In the woods near my house are foundations of stone and mortar buildings that are more than 200 years old. One sits directly across the street from me. I pass by it every day, but it is not the only one. There are at least 20 or 30 of these old houses from the original Farmingbury settlement. I could go on to tell you some classic New England ghost stories, some of the strange encounters I experienced while growing up here, but you might think I'm lying (or crazy) and I'm not sure which misconception would be worse.
My photo series of the foundations has yet to be done. My canine companion has died and the fact that it is hunting season makes me a bit apprehensive to step into the woods alone but that is not totally it. Within the woods and beyond the foundations exist burial grounds. Some are Native American and others are Colonial. The Colonial graves are marked with stones -- well, most of them are...
Have you ever traversed the woods by yourself? It seems that when you are alone walking along in the woods invisible creatures peer out at you from behind the trees. When I'm alone in the woods, I find myself looking around -- searching for the source of that eerie feeling, that feeling that someone or something is watching me.
And so one day, on a normal hike, a friend and I noticed shining chrome not far beyond the regular path. We walked closer and discovered a dozen or so abandoned vehicles and engines. It wouldn't have been odd, this finding, except for the fact that we were several miles deep in the woods and there was no possible way that the cars had been driven in.
Gingerly I walked between the vehicles, the gnarled metal shot out from the ground in unfamiliar places. One had to be careful walking there, not to fall, for fear of getting cut. But it wasn't just that. There was something creepy about the wreckage.
I noticed the damage and gunshots on a lot of the cars. It was unlikely that the gunshot wounds existed on the vehicles when they arrived at this peculiar wood-side location and more likely the result of contemporary teenagers with too much time on their hands.
"Do you think people died in these cars?" My companion asked me out of nowhere, coincidentally echoing the very thought in my head.
"I'm sure," I replied and stared at the abandoned vehicles. One was clearly some type of Ford. I knew Fords. It had all the classic characteristics. The image of a woman popped into my head, her contorted body hung over the driver's side dash, her drunken companion's lifeless frame hanging over the staring wheel. Something tells me she died and he lived. The feeling of death began to expand exponentially around the pieces. People died here, not only in these woods but in these cars.
It was not everyday you stumbled upon a graveyard of cars, and not far off the beaten path of the Connecticut Blue Trail to boot. Rusted chrome and twisted metal punctuated the landscape and those explorers who happened upon it were respectful enough to keep silent, if they were smart.
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