Clarissa Johal: Frightening Friday - Hauntings: Old Newgate Copper Mine & Prison

Friday, April 17, 2015

Frightening Friday - Hauntings: Old Newgate Copper Mine & Prison

Photo courtesy of  adwriter via Flickr
In East Granby, Connecticut, Old Newgate Prison was originally founded as a copper mine in the early 1700's. In 1773, it was converted into a prison to house Tories and Loyalists during the Revolutionary War and was later utilized for Confederate prisoners during the Civil War. During this time, the holding areas in the mines became known as "Hell," and the prisoners were employed as miners. In 1827, it was closed and the inmates were moved to another facility. It re-opened as a mine for about three decades before finally becoming inactive. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark. 
It doesn't come as a surprise that Newgate's history is riddled with fatalities and tragic events. In 1806, an altercation involving 30 men ended with the death of inmate Aaron Goomer. Another event occurred in 1823 and involved over 100 prisoners, two of whom were fatally shot by guards. Along with these altercations, were failed escape attempts. One of the most notorious happened in 1827, when a prisoner fell to his death while trying to escape by climbing up a rope that had been dangling in the well.

As with any location associated with tragic events and history, Newgate Prison has gained a reputation as a haunted spot. Over the years, there have been stories of spirits roaming the grounds and disembodied voices heard within the mine's tunnels. Screams have been reported coming from empty areas of the mine, a ghostly face was spotted in one of the rooms, and an apparition of a man climbing a rope above a shaft, have also been reported. Other stories include inexplicable cold spots, being touched when no one is there, and a general feeling of being watched. One visitor claimed he went into the mine and was shown around by a tour guide dressed in prison clothing. When he left the mine, he thanked one of the other employees for the tour, only to be told that they didn't have anyone working as a tour guide within the mine.

Intrigued by this historical landmark?
It's one of many places to visit in East Granby, Connecticut.

Check out THE LEGACY OF BUCHANAN'S CROSSING by Rhea Rhodan for her take on the area.
"One of the last magical strongholds on earth."

Sign up for Rhea's newsletter to enter her giveaway HERE

Available as an e-book from these and other major etailers. Coming soon in print!

Barnes & Noble


Rhea Rhodan said...

Great post, Clarissa! When I was looking for a location for Buchanan's Crossing in an area populated by one of the early waves of Scottish immigration, this spot presented itself. The history lent itself perfectly to the story.

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

I've already read your book (which was wonderful) but East Granby, Connecticut is now on my bucket list of places to visit!