Charles Island in Milford, Connecticut has a long history based in legend that tells the stories of ghosts that wander the Island in the still of night. Sightings include ghosts of monks from a long gone religious compound, ghosts of guests from a hotel that stood on its shores, and ghosts of centuries old pirates that buried their treasures along the shore, according to the Damned Connecticut website.
Charles Island has been home to many different ventures throughout the centuries, none which lasted very long. The ruins can still be seen deep in the woods on the island from the old monastery and hotel that once stood on the island in Long Island Sound.
Nothing lasted on this Island for more than a few years, many of the locals believe it is cursed. The legend of Captain Kidd burying his treasures among the rocky east coast of the island says that he put a curse on anyone who would find his treasure, according to the Milford Ct NE site. As far as it has been reported, the treasure has never been unearthed, but many still go out to the island with metal detectors and modern imaging equipment to try their hand at finding the treasure. Captain Kidd is said to be there in spirit guarding his buried iron chests filled with gold and jewels.
Captain Kidd’s curse was only one of the three curses put on the island and its occupants. The first curse in the 1600’s was by an Native American Indian Chief after his daughter was kidnapped. The Chief is another ghost that has been passed down in legend.
The last curse, as legend has it, was that of a the Guatmozin’s treasure that was found in a Mexican cave in 1721.The treasure had a curse on that anyone who found it will meet with their demise. Five sailors found this treasure and all but one met with his death after bringing the treasure back to Milford. The last sailor buried it out on Charles Island where the curse of this treasure adds one more to the small island. The ghosts of these sailors are said to be haunting the island.
Odd lights are said to hover over the island at night and they appear to dance among the trees. Many reports of ghost sightings of hooded monks have also been reported. Unnerving laughter and sounds of pirate parties are said to fill the woods at night and when all is quiet, a whisper in your ear or a heart stopping scream will come out of no where.
The 14 acre island can only be accessed by land for about 4 hours a day. The mile walk out from Silver Sands State park, takes about a half hour, with the same amount of time needed to come back in from the island. Once the water starts to cover the sand bar you are stuck on the island, with no way back until the next low tide. The undertow there is very dangerous and signs are posted for that reason.
The island is easily accessed by boat any time of day. Growing up in Milford, Connecticut I can tell you the island has an eerie feeling to it. Its loneliness seems to overwhelm you once you step onto its shore even if you are with a large party of people. I have never stayed overnight on the island, but many of my friends and neighbors have. Some report nothing and others have left in the middle of the night in their boat from hearing disembodied voices and seeing figures.
A few first time explorers walking out to Charles Island have not respected the force of the undertow and have drown trying to get back to land in waist deep water in decades past. It is important to follow the warnings posted.
Silver Sands State Park is in Milford, Connecticut off Exit 32, Bic Drive of Interstate 95. Follow the signs to Silver Sands State Park.
References: Milford, Connecticut New England website, Damned Connecticut, My own experience