The Wicked Witch of Connecticut: The Story of Hannah Cranna

We don’t know about you, but it’s always the right season for a spooky story. And we’ve got a great one for you today that will be perfect for sharing around a summer bonfire, ya know, ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ style! Let’s get into it. 

(image via: new england historical society

Hannah Hovey, or later Hannah Cranna as she would eventually be known, was a resident of Monroe, Connecticut. And while not much was known about her early life or even her later years, it’s the tales, or alleged deeds rather, that have been passed down that have left quite a legacy. Hannah was married to Capt. Joseph Hovey and they lived a quiet life on a farm; now, some might say Hannah never stood a fighting chance because, from the moment they moved into their home, the people around them claimed Hannah had ties to Satan himself all because near their house was a large rock with a cloven footprint. And if you think that’s crazy, buckle up. 

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Hannah’s husband died unexpectedly and you can imagine who people thought had a hand in it, Hannah, of course. The story goes that Hovey grew disoriented during an evening walk and fell off a cliff, but nobody was buying that because they found the incident to be much too odd to be true. Their conclusion? Hannah had bewitched him. 

After his death, Hannah never remarried and in fact committed to a widow’s life of living alone and only donning long, black clothing. Paired with her farmhouse outside of town, it’s easy to see how she might fit the textbook description of a witch. It didn’t help that to get people to leave her alone, she often played up the witch persona. And frankly, we get it. It was also rumored that her home was guarded by snakes and a rooster that only crowed at midnight. 

(image via: regal rose

There were a number of stories about Hannah “cursing” different people, but she was a cranky old lady that lived alone surrounded by townspeople who just made up a bunch of stories about her, so yeah, she probably wasn’t super neighborly to them. 

But oddly enough, the really weird stuff happened right before and after her death. In her last days, it was said that Hannah proclaimed the spirits had called her and it wouldn’t be long until she would be in the great beyond, she also went on to say that she wanted to be buried after sundown and that she wanted her coffin to be carried from her home to her grave; she then threatened trouble and vexation if her plans weren’t followed through. 

As fate would have it, the snow was too deep for Hannah to be carried from her home to her grave so her body was placed on a sleigh to be taken to her grave; but not too far into the journey, her body fell off of the sleigh. Once her body was placed back onto the sleigh a couple of folks sat atop of it to ensure she arrived safely and peacefully, but according to accounts, the sleigh started shaking violently throwing the passengers off the sleigh entirely. So finally the coffin was carried to the cemetery and Hannah was buried after sundown just as she had wished. When everyone returned to Hannah’s house, it was completely engulfed in flames. 

You can still pay your respects to Hannah today but do so at your own risk as some have said that on certain misty nights, Hannah still appears out of nowhere along Spring Hill Road causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles and meet their demise.

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