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East Haddam, Connecticut

Moodus Noises

The Connecticut village named for its subterranean thunder. 

The small village of Moodus, CT, was name after the Native American term for the area, Machimoodus, which means “Place of Bad Noises” or “Place of Noises.” It’s located within the town of East Haddam, and encompass a mere three square miles of area with a population of about 1,300 people.

Moodus is known for what has been dubbed the “Moodus Noises,” strange rumblings, thunderings, and crashings that seem to originate somewhere in the vicinity of the Mount Tom area of Moodus, located in what is now Machimoodus State Park.

Native Americans attributed the noises to a god named Hobbamock or just generic “evil spirits”. When the Europeans came in, they transmogrified those evil spirits into European devils and witches. In addition, a giant carbuncle sometimes figures into the legend. The cavern from which the noises were often said to originate was apparently somehow lighted by one, and at one point in the history of the village, an eccentric Englishman by the name of Dr. Steele was supposed to have set up shop on nearby Mount Tom to extract the giant carbuncle to stop the noises.

Unfortunately for the story, science has already explained the Moodus Noises. They’re earthquakes. Microearthquakes in fact, which are any quakes at the lower end of the Richter Scale. Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

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