Camp of Shadows – The Mystery of Camp Connecticut

Posted: November 4, 2014 by Hidden Wonders Photography in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Cabin, Abandoned Connecticut, abandoned new england, Abandoned Resort, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Wonders, Birds, Broken, Camp Connecticut, Children, Closed, commercial, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, dreams, empty, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, for sale, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, Ghosts, Haunting, Hebron, Hiking, History, Homeless, Information, left behind, lost, Marlborough, Movies, Mystery, nature, new england, nightmares, overgrown, photography, research, route 85, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, Stories, time, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex
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Camp of Shadows

The Mystery of Camp Connecticut

Written by: Sean L.
Photographs by: Amanda H.

Nestled deep in the woods bordering Colchester and Hebron, Connecticut, lies a place of mystery. Though allegedly not completely abandoned, it is a shadow of its former self. Countless rumors have emerged throughout the years as to why it closed, but nobody seems to know for sure. I’m talking, of course, about Camp Connecticut. Having lived in the area my whole life, I had visited the empty camp several times in my youth. It has been a staple in the community for as long as I can remember. It was seen as a “rite of passage” to sneak into the camp when I was young. Though little of the actual structures of the camp remain, the ghosts of the past still hold a strong presence over this former summer hotspot. Growing up around Camp Connecticut, every kid I knew seemed to have a different story about why this place was abandoned. One of the most popular rumors was that one of the camp counselors went crazy and killed several campers. Another popular one was that the daughter of the camp’s owner was drowned in the lake.

No such evidence to support these claims has ever been found.

The rumors of satanic activities and Devil worship were also very prevalent. Stories of hauntings and paranormal activity were strong as well. As part of my high school news team, we were planning on spending the night at the abandoned camp in an attempt to gather evidence of the hauntings. Our investigation was shut down though by the local authorities.When researching this site for our current investigation, we found little to nothing online about the camp. There was no information on this mysterious place anywhere. Even the website of the alleged owners of the site, the local Shriners, was mysteriously taken down. There were a few photos on some very old blogs, but mostly Camp Connecticut seemed to be a place forgotten by the public.There is a main entrance on Old Hebron Road, but it is now heavily watched by multiple security cameras. Through the use of Google Maps, see Rule #4, we were able to find a way into the camp via the local Airline Trail.

Camp Connecticut is deep in the heart of darkness. It is protected from the outside world by a forest of dense foliage and thick woodlands. The main entrance is now blocked by a sturdy metal gate that is locked at all times. There is, however, one old trail into this lost world. It has been nicknamed “Hell’s Trail.” It is lies off the Airline Trail just over the Hebron border along the banks of the winding Judd Brook. Parking at the Old Hartford Road entrance of the Airline, it was a little over a mile walk to the mouth of the Hell’s Trail. This is not an easy path. Being an unofficial trail, it is not maintained like the rest of the Airline. The only users of this trail are the local wildlife and people like us looking to get a glimpse into Camp Connecticut. The trail follows Judd Brook as it winds through the woods.

The deeper you go, the quieter things become, until you are left in complete silence. About a mile down the winding trail, you will find the remains of Camp Connecticut. The trail leads directly into the camp, only the path is blocked once you cross into the property by a very large fallen tree. The fallen tree has clearly been placed here for a reason. A crude sign is stapled to the fallen log with a clear warning from the “Camp Connecticut Board of Directors.” The sign states “No Trespassing” and that “We are watching you.” They aren’t joking either. Multiple security cameras can be seen from the trail guarding the property. Beyond the fallen log lies a large clearing with small piles of junk scattered around. There are several roads visible leading off further into the camp. It is quiet as a tomb. It is the middle of summer. Yet there are no sounds of birds, or bugs, or anything. Just silence.

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We explore what we can for the next few hours. Climbing up the nearby cliffs, we were able to get a better view of the camp. A single lean-two is still standing deeper into the camp. There is also an abandoned truck and several more piles of junk. We also found a very well hidden and well maintained tree stand, meaning someone is still using this property for something. Coming off of the river there is also a small pond. This pond is allegedly where most of the devil worship is supposed to take place. We saw no such devil worship. But that is all that is left of this former summer camp. There is, however, some sort of presence here. There is an ominous feeling in the air. It is hard to explain.

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Our investigation of Camp Connecticut left more questions than answers. The alleged owners of the site remain elusive. The local Shriners are said to own the camp. But their website cannot be found. At the gates of the camp, we even found an old sign for the Shriners. Lately we have even heard rumors that camping is allowed on site with permission from the owners. But much like everywhere else surrounding this strange place, these are only rumors. On our journey we found no ghosts. No devil worship. No Shriners. Just a sad, empty, and foreboding former summer camp heavily guarded by a silent army of security cameras. But the mystery continues. Who are the mysterious Camp of Connecticut Board of Directors? Who, if anyone, is watching these security cameras? But even more importantly, what are they hiding?

— Any questions, comments, etc.? Feel free to comment on this post and we will get back to you asap! —

  1. Josh says:

    I went to Camp Connecticut on April 27th, 2020. I took the back entrance from the airline up Hells Trail. BE CAREFUL GOING HERE. The first thing you will see to your left is a gun range. It is active and there’s shell casings. I was maybe less than a quarter mile up the road and I went over a bridge. As I approached an intersection I heard a car door shut to my right. I immediately turned around and went back because I had my dog with me. As I was walking back on hells trail I started to hear gun shots at the range I was just at. Kind of sketchy. Keep in mind I did not go at a good time it was 3pm on a sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna says:

    I actually snuck in with a few other people cause the gate was open. We drove for a few mins seeing all the abandoned campers and the junk left behind. Then all of a sudden we came up on some interesting people. They escorted us out and now I wanna go back in via the airline trail


    • Andrew Margolis says:

      Hi, I am not someone who is necessarily interested in the paranormal, but about 5 years ago, during a youthful misadventure, I found myself essentially homeless (by choice), and I had taken refuge in the woods surrounding camp Connecticut, and I spent enough time passing through Camp CT grounds and I’d like to share my experiences there; I did not even know of the legends and stories surrounding it until after ‘stumbling upon it.’ First, beware; there are cameras everywhere. There are cellular cameras in trees which have a large battery and transmitter attached. There is one placed by the entrance from “hell’s trail.” There are also many hunting-type tree cameras, presumably motion activated.
      This was mid-autumn and I had a great tactical advantage as there was enough visibility for me to generally observe the entire area and avoid detection, or at least confrontation. Admittedly, I probably am a little more experienced in such things and navigating and avoiding detection in the woods by myself than most people, I would highly advise against visiting this place or venturing deep into the property unless you know your surroundings and bearings and constantly have an exit-strategy planned. Do not walk on the main roads when possible.
      But to share my experiences there… undoubtedly, there is a strange ‘air’ to the place. As someone quite literally stumbling upon it without any prejudice towards the paranormal, I still just felt this general sense of unease. The altar area.. the many locked storage containers… and what appeared to be two graves, covered in fresh stone, with a headstone of sorts with a paw print on it, I believe they were dog graves. Strange thing is, I saw a large dog on the perimeter of the property at dusk, it was silhouetted, it looked at me, and it kept walking, it was probably 2-300 yards away from me.
      There is a large pavilion, and there I found a working electrical outlet so that I could charge my phone. I was there for a bit, when suddenly, a ‘convoy’ of 4-5 cars appeared from the road to the main gate and drove to the area of the property to the west, away from the pavilion, passing the pond. It was very strange. I got out of there after that, but I was still in the area the following day. On the ‘Bulliten Board’ of sorts when you approach from the gated entrance, there is a strange sign which appears to signal whether or not the place is “safe” or not.
      I’d never heard any noises, but there was something extremely unsettling about the pond. It’s dark, and seemingly deep, unlike other small ponds in the area.
      As I was making my way west of the main property; that’s when the strangest thing happened. I came across an older woman walking on a trail, she was wearing a body camera and dressed in a white, modern jacket. I continued walking toward her, pretending I was just innocently hiking off a spur of the airline trail. I briefly spoke to her, asking if the trail I was on led back to the airline trail; her response: “what is your name.” She then took her phone out and tried to take a picture of me. I immediately darted off perpendicular to the trail, without looking back toward her. I’d lost my bearings somewhat and doubled back, when I heard two gunshots which sounded very close, just over a ridge. I got out of there and have never been back, except once briefly when I walked the Judd Brook/‘Hells’ trail path off of the airline trail. On that occasion, it literally had just snowed, within the last hour. There were tire tracks in snow leading up to the point where the large tree crosses the trail and then becomes the road within Camp CT.
      I asked an old, life-long resident of Colchester about Camp Connecticut once, somewhat jokingly implying the dark history. She was somewhat uncomfortable and didn’t say anything about it.
      I have researched the ownership/transaction history of the property on the colchester tax assessors/GIS webpage, I suggest that as a resource if you want to delve deeper.

      In summary, as someone who is not interested in the paranormal and essentially I consider myself ‘agnostic’, when it comes to paranormal activity and ghosts… there is something strange about this place. I can’t explain it.


  3. Suzy says:

    Went 10 yrs ago with a bunch of friends it was super creepy. It was foggy out that night and the farther we drove our car electronics went bonkers. And its was just a heavy feeling, I love the supernatural but it just felt wrong, very dark. We actually ran into a group of ghost hunters who were filming. They called the cops and we were escorted out. I was upset but not that mad the feeling of dread left me the farther we drove away. I always wanted to go back..


  4. Andrea Perez says:

    I had just recently gone to camp connecticut with a small group of friends. We went through airline hells trail, we passed the shooting range and the bridge. Proceeded following the trail “judd brook”. When we had come up on the camp grounds we had seen a newer camper with a torn up tent next to it, in the very back right corner. We were talking about what to do next when my friend spotted a trash bag, it was pretty fresh and half full sitting outside of the camper. We then decided that it was best to leave because we were NOT alone. If you decide to go there be CAREFUL. suggest going with a group, and just be prepared in case you need to defend yourself.


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