(Image: Google Earth. Glastenbury, Vermont ghost town is in the so-called Bennington Triangle)
The forests of New England have an unmistakable beauty to them, but search for information on a place called Glastenbury, Vermont, and you’ll probably uncover a plethora of stories involving paranormal activity and UFOs. Some even say it’s the home of the Bennington Triangle, a hotbed of unexplained phenomena. That’s all well and good, but what about the real history to this breathtaking slice of paradise turned ghost town?
When Chad Abramovich from Obscure Vermont headed out to Glastenbury and its neighbouring Fayville, he found traces of the settlements that had once been there. There were overgrown orchards, cellar holes, and stone foundations marking the spots where homes once stood.
(Image: Schzmo. Glastenbury, VT south of Vermont Route 11)
According to Abramovich, Glastenbury, Vermont was founded in 1761, but it took decades for charcoal and lumber industries to grow large enough to support the community. It was something of a Wild West frontier town on the East Coast, but by the end of the 19th century the settlement had outgrown its industry and become a tourist destination.
Decades of felling trees had taken their toll, through, and the area around Glastenbury became prone to flooding and landslides. The allure of the location dwindled, and by the 1930s few people remained there. Those who did were all were members of the Mattison family, and they occupied every public office in the town.
(Image: Google Earth. The woodland location of Glastenbury, Vermont)
Though the ghost town of Glastenbury, Vermont lies in an area known to some as the “Bennington Triangle”, the term wasn’t actually coined until 1992 (by author Joseph Citro), when a bizarre folklore began to swirl around the area. Supposedly, there’s a stone in the area that will swallow you if you step on it. Other tales tell of disorienting winds that cause people to lose their way in the woods. What’s more, a number of mysterious stone cairns amid the landscape around Glastenbury have only added fuel to the conspiracy fire.
There are older tales, too. In the 1860s, stories began circulating of a wild man who lived in the woods and occasionally tormented the more respectable folk. Several murders have occurred over the years – perhaps not too surprising for a centuries-old settlement with a dubious reputation. More bizarre, however, are reported sightings of an 8-foot-tall Bigfoot-like creature known to locals as the Bennington Monster (an outgrowth of the wild man of Glastenbury folklore, perhaps?).
The Bennington Monster has been blamed for the series of disappearances recorded across the area, leading some to believe that it was once the hunting ground of something far more sinister: a genuine serial killer. Whatever your personal thoughts on the Bennington Triangle may be, the remote landscape around Glastenbury ghost town is an eerie place that will live on in folklore for many years to come.
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