Old Jail Museum Investigation

The building was built in 1906 to house the Sheriff and his family and the Allegan County jail. It ceased being a jail in 1963.

The front of the building is a two story residence, which the Allegan County Historical Society has furnished to reflect the life style of the early 1900’s. There are two parlors, a formal dining room, bedroom, kitchen, all circa 1900, plus a Pioneer keeping room.

The Museum has well over 10,000 artifacts that have been donated by people in this County, from a pencil collection, to the first piano in Allegan that came here by ox cart in the 1800’s from Buffalo NY. One room in the residence has been set aside for rotating displays.

The rear of the building contains three stories of cells. Some of the cells were left as they were when the Museum was first established, showing you what jail conditions were like in Allegan in the 1960s. There are displays in other cells that show a 1900 barbershop, attorney’s office, dentist’s office, and school room. There is a large toy and doll collection. In the Pritchard Room are many items from the Civil War, Spanish American War, and First and Second World Wars. Some of General Benjamin Pritchard’s personal property is also housed on site. He was a resident of Allegan and captured Jefferson Davis at the cessation of hostilities in the Civil War.

The main entrance was a license bureau until 1963 and also a line-up and booking room. There are fifteen cells in the building with a maximum capacity of 38 people. The graffiti in the basement is actually original to the site.

Elizabeth Wetmore Room has artifacts dating back to 1835.


Located at 113 N. Walnut St., Allegan, MI 49010

Telephone: 269-673-8292

Curator: Scott Kuykendall

Website: www.alleganoldjail.org

Hauntings: There are reports of a ghost of little girl that has been seen in the Master Bedroom of the residence and footsteps are frequently heard. We were actually shown an old Bible with an obituary from 1892 that also contained a flower from the grave and a lock of hair from the girl. Her name was Mary and she was eight years old when she died.

In the basement, voices and a name has been called from the old cells. Some people visiting the site in the past have claimed to have been touched by unseen forces and a floating streak of light has been reported in solitary confinement.


Equipment setup: A minimal setup was done here for conserving time after our initial walk through of the building. Most of the equipment used during this investigation was hand held.

Experiments performed: EVP, Ovilus X and Ghost Box sessions were performed in the Master Bedroom, upstairs prison cells, downstairs prison cells, solitary confinement, military room and judge’s room. Dowsing rod sessions were also conducted in the Master Bedroom.


The Ghost Research Society investigated the Old Jail Museum on June 13, 2014. Team members included: Stan Suho, Kathie Para, Marge Sucha, Michael Wright, Katherine Meagher, Sandy Weber and Dale Kaczmarek with help from Debbie Ready.








Personal experiences:

Marge Sucha: When we first got there we were given a tour by Scott.

Master Bedroom,  

We did have some activities using the dowsing rods.   I did not pick up any EVPS on my recorder.    

Solitary,   I didn't any EVPS in here.   This area was pretty quiet. 

While in Solitary Confinement We did get some interesting responses on the Echo box.   A member heard something to the right of them and the word "Japanese" came from the device.   This was very interesting because right across the hall was Prichard / Military Room.   

Prichard/ Military Room,  

Shortly after we started our EVP session the words "It's important" came out.   We asked What's important and the reply was "Chest"

We saw a chest on the floor that belonged to Capt. LF Brown.  Through the ghost box we learned he was in the Marines and served in Korea.  

Basement Jail Cell,  

We did have equipment failure and several times I had the spider web feeling on my hand and elbow.  One of the girls asked "What they did to pass the time and the response was "bitch” Overall this area was quiet.   

Basement Courtroom/Indian area  

There was a lot of noise that carried down from upstairs during our EVP session.   

It was very interesting reading the crimes that were committed and the fines that went along with them.  My favorite was "Keeping the saloon open on an Election Day."  

This was my third time in this building.   I was here a few years back for an investigation.  I loved the charm and history here and I went back during hours for a tour. 


Katherine Meagher: This place is full of history. The custodian had so much history under his belt. The amount of information was overwhelming. The building and its contents were fascinating.

I have to say I had no personal experiences but my recorder and pictures say different. It is always a joy to wonder in buildings of the past. The quiet voices on the recorder bring it back to life.


Stan Suho: This was an old style jail combined with living quarters. There were about 8 cells on the top floor and 8 on their bottom floor all very small. It was also a small museum outfitted in turn of the century style. After a tour by the Curator, we began our investigation.

Because we were under a time restriction the setup was minimal. I put the Ghost Camera and Ghost Microphone down in the basement cell block at one end of a cramped corridor, focused on the cells. Although not an ideal camera location, this was probably the best considering reports of unusual activity in the cell area. The camera was monitored at a make shift command post in the living quarters. A monitor, DVR, and Audacity laptop comprised the command post. The rest of the crew began their EVP experiments. After the setup was complete, I joined up with the crew, following them around and taking pictures.

Not much to report from my side. If we do this place again we might get an earlier start allowing for the time change. This would give us more time for data collection.

Michael Wright: Upon arriving at the location we were given a walk through and were told the history of the building and the artifacts in it.

Our first session was in the upstairs bedroom, we were experiencing temperature fluctuations there were some shadows moving but it was debunked as car head light reflecting off of glass.
We split into smaller groups and the group I was in went into the room with the Indian artifacts, there were many interesting items but I did not have any EVPs.

The next session I did was with Kat on the top of the upstairs staircase, we did a dousing rod session and I picked up several EVPs on my recorder. There was some very loud clicking noises right before some inaudible whispers, then there was a definite EVP of a man’s voice whispering Mary is not. We also got a very faint whisper when we asked if Mary ran up and down the stairs.
We then did a few minute sessions outside the room with the army artifacts when the other group was finishing up after they left Kat and I went and did a session in the room although the group before we went picked up some things. I did not get any EVPs that I could distinguish. After that session we packed up our gear and left.

Kathie Para: This is a very interesting location with, not only a long history as a jail, but also because of the many old artifacts and pieces of history that are on display throughout.

I didn’t find it extremely active that night. I believe this was due, for the most part, to too many of the group in one area at the same time and also contamination due to our own people. But we did have some interesting experiences. These included *unexplained noises throughout the building, *seemingly intelligent Ovilus responses, especially in the Pritchard room, *equipment malfunctioning and turning off with no explanation, *members feeling as if they were being touched or spider web-like feelings. I personally felt myself being touched on the head a few times right outside the solitary confinement cell during an EVP session and also touched on the arm in the basement between the Indian artifact and the court rooms. * I felt heavy headed and off kilter in the Indian artifact room and isolation cell area.


Dale Kaczmarek: I conducted equipment sweeps of the entire building and got nothing out of the ordinary. I also participated in numerous EVP, Ovilus X and Ghost Box sessions in various locations within the building. The creepiest part of the building for me was the upstairs prison cells and the military room. Several times I thought I heard something or someone down the hallway when we were near solitary confinement, however, after checking, found nobody there. I got a tinkling feeling there and had the hairs on my arms stick straight up more than once especially straight back down the hall from solitary.

We got some very interesting Ghost Box responses while in the Military Room that were much more than coincidence. I believe that it was possible that we were communicating with the late Capt. Brown. 

Evidence collected:

Bitch old jail.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus session in the downstairs prison cell block area, a question was asked, “How do you pass the time here?” The Ovilus responds with, “Bitch.”

Captain old jail.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Military Room, the Ghost Box suddenly says, “Captain.” (There was a foot locker in the room with the name Capt. Brown on it!)

Court room tap old jail.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Judge’s Room, a question was asked, “Can you bang on the ceiling to make them be quiet?” A light tap is then heard in the background.

Distant scream old jail.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the downstairs prison cell block area, a question was asked, “Do you write on the walls?” A distant scream is then heard in the background.

Female moan old jail.MPG – a static digital tape recorder left in the downstairs prison cell block area picks up a strange female-sounding moan.

Footsteps old jail.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Judge’s Room, a question was asked, “Can the condemned man face the judge?” The light sound of footsteps can be heard approaching.

I hate you old jail.MPG – a static digital tape recorder placed in the downstairs prison cell block area picks up a whispered voice that sounds like it’s saying, “I hate you.”  

Is your name mary.MPG - while conducting an EVP session a weird sounding voice comes through that says, “Mary.”

It’s important chest old jail.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Military Room, the Ghost Box suddenly says, “It’s important.” A follow-up question was asked, “What’s important?” The Ghost Box then responds with, “Chest.” (There was a chest or footlocker in the room with us at the time.)

Korean we fought old jail.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Military Room, a question was asked, “Can you tell us what war you fought in?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Korean” and then a few seconds later says, “We fought.”

Marines old jail.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Military Room, a question was asked, “It is for the Army?” The Ghost Box clearly says, “Marines.”

Mary will you stop old jail.MPG – while conducting an EVP on the staircase, a question is asked, “Is your name Mary?” A creepy sounding voice comes through that says, “Mary” followed by what sounds like, “Will you stop?”  

Run up and down.MPG - while conducting an EVP session, the sound of running feet can be heard in the background.

The pigs old jail.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the downstairs prison cell block area, a question was asked, “Do you know what this building was used for?” The Ghost Box clearly comes through with a deep, gruff male voice saying, “The pigs!”

Unknown response old jail.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in the downstairs prison cell block area, a question was asked, “Can you repeat that word that you said a second ago?” The Ovilus then in fact does repeat the same word however we don’t know what is being said.

Whisper old jail.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the upstairs prison cell block area a whispered voice comes through right at the beginning of the EVP. It sounds male however only females were with me at the moment and I actually heard it in real time with the bionic ears.

Conclusions: Jails are always fascinating locations to investigate due to immense feelings that are often penned up within their walls. Sometimes these feelings can spill out into full-fledged attacks on other inmates, prison guards or visitors to the establishment. Apparently there are quite a number of intelligent spirits still trapped within the walls of the old Allegan Jail. This is very evident due to the interactive EVPs that we collected throughout the evening. There may be some residual hauntings also confined to this area but I believe the vast majority are very aware of their presence within the structure. They interacted with various members of the GRS during our investigation and answered questions, many times, almost instantaneously.

This would be a great location to perhaps revisit one day and saturate the area with a lot of equipment, cameras and devices. I believe much more evidence could be forthcoming from the location in future investigations.

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