Feb 28


Pomfret, Connecticut

Bara-Hack, Welsh for “breaking of bread”, is a long abandoned village in the Ragged Hills area of Eastern Connecticut settled in the late 1700’s. Very little of the village remains, having been long ago grown in by the surrounding forest. Bara-Hack was purchased in 1776 by Obadiah Higginbotham, though he did not settle there until 1790. His family was shortly after joined by Jonathan Randall, a British Army deserter and his family. Both were of Welsh descent and slave owners. Making their living by crafting flax wheels, a few other families joined the settlement as well. Higginbotham had built a water wheel and a mill. The small settlement, however, did not last. Demand for their product waned; families left for more prosperous areas, and the founding families passed on as well within the century.
Bara-Hack became a stop for colonial history buffs, who followed the paths from Ragged Hill to what little remained of Bara-Hack, mainly building foundations, paths and the cemetery where the Higginbotham and Randall families and their slaves remain buried. In days since, the tiny village has drawn paranormal buffs more often than history buffs. Reports of ghostly activity on the settlement grounds began as far back as its first days, most commonly the spirit of a baby sitting in a tree over the cemetery, reported by the families’ slaves and continuing to this day. Known also as the “Village of Voices”, some claim Bara-Hack to be the basis for The Blair Witch Project. Other claims include hearing laughter of children, as well as singing, the rumble and hoof beats of horse-drawn buggies, cattle and other domestic animals.
Newspaper articles have noted alleged spirit orbs and light streaks over the cemetery, as well as the face of a bearded man hovering over the graveyard. A paranormal team reported in 1971 seeing the bearded man, in addition to a wealth of other potential evidence. Some believe that the veil between this world and the next is thin in these woods, allowing a glimpse into days long past. Due in part to the unwelcome attention drawn to Pomfret by the investigators’ reports, as well as the newspaper articles, in addition to the dangers to amateur “ghost hunters” posed by crumbling remains of structures, holes from wells, and mountain lions, Bara-Hack is now private property, and access is prohibited.
Connecticut History

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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