Stories are one of the most memorable ways people communicate with one another, and they are used to interpret information, make meaning, and share understanding. First used in the mid-19th century, the term “folklore” encompasses the legends, stories, and traditions of a given culture. Folklore is often a means to explain the unexplainable. Connecticut’s first settlers, for example, experienced a foreign landscape, unfamiliar people, and unpredictable weather, all of which helped shape their many and varied legends. While science has proven most of these stories to be just that—stories, the state’s residents continue to celebrate Connecticut’s folklore traditions. From the Dark Day in 1780 to the 19th-century’s Old Leather Man and the Charter Oak tree, the state’s early tales live on in our writings, artifacts, monuments, and memories.
More on Folklore from the CT Digital ArchiveBrowse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.
Tales of a spectral ship seen sailing in the skies above New Haven have haunted Connecticut's imagination since the late 1640s. …[more]
Cornwall Historical Society, and Paul Chamberlain. Dudleytown. Cornwall, CT: Cornwall Historical Society, 1966.
Kent, Donna. Ghost Stories and Legends of Eastern Connecticut: Lore, Mysteries and Secrets Revealed. Charleston, SC: Haunted America, 2007.
Kent, Donna. Ghost Stories and Legends of Southwestern Connecticut. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2009.
Philips, David E. Legendary Connecticut: Traditional Tales from the Nutmeg State. Hartford, CT: Spoonwood Press, 1984.
Payne, Brigham, and Centennial Exhibition. “The Battle of the Frogs.” In The Story of Bacchus and Centennial Souvenir. Hartford, CT: A.E. Brooks, 1876. Link.
Weaver, William L. The Battle of the Frogs, at Windham, 1758: With Various Accounts and Three of the Most Popular Ballads on the Subject. Willimantic, CT: James Walden, 1857. Link.
Dudley, Gary. The Legend of Dudleytown: Solving Legends Through Genealogical and Historical Research. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 2001.
Deluca, Dan W, and Dionne Longley. The Old Leather Man: Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2008.