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Ghosts of New Haven Green


New Haven was incorporated as a Town in 1638.  One year after its founding in 1638, eight streets were laid out in a grid of four streets by four streets creating what is now commonly known as the “Nine Square Plan” which is recognized by the American Institute of Certified Planners as a National Historic Planning Landmark. The Green is a traditional town green (commons) and was originally known as “the marketplace”. The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre square, now a National Historic Landmark and the center of Downtown New Haven.


New Haven Green is in Private Hands.  The descendants of the city’s original settlers maintain ownership of the green.   A five-member board of directors  — called proprietors —operates the Green as a nonprofit.  When one dies the four remaining members convene in private to select a replacement from New Haven that will serve for life.


The New Haven Green, or Common and Undivided Land,” was the center of business and worship.  The town Green included the three worship houses and was a preserved open space available for use by all the townspeople.  The 16-acre New Haven Green was established in 1638 to provide a common grazing yard for the young colony. The green served as the city’s first burial ground until 1821.


The Ghost Central of New Haven: is The Green The ghosts are in search of their coffins, stones, and memorial markers. After severe yellow fever epidemics in 1794 and 1795 the Green, which held perhaps as many as 5,000 burials, was simply too crowded to continue as the chief burial ground. As a result,  the graves were moved to Grove Street Cemetery, the first chartered burial ground in the United States.  The Green was used as the main burial grounds for the residents of New Haven during its first 150 years, but by 1821 the practice was abolished and many of the headstones were moved to the Grove Street Cemetery. However, the remains of the dead were not moved, and thus still remain below the soil of the Green.


Be Careful Where You Step!  It is estimated that between 5,000 and 10,000 people remain buried there, including Benedict Arnold’s first wife, Reverend James Pierpont (founder of Yale University), members of President Rutherford B. Hayes’ family, and Theophilus Eaton, one of the founders of New Haven and the church and governor of the New Haven Colony for 19 years.  A small portion of the burial ground is now preserved in The Center Church Crypt. It is often said that while walking on the Green you should watch your step—it might be someone’s bones you are tripping over.  The Puritans were said to have designed the green large enough to hold the number of people who they believed would be spared in the Second Coming of Christ: 100,000.


Be on the Outlook for Ghosts!  Over the years, people have reported shadowy or misty figures that disappear when they approached.  Sometimes people are asked a question but there is no one there to respond to!  People complain of spirit-draining energy. “One of the number one places for ghosts is cemeteries or old burial grounds. It’s like ghosts tend to follow there body or maybe it is the ghosts of those that cannot move on. To me it is the theory of a portal or door lies near where people die or are placed. If that person or victim has trouble moving on they linger keeping the door active, almost like a echo that can go on and on.“ —

Ghosts of New Haven Blog 10   © 2017 by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg, Ghost with a Blog # Ghost

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