Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Curse of Charles Island - Milford, Connecticut

Off the coast of Connecticut, there lies Charles Island which is the stuff that fairytales are made of. Native American curses, haunted by spirits, pirates, buried treasure, a pathway that only appears by day so you can walk to the island, but disappears at night, and not to leave out... ghosts!  Except it is not a fairytale, it is all very real.  

Charles Island off the coast of Connecticut has a history of curses, buried pirate treasure, and ghosts
Charles Island off the coast of Connecticut has a history of curses, buried pirate treasure, and ghosts.  Photo: the Wikipedia Commons

The island was acquired by the English in 1639 when they overran the Wepaowag Natives who inhabited the island.  Believing the island to be inhabited by spirits, the Wepoawag Chief cursed the English to be haunted by these entities so that they would not be able to inhabit the island, forever.  To this day, that curse holds true even after many attempts to settle it.

Charles Deal, the island's namesake, bought the island in 1657.  It was previously known as Milford Island.  Charles attempted to start a tobacco plantation on the small patch of land and it failed completely.  He ended up abandoning the island a short while later.  Around the year 1699, famed pirate Captain William Kidd sailed through Long Island Sound on his way to Boston.  It was rumored that he stopped at various islands along the way burying some of his treasure for safe keeping.  It is known that he stopped at Milford and some believe that Charles Island was one of his hiding places as Kidd knew of the curse of the island.  He was later arrested in Boston, never to return to claim his treasure.

It is thought that in 1721, a band of sailors had found Mexican ruler Guatmozin's hidden treasure.  Seeking a place to hide it, many believe they concealed the treasure somewhere on Charles Island.  That treasure too was lost as the sailors never returned for it.

1835, an attempt was made to establish a residence on the island by John Harris.  He died soon after and several people lived on the island in his home after that.  However, their stay was always short and they always found some reason to leave.

In 1850, it is believed that fortune hunters seeking William Kidd's lost treasure actually found something.  However, they claimed that as they were leaving the island, a skeleton like burning specter chased them off the island.

In 1852, the island was acquired by Elizur Pritchard who turned the old Harris home into a summer resort which was eventually known as the Ansantawae House. However, that only lasted for about fifteen years.  For a short while the island was purchased and used as a manufacturing facility for fertilizer made from fish. That too failed and the island sat vacant once again.



Charles Island near the Silver Sands State Park in Connecticut has a unique feature than other islands. At low tide, you can walk to it.  It has been known to trap many visitors who have to spend the night on the haunted and cursed island.
Charles Island near the Silver Sands State Park in Connecticut has a unique feature than other islands. At low tide, you can walk to it.  It has been known to trap many visitors who have to spend the night on the haunted and cursed island.  Photo: the Wikipedia Commons


Around 1930 a group of monks founded the Aquinas Retreat, building a complex of buildings, pathways and shrines throughout the island.  Then towards the end of the decade, the retreat was abandoned.  There definitely seems to be something strange at work here on this island preventing people from inhabiting it. 

Many visitors to the island have reported seeing and hearing strange things while there. Others have visited the island never to return.  If you walk to the island by day over the sand bar land bridge, you just may be trapped there overnight when the high tides comes in.  They say the current over the land bridge at high tide is wicked as well as the currents and surf surrounding the island.  Many lives have been claimed by the island's waters, some bodies never to be found again. 
 

Today, the island is just off shore from Silver Sands State Park. The only thing that remains of human habitation on the island today are the ruins of the old buildings. There are those who have claimed to hear the sounds of people and moans emanating from the trees and abandoned buildings on Charles Island.  Some have seen eerie lights moving about the island, even in the daylight.  And then there are those who claim they have outright seen human apparitions.  Most say these spirits were dressed in centuries old clothing.  Perhaps the ghosts of those the island has claimed have joined the ancient spirits in upholding the Curse of Charles Island.


Location:

Latitude 41.192043  Longitude -73.056486

Silver Sands State Park
41.198416 -73.066190




30 comments:

  1. i'd love to go there & camp out for a wknd!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Surprised the small pox colony was not mentioned, one tale I have heard before.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I heard there was a small pox colony there???

    ReplyDelete
  4. Me and my sister and friends were out there in 1994 and we came across a dog house still standing but the buildings all ruined

    ReplyDelete
  5. The monks did not abandon the retreat in the late 1930's...it was destroyed by the Hurricane of 38.

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMG I want to go and see this place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Treasure worth probably 100billion dollars from what I hear.

      Delete
  7. Funny, I grew up in Milford, and never heard that Charles Island was haunted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too and actually I go there once a year in the summer near night fall and never have I seen or heard anything huh

      Delete
  8. dont forget about the years of inbred deer that had to be slaughtered

    ReplyDelete
  9. dont forget about all the inbred deer that had to be slaughtered

    ReplyDelete
  10. I lived in Milford and Orange many years went to Milford Prep and spent nights at the island with bonfires and rum and teenagers we were there was a spookiness to it but never saw an apparition but did see starnge yellow lights in the woods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plenty of rats, too. They come out at night to get your food. I went to Milford Prep, too. Not much goes on at that island except some decent blue fishing.

      Delete
  11. Lived in milford for 30 years def wierd yellow blue lights on odd nights ...we asked for permission to camp it and were told no since its a bird sanctuary now and the lights were seen fishin for blues near the cable ....to give you.a proximity

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fun article, but remember that tides are not linked to day/night, but rather the moon (and the cycle is offset a bit every day). I may have to go out and look for that burning skeleton apparition!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I lost my brother 2 years ago from the rip-tide on the sandbar...

    ReplyDelete
  14. spent 50 yrs.living and fishing in Mlfd.Been on the Island and sand bar countless number of times both day and overnight.I'm open minded and honestly have to say I never saw or heard anything paranormal or unusual that I couldn't explain.As far as in-breed deer ,not true the deer and other animals come and go as they please when the sand bar is exposed at low tide.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was just talking to my grandson about this. As a kid I always walked out to the island
    Iam looking forward to taking my grandson on a treasure hunt

    ReplyDelete
  16. Can't wait until I take my grandson to the island for a treasure hunt

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lived in Milford near SIlver Sands nearly all my life, and used to go out to Charles Island most summers. Fished off the sandbar too. Knew the place was haunted and I never stayed there overnight. As far as the deer go, they swim to and from the island from the park. There's a pretty substantial herd there, not on the island but in the park itself where the woods are on the hill to the left of the entryway.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am definitely visiting Charles Island this summer, I only live 45 minutes from there and never knew anything about it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Last time I was out there we about got eaten alive from huge horse flies, so bad never even went exploring.

    ReplyDelete
  20. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    ReplyDelete
  21. I really Wana go to see if the legends of the flaming skeleton are true

    ReplyDelete
  22. You can walk or boat out to the Island, however, it is a bird sanctuary and you are no longer allowed to go into the island. Last time I was on the island, probably 40 years ago, there were only ruins from an old monastery that had been out there. Never saw or heard anything any weirder than if you walk through any woods, but then I didn't stay the night.
    Some company got permission years ago to dig/search for treasure on the island and never found anything. The birds and deer have done a number on the island. They rounded up the deer and got them off the island a few years ago. Yes, there are tons of deer at the park and many like to feed on my bushes. :(

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lived in Milford right on Seaside Beach, walked out to that island and explored many times. Cool ruins, lots of deer and rats, nothing else out of the ordinary. Spent a few nights there too, and the only lights I ever saw were other peoples lights at there own parties.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Born and raised near Milford harbor, never heard about ghost stories. My mom told me about the year the sound froze and cars went out to the Island. Some got stuck out there. Was in the 1920's..

    ReplyDelete
  25. I go fishing here all the time

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ive been out there many times on my watercraft. Great place as it sits close to the Mouth of the Housatonicc River. Water is rough and a great place to ride. I have been on the island many of times and sorry,ive seen nor heard anything. Great story but a fairy tale i do suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Was on the Island back in the early fifties and saw many dug holes in the sand as if someone were looking for treasure. Stone pillars and partial foundations were still there along with mostly destroyed docks. No birds then but definitely spooky. Always good fishing around the island.

    ReplyDelete