You are going to have to take it on faith that there is a ceremonial fire burning right now on the property of the old Norwich state hospital. That is because the Mohegan tribe’s faith says you cannot take any pictures of the sacred flames.
The small campfire is on the edge of the old hospital property near the intersection of Route 2A and Route 12. They just lit that fire and now it is going to burn for the next 4 days. The idea is to cleanse the land and honor the spirits of the people who passed through the property. At one time, it was a Mohegan trading post, but for almost all of the 20th century, it was a state psychiatric hospital. A couple of the elders who were setting things up tell me a hospital like that certainly would have produced some spirits that need some soothing.
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The Mohegans want that land to be nice and cleansed because the tribe has signed on to develop that 400 acre site into a family entertainment complex, possibly with offices and housing as well. It will not include a casino, and it will not be tribal land, so the town of Preston will get tax money, and the region will gets hundreds of new jobs.
This cleansing fire will be going on until around midnight Sunday night into Monday morning. Everyone is welcome to stop by, just don’t take any pictures.