The Damned Story: One of the allegedly creepiest places in Connecticut is Little People's Village, tucked away in the woods of Middlebury. A complex of crumbling doll-sized houses and odd structures next to the remains of a stone house, it's rumored to be the damned legacy of insanity brought on by . . . the little people.
One of the many versions of the story goes that back about a century ago, a man and his wife (who may or may not have been a witch) were living peacefully in Middlebury when she started seeing small fairy folk in the woods around their home. To accommodate these pixie-like creatures, she demanded her husband build a tiny village. As the years passed and the village grew, the enchantment faded into madness. The abandoned smurf-scale town is all that's left to mark the couple's anguished demise.
Another variation of the story is that a man living by himself in the stone house heard the voices of the little people, who commanded him to build the village. Eventually, this tale goes, he was driven nuts by the voices, which were now inside his head, and killed himself.
As such, many of the people who visit now claim it's haunted by the spirits of the little people -- or the ghosts of those tormented by them -- and that strong fields of negative energy abound. Others claim that if you linger long enough, you can hear the voices of the little people yourself, and that you too will soon be plunged into insanity.
There's also a "throne" here (at left) -- supposedly carved by the bewitched builder by request of the king of the little people. Local legend has it that if you sit in this cursed seat that you will die within 7 years.
The truth of the story (which many people don't bother checking into) is that the Little People's Village was simply once an elaborate attraction on a trolley line that was part of nearby Lake Quassy Amusement Park. It was built in the early part of the 20th century, and was originally known as "The Fairy Village." The "throne" appears to have been part of an ornamental garden, and many of the concrete structures here were part of the trolley stop. When the trolley line ceased running, there was no way to reach the attraction, and as such, it was no longer visited and fell into disrepair.
So, Little People Village was never the work of an insane man bent on pleasing his disturbed wife, but of entrepreneurs interested in making a few bucks by creating an odd little roadside attraction. It was popular for a while, but then eventually forgotten. As happens so many times with abandoned sites, when it was re-discovered by subsequent generations who didn't know its history, a more interesting one was fashioned.
Our Damned Experience: We visited Little People's Village on a beautiful day in April 2009, and as Steve put it: "Little People's Village is a big disappointment."
Unfortunately, as you can see in the images, even though time and the elements have eroded most of the structures, a tremendous amount of damage here has been done by vandals. So much so, in fact, that essentially only one "little building" sort of remains standing (at top).
It's too bad, as it's you can tell that a lot of time and effort was put into creating the village. Much of the site is connected by walkways and steps, and clearly a lot of mortar and masonry was employed in its construction. From what is left of the structures, a great amount of attention was given to the detail.
We saw and went into the stone house (which apparently was a souvenir shop, hence the iron bars on the windows), and checked out the remains of the other small structures at the site. Much of Little People Village is overgrown and has been swallowed by the surrounding woods; as mentioned, we visited in the spring before the trees had leaves, so I have to imagine in midsummer it's very hard to explore.
None of us purposely sat in the "throne," although we did stand on it to take pictures. We're still alive, but check back with us in 2016.
We also didn't see the spirits of the demented, nor did we experience any negative energy, although Steve referred to the place as "sad." Which I would say is true of any dilapidated and crumbling place that was once a bright and shiny local attraction.
If You Go: Okay, we learned the hard way by needlessly going up the wrong driveway, scurrying past barking dogs and "No Trespassing" signs and then climbing up a tick- and pricker-laced embankment (as is instructed to do on other sites). You do NOT need to do any of this at all. It is also NOT located on Old Waterbury Road (as other sites also suggest).
The best and easiest way to get there: On Route 63 in Middlebury, just north of the junction with I-84 is Maggie McFly's restaurant. Continuing north on Route 63, on the other side of the road from the restaurant (just a little bit further up the road, maybe a tenth of a mile), there is a short access road with two homes on it on the right. (On Google maps, it shows up as Umberfield Road.) You can simply enter here by going around the barricade at the end of the street and walking down the access road. After a short stroll (not much more than a quarter mile), after you pass under the power lines, you will see what remains of Little People Village in the woods on your left. No "No Trespassing" signs, no barking dogs, no crawling through pricker bushes.
A word of caution: Much of the site has either crumbled or is crumbling, so be careful where you step.
And as always, please be respectful of the area when you visit -- or else maybe the little people will come and find you!