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Tree Toppled By Hurricane Sandy Uncovers A Skeleton-Just In Time For Halloween!

Skeleton unearthed on the Green by Hurricane Sandy
(Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)

In New Haven Connecticut, skeletons aren’t found in closets, just under buildings, sidewalks, and now trees.A tree spilled over by Hurricane Sandy in New Haven’s Green Area (a park-like area covered with grass and trees) and underneath the deep roots several feet below the ground was a skeleton.

But before you start thinking CSI and murder victim, here’s the grisly truth:   It’s not uncommon for an occasional skeleton to be found in certain areas when construction or renovation takes place in this historic New England city.

Officials estimate the skeleton dates back to probably before 1737(!) when the ‘Green’ in New Haven was used as a cemetery.  Prior to the creation of the Grove Street Cemetary in the city, the Green was used as a colonial area burial ground.  Historians estimate there are as many as 5,000 people buried somewhere under the Green.  They also point out that unlike today’s more stringent and ‘respectful’ burial practices,  the remains of the dead were often moved around due to space restrictions.  Burial plots were often “re-used” and people (especially those who were not wealthy) were stacked inside graves.

During periods of disease or epidemics, bodies were often moved away from residential areas, because back then they were not buried ‘six feet under’ and people believed they could contribute to health risks.

A skeleton was unearthed last year when workers were excavating for an additon to the Yale-New Haven hospital.   It’s just weird that this skeleton was unearthed just in time for Halloween.

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