It has been said: "you can't throw a rock in the Paranormal world without hitting the Warren's at some point," and central to any study of Dudleytown are Ed and Lorraine Warren. As founders of the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952, they gained great notoriety for their investigations of "The Amityville Horror," and also for their books and lectures. They have received such wide recognition that most newspapers and magazines with look for a quote from them, and they have been featured on many TV shows dealing with the supernatural, in addition to having been featured in a film entitled "The Haunted." They proclaim, without any help from ordination that they are "Demonologists," although their Roman Catholic religion has specially trained Priests for that duty, and are NOT supported publically by their church. Their followers staunchly defend them, and say to any Warrens critic: "IF YOU ONLY KNEW THEM..."
Among their many books (all now out of print, but easily found in most libraries), we will be focusing on one--Ghost Hunters. In it is the most unique story of Dudleytown in print: "The Haunted Village."
The story begins with the Warrens saying that they had heard the stories of Dudleytown in their youth, and then proceed into the "history" of the town without telling us if we are reading what they heard or what they "investigated"--it is presented as fact. Totally ignoring any semblance of research, they not only seemed to ignore the facts, which were easy enough to obtain if they had wanted, they also ignored all the other stories that had gone on before them, and apparently found something that nobody had ever heard of before.
We will examine their findings, and point out the places they went amiss (which, by the way, is virtually EVERY paragraph). Please note that all references to their book come from the St. Martins paperback edition, which stated that Ed and Lorraine had an additional (pardon the pun) "Ghost" writer by the name of Robert David Chase help them.
Before we begin, I will state that their book is the ONLY one to feature the outrageous background history containing Governor Thomas Dudley. Also, it is the FIRST story that I am aware of that contains ANY mention of "hoofed footed creatures." Additionally, it is the ONLY Dudleytown story to get so many facts out of place, and OVER 100 YEARS off. It does NOT follow the traditional Dudleytown Legend that appeared in over 15 books, and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles before or since it. It is generally NOT quoted by other writers because of that. In fact, in talking to one or two reporters and one other author and scores of Paranormal Societies, the Warren version of the Dudleytown story is NOT considered valid.
So, here is a page-by-page commentary on "The Haunted Village."
The Warrens STATE that they had often heard the stories, and that so many people had told them things that: "ultimately we had no choice but to look into the matter".
First, we are not told wether what follows should be believed or not. As the story will be presented as fact, most readers will assume that it is. We are never told where they got their story OR facts from, as the Warrens' do NOT cite the sources for THEIR story, and repeated email to them went unanswered).
1. This starts the history portion of their story. We are told that Dudleytown is NEAR Cornwall.
FACT: Dudleytown IS PART of Cornwall. It was NEVER a town.
2. They state that Edmund Dudley embezzled money from the King's treasury.
FACT: This is false, as any history book would have told them. Edmund was a scapegoat, as he was the "exchequer" (we would say Financial Advisor) for King Henry VII. Henry had raped the English Economy, and when he died his son, Henry VIII, came to the throne. The people wanted blood, and (to make a long story short), Edmund was handy.
1. Near the bottom of the page, they state that the four brothers "discovered" the area in which Dudleytown would be built, and founded the town in 1632.
FACT: This is, of course, over 100 years off! It was founded in 1747 by Thomas Griffis, who bought the land at an auction. The brothers would not even be born until (Gideon) 1706, (Abiel) 1710, and (Barzillai) 1725, which does, of course, mean that there were only three brothers.
Same page. 2. They imply that Gov Thomas
Dudley was part of the founding of Dudleytown.
FACT: Gov Dudley had died about 84 years before.
Same Page. 3. They state that Gov. Dudley was found "hacked to death
in the vicinity of Dudleytown, and the murderer was never caught."
FACT: Ed and Lorraine come into conflict on this page with ANYONE familiar with Massachusetts History with that statement, and it is the quote that began my look into the Warrens story. Any student of Massachusetts history will tell you that Gov. Thomas Dudley died on July 31, 1653 at his home in Roxbury of old age--he was 77. He is buried there for all to see.
Same page. 4. They plainly state that the brothers were
nephews of Gov. Thomas.
FACT: They were, of course, members of a completely different family of Dudleys'.
Same page. 5. They say the brothers discovered the land on their
return from the French and Indian war, which lasted a decade.
FACT: Not even close---the French and Indian war did not even start until 1754. It lasted till 1763. (That's only nine years) . Again, 100 years off.
Pages 175/176. They state that General Herman Swift was away with his boss, Gen. Washington, when his wife died. She actually died in 1804...and good Gen. Heman Swift was at home. They then say that Gen. Swift went insane, and had to be put away. The town records say General HEMAN Swift was "slightly demented from old age" (senile) and died peacefully. ADDITIONALLY, George Washington--the FATHER OF OUR COUNTRY--died in 1799, as any 6th grade school child will tell you.
Page 176. "Dr. William Clark built a stately mansion on the edge of Dudleytown......" Again, WRONG. Dr. William CLARKE built a small summer home IN Dudleytown. After his wife Harriot's death, he built a two story red brick house in Cornwall. IT IS STILL THERE!
Same page (176) Dr. "Clark" happened BEFORE Mary Cheney (please notice the chronology they present....EVERYTHING is wrong).
Same Page (176). Mary Cheney "found her Dudleytown upbringing to be frightening." Mary Cheney was NOT born or raised in Dudleytown. See the "Deaths at Dudleytown" section.
Same Page (176)....Quote "Year in and year out, Dudleytown men, women, and children were mysteriously killed..." they go on to list the most horrible ways of dying that had even MY hair on end!! FACT---there was only ONE mysterious happening (IF you believe the curse!) EVERY SEVEN YEARS. No more.
Same page (176) They say Brophy's wife died in a fall. FACT: Town records say she died of "consumption." (TB).
Page 177. Brophy was the last resident there.
FACT: Dr. Clarke was. Actually, there STILL ARE residents there!
They then begin to quote the usual deaths at Dudleytown, and then
quote part of a poem by H.P. Lovecraft. It is simply to add atmosphere to their
story, and give them a chance to add a few more "hoofed-footed" creatures.
Afterwards, they open themselves up to more criticism on Page 180 by relating a
story of a TV station crew, which had some unexplainable problems with their
I say "open themselves" up again, because the TV station crew belonged to COMCAST, then a small cable company with a public station THAT STILL IS IN EXISTENCE. The Warrens say they obtained no film.......(you can see this coming, can't you?)...I have found out that they DID!! While not the best, the film does exist, and the crew claim that there old equipment just decided, halfway through, to (pardon the pun) "give up the ghost." It WAS legitimately broke, and was repaired soon after.
The Warrens finish by admitting that they can not vouch for the stories of the curses early on (then why relate them?) but say that demonic forces are there now (page 182). But where is their proof? While there are PLENTY of pictures in the book on other things--there are NONE of Dudleytown.
While I applaud the Warrens for admitting that they "could not vouch" for the early "curse" stories, I am left to wonder why they even told them. Good historical tales ALWAYS include ONLY the facts--which they did not do. In fact, if one were to read "The Haunted Village" critically, you would wonder why it was even published.
I would also applaud the Warrens for stating on page 182 that "What I am afraid of is that with all the satanic rituals going on up there, something really horrible will happen", but they then turn around (after admitting that they couldn't "vouch" for the VERY BASIS--the early stuff--of the legend), and make the story so appealing that their readers WANT to go there!
You see, historical deduction uses the "early stuff" as a foundation--so that if the foundation crumbles, there is NOTHING left. Most researchers would stop there. Not the Warrens'. That is what the Warrens based their entire story off of. A careful reading will show you that their "look" into the matter resulted in nothing. Where is the source for their stories? Where is their proof? There is none!
Now, before you ask--YES! I did email them and asked for their sources. For two years I asked them. It was not until I sent emails to all Paranormal Societies asking for help in keeping people away from Dudleytown that I received a letter from Ed's nephew John. What he did was criticize THIS page for "attacks" on the Warrens' validity. When pressed, John said he would ask Ed. My answer still has not arrived. Additionally, when he broadsided me on the Lou Gentile Show, I challenged Jeff to answer a few questions, and email me back. I even promised to send him a FREE copy of the book---but no email yet.
So--do you consider this an attack. Admittedly, it could be conceived as one. However....
The major problem with the Warrens is that they have a huge following, and their books sold millions (they are out of print now)---and the information is WRONG--so far off that I (as a history teacher) would not even give it a grade! They are supposed to be the BEST. They are certainly THE BEST KNOWN of all the "researchers," but their research is so flawed that (in any intelligent persons mind), it casts doubt on their other "investigations." How much of their OTHER stories can you believe?
I originally stated at this point, that at their lectures, they allow NO questions on ANYTHING except the subject they are speaking on, and that since they had NEVER spoken on Dudleytown, you would NOT be allowed to ask anything about it should you attend their lectures (their speaking engagements are listed on their web site--go to LINKS). Should you try--you MAY be ushered out of the room! (according to others who have been there!). HOWEVER, a few folks have emailed me lately to say that they HAVE spoken on Dudleytown, but answered very few questions about it. INSTEAD, they have been heard to say: "We will not tell you of Dudleytown--YOU go and tell us what YOU feel...THEN we will tell you ours."
Folks--they KNOW Dudleytown is CLOSED. Ed has been ESCORTED out of the place by DEF. He KNOWS it is closed, and he can not go there. Think about that.
By the way, do NOT try to email them with ANY criticism or corrections--they will NOT answer you.
About 10 years ago Ed was on a talk show speaking of Dudleytown. He spoke of Dr. Clarke's wife going MAD in 1937, and running wildly through the woods. Lydia C. Herkimer, daughter of Dr. Clarke, called in. She told Ed that IF they were hearing voices in the woods, perhaps they heard a woman's laughter because she was sure her mothers was laughing at their tales, as she hadn't died until 1948! She told Ed how beautiful the woods were, and their enjoyment at having been raised there. After the call, Ed said that she was JUST A LAY PERSON, and "of course she missed it all." He DID NOT make the connection that SHE was Dr. Clarke's DAUGHTER!
Then again, their research on EVERYTHING in Dudleytown misses the
Not only that, their research on Amityville is no better. For one report, click here
But, again, read their story---then look to history and facts. Decide for yourselves.
Click HERE to see some question we all need answers to.