The Abandoned Village of Bara-Hack – Pomfret, Connecticut - Atlas Obscura
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Pomfret, Connecticut

The Abandoned Village of Bara-Hack

A few stone foundations and an old graveyard are all that is left of this once thriving settlement in the wilds of Connecticut. 

Down an old cart path in the woods of the Ragged Hills section of Pomfret, Connecticut, lie the remains of the small community of Bara-Hack. Although it was abandoned over 125 years ago, this “village of ghostly voices” still welcomes its share of curious visitors.

Around 1790, Obadiah Higginbotham and Johnathan Randall both relocated their families from Cranston, Rhode Island, to this unsettled forest outpost in Pomfret. In honor of their shared Welsh heritage, they named the new settlement Bara-Hack, which means “breaking of bread” in Welsh.

Higginbotham and Randall opened Higginbotham Linen Wheels, a company that supplied flax spinning to residents in surrounding areas. Over time, Bara-Hack would grow into a tiny village that included a waterwheel and mill (which sat along the picturesquely named Nightingale Brook), fine family homes, slave quarters, and a community graveyard. Legends grew within the town, including tales told by the Randall family slaves of a ghost baby who could often be seen reclining in a nearby tree.

However, Bara-Hack did not flourish for long. Economic hardships and the death of the founding families soon drove the remaining residents away. By some accounts, Bara-Hack was abandoned by the time of the Civil War. It was definitely abandoned by the turn of the 20th century, when day trippers started to make their way to the picturesque ruins of the settlement.

The ruins quickly developed a reputation among amateur paranormal investigators and believers for being haunted. There were reported sightings of the aforementioned ghost baby, a bearded face in the cemetery, and streaking lights and orbs. Otherworldly noises have also been reported, including the sounds of farm animals, horse drawn buggies, and long gone voices.

Bara-Hack was eventually closed to the public due to an increasing influx of paranormal enthusiasts. Today, it sits on private property, surrounded by “No Trespassing” signs. Prearranged visits are occasionally allowed on the property, but trespassers sneak into Bara-Hack at their own peril.