The Indian Van Winkle
Ghosts of New Haven Blog 16 © 2018 by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg, Ghost with a Blog # Ghost
The Indians long before the coming of the white man had their own traditional ghost stories and tales of supernatural occurrences. New Haven once had various Indian settlements where the Indians would farm the clearings while hunting in the forest such as part of this green.
A Quinnipiac Indians hunter ventured forth to hunt deer one day. Before he realized it, he had meandered far from familiar territory. At one point, he had to flee deeper into a very forested area that he and his fellow Indians avoided because it was hard to walk and it was so dark once you were in area. However, he fled into these woods to escape an enemy war party that had spotted him. As he tried to hide among the trees, he began to pray to the god of the sky to help him.
Suddenly, the Quinnipiac began to hear thunder and lightning that began to make him afraid even though he was brave warrior. Suddenly, he had a vision or was a figure that lit up by lightning. A young Indian maiden, whose eyes glowed a little in the dark, began to speak to him. “My father has sent his sons Thunder and Lightning to help by scaring away your enemies.” Suddenly a bolt of lightning hit a tree beside the girl disappeared.
The hunter fell into a deep sleep, awoke very tired, and saw that there tracks of someone else near him as if someone had checked upon him several times during the night. Remembering what the girl had told him, he felt confident that he would be able to make back to his home in a very safe manner. When he came back, he was very surprised to find that the village had moved a some distance away from the location where he had left it the nigh before. He was even more surprised to discover that five years had gone by during the one day and one night he had been away. The villagers were even more surprised as some of children exclaimed, “We have a ghost amongst us.” They had expected him to return to the land of the living.