|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.
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.
Latitude 41.192043 Longitude -73.056486
Silver Sands State Park