Located deep into the southeast corner of Massachusetts, on 5441 acres, lies Fall River State Forest. Known as Freetown State Forest, current ownership lies with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is also known as the “Bridgewater Triangle” due to the amount of paranormal activity reported within a 200 square mile triangle. Named by paranormal researcher Loren Coleman in 1970, Bridgewater Triangle is famed for being one of the world’s most concentrated areas of the paranormal. Everything from UFOs, to poltergeists, to Bigfoot, to satanic rituals have been reported.
Some say the paranormal energy is due to the extreme amount of violence and crime that has occurred in the area. Some say it’s the energy that causes the violence. For example, in November of 1978, the body of fifteen year old cheerleader Mary Lou Arruda was discovered tied to a tree. The man arrested for the crime had previously been convicted of kidnapping in 1967 and was convicted again in 1979. The conviction was overturned. He was convicted again in 1986, only to be overturned. Finally, he was retried again in 1992, only to result in a mistrial.
In 1980, police were in the Freetown State Forest investigating a murder. They were approached by a small group of victims, claiming to have witnessed satanic cult activity. The activity they stumbled upon was an adult cow butchered in the woods and gruesomely mutilated calves. There were three additional murders around the same time. One in 1987 where a transient drifter was mistaken as an undercover cop and murdered. The other was in 2001 when two men were shot to death on Bell Rock Road. There were also two assaults- one on a man in 1991 and a teen in 1998. Even weirder claims surfaced. In 1996, there was a hazardous waste dumping reported in the forest. In 2006 there were reports of a pack of aggressive abandoned dogs, and in 2006 there were also reports of an escaped emu wandering about the forest.
Some blame the energy of the forest on Indian curses. The land was previously said to have been the home of the Wampanoag. The story of the curse involves a wampum that was lost during King Phillip’s War. Many attribute paranormal unrest and overall negativity to that loss and the overall treatment of the Wampanoag by the white settlers of the time. The Wampanoag are rumored to still watch over the land via the Profile Rock, overlooking the forest. Native Americans believe the profile is that of their chief Massasoit. He met his end in the war by being shot, dismembered, and scattered throughout Southern Massachusetts so that his soul might never rest.
In 1760 the claims continued. This time, a sphere of fire was described as hovering and emitting light so bright that it cast shadows over the sun. A popular claim, similar sightings were reported even more recently. In 1968, reports were made that a strange ball of light was floating in the trees. Possibly related to UFO sightings, on October 31, 1908 someone reported what was described as a UFO. A similar claim was made again in 1976. In 1994, a Bridgewater Law Enforcement Officer reported a triangle craft with red and white lights hovering over the earth.
Aliens aren’t the only foreign creatures roaming in Freetown State Forest. In 1978 hikers reported seeing a seven foot tall hairy creature, described later as Bigfoot. Even more bizarre, Norton Police Sergeant Thomas Downy reported large, black birds that looked like pterodactyls, spanning over eight to twelve feet long. They were referred to as “Thunderbirds” in other reports. This report was corroborated in both 1971 and 1984. Other stories involve seeing giant snakes as far back as 1939. Rumor has it that the snakes reappear every seven years.
No matter the origination of the negative energy of the Freetown State Forest, there is definitely a wicked force driving the occurrences in the Bridgewater Triangle. Whether monsters, aliens, murderers, or ghosts, visitors and hikers should heed warnings to proceed through the area with caution. They are lucky to return home at all, much less without encountering some sort of paranormal invasion.