In 1946, Paula Jean Welden of Bennington, Vermont, was a driven college student with a bright future. She was the eldest of her four siblings at 18-years-old and the first in her family to pursue higher education.
Paula studied art with a focus on charcoal sketching and watercolor. She also enjoyed creating black-and-white illustrations and painting murals.
And to earn money, Paula worked on the side as a waitress at her campus dining hall. For fun, she enjoyed square dancing, swimming, cycling, and hiking.
But, come one chilly afternoon in December, Paula did the unexpected. After ending her Sunday supper shift at the Bennington College dining hall, she went back to her dorm room and changed into her walking clothes.
Then, Paula left with no coat or supplies– setting out to hike the Long Trail by herself.
She first hitchhiked from Vermont’s Route 67 to State Route 9. Then, Paula was dropped off about two miles away from the trailhead.
Once she actually entered the trail, the sunset was near, and Paula had no coat, food, or water with her as the Vermont winter temperatures began to drop. And at 4:00 p.m., Paula was last seen on the trail– never heard from again afterward.
The region where Paula disappeared– known as the “Bennington Triangle”– has been riddled with supernatural rumors. The triangle gained its reputation after five people vanished within its borders. And since being coined the “Bennington Triangle,” an additional two people have disappeared in the vicinity.
As for Paula, she never showed up to her classes the following day– which led to her being reported missing.