Well, is the old Turner County jail http://www.jailmuseum.com haunted? I'll get to that in a minute. Have to dispose of some details first.
Editor's note: When I say "we" henceforth in this column I refer to the museum's Board of Directors, of which I am a member and the default director to let people in after hours to do ghost hunting or spend the night if so inclined.
I call them ghost hunters. They prefer the term paranormal investigators. If they object to my terminology they can write their own column.
We are now into double digits of ghost hunter groups who have come to investigate the old jail. A few groups have been more than once, but even setting those aside, we're past 11 groups who have investigated the jail.
So is it haunted? That depends on whom you speak with (and I also split my infinitives in case yer wondering).
Here's what you wanna know. Sort of.
To date, all except the outfit which was here Saturday have uniformly reported "phenomena" in the jail. Saturday's outfit based in Valdosta is still reviewing their evidence. The leader, Claudia, a tall German lady with a decent accent, told me they had to examine their EVP (electronic voice phenomena) to see if they had anything there. She said initial checks revealed some activity.
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Look at 'em yerself. - https://www.facebook.com/pages/VAPIR-PARANORMAL-VALDOSTA-GA/117394838275009
All the other groups reported evidence.
None have reported the same evidence or phenomena.
What I can recall I present here without editorial comment. That will follow:
A picture taken by the first group showing a shadow, fog or something else in the shape of a hand at a cell door.
Another picture taken from the parking lot showing a shadowy image upstairs which the investigators told me was a woman.
Dowsing rods were used by one group. Questions were asked and "answered." An answer was the rods crossing or moving apart.
Some EVPs, some of which contain profanity. Sorry, don't recall what the words were.
One guy had a pretty healthy scratch down his back. He said he was in the middle of a room when it happened. How it was caused, I do not know as I was not there when it happened.
Another guy reported something tugged at his pants.
The pants guy and a partner reported widely varying temperature anomalies in one room. The temp spiked for a brief instance into triple digits while I was with 'em which visibly startled them both. They both said heat was an indicator of malevolence
Another guy reported a small object was moved in one room.
My daughter said a dollar bill left flattened on a bunk upstairs was crumpled up when she got back.
|Or a unitarian cemetery|
"You think the place is haunted, Baker?"
I'm gonna waffle on you. Call me agnostic.
There are things which take place which I cannot explain within the realm of current scientific knowledge. This does not mean there is no scientific explanation. It means science is either not advanced enough to explain it OR it is beyond the realm of the Newtonian physical sciences.
For that matter, science can't explain everything about science. The search for the Unified Field Theory continues.
Anyway, I have not encountered anything at the jail which I cannot explain. Even the temperature anomaly is explainable, to me anyway. These guys were using some fancy electronic equipment to check air temperatures. Electrons are funny things and one of those things science cannot fully explain either. A few electrons flying into a the wrong orbit could explain that.
|Now THAT'S funny|
http://www.someecards.com/2011/03/24/engineers-and-physicists-fight-over-coffee-machine but it leaves me gasping for breath I laugh so hard.
Considering the history of the facility, if any place can be haunted, the old jail certainly should be one of those places. Two people were put to death by court order in the old jail, hung from the gallows hook upstairs. (In case you are wondering, I have hung 2 people from the gallows hook. Yes. Live human beings. I hung them at their request and they enjoyed it immensely. I have witnesses.) I am certain other people died there over the years. Births took place there. Much pain and suffering of all kinds took place there.
It's a jail. As far as the human condition goes, it is a place where every conceivable human status took place.
|The old jail. Come visit us. Tours Tues-Fri.|
None of which answers your question, but I told you I was going to waffle.
So to answer your question - I do not know if the old jail is haunted.
Some relevant information you may or may not find interesting:
After the first group came through, I stopped giving them a tour. When groups come in now, they come in cold or at least with only what information they can get from other sources. I do answer any questions they have.
I don't tour 'em because I do not want to prejudice their investigations. To me, their line of work is discovering the unknown. If I fill them in on the jail history, I load them with information which they may attempt to corroborate or use to guide their investigation.
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They don't need this information. They should start cold and present me with what they find and I'll tell 'em if it adds up to what we know about the old jail.
I think that's fair. My reasoning is charlatan "psychic" readers gather information from victims prior to a read and use that information to con the victims. A real psychic doesn't need any information to start with.
So far precisely 2 groups have come back as promised to present us with their evidence. Two.
All have promised to come back and present evidence. The first group to come was the first to come back. They brought pictures, audio and a DVD. They left these records with us. The other group came back and presented their evidence as they geared up for a second investigation.
Two groups booked a time to investigate and never showed up, never called, nothing.
|Bad ghost hunters, bad! Time out for you!|
Some MAY have put up their evidence on their websites. I have not checked. Regardless, posting the evidence on their website is not the same thing as coming back to present said evidence.
I hope they have posted the evidence. Most of 'em come down with some paperwork for us to sign. I do so. The papers include a release on whether or not they are allowed to publicize their findings.
Some people who have the ghost hunters come into their houses are having problems they attribute to ghosts. They want the ghosts gone and don't want anyone else to know about their paranormal problem. Such investigations are kept secret.
Not ours. I write on each release that we want them to post and publicize their findings widely. Free publicity you understand. Whether or not you, I and the Board of Directors agree with the ghost hunters is irrelevant. It's free publicity for the jail museum. We need it.
All that said if you are in a paranormal investigation group or know of one and want to come run your own investigation, get ahold of me and I'll set it up. If you'd like a regular tour of the jail, we'll be glad to accommodate you as well.