Moodus Noises – East Haddam, Connecticut - Atlas Obscura

Moodus Noises

The Connecticut village named for its subterranean thunder. 


Moodus, Connecticut is known for the “Moodus Noises,” strange rumblings, thunderings, and crashings that seem to originate somewhere around Mount Tom, located in what is now Machimoodus State Park.

Reports of the noises stretch back centuries. Native Americans called the area Machimoodus, which means “Place of Bad Noises.” They attributed the noises to a god named Hobbamock or evil spirits. English colonists later associated the noises with witches or the Devil. Sometimes a giant carbuncle figures into the legend. The cavern from which the noises supposedly originated was said to be lighted by one, and at one point, an eccentric Englishman named Dr. Steele set up shop on nearby Mount Tom to extract the giant carbuncle and stop the noises.

Science has since explained the Moodus Noises as resulting from minor earthquakes called micro-earthquakes. These are any quakes at the lower end of the Richter Scale.

Moodus is a village nested within the town of East Haddam, and encompasses a mere three square miles with a population of about 1,400 people. You can visit the nearby Machimoodus State Park and traverse Mount Tom yourself, but you’re more likely to encounter dog ticks and terrific views of the Salmon River than witches or evil spirits.

Know Before You Go

The 300-acre park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

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