A local legend that originates from Stockbridge is about an old hermit who lived deep in the woods (east of Stockbridge and south west of Gregory) and an old woman who lived on the other side of the dirt road in another part of the woods.

People who grew up in Stockbridge over the last 60-70 years have claimed to see the old hermit, saying that anyone who comes into his territory deep in the woods may never be seen again…or if they are, they’re not alive anymore. This woodsy area is now known as the Unadilla State Wildlife Area, east of Worden Road.

Years ago, a couple of buddies of mine claim to have hiked through the woods back & forth, intentionally searching for any signs of the hermit. They say they found an old hut with a big black pot in it…but for cooking or boiling what? Or WHO? Others have come forth, saying they found the old hermit's hut...there were usually signs of occupancy but this mysterious person (or ghost, maybe?) always seemed to elude all who searched for him. Those who claimed to have seen him say it's only a fleeting glimpse, but never face-to-face.

As far as this seemingly crazy woman (some called her a witch) who terrorized people on the west side of Worden Road, she is known for screaming maniacally at various places within the woods, most of the time by or across McIntyre Lake (SEE PHOTOS ABOVE).

A couple I knew who were parked in the woods making out one night (between 11pm-Midnight) happened to look up and see a shadowy figure looking into the car window and screaming maniacally as she slinked away, disappearing into the woods. She was (and still is) referred to as the “screaming b*tch” who continued to terrorize young lovers who drove back there to park. She has been heard - and even seen - but when searched for, findings come up blank...no shack, no hut, no cabin, no trace of this obviously insane woman.

Both the old hermit and crazy woman have presumably passed away (after 60-70 years, you'd think so, right?), but the sightings and noises continued for awhile. Has anybody heard or seen anything recently? Or have the two entities given up and finally decided to disappear into the afterlife?

Just another couple of local urban legends or is there some fact to it? I figure all urban legends have to start with something factual…but what is it? Ask someone from Stockbridge who lived there in the 1950's, 1960's & 1970's and they'll verify the legend.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to get into either of these woods anymore…I don’t know, I haven’t been there in years…but ya never know. There used to be a small dirt road that went back to the lake which has since been blocked off so teenagers could no longer drive back there to neck. I went back to the west woods many times as a kid and actually saw a noose hanging from one of the trees on the west side of the road, back near the woods. If you decide to visit and explore for yourself, there may be new houses that have cropped up - so be respectful if there are.

Good luck.

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