Sandy Dredges Up Human Skeleton in Connecticut

Superstorm Sandy, New Haven skeleton, skeletal remains, colonial skeleton
Superstorm Sandy unearthed human remains that likely date back to colonial times in New Haven, Conn. (Image credit: NOAA.)

It was a dark and super-stormy night.

That’s the obvious beginning to a ghost story that the kids of New Haven, Conn., will tell on Halloweens to come, about the skeleton that broke from its ancient grave when Hurricane Sandy hit.

The anomalous storm uprooted a century-old oak tree in New Haven's town green on Monday night (Oct. 29), unearthing human remains that likely date back to colonial times, according to local station WTNH.

The downed oak tree was first planted in 1909 to commemorate a New Haven-born Civil War hero, and on Tuesday afternoon, the site of the tree's destruction had already drawn onlookers before New Haven resident Katie Carbo spotted bones where its roots had once been. 

Carbo called the police, who investigated the open grave and alerted the state's medical examiner.

The New Haven Green, a 16-acre park in the center of town, was the center of the original Puritan colony there and was first used as a burial site in the 1650s, according to WTNH.

Though they don't usually present themselves in such dramatic fashion, old bones have shown up in New Haven before.

In June 2011, a construction crew working on an expansion of the Yale-New Haven hospital turned up the remains of bodies buried in New Haven's first Catholic cemetery, sometime in the early 19th century.

Superstorm Sandy's meteorological and alphabetical forebear, Hurricane Rafael, also turned up a mysterious skeleton. A skull and partial rib cage reportedly washed ashore, or were unearthed, after the storm hit the small West Indies country St. Kitts and Nevis earlier this month.

The remains were discovered on Oct. 14 by a passerby on Friar's Bay beach, and local police collected them for analysis, according to

This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Live Science Staff
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