Celebrate Connecticut’s Weirdness
Make a visit to these unique spots in the Constitution State
Connecticut is home to beautiful seaside landscapes and historic spots. However, there are plenty of weird places that you will want to visit in the Constitution State. From paranormal artifacts to religious relics, you can see a variety of weirdness throughout the state. Here are some must-see spots that will leave you talking about them for years to come.
Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum – Bristol
If you are a fan of old-time monster movies, then you will want to check out the Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum. This Bristol location hosts a variety of classic monster memorabilia, and it is the perfect spot to immortalize all these great monsters from the golden days of film. Once housed in a Swiss chalet-style building, the life-size figures consisted of wire mesh, wax, papier-mache, and polymer. Today, the museum has moved to the Bristol Historical Society with each character getting an upgrade. All the figurines feature the life casts of the actual actors. Each monster has its own backdrop and accessories, including authentic clothing. While you are there, you can sign up for the tour and get the inside scoop on the creation and stories behind each monster. From Frankenstein’s Monster to the Fly, you can see them in their glory at this unique museum.
Thread City Crossing Bridge – Willimantic
Willimantic is home to another unusual spot: the Frog Bridge. Eight-foot statues of frogs on top of spools sit along the bridge. This spot pays tribute to a story from the town’s past. In the 1750s, the townspeople heard noises from the forest. When they investigated, they saw bullfrogs fighting for space in a dry pond. “The Great Bullfrog Battle” has been a tale told from generation to generation in the town. The story is so beloved that it has appeared as a poem, song, and an operetta. If you want to see the legendary spot, it is a few miles from the bridge near Windham Center.
Along with the frogs, there are thread spools on the bridge. That nod references the town history as the leading thread manufacturer in the United States. The Willimantic Cotton Mill once produced over 50,000 spools per week. At one time, the company’s main building was the largest textile mill in the world. If you are interested in learning more about the history of this Connecticut town, make sure to head over to the Textile History Museum, which is only a few feet from this weird spot.
Austin House – Bristol
Optical illusions are the mainstay of many weird attractions, and the Austin House is no exception. From the street, the house looks to be a grand villa in the West End neighborhood. However, the house is only 86 feet wide and 18 feet deep. Listed on the National Historic Landmark registry, it is also the largest piece in the Wadsworth Atheneum collection. Chick Austin and his wife lived here from the 1920s to the late 1980s. As you walked inside, you will see the first floor decorated in the 18th century Rococo style, including silk-covered walls and gilded furniture. Helen Austin’s upstairs dressing room features walls of different colors, steel furniture, chromium light fixtures, and a black linoleum floor. As you explore, you will see the contrast from the sparsely furnished upper levels to the richly decorated first floor. During the 1930s, the home hosted many famous names, including Salvador Dali and Gertrude Stein. For a $25 donation, a docent will lead you through the house and give you a few details of this fascinating building.
Barnum Museum – Bridgeport
P.T. Barnum was considered one of the greatest showmen in the world. Today, you can see his collection at the Barnum Museum. Barnum designed the building, and it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can find a recreation of his personal library, along with artifacts on life during the 19th century in Bridgeport. One exhibit is devoted to Tom Thumb, who was one of Barnum’s most popular acts. The Barnum Museum is also home to an authentic 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy. If you are interested in the early history of the circus sideshow, you will definitely want to check out this unique museum.
Chapel of Our Lady of Assumption – Mystic
Enders Island is home to the Chapel of Our Lady of Assumption. This 11-acre island is located just off the coast of Mason’s Island. You can soak in the ocean views and explore beautiful walking gardens on the island. For those interested in the history of the island, check out the Enders House, which features the early 20th-century art and craft style. In addition to that, there is the Catholic Chapel of the Our Lady of the Assumption located nearby. With all the natural beauty, there is one piece of weirdness on the island. As you visit the outdoor Stations of the Cross, you will want to see the detached arm of Saint Edmund. The religious relic has made its way from Canterbury to the Connecticut shore. You are free to visit the visit, but remember, this is considered a holy site.
Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal – Stratford
No weird roadside spot would be complete without a trip to a paranormal museum. Stratford is home to another unusual place. John Zaffis is the nephew of famous paranormal investigators, Lorrain and Ed Warren. You can visit this two-story building, which features artifacts from his “demon-chasing” days. The collection is home to everything from clown paintings to a haunted ventriloquist dummy. Zaffis believes that many of the items are possessed or haunted. However, don’t worry about negative energies following you home since Zaffis has cleansed the pieces before putting them on display. For those who want to see these paranormal objects, you will need to make an appointment in advance.
Connecticut is home to many weird and unusual spots. If you want to move away from the typical tourist attractions, make a stop at these unique spots.