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The Spirits Of The Old Jail

 

With a story like this, where exactly do I start? I have always held an interest in the paranormal, and this one evening in St. Augustine, I decided I would attempt to perform a paranormal investigation and get my toes wet, and see what it was all about. After all what was the worst that could happen right?

Well I went ahead and signed up and listened to the leader initially tell us about the tools that we would be using and explaining what type of activities other people have experienced, and was led inside the old jail, and shown some photographs that people have caught on location, and was told some key phrases that others have noticed would bring out a reaction from the spirits, and armed with that knowledge, I went ahead and grabbed some equipment and went out into the old jail, to see what was hiding in the shadows for me to locate.

Now, I did have a spirit box, and I had been warned about the crawler, and decided that the first location I would go to check out would be the location of solitary confinement. Mostly because in the back of my mind, my thoughts are that if there was somewhere holding a lot of energy it should be down there, where people were held by themselves, and also, that happened to be the location of where the death row was, as prisoners waited to go out to the gallows. Makes perfect sense that there should be some energy there right?

I definitely was in for a treat down there to be perfectly honest. As I was recording and running my spirit box, I happened to notice that spirit orbs started to frequently fly by me. Especially once the name of the sheriff that ran the jail was mentioned, however to my disappointment, not much was coming through the spirit box, so maybe I wasn't asking the right questions. However, I did capture on camera, the sounds of feet shuffling, that I had heard with my own ears, and later on, when reviewing footage, heard a growl off to the side on camera.

To be fair, I never felt quite alone in this location, as I always felt like someone was watching me, or standing next to me. All that led down to one burning question in my mind as I left that location that night. What secrets are hiding in those walls, and what sort of evidence can I find if I was to return one day and reinvestigate?

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, ParanormalInvestigator19, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

blosomes (2 stories) (19 posts)
 
1 week ago (2022-08-08)
Wow 😨
What an experience 😲
Very informative! 😁

Ghost tours now a days are made for real people like you!
Good luck!

Ryujin
ParanormalInvestigator19 (1 stories) (17 posts)
 
3 weeks ago (2022-07-24)
[at] ladydarke

Thank you, I will definitely hit them up and see if they are interested in taking a look and you're welcome.

The main thing I felt when I heard the feet shuffling along was more of a surprise, or caught off guard feeling, because I wasn't expecting it. At the same time a little bit after when we started to ask questions I did feel goosebumps coming over me like a hair raising type sensation but that was about it.

I also, if all goes according to plan, in the next month or two, want to try and re-investigate and see if I can gather more information, and want to try and see if I can get new evidence from that location.
ladydarke (113 posts)
 
4 weeks ago (2022-07-22)
PI19

So I don't personally know of any paranormal groups in Saint Augustine proper that might have interest or expertise directly regarding the Old Jail, but I do know of one in Jacksonville, which is about 45 minutes drive north.

Http://www.pfcparanormal.org/

You might check in and see if they'd be willing to have a look at your orb footage. I don't know if they've ever investigated the Old Jail, but they are locals and you might pique their interest in order to get their time going over the footage. Also, I don't know how expert they are in photography, but, yeah, that's all I got.

I really agree with you about the shuffling noise, with the caveat that I wasn't there and am going by the details you provide. If it wasn't you doing it, then it sounded way too loud and close to be Mike or echoes of someone even farther away. Did you feel anything when you heard it? Temperature difference, static tingle in the area, even just an extra strong creepy or watched feeling? I'm thinking not or probably you would have said so already.

It sounds like quite an active night/location with so many people experiencing something.

I appreciate that you patiently answered all my questions! Thanks.
ParanormalInvestigator19 (1 stories) (17 posts)
+2
4 weeks ago (2022-07-20)
LadyDarke,

Thank you for the input, I have not thought about having a paranormal investigation group look at the footage, and will research into that to have them take a look at it.

I know when I asked that I thought I had seen someone walk through, or felt like someone had walked through the door, and was thinking that someone was there.

When I heard them say did you see that, I wasn't sure what had prompted that at the time, though I know a few people were experiencing other things as well, such as one group mentioning seeing cold spots, and others mentioning hearing things come across spirit boxes.

I do know that when I head the feet shuffling, to me it sounded like it came from inside the cell in front of me, along the wall, but had asked Mike about if he had shuffled his feet, due to the fact that I wasn't sure if there was a chance that it could have echoed, though I feel personally that if it echoed from him, I would have heard the noise behind myself as well, and tested with my own feet to recreate the sound, and couldn't seem to replicate it.

I do apologize for the late reply, works been keeping me busy, and I do appreciate the comment, will definitely look a little deeper into some of the possibilities and questions you posed.
ladydarke (113 posts)
+1
1 month ago (2022-07-14)
PI19,

Thank you for sharing your footage! I watched it a few times. Those orbs! Hm. There is a lot of reflective surfaces all around; flat white walls in a small space, darkened window glass, glass display covers, glass lamps and cabinets. There's also a lot of shifting, uncertain light; I guess it's the flashlight causing shifts and shadows and pixelation. The orbs do seem to move independently of camera motion, which should rule out reflections in the lens. They move through open space rather than across surfaces and in some pretty deliberate directions. There was at least three times when you talked about the sheriff that the cropped up as well. I guess dust or bugs would be the only possible debunks; I don't know much about photography so I don't know what hallmarks to rule in or out bugs or dust either. Is there any possibility of running the footage by a sister investigator group that might have the expertise to rule on bugs or dust? Maybe a photography professor (is that a thing?) could be asked to look at it?

The shuffling noise was loud! On the one hand your buddy Mike didn't seem to be able to say whether or not he was for sure moving exactly when you heard it - sounded like he couldn't pinpoint the moment in order to account for his feet. And, as valkricry says, there is a lot of people and ambient noise. Still, that shuffle was _loud_. If the footage is accurate, it sounded like it was right there in front of you.

At 3:26 you ask, "Did someone just come in through the door?" What prompted that? Did you see or sense something? You - or at least the camera - had been looking at the door for a few seconds before you said that.

At around 4:15 there are some other people going woooooah in the background and it sounds like one of them says "Did you saw (sic) that?" Do you have any idea what was going on over there?

So I seldom see much in the way of spirits, but I am kind of energy sensitive. I tried to tune into your video to see if I could pick up on anything across the time and distance. Didn't get anything from the orbs themselves. The cell you were in around the 6:30 mark had an anxious feel to it, though that was the room with the effigy in the bed so maybe it was just the accumulated energy of jump scares.:D If you are able to go to the Old Jail after hours, when it's quieter, I hope you share your findings with us here.

I've been to the Old Jail several times, but only on the Ghosts and Gravestones Trolly Tour with its brief visit, so I really appreciated the look you gave us at the cells and staff areas of the prison. It's an interesting place. The cells are awful. Incarceration would have been horrible.
ParanormalInvestigator19 (1 stories) (17 posts)
+2
1 month ago (2022-07-14)
[at] Valkricry

Yeah, the main thing I was caught off guard with was the foot shuffling noise along with the orbs.

I know sometimes dust and bugs can appear like orbs, however with the ones I saw, I didn't see them carry any characteristics of dust or bugs, and was wondering if you may agree on that? Mostly cause I don't have as much experience with orbs on camera and willing to accept any sort of outside opinion on that.

I do know, and agree with you about some noises possibly being contamination, and have been thinking about seeing if there's a way I can get back to do one without as many people present.
valkricry (47 stories) (3196 posts) mod
+3
1 month ago (2022-07-14)
Interesting video, but keep in mind, since the site was active at the time (others walking round, etc.) some of your sounds MIGHT be caused by contamination. Echoes and reverb caused by others. Doesn't explain those orbs though...
ParanormalInvestigator19 (1 stories) (17 posts)
+2
1 month ago (2022-07-14)
[at] LadyDarke

Here is the link to the video https://youtu.be/2RQt9oKtYQk however keep in mind it's one of the first times I did an investigation so I do apologize if the video or editing isn't the best.

[at] Aslipablo

I never assume that spirits only communicate in English, so I also attempt to keep an eye out for other methods they want to show themselves i.e. Orbs, knocks, feet steps, knocking, etc.

[at] Rajine

At the old jail they do have records of executions that took place, and had the prisoners build their own gallows. One such prisoner, they approved an experiment to see if he could still recognize and respond when asked questions after he was hanged.
Rajine (14 stories) (455 posts)
+2
1 month ago (2022-07-13)
Hi ParanormalInvestigator19

You mentioned death row, do you perhaps know of any death sentences were carried out in that prison? Perhaps it's the souls of the past inmates, even though they were criminals their lives ended before their time and they probably have unfinished business.
lady-glow (13 stories) (2930 posts)
+2
1 month ago (2022-07-13)
Aslipablo, not allowable!
Sorry, its the autocorrect fault!
lady-glow (13 stories) (2930 posts)
+2
1 month ago (2022-07-13)
Allowable.

"How did you assume that the ghosts speak English only?"

Keeping in mind that ghosts are the consciousness of departed people, wouldn't it be understandable for them to speak the language they did when alive?
Aslipablo (3 stories) (7 posts)
 
1 month ago (2022-07-13)
How did you assume that the ghosts speak English only? I mean there is a strong possibility that they react to the energy we give them ex- if weak in the heart then they manifest and if strong and threatening to them then it's a closed operation.
ladydarke (113 posts)
 
1 month ago (2022-07-11)
PI19

Ha ha, no worries over typos! I'm looking forward to your footage! I'll be checking back over the next few days for your link. Thanks for sharing it with us over here at YGS!
ParanormalInvestigator19 (1 stories) (17 posts)
+1
1 month ago (2022-07-11)
Sorry, wanted to correct, LadyDarke, realized I swapped the D and A on accident
ParanormalInvestigator19 (1 stories) (17 posts)
+2
1 month ago (2022-07-11)
[at] LdayDarke

Sure thing! I've got a couple days off after I get off work tonight, and I'll find the video and share a link over for the investigation from my youtube channel.
ladydarke (113 posts)
 
1 month ago (2022-07-11)
PI19,

I'd love to see the footage you took in the Old Jail! If you can post more of it beyond just the tiny clip of the footsteps and growl without doxxing yourself, I'd be interested to see your adventures exploring the cells.

Thanks for the additional detail! It was all a good read.
ParanormalInvestigator19 (1 stories) (17 posts)
+3
1 month ago (2022-07-10)
[at] LadyDarke,

I'd love to go into further detail.

The cells were not that big in solitary and death row, like big enough to fit a couple beds and have maybe enough room to take like two steps to the back of the cell and two steps to each side if even that much.

And then in the solitary cell there wasn't even a bed, it was just concrete all the way around and that was it, and probably a lil over 6 feet deep, and about 6 feet wide with a metal door.

Being there in the dark and no one really alone definitely felt eerie. It's like you could feel something is there, just out of sight ready to pounce at a moments notice.

When it came to the sound of footsteps it only lasted a second or two. And tried to recreate my footsteps to see if I made the noise, but nothing ended up recreating it.

What made it creepier is it sounded like someone that may have had their ankles chained up, dragging/shuffling their feet, which makes me wonder if it was possibly a spirit.

I'll have to grab the link for the video and put it up for others to watch. I had my friend there with me, but I know when I heard the shuffling, I was by the one cell by myself, and he was off in another cell, as we decided to split up at times to see if we'd capture anything that way.
ladydarke (113 posts)
+1
1 month ago (2022-07-09)
PI19,

Very cool! I've been to the Old Jail in Saint Augustine a few times as part of the Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour - which I highly recommend if you're in the area. I've never picked up anything paranormal while there, but there's a big group that goes in, and a guide who plays the character of Charlie, he did a great job hamming it up and acting scary by disappearing into the dark and reappearing slamming into bars! But, all told, way too raucous an event for ghost hunting. This event didn't explore, either - just went in through a door by the kitchens and up to one room with a long table that was surrounded by cells. It's neat that you got to explore the whole place, including solitary. I understand that the prisoners on death row there had to build their own gallows, too, though the tour guide said that the life expectancy for anyone sentenced there was only about four years due to the horrific conditions; like even for the time, deliberately cruel conditions. That sheriff was a torturer and a monster, truly the worst criminal was running the jail.

Several years ago, I went on a ghost tour in the old state penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO, more like yours where the group got to see the whole place, though nobody had investigation equipment beyond cameras. Solitary was active there, too; I picked up on spirits of a flamboyant homosexual man there as well as patrolling, bulldog-like man. In one of the cell blocks, I picked up on a spirit under one of the beds whom the guide confirmed had previously grabbed the leg of a boy on the tour from under the bed; I strongly felt he'd hung himself, though the door thresholds were so low I didn't see how. The guide said some prisoners managed it, though; they'd slump down with their legs sprawling on the floor and just not stand up to save themselves. I have a photo from there of a pale translucent hand on my shoulder from one spirit I had felt crawling up my back and holding onto my shoulders; I carried him out of the prison because even a life sentence ends. We got to see the execution room and I even sat in the electric chair. There was nothing there, quietest place in the jail. I think the prisoners had all made their peace by the time they reached the execution chamber. They'd had years to get ready for it, seen a priest, chosen their last meal. They were packed up to go and it didn't seem to me that anybody had left any baggage behind in the chamber.

Saint Augustine is famed as the Oldest City in America and has so much history. It's exciting you got the opportunity to investigate there, and came away with some EVPs too! I was really interested to hear about your explorations in the deeps of the Old Jail beyond the surface entry point included on my tour. Would you care to go into more detail about hearing the footsteps that later showed up on your recording? That was like the creepiest part and you just skimmed over it! And of course inquiring minds want to know if you knew where all the fleshy feet that could have been shuffling were at the time, and all the juicy details about sitting alone (?) in the dark (?) listening and filming. Can you describe the solitary/death row cells and cell block? How big were they, what were the conditions like, were there windows?

Thanks for sharing. I quite enjoyed reading your experience.

Cheers!

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