Blackford County Jail , Hartford City, Indiana, June 2015
CAPS Investigators: Dave, Trish and Vicki
CAPS spent the weekend investigating two historic buildings in Hartford City, Indiana. On the first night, Friday, we went to the Old Speakeasy. We had a great night there, in spite of a bat (or perhaps because of a bat).
On Saturday night we met Dann Allen, at the jail, the owner of both sites. The prominent brick building was built in 1879 and remained in use until 1995. Dann graciously gave us a tour of the site chockfull of interesting facts and anecdotes. We gained access to the jail cells via an iron turnstile gate. Fortunately there was another entry way to the area for those of us that may have phobias of getting stuck in a revolving door.
Next we were led into the Sheriff’s office. Dann told us that in 1977 the jail had 3 sheriffs in one week. The first was shot and killed while on a call for a domestic dispute, the second man who took over the post died three days later in that very office of a massive heart attack. I got chilled to the bone and couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the 3rd person and how long they remained. That is certainly one promotion I would have thought about twice.
I realized by the end of the tour that this was indeed one of the most fascinating places we have been. It felt as if we would be investigating three separate locations in one night. There is a private residential living quarters, the Sheriff Office and jail area, and then there is the “dungeon” basement.
After his thorough tour, Dann left us to our own device, with his two cats San Quentin and Levin Worth to help patrol the location. The first step was to set up the Video cameras. One of our main targeted zones was the dungeon. This area had an intriguing set up; the first half of the basement had several rooms. One of them was the evidence room where Dann had placed several artifacts that he had found on site. To enter the back section, you first walk through a medieval-looking iron gate, then follow a narrow path with limestone walls and a granite ceiling that takes you around a squared off area. Once there, to the side is an open space. Not sure what this was built for, but I am quite sure the architect had a good reason!
I set up a camera in an area where a peculiar entity had been witnessed. It was described to us as having a somewhat gnome-like in appearance; short stature, long arms, and a round head with pointy ears. I could hear Dave who was further down the basement complaining he already needed to change a battery…
In the front of building there is a staircase that leads to the second floor with two bedrooms and another staircase to the attic. We decided to start at the top and work our way down. After a few minutes, Dave left Trish and me to sit in the guest bedroom. He came back rather hastily after hearing a loud noise next to where he was sitting. During his absence, I felt a pair of hands firmly grasping my left shoulder and my legs felt noticeably tingling. I turned to see if it was Trish, but she was several feet away holding the Mel Meter and asking the spirits to lower the temperature. Interestingly enough it started at 83.6 and quickly descended to 77 degrees.
I decided to get out one of my small Vivitar night vision cameras to record, but to my dismay the battery was registering as extremely low, even though I had painstakingly changed all of my equipment that afternoon in preparation.
We made our way to the guest bedroom to try to figure out what could have startled Dave. It wasn’t long before both Dave and I heard something and Trish saw a flash of light in the corner of her eye. I was looking in a mirror with a view into the hallway and saw the bedroom across from us fleetingly illuminate.
The time had come to check on our video cameras in the basement. While we were walking down into the dungeon we were all taken by surprise when we heard a heavy, breathy sigh. We quickly changed the positions of our Video cameras and proceeded to the second floor that was utilized as a mugshot room and women’s ward. The only access to it is a staircase in the jail area.
While sitting in the Women’s ward, Trish’s camera batteries suddenly started to drain, but then came back just as quickly to fully charged, which was to be a lead in to a flurry of activity we would encounter. We heard numerous sounds of footsteps, shuffling and running. At one point while Dave was looking over the railing into the jail area, he thought he saw someone walking around in the jail.
We held a spirit box session, but that was shortened when Dave, standing vigilant at the doorway, was taken aback when he saw some shadowy vision on the staircase wall. At the same time Trish was seated and saw a white ball of light, and she had heard a loud noise coming from that direction.
After that we just sat mesmerized, staring out to the staircase, wondering if we could catch another glimpse. We did notice several times that the blackness seemed to lighten up from time to time, but the sounds had ceased. We thought it would be wise to relocate to another area, so we made our way back to the lower level; we felt it was much colder and had an overall eerie feeling in the atmosphere.
I decided to go back to the guest bedroom while Dave and Trish role-played a prisoner and their visitor….Trish of course being the guest! Their reenactment didn’t seem to stir up anything at that moment, however when Trish was standing in the kitchen, located just off to the side of the jail area, she saw a small blue streak of light meandering down the hallway leading to the jail.
After a short break, it was time for all of us to become inmates. We each picked a cell to sit for a spell. We didn’t seem to encounter much activity during that time, but it was a great reality check sitting in those diminutive cells. Little bitty living space without any privacy for toilet usage! Yep, I decided that Orange was not the new black for me!
It was nearing 5 am and when we decided to wrap up the investigation. We packed up most of our gear and waited for Dann in the living room in the residence portion of the building. We were congratulating ourselves on a bat free night, when we saw our two sentinel house cats march by us in unison and into the kitchen. At the very moment of their entry, lo and behold there was a bat that flew across the kitchen ceiling; Trish took flight out the front door!
Dave and I remained in the house. While seated in the darkness, and keeping a watchful eye out for the bat, I was sure I saw someone peaking around the corner from the Sheriff's office. I turned on my flashlight, expecting to see something that could matrix what I saw, but it was void of any objects. When I turned the flashlight off again, nothing was apparent.
Dann arrived a few minutes later, and after a short conversation we headed back to our hotel for breakfast. In spite of our bouts with draining batteries and bats, we had a fantastic weekend. Would I want another visitation to this unique old jail? Oh yes, without any hesitation, I would definitely be a repeat offender.
The old iron turnstile gateway leading into the jail cells.
Inside look at one of the historic jail cells.
Processing office and Visitation room.
These two photos are from the dungeon-like basement.
This is from a recorder located in the basement. A child's voice is heard and then just after a faint male voice was caught. No children were in the building.
During the Ovilus session we picked up a male voice that was not coming from the box around 4 seconds. We are not sure what he is saying. Either "don't tell Melvin" or "don't know nothin'".
This EVP was captured in the kitchen. We think it is a male that says "dance" or "nance".
Another male EVP from the kitchen area. Sounds like he is complaining " This is crap".
While Dave and Trish were in the kitchen, another voice speaks over Trish. Seems to be a long drawn out "I Can".
When the CAPS ladies were in the attic, Vicki felt a pair of hands on the back of her shoulder. As she is discussing it, around 8 seconds you will hear a voice say "you're welcome."
In this video, Dave and Vicki had just heard a strange sound and an orb passes along the foot of the bed. Interestingly at this time, Trish, who was standing at the foot of the bed says she saw a light. Vicki also saw some sort of a flash of light as she was looking in a mirror.