The Old Whitley County Jail is one of the historical sites found in Indiana (Whitley County), Columbia City. It is a 3 storey brick building which was used as a county jail since 1879 to 1975.
This building was considered to be one of the most modern jails of its time. This county jail is described as the most adorned building, portraying the Second Empire fashion of architecture, featuring elaborate dormers, mansard roof, and carved sandstone details.
The Old Whitley County Jail was built in 1875, which was first used as sheriff’s residence and jail. At some point, the jail was also used as a courthouse, possibly before any courthouse was built in the county. When the official jail in the county was built, this jail was shutdown and became a part of Columbia City’s historical sites.
A historical marker about the jail says “This jail and sheriff's residence was erected in 1875 and occupied in 1876 at a cost of 434,486. At that time, it was considered one of the best jails in Indiana and a credit to Whitley County. A portion of the fence that once enclosed the jail yard stands with this marker. Erected July 1975 by the Whitley County Historical Society.”
The building was sold to a car dealer in the town, who now uses it as a tourist attraction. The owner of this building uses it as a commercial haunted house once in a year. The building is now called as the ‘Haunted Jail Attraction’, which is opened for tourists in the month of October every year.
Manifestations of the Building
People visiting this building have different manifestations of spirits residing in the building. It is said that at least one spirit resides this old house. The entities that suffered from agonizing pain and violent death are found to be haunting the areas of the building where they died.
The citizens who visited this place found that, on entering the front door of the building, one can feel the existence of strange energies passing through the area. Upon entering the building, the cameras tend to malfunction here, the building’s electricity suddenly goes off and batteries drain down automatically.
While sitting in the jail cell, people get a feeling that they are being watched by someone. They even hear voices of people running down the stairs.
Till date, the place is considered to be haunted as there are many evidences of spirits and foreign entities that are being found. Paranormal Investigations are still carried out by the Indiana Ghost Trackers to gather more evidences.