The next stop on the Wraith Tour, co-hosted by the Tennessee Wraith Chasers and Ghost Hunt Weekends, is in Paulding, Ohio at the Old Paulding Jail. The event, set for July 30th, falls on the 17th anniversary of a mysterious hanging and will be the first paranormal fan event to ever take place within its haunted walls.
The construction of the jail started in 1874 but was prolonged due to the village lacking access to a railroad. This created difficulty in receiving supplies. The structure was completed in 1876 and was designed to be the most modern and secure jail in the region. The building was constructed mainly from brick and stone sitting upon a limestone basement. Upon its completion, it immediately began operating as the county jail and remained as such for the next 130 years. The building was closed to inmates in 2006, and it became storage for the county. It was slated for demolition in 2013, but it was saved from the wrecking ball by All Trades Historical Restoration before it was purchased by its current owner, Shelly Burk Robertson.
While the renovation of the jail is still underway, a few unique discoveries have already been made. Behind a brick wall in the basement, a secret passage was discovered. Cells were found along this passage, and there is no explanation as to why this section was closed. Evidence from the long cold investigation into the death of Nancy Eagelson has also been found hidden away within the passage.
On July 30th, 1998, Gary Murray, an inmate, was found hanging dead within his first floor cell. The theory that ran through the town was he was murdered, but sadly, this can not be proved or disproved. Little can be found about Murray, his crime, or the true circumstances around his death, but it seems that his presence is still within the jail. Last year, on the anniversary of his death, the lights flickered on and off within his cell even though the electricity to the building was off.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the unusual happenings that take place in the old building. Disembodied voices of men, women, and children can be heard throughout the jail as well as a little girl singing Ring Around the Rosie on the second floor. Sometimes these ghostly voices interject themselves into conversations of the living by saying they want to assist in a restoration task or giving advice in matter concerning the building. People who frequent the location have heard their names called when they know that they are alone. Footfalls can be heard coming from the second level as if someone with hard soled shoes is pacing up and down the corridors. Doors tend to open and close on their own, and small dolls belonging to the current owner have been placed in one location only to be found in another.
While it is might be thought odd the women and children would haunt an old jail, this is easily explained. During the majority of the time that the jail was in operation, the structure was not only a home for inmates but also the county sheriffs and their families. One of these is Sheriff John Keller who was seen lingering in an upstairs jail area many years after his passing.
With all the bizarre activity that takes place within the jail, the new owner hopes to one day have the structure be used as a paranormal research center as well as a museum highlighting the criminal justice history of the Paulding area.
Tickets for this exciting event with the Tennessee Wraith Chasers and the Ghost Hunt Weekends crew can be purchased at wwwghosthuntweekends.com. Ghost Hunters Fans will be on hand to report any activity that occurs at this new location.
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BethAnn Williams, Paranormal Journalist, is thrilled to be the newest staff member of Ghost Hunters Fans and looks forward to keeping you posted in the happenings of the paranormal world.
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