The Bridgewater Triangle is an area of about 200 square miles (520 km2) within southeastern Massachusetts in the United States where various paranormal phenomena have been observed since colonial times.
The Triangle encompasses the towns of Abington, Rehoboth and Freetown at the points of the triangle, and Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Middleboro, Dighton, Berkley, Raynham, Easton, Lakeville, and Taunton inside the triangle. A similar, albeit lesser known area exists in neighboring Vermont called the Bennington Triangle.
Central to the area is the mysterious and largely untouched Hockomock Swamp, which means "the place where spirits dwell", and which was called "The Devil's Swamp" by early settlers. The Triangle also has been known to house several Indian burial grounds, as well as significant sites used by both natives and colonists during King Philip's War, which is said by some to be the source of several curses on the nearby land.
Another area of unusual activity within the Bridgewater Triangle is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. The forest land and that forming the town of Freetown was purchased from the Wampanoag Tribe in 1659, and many Native Americans have claimed that the odd and evil events which transpired over the preceding 350 years are the result of a tribal curse. For decades the Freetown State Forest has reportedly been the site of various cult activity including animal sacrifice, ritualistic murders committed by admitted Satanists, as well as a number of gangland murders and a high number of suicides.
Also found within the boundaries of the Bridgewater Triangle is the Dighton Rock. The source of great controversy, the rock contains a number of inscriptions by possibly pre-Columbian visitors ranging from Vikings, to Portuguese to Phoenicians (characteristics of each of these languages can be found on the rock.)
The area has been a site of alleged paranormal phenomena, ranging from UFO and "black helicopter" sightings (including many with multiple points of corroboration including police and a local news team), to poltergeists and orbs, balls of fire and other spectral phenomena, various "bigfoot" sightings, giant snakes and 'thunderbirds', as well as the mutilation of cattle and other livestock.
One of the most common phenomena reportedly observed in the area is "spooklights" or what otherwise matches the description of will-o'-the-wisp, sometimes known as ghost lights which are typically seen in boggy or swampy areas. The behavior of this phenomenon is consistent with mysterious lights allegedly observed within the Bridgewater Triangle, including those which are said to appear along train tracks every January. Also, Foxfire would likely be observed within the swamp, which if seen would no doubt appear to some as paranormal or "spirits" as has been suggested inhabit the area.
- Reports of Black Helicopters: Local resident Mary Lou Jones-Drown reported hearing "very loud helicopter noise" in Rehoboth on June 25, 2002. No helicopters were apparent in the air when the noises were heard. She was able to locate and interview witnesses who told her that mysterious helicopters "equipped with spotlights" were seen flying over the Palmer River School on the north side of Route 44. A local farmer reported "two black helicopters with spotlights were flying in formation above the trees. The choppers came from the southeast, from Mount Hope Bay in Swansea." Another report concerning July 26, 2002, described "it was like gray camouflage or a striped helicopter type." Similar reports were made August 7-9, and again on August 15, 2002. (source: Joseph Trainor, "UFO Roundup," July 9, 2002)
- Thunderbird sightings: For decades reports of giant birds or pterodactyl-like flying creature with wingspans 8-12 feet have been sighted in Hockomock Swamp and neighboring Taunton, including a report by Norton Police Sargent Thomas Downy.
- Assorted Strange or Out-of-Place Creatures: reports unusual animals date back to pre-colonial times, with more modern reports from a variety of government and other officials have documented unusual animals including alligators, black panthers, giant turtles as well as a giant snake "as thick as a tree trunk" reported by Civilian Conservation Corps workers in 1939.
- Indian Curses: According to one tale, the Native Americans had cursed the swamp centuries ago because of the poor treatment they received from the Colonial settlers.
- Haunted Trainline: Similar to the spectral lights, a variety of strange lights and sounds has been witnessed along the Raynham/Stoughton MBTA (train) line, which occur with regularity every January
- Animal Mutilations: Various incidents of animal mutilation have been reported, particularly in Freetown and Fall River, where local police were called to investigate mutilated animals believed to be the work of a cult. Two specific incidents in 1998 were reported by Fox25 News: one in which a single adult cow was found butchered in the woods; the other in which a group of calves were discovered in a clearing, grotesquely mutilated as if part of a ritual sacrifice.
- Among the recorded homicides are over a dozen confirmed murders in the forest over 1978 to 1988, as well as on-going police investigations in discovered mutilated remains of cattle and goats. Another gruesome discovery by Freetown police, following the report by the victim of a previous sexual assault at the site, was an underground bunker otherwise hidden from view. Upon investigation police found a number of strange objects, including small chairs with belts or restraints, seemingly made for children.
- "Historical Tidbits", Bridgewater Public Library website
- "The Cursed County", by Christopher Balzano
- " What is the Bridgewater Triangle?", April 18, 2005
- "Tales from the Swamp", by Ross A. Muscato, The Boston Globe
- "What is the Bridgewater Triangle?", Christopher W. Pittman, 2000
- "The Bridgewater Triangle", Billy Booth
- "The Old Haunting Grounds"Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe, October 30, 2006
- Paranormal Sightings Continue in the Bridgewater Triangle, Art Champoux, May 2007
- "Swamp monsters: Strange sightings are routine in the Bridgewater Triangle", Jean Porrazzo, Brockton Enterprise
- "Inside the Bridgewater Triangle"
- Can't See the Forest Through the Trees", Mary Jo Curtis, South Coast Today
- "Video link for Bridgewater Triangle Documentary"
- "Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures", Loren Coleman, Paraview Pocket Books (April 24, 2007)
- "Haunted Massachusetts: Ghosts And Strange Phenomena Of The Bay State", Cheri Revai, Stackpole Books (August 10, 2005)
- "Passing Strange: True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors", Joseph A. Citro, Houghton Mifflin (October 31, 1997)
- "Dark Woods: Cults, Crime and the Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest" Christopher Balzano, Schiffer Books (October 2007)
- "Enigma of the Dighton Rock", American Heritage Magazine
- "Curse County: Freetown", Christopher Balzano, 2005
- "Mass Monster Mash"
- "Spooky South Coast", New Bedford, 1420AM WBSM
- "The Dreaded Swamp Gas of Old Hockomock",April 02, 2005
- "Strange Animal Sightings"
- "Passing Strange: True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors", Joseph A. Citro, Houghton Mifflin
- "CAIPRS: Hockomock Swamp - "Devil Swamp""
- "Hotspots of High Strangeness"