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There are a number of scary accounts about hauntings in Connecticut like haunted lighthouses, haunted theaters and of course cemeteries and really old mansions. These places have plenty of room for ghosts to roam around in. If you’re looking for a spine-chilling experience, check out these top five haunted Connecticut locations. These are not Halloween-decorated haunted venues. These are the real thing. It is highly recommended that you not venture out alone to the following locations but if so, know that you do so at your own risk. Most of these sites are guarded by security.

The Thomaston Opera House
158 Main St.
Thomaston, CT 06787
(860) 283-8558

There’s one seat near the second row on the left of the balcony at the Thomaston Opera House where no mortal should sit. Even when the theater is packed, that seat is always reserved. That’s because it is said to be the very seat of a ghost named Butch. There’s actually a plaque on the seat with his name on it. Some of the actors who have performed on this stage swear that they have seen the ghost sitting in that seat during performances. It makes sense that there might be a ghost hanging out here. After all, the theater was built in 1884 on top of a graveyard. The cemetery was relocated but apparently Butch stuck around. According to Jeff Dunn, executive director of the Opera House, “There are people who said they would swear till the day they die that there’s a ghost in the theater. I’ve never said this to anyone before, but one cold, rainy and windy night when I was working alone here at 2:30 in the morning, I heard someone walking up the steps to my office. Then the doorknob started to turn. I went to the door but when I opened it, there was no one there. I checked the whole theater. There was no one there.” Others say that the organ in the theater has played all by itself late at night. It seems as though this theater ghost likes to let the living know that Butch is in the house.

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New London Ledge Light

Latitude: 41.30597
Longitude: 72.07743
New London, CT 06320

Built in the early 1900s, the New London Ledge Light is one of the oddest lighthouses in America. Even its uniquely peculiar French style distinguishes it from the more traditional and iconic-style lighthouses. This is where Ernie, a heartbroken ghost, walks the floors at night and often opens and closes doors as well. There are two explanations reported as to why all the strange sounds and knockings belong to Ernie. The first is the story about Ernie, the lighthouse keeper, whose wife ran off with a sea captain. Ernie was so distraught that he climbed to the top of the lighthouse and jumped to his death into the dark cold waters below. The other variation is that a worker building the lighthouse actually fell off the roof to his death. Either way, even members of the Coast Guard have experienced weird goings-on at this lighthouse.

Union Cemetery
Intersection of Stepney Road and Sport Hill Road
Easton, CT 06612

Driving along the winding, heavily wooded road in Easton late at night, you’re likely to see anything. Sure, a few deer will suddenly dash across the road. Even a barn owl might look you straight in the eye. However, it is at the Sport Hill Road/Stepney Road location where reports of the “White Lady” have frequently made headlines. Decked out in a white flowing nightgown with a white bonnet covering most of her long black hair, she has startled more than a few motorists who often drive on the busy route. So popular is this ghost who has been photographed often, that just about everyone in Fairfield County looks for her as they drive by the venerable old graveyard. Some cars drive by more quickly, not wanting to bump into any otherworldly entity. No one knows the identity of the lady.

Stratford Boothe Memorial Park
5774 Main St.
Stratford, CT 06614
(203) 385-4080

Visitors know immediately that they are entering a strange and mysterious park, the likes of which have never been seen elsewhere, when they enter Stratford Boothe Memorial Park. Two eccentric siblings, the Boothe brothers of Stratford, Connecticut, set up house and unleashed their peculiar tastes along the way. Odd stone walls, arches and the weirdest buildings provide fascinating architectural and landscape styles. While the stone buildings and walls reflect just how bizarre these two men were, there was a light and romantic side to them as well. That’s why there is an exquisite rose garden that features nearly 100 varieties still maintained today. There’s also a sunken garden where Shakespeare is performed every summer. The sunken garden is protected by high stone walls and an arch reminiscent of an entrance to a haunted fairytale fortress. It has been reported many times over that paranormal activity was evident in the actual house where they lived. The park shows how vivid an imagination these Boothe brothers had.

Charles W. Morgan – Whaling Ship
Mystic Seaport Shipyard
75 Greenmanville Ave.
Mystic, CT 06355
(860) 572-0711

Only the bravest of souls will venture down into the bowels of the historic Charles W. Morgan, the great Whaling Ship. That’s because too many times, visitors on the ship have reported seeing a man wearing 19th-century garb and smoking a pipe. It has been reported that moanings and strange sounds have emanated from the old wooden ship. The many sightings have been attributed to one of the sailors who made many a long hard journey on that trip.

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Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.