New England Cryptids, Ghosts, and UFOs

New England has some rich folktales that I’ve come to enjoy reading and learning about growing up in one of the most paranormal cities in the country, Salem. I love Salem, just not in tourist season, but there’s this whole ordeal of witches, devils, and aliens that you can learn about while there.

This is where my love of cryptids, UFOS, and occult topics started. It is on the same level as my obsession with plastic robots. No, I do not believe in any of it. Don’t believe in ghosts or little green men. I’m just fascinated by the social aspects and stories.

I also know a lot of people are obsessed with it as well and New England is rich in paranormal history. There are definitely some interesting folktales and events.

Let’s start off with some of my personal favorites!

Little Green Men

Two of the most famous UFO stories both come from my granite state of New Hampshire. Both the Exeter incident and the Hills abduction case have become staples in the UFO community.

The Exeter incident gained so much traction that there’s a festival that I’ve been trying to go to since I came up this way.

It was September 3, 1965, when 18-year-old Normal Muscarello was walking to his Exeter home around two in the morning. He had been visiting his girlfriend in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and would make the long walk. Muscarello had been making his way down Route 150, just after making it to Kensington, which was a couple of miles near Exeter.

While looking up he noticed flashing lights. Five red flashing lights in way in the distance. Thinking that they had been lights from a car, a police car perhaps, he drew closer only to discover that they had been hovering in the air.

The lights illuminated two housed in a bright red hue.

Muscarello would claim that the object must’ve been about eighty feet long. A massive figure in the sky.

This sight had terrified him into action as the object began to silently approach. He dove into a ditch before running to one of the houses owned by the Russel Family. He yelled for help and was met with silence as the Russel family refused to answer (If someone banged on my door at 2 am yelling about lights in the sky, I wouldn’t answer it either).

The object quickly disappeared into the woods as a car approached. Muscarello blocked the car in the road and the couple took the frightened young man to the police station in Exeter.

Officer Reginald Toland, having known the boy, was genuinely concerned at his nervous state. He then radioed a fellow officer, Eugene Bertland Jr., who had met a woman who claimed to see a similar sight on NH 108 (Not that he believed her).

Bertland returned to hear Muscarello and investigate what had scared the youth and the woman.

The officer and the youth returned to the spot in which Muscarello had his strange encounter and initially saw nothing. Quickly they were met with some of the local farm animals throwing a fit as a large dark object rise from the woods, moving silently back and forth. He grabbed Mescarello and called for backup from another nearby officer David Hunt, who arrived to witness this event. They all watched as the object disappeared into the sky.

Hunt recalled the object to sound like a B-47 Stratajet.

No other sightings had ever been seen of a similar object. (Granted most folks just think it was a KC_97 tanker aircraft stationed near Exeter).

This is arguably one of the best documented UFO encounters and as stated earlier, Exeter throws a huge UFO fest to raise money for local children’s charities.

photo by

Now the Hills abduction took place four years prior on September 19th, 1961. Betty and Barney Hills were returning from a trip from Niagra Falls, just a tad bit south of Lancaster, New Hampshire when Betty Hills spotted a bright light moving in the sky just under the moon.

Betty then noticed something strange as Barney traveled down U.S. Route 3. She thought perhaps it had been a falling star. It was moving in an odd erratic way and she made Barney stop for a better look.

They noticed a craft of odd shape flashing multicolored lights. Barney thought it had been a plane but Betty thought it was a UFO (her sister had claimed to have seen one a few years prior).

Barney quickly changed tune when he witnessed the odd movement and returned them both back to the car.

They had begun making their way through Franconia Notch (which is an interesting drive, by personal experience) in order to look closer at it. They believed the object to have been about forty feet long.

The object quickly moved towards their car. Barney had stopped the car and grabbed his pistol to investigate. Barney Hills claimed to see multiple humanoid figures in the craft. In a panic, he quickly ran back as they heard a rhymic series of noises that seemed to render them unconscious.

When they woke they found themselves about thirty miles south of where they originally had been. Betty’s dress was oddly torn and Barney’s shoes were oddly scuffed. Betty reported the incident to the Air force, who did not believe it (though they gave it to project blue book)

weird stain included

I feel like most of the backlash they got wasn’t from the UFO aspect but rather the fact they were a mixed-race couple in the 1960s.

Betty and Barney Hill with their pup

But that’s just my opinion.

I also love the fact that UNH has a collection of information about this.


Now, we don’t have any mothmen or flatwood monster tales, but there are some pretty cool ones floating about!

The first is the Dover demon, who in my own honest opinion could be thrown like a football had it been really just saying. Seventeen-year-old William Bartlett claimed to spot a large-eyed creature sitting on top of a wall in Dover, Massachusetts on April 21, 1977. He described it as having long fingers and shining eyes. Two other teens claimed to have seen similar things the same night and the following night. 

It just looks like a nerd

The next up is the Dublin lake monster from Dublin, New Hampshire. The tale begins with a scuba diver who goes missing when separated from his group. The group couldn’t find him and he was assumed dead. Shortly after a couple of days, several teens encountered the diver, naked, crazed, and ranting about serpentine monsters in the lake. Some claim that the serpent is eel-like and lives in a system of air-filled caves under the lake.

The monsters are rumored to be so ugly (rude) that they cause madness in whoever views them. These sightings seem to be parallel to many lake monster stories in New England such as the lake Champlain monster, or lake Willoughby in Vermont.

Dublin lake

Another series of sea time serpents is the Gloucester sea serpent spotted around the coast of Gloucester and Cape Ann during 1818-1819. The first sighting of the colossal sea serpent was recorded in 1638 by John Josselyn. David Humphreys visited Gloucester and witnessed a small snake with lumps of its body. Locals believed it was an offspring of the giant snake. A naturalist discovered it had been an Eastern racer with tumors on its back.

Witnesses claimed it to be a large aquatic serpent around sixty or seventy feet long, some claiming a hundred feet, and thick as a barrel. It was also described to have large round eyes. Its back and body are covered in large bumps and rings.

The Gloucester Sea serpent is arguably the highest documented cryptid sighting in cryptozoology history with hundred of witnesses reporting seeing the creature over the last two hundred years.

There are also expected Bigfoot sightings all over New England ranging from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. Bigfoot really must be aiming for those Fitbit step goals. No matter where you go there’s a bigfoot story. Someone’s cousin’s cousin was drunk after the Pats game and saw it.

Who knew he liked being around Boston?

One of my absolute favorite, bonkers, ludicrous New England cryptids is the Coonigator. The Coonigator is”believed” to live in Montpelier, Vermont. So get this, it’s a raccoon-like creature but has a face similar to that of an alligator. It had the fur patterns of a raccoon. Some native Vermonters claimed to have stopped this rascal from digging through their trash. This is absolutely hilarious trying to picture a raccoon and alligator trying to hook up like the donkey and the dragon from Shrek.

The mental image is hilarious.

It was the late summer of 2016 when Westbrook Maine Police officers were called about a massive snake skin found in the woods. Officers responded, photographed, collected samples, and tried to local the giant creature dubbed “Wessie”. Now, the snakeskin was in surprisingly good condition to have been found in the wild (what a surprise) and found its home in an interesting spot.

The international Cyrptozoology Musuem in Portland, Maine.

The museum is a collection of materials, foot casts, and various other items related to the study of cryptozoology. It was opened in 2003 and outgrew its first little home into a larger home in 2009 (and another after that in 2016). It bounced around a few more times after that. 


There are just far too many ghost stories in New England to try and discuss them all. This is the oldest part of the country and there are ghost stories dating back to when the Mayflower hit. From ghosts haunting old inns to haunting schools.

You have the supposedly haunted Danvers state hospital in Danvers Massachusets, well, it was demolished in 2006. Judge Jonathan Corwin’s (Salem with trials) home is supposedly haunted. That one you can visit. It’s neat inside. Lots of cool history.

Even my childhood city of Lynn had its fair share of hauntings with Dungeon rock, supposedly haunted by a pirate named Thomas Veal. You can walk into the cave. It’s a common field trip. 

Salem, despite being a mild tourist trap at times, is a really great spot to learn more about the haunted history. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few odd creepy places to go to find haunted topics.

Warren’s Occult Museum famous for its haunted dolls and occult items has since been closed since 2019. Ed and Lorraine Warren are responsible for founding the New England Society for Psychic research along with several other New England paranormal groups. The duo is also known for their role in the Amityville Haunting, Annabelle doll, and paranormal interest in the 1950s. 

Ed was a self-trained demonologist and Lorraine was believed to have the abilities of a medium who could contact the paranormal entities that they encountered.

I’m actually a little bummed because I had plans to see that after finishing my associate’s degree as a fun day trip only to find out a couple of months before graduation that they closed it. There was a dispute due to zoning issues. I stand by my opinion that they should’ve brought it down to Salem. Would’ve been an interesting new addition.

You really do have the thank the Warrens for the public interest in the paranormal, especially in New England.

What do you think of New England’s haunted tales?

What do you think? Drop a comment below and tell me what you think, I’d love to hear it.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


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