Maude's Grave - Voluntown
We are very excited to be going to a much debated haunted location like Maude’s Grave. We got off to a late start around 11 pm because Justin and company decided to be late getting to Brandon’s. The people present for this investigation were Brandon, Craig, Justin, and Zach. It was a long 50 minute drive to get there and we were behind this one guy on a back road for at least a half hour, it was funny because you could tell he was getting cautious because we had followed him for so long in the middle of nowhere. We were gonna keep following him to his house but we decided against it even though it would have been funny. There are many rumors and stories behind Maude’s Grave, so many so it would take too much time to list them here. Go onto shadowlands or another site that lists haunted places and you can read for yourself. But in general there have been reports of a hooded figure walking around then disappearing, huge black shapes in the woods, seeing a man running in the woods with your car when leaving, eyes in the woods, and many other apparitions. Obviously this is a highly popular area among ghost hunters and we are excited to be here.
There are many debates over the true location of Maude’s Grave but after much research we found it is off of Cedar Swamp Road, across an intersection from Hell Hollow Road. Driving along the beginning of Cedar Swamp, we realized how isolated this area is and how deep the forest is, part of Pachaug State Forest. We stopped at the graveyard along the road and decided to check this out before finding the path through the woods to the site. It was a fairly small cemetery but contained large tombstones and concrete sculptures. Being a full moon and having a half inch of snow on the ground made it fairly light out from the reflection on the snow so it was not as eerie as a cemetery usually is. We took a couple of pictures but most of them did not come out. However, one of them that did contained an orb in the upper right hand corner and that gave us some evidence in the investigation. We spent about twenty minutes in the cemetery because it was already midnight and we still had a long drive back to home. Besides the orb there was nothing else eventful experienced.
The description of the path we found on a forum site was very confusing and was not very clear as there are many paths leading into the woods on either side of the road. We found one that looked like an official parks and rec trail as it had a metal bar lowered across it so no vehicles could enter so we got out and began to walk. We followed the directions as best we could while heading deeper in the woods. It was hard to hear any softer sounds as the crunching of snow made sufficient noise, so whenever we thought we heard something everyone would immediately stop and be silent. The place had an aura that seemed heavy and cold but we did not know if this was just us getting nervous because of the reputation of the place. As we kept walking, several times one of the members would call the word for silence and point in a direction saying that he saw something. After this happened many times we began to think that maybe there was something to this place after all. After about a half hour of walking we decided as a group that perhaps we had taken the wrong path and we should try again another time. We had come to a small creek and were reluctant to try to cross it as it was frigid cold. We headed back, but still were continually halted by strange sounds or sights. We were disappointed but vowed to come back. The worst part was that after posting a thread on the forum where we got directions, we found that if we had gone another 300 yards down the trail after the creek we would have come to the foundations of houses and the grave itself.
CONCLUSION: 4 out of 10
Now that we know we were on the right path we are returning soon and will make a second write up. The feelings of heaviness, the strange sounds, and people keep thinking they see things in the woods, and the orb in the cemetery lead to this rating. Undoubtedly our next trip will be better when we actually find the gravestone.
The Return to Maudes Grave
On the night of August 9, 2008 CTPS set off to return to the site of Maude’s Grave in Voluntown. The members going were Craig, Brandon, Dave, and Jacob. If you have read the above investigation, you already know it was very light from the full moon reflecting off of the snow the last time we went. However, this time even before we got onto Cedar Swamp Rd, we knew it was going to be different. Heading down Ekonk Hill Rd (Rt 49) we couldn’t believe how dark it was. The moon was low on the horizon so it was hidden by the forestline. As we turned left and headed down Cedar Swamp, the trees closed in overhead and blotted out all light, except what was emitted from the headlights.
After parking in the entrance to the hiking trail, we got out of the car and had to stand around for five minutes to try to let our eyes adjust. Even though we were only a couple feet off the the road the tree cover allowed no light whatsoever. Imagine being in a room with no windows or doors with the lights off. I put my hand a couple inches away from my face and could not see it. Armed with only a couple of cell phone lights we slowly set off, nervous at how dark and foreboding the woods looked.
A couple of minutes in, after slow progress we heard a far away sound that we could barely hear over our own whispers. I have no idea how to describe it accurately as I had never heard anything like it. I immediately thought the worse that it was a large hostile animal such as a bear or moose. Brandon however deemd it to be a cow coming from the farm along the entrance of Cedar Swamp Rd. We all agreed that must be what it was and kept going on. Most of the trip in passed without event, only a couple of animal noises such as crackling leaves or a stick falling. Of course these made us jump a little but it was nothing paranormal. When we crossed the riverbed, we heard the strange noise again however it seemed that it was closer, and definitely on this side of the road, and not the farm. We put a little speed into our walking and found the gravestone in the stone foundation. The first thing I noticed was that it did certainly not look like an old stone and a foundation was an odd place for it. The stone looked even more cracked than it had on recent pictures I have seen. After lingering in the area for ten minutes and feeling nothing but the excitement of finally being there we decided to turn back and perhaps visit the cemetary on the way out. While walking back we heard the weird growl/howl a couple more times, each time moving closer to us. When we were perhaps a hundred feet from the car we heard it again this time it seemed as if it had moved behind us, back along the path we had just walked. This was the first time at a site I had felt truly terrified because there was no way it was a cow from the farm that had made its way through the woods and down the road in that amount of time. We hopped/ran the rest of the way to the car and hopped inside, however I stood next to the open door for a few seconds. Quite clearly I heard a young female voice about 15 feet away from us not on the path anymore but directly to our right. I could not make out the words but there was no mistaking it for animal. Needless to say I quickly hopped in the car and backed out of there.
But the perhaps the oddest thing was about to come about. Needless to say, we skipped going to the cemetery because of what we had just witnessed. But as we pulled parallel to the farm we parked alongside of the road, shut off the car and lights and sat there with the windows open. Even though we were there for about ten minutes there were no noises from farm animals anywhere, shooting down the cow noise theory. It was not until after our investigation that I learned the ghost of Maude was sometimes called “Screaming Maude.” If you are reading this and you have anything to say about what she sounds like or what we potentially heard please email us or write in the guest book because we would really like to know if this is what we heard. But there are also known to be homeless people living in the woods, so maybe all we heard was one of them trying to scare us out of his living area. We will perhaps never know but will never forget the terrifying experience.
CONCLUSION: 9/10 There is a little room for error in this rating because we are really not sure what we heard. If it later proves to be the screams of Maude we heard this will undoubtedly bumped up to a 10 as I have never been so scared when we were seemingly chased back to the car. Also, the female voice I heard was not imaginative, it was quite distinct. Even if nothing paranormal had happened, the darkness and isolation makes this a great location. In the future, I would recommend bringing some kind of small weapon such as an air soft gun or perhaps a knife just in case you do run into a hostile transient living in the woods.
Update - Upon further research, it appears it was indeed the screams of Maude we heard as described by several visitors to this site. This bumps the rating up to a 9 for sheer creepiness and terror.
There has been much dispute over whether Maude’s grave lies on Hell Hollow Road or Cedar Swamp Road in Voluntown, Connecticut. With some of the information taken from the group Creepy CT, I hope to clear up a few things.
Yes, there is a grave in what appears to be a small house foundation along a hiking trail that begins on the right side of Cedar Swamp Road, a little after the cemetery. Some legends say that she was an Indian girl shot by British soldiers, while others say she an American girl who died of typhoid fever. But why would there be a grave in the middle of a foundation? Creepy CT brought a stone mason with them on their investigation of the place and he determined that the stone was created in the mid 1990’s and was a cheap homemade job. So does this determine that the legends are merely myths? I think not and there are a few possible scenarios why this gravestone is not the original if there was an original. It could be entirely possible that the town or individuals created the new stone in order to replace an older one. The way to find this out would be to find an older paranormal investigator that had been to the site before the mid 90’s and verify whether there was an original or not. But it might just be a large hoax, with the stone being made by a couple of people that wanted to have fun laughing at investigators. But I have thought of one other possible scenario that so far no one else has. Perhaps, the original site of Maude’s grave lies in the cemetery that’s a couple hundred yards from the entrance to the hiking trail. This would be possible as the hauntings of that area would still make sense, even if the stone in the foundation is fake. But this is just speculation and until more hard evidence is turned in there is almost no way to prove the stories, although it does appear that the stone foundation is not the true site of her grave.
However, I also have thought of another possible scenario. There are many different hauntings of the area of Cedar Swamp Road and Hell Hollow Road. There are the screams of Maude herself, a hooded figure, an old woman dressed in colonial clothing, and a soldier on nearby Breakneck Hill Rd. Could it be possible that there are two Maudes that haunt the area? Maude was a fairly common name back in colonial days so it may be feasible. This would also explain why there is such discrepancy between the two roads, between the way she died, and between the spelling of her name (with/without the “e”). Perhaps Maude (or Maud) was the name of the woman seen on Hell Hollow Road.
Until more evidence shows up, it is difficult to try to staple down the answer of the hauting of this area. So much evidence has turned up, there is no doubt that the area is haunted, but by whom and why? A serious investigation needs to be done of the history of this location and it should start with the Voluntown Historical Society or else this will become another lost legend of Connecticut.
Another Return to Voluntown
On the night of August 18th, Craig and Sean (a prospective member) headed back out to Maudes Grave. I wanted to return to the site as soon as possible because of what we heard the last time we were there. The trip was fairly uneventful however. There was nothing to speak of in the cemetery this time, and the trip into and out of the grave site was calm save for one incident but it was probably more of a coincidence. We were standing in the foundation, and Sean asked if we were ready to go and the second I said wait another two minutes something heavier than a stick fell out of the air and landed a couple feet away from us. Perhaps it was a warning to leave but most likely it was just a pinecone or something falling. We did not hear the shouting noises again, which makes me more convinced that what we heard was not an animal. We went at around the same time at night, 8 days later, so chances are any animal on the farm or in the woods was bound to still be there.