The building was built in 1906 to house the
Sheriff and his family and the Allegan County jail. It ceased being a jail in
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
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.
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.
Wetmore Room has artifacts dating back to 1835.
Located at 113 N. Walnut St., Allegan, MI 49010
Curator: Scott Kuykendall
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.
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
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.
we first got there we were given a tour by Scott.
We did have some activities
using the dowsing rods. I did
not pick up any EVPS on my recorder.
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 /
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!)
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.
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.
moan old jail.MPG – a static digital tape recorder left in the downstairs
prison cell block area picks up a strange female-sounding moan.
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.
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.”
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.)
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
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,
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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