The mysterious occurrences at the Bennington Triangle have baffled mankind for decades. As humans often try to rationalize things, they fail to understand that places exist, which tend to defy the laws of physics and rationality, and sometimes, downright ignore them. Such is the bizarre tale of the Bennington Triangle.
Vermont — a state known for its natural beauty, lush mountains, and evergreen forests. And people disappearing into thin air? Yes, you heard that right! Oftentimes, the quietest places have the darkest secrets. Named after its similarly troublesome cousin, the Bermuda Triangle, Bennington Triangle houses something unnatural.
The concept that something malevolent has taken abode in Glastenbury Mountain was first proposed by a local folklorist, Joseph A. Citro. Nicknamed the Ghost-master General, Citro is a paranormal and occult researcher, with years of experience and research to his name. The concept of something sinister lurking in the deep woods of Bennington was popularized in his novel “Shadow Child”. Interestingly, the Bennington Triangle is an umbrella term. This is because the area under question covers not just Bennington, but also occupies Shaftsbury, Somerset, and Woodford.
However, this is not another old wives’ tale that can be dismissed. The story is much more complex and layered. In fact, the stories about the place date back to 1800, when the residents of the nearby settlement saw large beasts moving through the woods. Another famous incident at the place is the murder of a sawmill employee who was hacked to death by his co-worker. To make things worse, the nearest settlement to Bennington was deemed uninhabitable after strange occurrences in the nearby woods. The place is now a ghost town, with no more than eight people living there. However, the horror that lives in the woods is not done terrorizing yet.
What’s Going On At The Bennington Triangle
On the 12th of November, 1945, the first recorded victim of the strange disappearances arose, after a man disappeared while hunting with his son-in-law along Vermont Route 9. Middie Rivers, a 74-year-old man, told his son-in-law that he would be going for a short walk and returning to the camp for lunch, around 3 pm. The young man and Middie parted, and he was never seen again. After 3 pm came and went, the rest of the hunting party began searching before reporting to the authorities. A widespread search was initiated, but the only evidence discovered was a single rifle cartridge that was found in a stream. Middie was nowhere to be found, and he remains missing to date.
Things would settle down for about a year until the 1st of December when an 18-year-old named Paula Jean Welden disappeared while hiking on the Long Trail. A number of residents saw her pass by, including a Bennington Banner employee, who gave her directions to the trail. An old couple, who was walking behind her, saw Paula turn to a corner, but by the time they caught up, she was nowhere to be found. A monumental search was conducted, and rewards of $5000 were posted, but Paula was gone. Horror novelist Shirley Jackson published a gothic novel in 1951 called “Hangsaman,” based on the disappearance of Paula.
The next disappearance occurred in May of 1948 when 26-year-old Betty Fraser disappeared after a night at the local bar. Though the police arrested the barman on suspicion of kidnapping, the man proved to have a strong alibi. Unfortunately, Betty was soon found dead in West Dover, nearly seventeen miles from where she had gone missing. It’s not known what happened to her, or what she died of.
Three years to the day after Welden disappeared, James E. Tedford, a veteran, went missing. This proved to be the most bizarre case, as James went missing while he was inside a bus. His luggage and tickets were on the seat, and it seemed as though the man simply vanished into thin air.
The next case was on the 12th of October, 1950, when 8-year-old Paul Jepson and his mother went to their farm to feed the pigs. During the brief time she left her child unattended, the boy went missing. When she returned and saw that her son was missing, she immediately knew in her heart he would never be found. The bloodhounds traced Jepson’s scent to the same area Welden had disappeared years prior. Unfortunately, the boy was never seen again.
The next on the list was 53-year-old Frieda Langer, who disappeared on the 28th of October, 1950. This was barely fifteen days after Jepson’s disappearance. A search involving aircraft, helicopters, and up to 300 searchers was conducted, but she wasn’t found. In fact, Langer wouldn’t be found until May 12, 1951, when her body was discovered three and a half miles from the campsite in the eastern branch of the Deerfield River. No cause of death could be determined because of the deteriorated condition of her remains.
Popular Theories and Possible Explanations
Though many connect the disappearances to the work of a serial killer, others hold different opinions, with many of the beliefs sinking into the paranormal. One of the main culprits being held as a suspect is the Bigfoot. Residents of the previous settlements had accused the woods of sheltering the giant creature back to the 1800s, and with a suspected long lifespan, it could be possible the beast still lurks around. Over 6 feet tall, the accounts tell that the giant knocked over a carriage once, and went rampaging in the outskirts of the village.
Many others claim that the place is a UFO hotbed, where extraterrestrials have been sighted previously. Another group believes that the Bennington Forest could hold a moving wormhole. Invisible to the naked eye, people could inadvertently walk into these mysterious portals that connect different realities or timelines. Scientists and skeptics believe that the boisterous and swift winds near the forest and mountain, accompanied by the disorderly and abnormal growth of the plants might indicate an unstable magnetic field in the area. This could throw the explorers and other enthusiasts off the trail, and make them venture deeper and deeper into the forest. Though none of the above theories have been validated, there are dedicated advocates for all of them. With very few plausible explanations, even some skeptics would find themselves dabbling in paranormal theories in time.
Wearing Red in the Cursed Land of Bennington Triangle
At a quick glance, one might think that all the incidents are unlinked, albeit they occurred in the same place. However, at a closer look, one thing becomes apparent: all the missing were wearing bright clothes. For context, the land the Bennington Triangle is situated is rumored to be cursed. In fact, it is said that in Vermont, the Native Americans walked everywhere but on the territory of the triangle. The Indians believed the land was cursed and refused to traverse through it. They only entered the woods to bury their dead. Their legends and stories say that one should not enter their woods from 3-4 pm, wearing red. Since red is associated with sacrifice in different cultures, many refrain from wearing it. Interestingly, many of the missing were also wearing red, or shades of it at the time of their disappearance. Most pass this off as nonsense, but we will leave it up to you to decide.
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