The student news site of Pueblo Centennial High School
Photo courtesy of CMHIP Museum

Photo courtesy of CMHIP Museum

Haunted Pueblo

Part 1: The Honor Farm

October 10, 2018

The Honor Farm may sound like a small, loving place, but the real Honor Farm and its remains are quite the opposite, which makes it the perfect place to talk about to start off the month of October, and to commence the start of our Haunted Pueblo series.

The Honor Farm was built in 1879 on a large plot of land that stretched from what we now know as 11th Street to 13th Street. This farm was owned by the mental hospital and its patients worked there everyday in order to earn money to keep the mental hospital in business. It was a dairy farm that, in its first year, produced over 77,000 gallons of milk that were served to the patients of the mental hospital. Some workers lived on the farm, along with the manager, Sylvester Hughlitt, and his family.

The farm flourished and it became the goal of many patients to work there as that was a sort of right of passage. The workers were of the more stable patients so they were given that job to give them a taste of outside life.

The farm flourished throughout its lifetime. Many of the cows won awards at the Colorado State Fair and they also grew many vegetables that were distributed. Reports say that the patients loved working at the farm, but those claims can’t be proven or denied.

This all went downhill, though, when the U.S. Public Health Service underwent an investigation. They ruled that it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, thus forcing the mental hospital to give up the farm and take away the patients’ jobs. All of the patients were forced to return to the main hospital because they had no other place to go. Some were released from the hospital, but others had to stay in the hospital for the rest of their lives. This sudden change was very rough for the patients as that was their only source of interaction in a more public setting.

But why is this place apparently haunted? Many believe that it started with a rumor of cult practices. The rumor, although fairly vague, has drawn the interest of many people. Supposedly, the Honor Farm was one of the meeting places for a cult that sacrificed children. The most popular of the rumors is that one of the men in the cult sacrificed his nephew. It is also said that all of the sacrifices took place on a large tree stump that is still unable to be removed. There is no solid evidence that this has occurred but it has led to multiple paranormal investigations of this area.

Multiple people have reported seeing full-bodied apparitions, mist, and orbs. They also report feeling unnaturally cold, and some even say that they felt as if they were possessed by the spirits there.

Though summoning otherworldly beings can definitely keep a few of them lingering there forever, that may not be the only cause of the hauntings. A few years back, there was a large discovery at the hospital. 155 skeletons were exhumed, all of them in unmarked graves. 155 people were forgotten for so long, and they were only recently discovered. Because of this, it is very plausible that some of those people could be haunting the farm, maybe hoping to stay there a little longer.

No matter what you believe, you can definitely agree that the Honor Farm, though good in theory, led to the downfall of many people. It is a sad place full of lost hopes and possibly conjured beings. It is definitely not recommended to visit there, and that is probably for the best.


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