The Dudley Curse

by Holli Hay ’27 on November 10, 2023


Dudley. Remember the name and don’t forget it. Tonight I will tell you all a tale that occurred almost exactly 40 years ago in my quaint East Coast college campus. I will not be revealing the name of the college in fear that I will be reprimanded for telling my story; for finally revealing the truth after all this time. Now that you all are headed off to your own new journey, it’s important that you know for your safety. This is not to scare you, but to make sure you are prepared. So, sit around, and listen very carefully. 

On the night of October 29, 1983, I was diligently working in my school’s library finishing up a last minute midterm project. Back then I had a tendency to wait until the last moment to start my work, and so this instance was not out of the ordinary. As I finished the last cursive word on my paper, I began to pack my satchel. The gold watch on my wrist (an heirloom in our family) read the time: 2:33 a.m. Great, I was going to be late. I quickly rushed out of the building and started on my way. 

The brick library was covered in a great amount of ivy, a quantity that revealed it had been growing for decades. The moonlight glowed upon the buildings and the campus’s landscape; a glow that contained a certain sprinkle of eeriness. I was on my way to meet my three friends: Dudley, Sarah, and Serenity. These three were my holy grail, the ones who got me through the majority of my college career. We were inseparable. Wherever they were, I was never far behind. And so, that is exactly where I was headed. To meet them at the graveyard “promptly at 2:30 a.m.” in the words of Dudley, the ringleader of this particular event. 

I was given very little information about the gathering, but like me and the others we assumed that it was another one of Dudley’s attempts at ‘fun.’ His father was co-founder of the university, and he would often rebel and go against the rules for this reason. That was one of the perks of being his friend: spontaneous, rebel-oriented fun that we could always get away with because of Dudley’s father’s high ranked position. After a night filled with work I was craving some good quality fun with the people I called my best friends. 

However, after arriving at the campus graveyard I could instantly tell something was not right. The big black metal gates were wide open, eagerly welcoming me to join Dudley; to complete the last and final sacrifice. I looked around the graveyard and horrifically examined the massacre that had occurred. Sarah’s and Serenity’s bodies were scattered over the multitude of graves with an organ upon one and a foot on the other. The stone graves were now dark red because of the drenching of their blood. Their bodies had a slight glow except this time, I knew it was not from the moonlight. In the center of the graveyard an ancient glowing book floated, and beneath it stood Dudley. Dudley, my acquaintance and beloved friend, looked utterly evil from head to toe. Without thinking or breathing, I ran out of the graveyard as fast as my feet could carry me. 

After that everything was a blur. Dudley and his father disappeared off the face of the earth, and the story haunted authorities and the university for years. However, it was eventually covered up by the FBI and declared a silly myth around a decade after the murders. I realized that if I had not been late that night from losing track of time, I would have been killed and another forgotten victim of the Dudley curse. 

The Dudley curse relates with Dudleytown; an abandoned place located in Northwestern Connecticut and said to be the most haunted place in America. The Dudley family first resided in the area in the 1740s, although the haunting records date all the way back to the 1500s. The Warrens, who were famous paranormal investigators, declared the town demonically possessed in the 1970s. 

The Dudleys fled to America after the beheading of their father in hopes of escaping their family’s curse. However, their involvement with a mythical book believed to open the gates of hell, doomed them and anyone who befriended them. Sadly, that was myself, Sarah, and Serenity. Being friends with Dudley resulted in that fateful night 40 years ago. 

After that I have always been careful, afraid that my involvement with Dudley and the fact that I escaped would soon lead to my end. However as time passed I realized that it may never come in my lifetime, but possibly in my children’s. Whoever you meet and wherever you go, stay AWAY from anything or anyone having to do with the word Dudley. I am begging you with every morsel of my being, don’t make the same mistake I did.