Strange Mystery Symbols Appear as Graffiti All Over Connecticut
First, I called it “Hobo Code”, then mystery graffiti, whatever you want to call it, it’s all over Connecticut.
In September of 2021, I published an article called “Hartford is Riddled with Hobo Code Graffiti, Do You Know What It Means?” I photographed and published these symbols I’d seen all over Hartford.
They reminded me of something I’d read about called hobo code. After cross-referencing this series of shapes with hobo code charts, I hypothesized that the symbols qualified as this drifter language.
Hobo Code is a written language that uses different symbols to express a message or warning to people who on the road, for drifters or homeless individuals. There are hundreds of these codes and they have a wide variety of meanings. There is a code that identifies a dangerous area, another that highlights good places to find food and everything in between.
My story caught fire and got people responding from all over the state of Connecticut, some shared additional information about street code but many others pointed out that my theory was off. The majority of the mail I received, pointed out that this specific-series of symbols are the calling card of a street artist from the Hartford area.
I got a lot of digital mail about the story from people providing insight into the life and personality of the artist but nothing I could verify as factual. While people were engaged and seemed to have stories to tell, I couldn’t even get a lead on the person’s name.
A question I started asking about Hartford has now become a riddle here, in my backyard of Brookfield, CT. My friend Dave sent me this picture last week via text and wrote “Found this at Wendy’s in Brookfield. It’s making its way towards us now.” The now familiar symbols were on a utility box on the side of the Federal Road fast-food restaurant.
I was so relieved that Dave had the presence of mind to send this because I knew I’d seen the symbols in the Greater Danbury, I just couldn’t remember the specific places I’d seen it in this area. Not long after my first article about the symbols was posted, I went looking for the code on the streets of Downtown Danbury. I was certain I’d seen it on the back of a road sign on Main Street but when I went looking, I came up with nothing.
Now that I have the Brookfield picture, I can say for sure it’s here. I’ve had a lot of people swear to me that they know who the person is and why they do this, but I want to hear it from the artist.
These symbols obviously mean something to the person, and people are definitely interested in the topic, so now is a great time for the person to come forward because I believe I can help them tell their story.
I understand why the individual may not want to come forward, I’m sure there are police departments spread across CT who’d love to talk to them about the legality of their art. There may be emotional reasons they want to keep this private, or maybe they just enjoy being mysterious. However, if the artist wanted to tell their story I’d be willing to help.
If you are reading this, there are a number of ways you can easily touch base with me, I’m not hard to contact. We can negotiate what level of anonymity you’d like to maintain, if any. Maybe I can publish your story, maybe you tell It to my radio audience (Ethan & Lou Show on I-95)? Whatever you decide, just know, people want to hear from you.
Here was a series of messages I got from Colin last time around
P.S. I’m sure there is a more evolved term than “hobo code” and I look forward to finding out what that is.