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A Look At America’s Most Haunted Jails (Part Two)

I recently wrote part one of this article on the most haunted jails in America and we looked at the Missouri State Penitentiary, West Virginia Penitentiary, Ohio Penitentiary, and Ohio State Reformatory (part one can be read here). Let’s continue with a few more of the most paranormally active jails in the country.

Eastern State Penitentiary

In 141 years (from 1829 to 1970), the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, saw lots of diseases, murders, insanities, and suicides due to the torture the inmates endured as well as being completely isolated in its early years of operation. In fact, they had no contact with other humans as they lived, ate, and exercised completely alone. And when an inmate did leave his cell, his head would be covered with a hood. Known as one of the most haunted locations in all of America, the prison is reportedly still home to several deceased prisoners. Those who have visited the prison have claimed to have seen apparitions, heard unexplained footsteps as well as other strange sounds. Cellblock 4 is a hot spot for paranormal activity as there have been numerous claims of people seeing ghostly faces. Cellblock 6 contains shadow figures, while Cellblock 12 is full of disembodied voices and cackling sounds. Others have allegedly seen the spirit of a former guard in one of the towers.

Inside of the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Lake County Jail

Located in Crown Point, Indiana, the Lake County Jail consisted of 150 cells and even the county sheriffs lived on the premises. The jail was also considered to be escape-proof but that theory was disproved when gangster John Dillinger managed to escape in 1934. The jail shut down in the 1970s but it seems as though some of the prisoners never left. Ghostly figures have been spotted in the corridors and cells, as well as doors opening and closing on their own. Other paranormal activity includes the lights turning off and on, as well as hearing disembodied voices and unexplained footsteps.

Lake County Sheriff’s House and Jail

Pottawattamie County Jail

Situated in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the Pottawattamie County Jail is definitely unique as it has a three-tier cell block that contains ten cells on each level. The tiers were supposed to rotate all night by a water wheel in the basement which resulted with the nickname of “squirrel cage jail”, however, it never worked right so instead they hired a guard to watch the inmates at night. They did continue to use the cylinder until 1960 when an inmate passed away in his cell and his body couldn’t be recovered for several days because the cell block got jammed up. A total of four people passed away at the jail during its operation between 1885 and 1969.

Many people who have visited the location have claimed that the spirits of former inmates still reside at the jail long after their deaths. Even a man who worked at the prison in the 1950s refused to live in an apartment on the fourth floor because of the unexplained activity. But not all of the apparitions are of prisoners, as the ghost of a little girl wearing grey clothing is often seen in one of the cells and has been known to tug at people’s clothes. Additionally, the ghost of the first superintendent, J.M. Carter, is believed to haunt the location. Others have reported hearing unexplained footsteps, disembodied voices, and doors moving on their own as well as seeing shadow figures.

Pottawattamie County Jail

Paranormal activity has been reported in numerous jails throughout the United States and these were just seven of the most haunted ones (including the four I wrote about in part one).

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Jocelyne LeBlanc works full time as a writer and is also an author with two books currently published. She has written articles for several online websites, and had an article published in a Canadian magazine on the most haunted locations in Atlantic Canada. She has a fascination with the paranormal and ghost stories, especially those that included haunted houses. In her spare time, she loves reading, watching movies, making crafts, and watching hockey.