Something went horribly wrong at the old Longmont Foods Co., turkey plant.
The stories have all but vanished, leaving behind the legends burnt into the memories of some Longmont residents.
The horrifying rumors and accusations have never quite been confirmed, but the building at 218 Kimbark remains the subject of hot debate amongst town historians.
The facility opened in the early 1940’s under the management of a man only known as Walter. Walter quickly became a beloved staple of the community, as he was able to provide meat and poultry to businesses and residents alike at prices unheard of for that day and age. Historical accounts spoke often of his wide smile and his enthusiasm for his work. It was not uncommon for the public to line up outside the building during his annual “Meat Menagerie” sale.
By the mid-1950’s, the Longmont Foods Co. facility was able to afford state-of-the-art equipment that would increase the speed and efficiency of production tenfold. Their product was in every local shop, and filled the bellies of happy residents as far away as Denver and Cheyenne. Walter had an empire, and was able to hire hundreds of staff members.
“Can’t you hear it? …[inaudible] this racket has been going on for the last fifteen minutes! I think they’re killin’ people in there! Please please get someone out here!”
But, as accounts have it, everything wasn’t quite as wonderful under the surface. Some residents complained that the smell from the feather furnace was slightly too pungent, the sounds of the processing floor too human, and the reports of new employees going missing all too common. Walter seemed to smile less and less, and his obsession with “grinding away” at prices became consuming.
While the meat that came from the plant reportedly resembled poultry, residents often commented that the products weren’t quite the same as other retailers offered. The flavors were “porkier” and while Longmont Foods Co. offered strange configurations for poultry at the time – “frankfurters”, ground “turkey”, “steaks” and long tenderloins – the community literally became addicted to their varied offerings.
As the facility’s pressure to produce increased, so too did the strange incident reports surrounding the area. Neighbors complained of late night activities, including lines of new employees gathering around the building to start the infamous “night shift”. One such neighbor complained constantly to city police of being awakened by one employee shouting “Chickens? I ordered turkeys!” every night, for months on end.
The newfound scrutiny seemed to take its toll on neighbors and the plant itself. In the late 1950’s, police received a disturbing phone call in which a distressed woman can be heard shouting over the sound of machinery and screaming. When police rallied their forces for an inspection the following morning, the facility was found empty.
Officers entered through the unlocked entrance to Walter’s office and found no trace of activity. The employees, products, and machinery had seemingly vanished into thin air. The only things remaining to signify that the plant had ever been in production was a single gray hair from Walter’s head, and several barrels of a product labeled only as “Meat Goo” – an apparent byproduct of the processing itself. This goo was described as a gelatinous liquid, which was slightly pink in color. Forensic analysis at the time attempted to determine the exact nature of this liquid, however it was too full of solvents and other components to make much sense of. The smell alone was reportedly too strong for many to bear and the whole mess was dumped and buried in an undisclosed location.
The rest is speculation. Was Walter truly a genius meat master, or was he transforming hapless citizens into edible delights? How did the Longmont Foods Co. facility disappear in the course of some hours? What became of the staff?
The building has sat derelict since those events. Prospective tenants have not stayed long, citing strange issues inside the building and never willing to divulge more than their willingness to leave. Paranormal researchers have visited the site in droves, many of them unwilling to publish their findings or even admit to having been inside. Current day residents of Longmont spread rumors that during the fall, as Halloween approaches, you can hear sounds of machinery and faint screams from the building.
We encourage you to visit the old factory yourself as Halloween nears. And decide… are you a chicken or a turkey?