New England is one of the oldest parts of the United States, and with age come spooky tales passed down from generation to generation. It's no coincidence that America's oldest cities tend to have the best ghost stories. But there are some legends that stretch much further back into the history of New England, such as one terrifying story involving an ancient evil that existed on the land long before white settlers arrived. It's a presence that's still making itself known in a tiny Connecticut town today.
For longer than anyone can remember, the town of Moodus has been the center of a mystery that continues to unnerve locals to this day. Every so often, spooky rumblings disturb the entire town, a cacophony of bizarre noises that residents describe as everything from underground thunder to the earth groaning beneath their feet. No one was quite sure what caused the eerie sounds, but the Native Americans claimed to know...and it wasn't good.
The name "Moodus" is actually a bastardized version of the name given to the area by Native Americans, "Machimoodus", a name which roughly translates to "place of bad noises." They attributed the sounds to the ancient god Hobomocko, a violent entity with a knack for making a racket. They believed that Hobomoko lived in the caves that stretched deep beneath the land, and did their best to avoid the area now known as Machimoodus State Park, so as not to anger the grumpy god.
From David E. Phillips' Legendary Connecticut:
From the earliest of inhabitants of this region, the people of the Pequot, Mohegan and Narragansett tribes, the thundering and quaking around Mount Tom were evidence of the living presence of the god Hobomocko, who sat below on a sapphire throne and decreed all human calamity...
Connecticut Indians depended upon the local Machimoodus tribe to interpret the many voices of the evil deity.
Of course, when the Puritans rolled into town during the late 1600's and first heard the low moans of Hobomocko, they chose a new name for the "evil" entity: Satan. They even managed to trace the epicenter of the thunderous noises to one particular cave, an entrance into the earth where they could hear the roars of Hobomocko echo from deep beneath the ground. The regular groaning kept folks far away from the cave, in church, and on their knees. Eventually, the devil's outburts began to slow overtime, and it appeared as if the settlers' prayers were working.
Today, the noises have largely been explained away by a couple scientists who claimed the noises were purely seismic activity, but not everyone is convinced. Those who dare venture out to Hobomocko's cave in the Machimoodus State Park can still hear the an ancient growl echo from out of the deep recesses. No wonder the cave remains unexplored... everyone is too afraid to go very deep inside.
Think you've got what it takes to face the devil in his own domain? Just make your way to Connecticut's Machimoodus State Park, but you might want to bring some holy water just in case. Looking to scope out some more of Satan's turf? Head to the Devil's Tramping Ground in North Carolina, where the horned guy is said to make compasses spin and keep plant-life from growing, or visit Stull Cemetery in Kansas, where Satan himself is said to climb from the ground on Holloween night., or Spider Gate Cemetery, a desolate graveyard known for the occasional Satanic ritual.