Myths and legends of surrounding counties

By on November 7, 2002

The legend of the black dog
Meriden, Connn., ouses a group of hills known as the Hanging Hills. In these hills, a dog was viciously killed by his owners.
The dog is said to still haunt the hills to this very day.
One may not believe this haunted tale, but W.H.C Pynchon and his colleague saw the dog in all its glory.
According to the legend, the dogs curse comes in a set of three. First he brings happiness, then sorrow and then the death of the person who saw him.
One day Pynchon and his colleague were climbing the Hanging Hills when a black dog started to follow them. The dog followed them to the end of the trail and then disappeared.
When entering the town, Pynchon found out that he had inherited one thousand dollars. Pynchon was ecstatic.
Having to do more exploring, Pynchon and his colleague went into the Hanging Hills again. Upon exiting, the black dog once again followed them to the end and disappeared.
Upon entering the town, Pynchon’s colleague slipped on an icy patch in the road and tumbled down a nearby hill to his death. This caused Pynchon great sorrow.
Not wanting to believe the curse of the Black Dog, Pynchon once again entered into the Hanging Hills. He was faced with the black dog face to face.
The dog started to chase him and corned him in a dead end. Pynchon ended up losing his balance and fell to his death.
According to the legend, Pynchon was the 25th person to die at the haunted Hanging Hills.
To this day, at least five people are said to die each year when they go into the Black Dogs Lair.

The legend of Sachem’s Head
The next story centers around the city of Guilford at a place called Sachem’s Head.
The fight started in Mystic Connecticut, where one of the bloodiest wars between the England Mohegan forces and the Pequots began.
The Mohegan forces were lead by Captain John Mason and Chief Uncas. The Pequots were lead by Sachem.
When the groups encountered each other in Mystic, the Pequots attacked the Mohegans. The Peguots ended up being brutally beaten and ran away from the Mohegans.
The Peguots ran across Connecticut with the enemy following quickly at their heels. When they got to a Peninsula, they ran onto it and hid within its foliage.
The Mohegans new a lot about Indian craft and figured out that the Peguots were hiding in the trees upon the peninsula.
Once they found the Pequot’s hiding spot, they captured the tribe and made them all prisoners.
To set an example for the rest of the tribe, Captain Mason beheaded Sachem in front of his entire tribe. He placed the head on a huge stick and made each person of the tribe hold it when they were killed by the army.
A headless Sachem still haunts the peninsula to this day. This is why the town’s people started calling it Sachem’s Head.

The legend of the Leather Man
The Leather Man is a vagabond who has been wondering through New York and Connecticut since the late 1900′s. This vagabond lived in Lyon, France, during the 1820′s.
The Leather Man took the job of a leather maker to prove his love to Margaret Laron, a wealthy member of society. A deal went bad and he ended up losing all his savings. Therefore, he also lost the love of Lady Laron.
Due to the Leather Man’s depression and his fear of going back to his natural family, he started his life as a poor wanderer. His only possession was a leather coat.
In 1862, the Leather Man left Lyon and traveled to America. The legend says he thought he would be able to be happy if he left the country and Lady Laron behind.
As soon as he entered Connecticut, he continued his wandering due to the overbearingness of the depression.
His journey started in Harwinton, Conn., went through Middletown, Conn., around to Westchester County, N.Y., down to Danbury, Conn., and back to Harwinton. This journey lasted for 34-days.
People started recognizing the Leather Man since he entered each town at approximately the same time every 34-days. They started giving him food and clothes. The Leather Man responded with a grunt.
In 1888, a harsh blizzard stopped his journey for four days. The Leather Man ended up getting ill and dying in a cave in Briarcliff, N.Y.
Nobody believed the talks of the Leather Man’s death, however, even after his body was found, because a man still came to the exact city every thirty four days. The visitor still wore a leather coat and still grunted when spoken to.
Is this the leather man’s ghost or just another vagabond? It is up to you to decide.

The legend of the cargo ship
The city of New Haven was started as a plantation by the Reverend Davenport and other wealthy land owners.
In 1938, they extended their properties out to where Quinnipiac and other surrounding areas lie, and they turned New Haven into a shipping town where the trade business resided.
Due to the Boston and New Amsterdam trade market, New Haven was forced to build bigger and better ships to keep up with the growing trade.
Men were forced to dig out the harbor so more water could flow in.
In 1946, the Sippe Company, owned by Davenport, made a 150-ton cargo ship. This was the biggest and fastest cargo ship built at the time. People came from all areas to look at the amazing vessel.
The company decided to fill the ship up with the most expensive cargo in all of town and the surrounding areas. People thought the ship’s cargo would bring them wealth and fortune, but upon leaving the dock, a great snow storm came. The ship was iced into the harbor.
The men in town were put to work. They had to pull the boat backwards in order for the boat to move.
When they gave the boat the final tug, it collapsed in the center. The cargo and the ship collapsed into the harbor.
When men were sent to look for the ship and the cargo, not a trace of it was found in the surrounding waters.
Every year, people can still see the ghost ship collapsing into the waters of New Haven, according to the legend. Many people still hear the sounds of the cargo falling into the water, but, still no remnants have been found.

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