Lake Compounce is haunted. Allegedly. Legend has it that Chief John Compound of the Mattituck Tribe drowned himself in the lake shortly after selling his land to white settlers. Therefore, all of the park's freak accidents and bizarre occurrences are often attributed to some sort of ancient Native American death curse, Poltergeist-style. But the only unwanted visitors you're likely to see haunting North America's oldest theme park this summer are hordes of local, season-pass-wielding preteens jacked up on Pepsi and fried Oreos. Otherwise, this Connecticut attraction manages to be mostly charming and apparition-free. It's got a big water park, a famously scenic mountainside roller coaster called Boulder Dash, and a classic "New England in the Summer" vibe, complete with a fudge shop and an old-fashioned trolley. All in all, pretty quaint — vengeful spirits and sugar-sprung tweens aside.

Lake Compounce, 822 Lake Ave, Bristol, CT | 860.583.3300 or

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