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A local rumor, that has been frequently shared on the internet, alleges that the founders of Dudleytown were descended from Edmund Dudley, an English nobleman who was beheaded for treason during the reign of Henry VII. From that moment on, the Dudley family was placed under a curse, which followed them across the Atlantic to America. This curse is blamed for instances of crop failures and mental illness in the village.
Local historians, however, have found no genealogical link between the Dudley family of Cornwall and the English nobleman, and have noted many other factual inconsistencies in the rumors. The village’s decline has instead been attributed to its distance from clean drinking water and soils not well suited for cultivation. One confirmed case of suicide of a village resident took place in New York state, rather than within Cornwall.
Since at least 1990’s, police in Cornwall have responded to numerous cases of vandalism, getting lost or trespassing at night in Dudleytown.
The 1999 movie, The Blair Witch Project, about a haunted forest, prompted increased interest in the allegedly haunted village, increasing the frequency of such incidents. The owners the Dudleytown property have closed it to the public, and neighbors and town police keep a look out for trespassers
Since the mid-1920s, the land occupied by the village has been maintained by philanthropists as a private land trust, who worked to reforest the land after decades of agricultural use