Book tells about the ‘wicked’ side of New Haven

Since its founding in 1638, sin and scandal have often plagued New Haven. Stories of grave robbers and madmen in lighthouses are only a sliver of the Elm City's darker side.

In the new book “Wicked New Haven,” author and historian Michael J. Bielawa chronicles the city's historic tales of pirates, mysteries and unusual deaths.

Learn about Yale hauntings and town-and-gown riots, the Red Pirate William Delaney, and the mysterious labor activist Frank Sokolowsky, whose strange murder in 1920 may have been at the hands of a jealous wife or part of a political plot.

Discover the overzealous Wakemanites whose Christmas Eve exorcism led to the brutal murder of a man they believed possessed.

Join Bielawa in peering into the shadowy corners of New Haven's wicked history.

Written regional histories and essays

Connecticut resident and Fairfield County native Michael J. Bielawa has authored regional histories and essays addressing such diverse topics as the mysterious creature in Lake Champlain, Bridgeport's crying statue, and the bizarre disappearance of a Hartford minor league baseball manager.

Bielawa — he spent his childhood years in Stratford's Lordship section — also has written about the baseball symbolism in James Joyce's “Ulysses” and the perplexing, no-hitter curse that confronted the New York Mets for a half century.

His book “Wicked Bridgeport” was honored with the first annual New England Paranormal Literary Award. He has served as a guest curator to the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport and as a special consultant to the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

Bielawa also leads paranormal-history walking tours of downtown Bridgeport.

To purchase the book

Published by The History Press, “Wicked New Haven” is available at local bookstores. The 160-page paperback costs $19.99.

Learn more at

The author will be making appearances at local bookstores, libraries and museums to promote the book.