Crown Point Jail Bio

crown point jail cover pic
Crown Point Jail and Faustino’s Pizza

Crown Point, IN

August 2012

 

Investigators: James Holsclaw, Joshua Trowbridge, Eileen Foster-Trowbridge, Ryan Herbert, Kevin Steiner, Joshua Jacobs. Kara Jacobs, Travis Farney.

Guest Investigators: Justin Arnett and Guides from the Jail. Helpful kitchen staff at Faustino’s.

Special Note: While having a pre investigation dinner at Faustino’s Pizza just next door, we were surprised to learn that they experienced supernatural events there too. The manager invited us to investigate after they closed for the night and we happily accepted.

History: Built in 1882, the house is an example of the Second Empire style, distinguished by the deeply sloping mansard roofs. A large jail building was built onto the back of the Sheriff’s house in 1926. The Northwest Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council has donated plastering, carpentry, electrical, roofing and other work.

Tours of the main Sheriffs’ house but not the jail are held by the Sheriff’s House Foundation frequently, and at times upon request.

In 1882 The Sheriff’s House was built to serve a succession of elected sheriffs for 76 years until 1958. Thanks to the efforts of the Sheriff’s House Foundation of Indiana, the building has been refurbished and renovated.

The large two story brick jail with its own tall chimney, is located in the back of the building. It isn’t in very good shape inside, but it too is having work done so it can be used for storage but still won’t be part of the tour for the public for a while.

Though this Haunted jail building was closed since the 1970’s, an entity has made its presence known; there have been ghost sightings and anomalies often occur in photographs taken throughout the building.

Just a note. It is amazingly hard to find a published history of the jail online and the old tour site seems to be gone. This was a blurb from hauntedamericatours.com and I make no claims to its accuracy. Your best bet for a complete history is to ask one of the guides on site.

 

Claims: You name it. Everything but demons are supposed to walk the cells and blocks here. Chiefly the ghost of Dillinger himself, as well as a serial rapist, an ex-sheriff or two, phantom guards and inmates and even a janitor who is said to have committed suicide in the basement.

Over at Faustino’s, the claims of shadow figures and unexplained moving of doors and objects have troubled some of the staff. The activity seems most pronounced in the hallway that connects the two buildings and a few rooms that used to be the psychiatric evaluation offices.

The Investigation: We decided that we’d run teams around the jail in a rotation and that when the pizza place closed we’d rotate teams between the two buildings. The building itself has a first floor with gift shop, kitchen, assembly room, bathroom and one ground floor cell block which at the time was off limits. The second floor has a cell block that was converted to a movie set of the old jail for the movie Dillinger. The third floor was the cell block that Dillinger was actually imprisoned in and the fourth floor was the juvenile detention wing, which is usually off limits but which we were graciously allowed to explore.

And that was pretty much how it went. Our investigators did their best to make the best of it, but honestly the Old Jail has a few unique locational challenges. One is that many of the cell block windows are broken and the building is surrounded by local bars and such, so investigating on a Saturday night with all the yelling and music is kind of frustrating, so say goodbye to a lot of your audio evidence. Another problem is that an unfortunate number of paranormal investigators over the years have proven themselves to be total dinks, so now the jail has a policy of sending one or more guides with you wherever you go. This is fine and even helpful when it’s one guide with your group, since they have the history down and can bring you straight to the hotspots. When it’s two or more I found a serious problem in that when activity is slow the guides like to talk among themselves about how they’re doing lately, so say goodbye to more EVP’s. At any rate, it was not an active night despite our best efforts, although a few shadow figures might have been witnessed, although that is personal and entirely subjective.

Faustino’s Pizza on the other hand was much more promising. One group had a fairly responsive flashlight session, while another witnessed a motion sensor turn on with nobody anywhere near it. I personally witnessed the bathroom door open and close by itself and one of the pizza chefs came out of the kitchen in time to watch it close with me.

Evidence: No usable evidence was gathered from the Jail, due to a lack of activity and a lot of noise contamination. Faustino’s flashlight session exists somewhere among our million hours of video and if it isn’t already up on the site, we’ll find it as soon as possible. Sorry I don’t remember if it was posted but this case write up is a year late. Slow and steady wins the race though!

Conclusion: The Crown Point Jail gave us no indication of being very actively haunted, but we were after all, one group on one night. Numerous reputable area and national groups have gathered evidence from here, so who knows? Faustino’s Pizza on the other hand, gave us some promising stuff and if possible should be investigated further by the group, although my wife and I have been back twice already just for the best pizza in Indiana.

 

 

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