A homeless woman in Connecticut discovered a spooky remnant from superstorm Sandy’s landfall -- a human skeleton, which surfaced after the storm uprooted a famous local tree.
The skeleton was found in a 103-year-old tree known as the “Lincoln Oak” on the New Haven Green,WTNH-TV reported Tuesday.
“I noticed what I thought was a rock at first,” said Katie Carbo, who found the skeleton. “I kind of poked it and a piece came off in my hand, and I noticed it was bone fragments.”
The New Haven Independent reported that Carbo then called police, who brought in a “death investigator” from the medical examiner’s office to confirm that the skeleton didn’t belong to someone who died recently.
“It was just crazy,” Carbo said. “I just couldn’t believe it. I knew it was a cemetery here.”
The station reported that the park had indeed been used as a burial ground as far back as the 1650s before the headstones -- but not the bodies -- were moved to a cemetery in another part of town in 1821.
A local historian, Robert Greenberg, told police the skeleton could have belonged to a victim of smallpox, citing a description of the park in Ellen Strong Bartlett’s 1897 book Historical Sketches of New Haven.
“Sometimes, at the dead of night, apart from the others, the victims of smallpox were fearfully hidden here,” Bartlett wrote. “The ground was filled with graves between the Church and College Street; sixteen bodies having been found within sixteen square feet.”
WTNH’s story on the discovery of the skeleton, posted on YouTube Tuesday, can be seen below.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/embed/gHzs_ILf5Ug?list=UUFgFRk_6jae5D6KUokxIPfg&hl=en_US expand=1]
[Skull via Shutterstock]