Moodus Noises

Moodus noises are underground rumbling sounds and tremors that have occurred for centuries near the Moodus River in Connecticut. In fact, the river’s name comes from Native Americans who inhabited the region and attributed these sounds and tremors to evil gods. They called the area Matchitmoodus, which, in their language, means “Place of Bad Noises.” The Puritans who settled in the region during the 1670s also heard the noises, but they attributed the phenomena to the devil. According to some stories, by the 1760s the Moodus noises had caused so much concern that King George III of England sent an alchemist, Dr. Steel, to the region to find their source. Some people say that he attempted to solve the problem by removing what Steel said was a giant pearl blocking the mouth of a cave near the river.

Whether Steel actually removed anything is uncertain, but around this time the noises and tremors became subdued and less frequent. In 1816 and 1817, however, the tremors turned into large quakes. Scientists of the time concluded that the phenomena were caused by underground gases or chemical explosions. By the twentieth century, scholars concluded that seismic forces were to blame. But even as late as 1981, when scientists declared that the Moodus noises were nothing more than the by-product of “micro earthquakes,” the phenomena were still a matter of controversy, with some people refusing to believe that the cause of the strange rumblings had finally been identified.


  • Phantom Voices and Sounds
  • Taos hum


The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning