Gregory's Four Corners Burial Ground

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Gregory's Four Corners Burial Ground in 2007
The grave of Hannah Cranna, the Wicked Witch of Monroe, in 2007
Gregory's Four Corners Burial Ground in 2007

Gregory's Four Corners Burial Ground, a cemetery established in Trumbull, Connecticut in 1761, is located on Spring Hill Road near the Monroe town line and is maintained by the Trumbull Parks Commission.[1]

The Legend of Hannah Cranna[edit]

Hannah Cranna's real name was Hannah Hovey; she was the wife of Captain Joseph Hovey. As the legend goes, her husband died a very mysterious death in the early 19th century, and the Monroe villagers started wondering if perhaps Hannah was a witch. She is known as the Wicked Witch of Monroe. According to Hannah, her husband awoke one morning to go for a walk, but while walking became disoriented and somehow walked right off a cliff.[2]

Hannah began to make a habit of stopping at neighbors homes and scaring them into offering her free food and firewood, just to get her to leave. One farmer's wife dared to deny Hannah the largest pie on her table—the farmer's favorite—instead offering a much smaller one to the witch. Hannah left in a huff and allegedly cast an evil spell on the woman, so the farmer's wife would never able to bake again. A similar fate befell a fisherman caught fishing on Hannah's property. After she scolded him and threw him off her land, he was never able to fish again.

Those who truly believed in Hannah's impressive abilities were duly rewarded with good spells. Those who mocked her in disbelief were punished with bad spells. Hannah lived on top of Craig Hill in the Bug Hill-Cutler's Farm section of Monroe, in a house said to be guarded by snakes of every type and size. She had a pet rooster, Old Boreas, whom some believed was actually her familiar, a spirit said to take the form of an animal and assist witches in their activities. When Old Boreas died, Hannah knew that her time was running out too.

She later told a trusted neighbor that she would soon die and wished to have her coffin carried by foot, not by wagon, to the cemetery. When she died the next day, a snowstorm hampered efforts to carry her casket through the knee-deep snow. The pallbearers decided to load her casket on a wagon, but it kept rolling off. The men finally decided to honor Hannah's wish and brought her casket to the cemetery by foot. When they finished their grim task and headed back to town, they learned that Hannah's house had gone up in flames shortly after they took her body away from it.

Today, some people think that Hannah's spirit haunts the cemetery. A local urban legend claims that at least once a year, a driver passing by Gregory's Four Corners Burial Ground swerves to avoid a woman in the middle of the road, and crashes into the same tombstone—that of Hannah Cranna (which the Town of Monroe replaces almost annually.) However, anyone visiting the cemetery will realize right away that this is nothing more than a local fabrication, for Hannah's tombstone is up on a hill; it would be very difficult for a car to "accidentally" hit it. Also, there is no historical record in either Trumbull or Monroe of the stone ever having to be replaced.

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Coordinates: 41°17′37″N 73°14′29″W / 41.2935°N 73.2415°W / 41.2935; -73.2415