PALESTINE, Texas (KETK) – Who you gonna call?
You’ve heard that saying in Hollywood, but what happens when the word gets out in Palestine that the old Anderson County Jail is haunted?
Recently some “paranormal experts” dropped by to visit and venture into the dark for a ghost hunt.
The cold, dreary Friday night was the perfect setting to see some paranormal activity.
“It has a lot of activity and we’re hoping to get some good stuff tonight,” said Melissa Howell, Haunted Rooms Team Lead. “Renovating brings activity with the spirits as well as the sudden weather change because we went from warm to sleeting and freezing outside.”
The current owners bought the building back in 2012, hoping to save a piece of history.
The building is nationally registered as a historic building.
The original jail was first built in 1879 and the current structure in 1931.
It functioned as the county jail until the late 1980s when it was renovated and converted to a juvenile detention center before it finally closed for good in the late 1990s.
“These are all things we love to enlighten people about,” said Jeremy Janz, Texas Jailhouse owner/operator. “For us it went from history to ghost hunting to Christmas events, we do everything from the Grinch in here. It’s a passion project.”
But when people visit, they seldom ask about the history.
“The number one question we get asked is ‘is it haunted?’ and of course we have to tell the truth, yes it’s very active,” said Sonia Martinez, Texas Jailhouse Owner/Operator. “Palestine is a paranormal hub. It’s so old and there’s so much history.”
Guests entered the historic building in hopes of seeing what goes bump in the night.
The ghost hunters use both high tech and traditional means of spotting spirits still inside the walls.
Through the night they called out hoping to catch something eerie.
“Some disembodied voices, footsteps, banging and we use trigger objects like cigarettes and different things that the inmates at the time would have wanted,” said Howell.
But it wasn’t just a night of ghost hunting. Everyone who came also spent the night in a jail cell.
“We told everybody we were going to spend the night in jail and they wanted to know what we did,” said Amy MacDonald, an overnight guest.
Most of all, it was a chance to have some fun with your family in a place you wouldn’t expect to find it.
“Oh they scare,” said Teresa Herrera, an overnight guest. “Pin drops scare them, I can’t wait to get them later.”
So when you go to bed, just before you close your eyes…listen for those mysterious sounds in the night.