of light moved across the trees.
“Don’t turn the flashlight on yet,” I said. “Let’s wait until it’s really dark.”
“Uh, Doug, I-I didn’t turn on my flashlight,” Andy stammered. “Did you?”
I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
“No,” I whispered.
“Then what’s that?” Andy said pointing at three white glowing orbs dancing among the trees.
Not waiting for my reply, Andy took off, running deeper into the woods.
“Wait for me, dude!” I shouted, following my friend. I’ve got Satan telling me never to return and now weird orbs flying around. Now was not the time for the two of us to separate.
Andy stopped running and I practically crashed into him.
“It’s really dark,” Andy said, trying to catch his breath. “I’m going to put my flashlight on so we can find our way back.”
“What about those white floating things?” I asked nervously.
“I don’t see them any more,” Andy replied, clicking on his light. “I think we should head back.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “We’re totally telling Mike and Jordan we got lost. I don’t care how much grief I get. Now let’s get the heck out of here.”
Andy’s eyes suddenly opened wide. Looking down, he began grabbing at his shirt and pants. “Doug, get them off of me!” he shouted. “Get them off!”
I shined my light along Andy’s body but I saw nothing.
“Get what off of you?” I asked, alarmed by the terror in my friend’s eyes. “There’s nothing on you, Andy!”
“The bugs!” Andy screamed, clawing at his clothes, his face contorted into a mask of horror. “They’re crawling all over me. Get them off of me! THEY’RE EATING ME ALIVE! DOUG, HELP!”
“They’re not real, Andy!” I screamed, recalling stories I had heard about people in Dudleytown suffering from hallucinations. “It’s just in your mind! Dude, you have to focus on me. Andy, focus!”
Andy dropped to his knees and began yanking at his own hair. He actually tore a bloody clump of hair from his head. “Get them off!”
I grabbed my friend by his shoulders, forced him to his feet, and shook him hard. “Andy!” I shouted, slapping him right in the face. “Andy!”
Andy jerked backwards, pulling away. Breathing hard, he looked down the length of his body. “Oh my God, Doug,” Andy cried. “It was so real. I saw big, disgusting bugs crawling over every inch of my body. I felt them! I felt them bite me!”
He clawed at his clothes looking for marks; looking for the creatures that had just tormented him.
“Come on,” I said, grabbing Andy’s arm and handing him a bandanna to hold against his bleeding head. “We’re leaving before anything else happens.”
With each step, the gnawing sense of doom inside me grew. Someone…no, something, was watching us. Waiting. Small shapes darted through the darkness on either side of us. The perfect silence was broken by high-pitched shrieks echoing in the trees. I felt my chest tightening as we retraced our path. Andy clutched his head and breathed hard. I wanted to assure him that we’d be okay. Dark Entry Road was just ahead, I noticed, as we approached the foundation. I was about to say, “We’re going to get home safe,” but before I could speak a flash of movement caught my eye.
We both froze in terror at the sight of a swirling back shape rising from the foundation. The expanding blotch changed shape, its inky blackness so thick it stood out against the night sky.
“I can’t move,” Andy groaned through his clenched jaw. “I’m trying to force one leg to go in front of the other, but I just can’t move.”
Before I could respond, the shape enveloped me.
I gasped for breath. The very life was being sucked from my body. I was about to pass out when images began to fill my mind. Mutilated, maggot-filled corpses lay strewn around me. I knew I would soon be one of them.
Then I blacked out.
Soft rays of sunshine woke me. Andy was sprawled out on the forest floor next to me. The corpses were gone.
“Andy? Wake up,” I shook him gently.
He opened his eyes with a start and jumped to his feet. Without saying a word to me, he headed towards Dark Entry Lane.
“Wait up!” I shouted. Andy turned and peered at me with fear.
“Never return,” he croaked. Those were the last words my best friend ever spoke to me.
We made it back home that morning. We had spent the night in Dudleytown and lived.
But from that day on, Andy never spoke another word to anyone. The doctors at the institution have tried shock treatment to see if he’ll even cry out in pain, but they say he’s like a walking dead man.
As for me, pre-Dudleytown, I had always been a pretty happy kid. Post-Dudleytown’s another story. The voices and the visions start each day around sunset and torture me through the night. Yeah, I don’t have to be in a mental hospital like Andy, but I don’t exactly get out much.
Why didn’t I just stay away?