Cold History at Colt State Park

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Cold History at Colt State Park

Colt State Park ghost

Dedicated in 1968, Colt State Park is a prized landmark of Bristol, Rhode Island.  Spanning over four hundred acres, the area is popular for hiking, jogging, biking, horseback riding, boating, picnicking, and fishing.  Located in the Poppasquash Farms Historic District, the Colt State Park is just one of the exciting stops on the East Bay Bike Path.  Other areas of interest include picnic groves, boat ramps, an observation tower, and an open air chapel by the sea.

(images:bysarahs/flickr) Colt State Park

(images:bysarahs/flickr) Colt State Park

In 1905, Samuel Colt purchased the land and build his Summer home, named the “Casino”.  He also built a lovely barn to house his prized jersey cattle.  He spared no expense on the home or barn and spent many of his days working tirelessly to keep up the land and his treasured homes.  When he died in 1921, his trust company was required to open the homes up to the public, subject to the express terms of Samuel Colt’s will.

Unfortunately, while his intentions were good, after his death and public opening of Samuel Colt’s home, vandalism was rampant and many of his statues were stolen or destroyed.  In 1965, the State of Rhode Island bought the property and rededicated the lands as Colt State Park.  A statue of Samuel Colt was erected to commemorate his life in 2003.

Although Samuel Colt’s house was demolished in the 1960s, the barn survives to this day and is a common attraction for brave hikers and travelers.  Two life sized bull statues stand guard at the gate, two of Samuel Colts favorites- Conrad and Pomeroy.  A friendly sign reads, “Colt Farm.  Private Property, Public Welcome.”  Unfortunately, while the sign was meant to be friendly, it seems the remaining spirits were definitely not.

(images:tomcollins1/flickr) Colt State Park Bull

(images:tomcollins1/flickr) Colt State Park Bull

Many locals will argue about when the issues on the property actually began.  Some say it was before Samuel Colt’s time as the area was rumored to have been the home of sacred indian burial grounds.  While little information existed on that notion, others deny the claim as Samuel Colt never complained about issues while on his little piece of Heaven.  Others claim the issues stem from Samuel Colt himself, mad that his land was misused and unappreciated, tormented to spend his days watching over it himself and doing his best to get rid of anyone who angers him.

Two other stories have emerged that attempt to explain some of the dark energy that seems to reside at Colt State Park.  One involves a stable hand who died in the barn while helping with the jersey cattle.  The barn is now utilized as the park office.  Staff complain that lights turn on and off by themselves, and that doors open and slam shut, long after the last guest has left.  Many of the park workers refuse to be alone there as they have claimed to hear footsteps or hear someone speaking to them.  Some have even claimed to see the figure of a man walking the grounds and told stories of mean pranks pulled while trying to work.  Another story involves two little girls who drowned in the waters of a point at what is now known as Colt State Park.  Many have claimed to either have seen the girls or have heard them giggling and running around.

The park now closes at dark and security has been hired to patrol.  Speculation exists as to whether the patrol is meant to keep people out or keep something darker in.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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