After finishing up the first investigation of the 2019 expedition at the lovely Old Lake County Jail and Sheriff’s House, the team took a short rest at a local accommodation and began the slow, sweaty drive to Ohio. After battling traffic for the day, PIM finally pulled up in front of the evening’s investigation spot, Old Licking County Jail at 4:02 pm.
The team met with the keepers of Old Licking County Jail, who help with the historical preservation of this beautiful location. It was also noted that, in the parking lot behind the building, a farmer’s market was finishing up for the day
While the majority of the team focused on unloading equipment and beginning to set up, Brandon and Chris setup lights and gave a Facebook Live update about the history and paranormal claims of the location, rejoining the team shortly after finishing.
A Ghost Pro Full Spectrum Camera was placed near the Basement Chapel, covering the entrance, along with an EM Vortex and a DM X-930 Dark Matter Detector.
The Basement Chapel had a Sony FDR-AX100 4K video camera placed within, covering a trigger object bank that was placed on a table within the room. Trigger object banks are groups of objects, contextually relevant to an environment, that are left unattended in the hopes that something might interact with them and that interaction can be captured as evidence. These items are placed on graph paper and baseline photos are taken before and after the investigation and referenced for possible manipulation of the objects. The trigger object bank was comprised of:
- A Magnetic Levitator, a device using magnets in opposition to hang a piece of plastic in the air, the device would show a distinct movement based on very little physical manipulation
- A supposedly cursed orb of obsidian, purchased online by one of PIM’s members in an attempt to study the potential of the item’s purported attachment
- The PIM Platter, a circular device with letters A-Z inscribed along the outer edge, in the center is a dial, with a small metal arm pointing out toward the edge of the device capable of rotating completely around. This device is used to serve the same purpose as a Ouija board without any contamination, accidental or otherwise, from human participants.
- A rusted cleaver found within the building during a round of renovations, normally held in the gift shop, the hosts of the investigation graciously allowed PIM to use it as part of their investigation
- A Touch Flashlight is activated by two contacts being touched, thus completing a circuit and turning the light on. The touch flashlight is used in lieu of a flashlight that has had the battery compartment or on/off switch manipulated to function in a way that is not intended and as a result, can create false positives.
As well, a Mel-8704SDD EMF Detector was placed in the hallway leading to the Basement Chapel, acting as a shadow detector, in the hopes of verifying a claim of seeing an apparition moving between the Basement Chapel and the rest of the Basement. This piece of equipment has an infrared beam that is sent to a receiver, if that beam is broken, the device makes an audible alarm.
Within the Basement Drunk Tank, a cell located at the bottom of the stairs, the team placed a trigger object bank consisting of:
- A Touch Flashlight
- An Extech RHT50 which is a device that datalogs humidity, barometric pressure and temperature in one minute increments that can later be reviewed in graph form for reference.
- Two cigars
- Assorted money
- A small Bottle of whiskey
- A deck of cards
- 2 Cigarettes
- Magnetic Levitator
A Ghost Pro Full Spectrum Camera was worn by Marilsa as a point of view camera throughout the evening.
A Sony HDR-SR46 video camera was placed at the end of the 3rd Floor Cellblock, capturing the entirety of the hall.
After a short break for dinner, PIM members returned to the building. After starting and time stamping their control recorders, the team moved throughout the building starting all other recorders and providing them with time stamps, via two-way radio.
END TIME: 9:12 pm
The team gave a Facebook Live update from the Basement before taking the opportunity to get some photos of the group in the extremely atmospheric setting. During this time, Gravy also reviewed a photo taken in the Basement that purportedly shows a figure near the Basement Boiler Room. After spending some time examining the image, he was able to determine that the figure was simply a result of pareidolia, the human brain’s attempt to organize chaotic patterns into understandable shapes, most often faces and human figures.
Finishing up at 9:27 pm, the team found their way to the Basement Drunk Tank to begin the investigation.
Basement Drunk Tank – 9:30 pm
The team decided to start the investigation by using themselves as human trigger objects, re-enacting an event that may be familiar to any spirits present in an attempt to elicit a response. To do this, Noah stayed outside of the Drunk Tank, posing as a prison guard. Then, closing the cell door, the remaining investigators were locked into the Drunk Tank – after some short conversation, the team began control silence.
Control silence is a method practiced at each new location in a building. It allows for members to get a baseline of noises the building could make throughout the night. It also allows for the group to tag outside noises heard in that area so as not to be mistaken as something paranormal later in the investigation.
During the course of the control silence, it was noted by Tom that another investigator had a blinking red light on their person, which was covered to prevent light contamination during the rest of the investigation. Also, just before the conclusion of the control silence, at 9:32 pm, the entire team heard a metallic tapping sound coming from the rusted bunk bed located in the cell. It was noted that this was likely made by a small bit of debris falling from the ceiling.
At 9:33 pm, an EVP session was begun by Gravy, who introduced the team, noting that Noah was the new Warden of the prison. Within the next minute, both Noah and Brandon noted hearing two tapping noises emanating from the stairwell just outside of the room at the foot of the Basement stairs. The team paused to see if this activity would repeat itself, but it was an isolated incident.
Gravy started the EVP session back up at 9:35 pm by asking if Kenny, the supposed resident spirit of the Basement Drunk Tank, was intoxicated enough to want to scuffle with him. Immediately thereafter Noah noted hearing “something breathy”, the source of this sound was not found, but it was noted shortly after this that voices from the street could clearly be heard.
Again, at 9:38 pm, the team heard a sound that most agreed sounded like the metallic tap that was heard earlier. However, Gravy described the sound he heard as more of an electrical popping sound, as though a wire were shorting out – as there was a camera nearby, the team became concerned that perhaps it had malfunctioned, creating the sound. The camera was verified to still be working normally, and the source of the sound was unable to be identified. However, it stands to reason that it may have been a falling rock that echoed strangely in the large Basement. The team settled in to continue their EVP Session.
At 9:41 pm, Marilsa spotted a flash of blue light in the otherwise nearly pitch-black Basement. However, after some investigation, the team realized it was the slightest amount of reflected light off of a blue metallic flashlight, and were able to replicate the experience. This is one of the biggest reasons that paranormal investigators work in the dark, the slightest light is clearly visible in a dark room – which correlates with a large number of purported claims of activity.
Shortly thereafter, at 9:43 pm, Marilsa reported having the outside of her vest (used for carrying equipment) lightly scratched while she was sitting still in the Basement Drunk Tank cell. Although the team was unable to truly replicate this experience, it is not entirely out of the question that her vest simply moved slightly during the course of the session.
The EVP session concluded at 9:50 pm, and the team moved across the landing into the Basement Chapel
END TIME: 9:50 pm
Basement Chapel – 9:52 pm
After moving to the Chapel, the team settled in and began control silence, afterward beginning an EVP session. The team asked relevant questions to the area such as religious affiliations of prisoners and the source of the rusted cleaver found nearby during the building’s restoration (at this time sitting on a table in the middle of the room).
A few minutes after beginning the EVP session, at 9:56 pm, Tom noted hearing someone take a deep breath. It is worth noting that Tom was positioned the furthest from another person in a small sub-room storage space just off of the back of the Basement Chapel. However, this does not definitively rule out another investigator as the source of the sound. The sound was not caught on the personal controls in the room.
Then, at 9:59 pm, Marilsa claimed to hear what she described as a person groaning. The team verified that no one had made any similar sound at the time, but it should be noted that in a completely silent room, stomach noises can sound very similar to groaning. The team continued with the EVP session, asking for another similar noise to be made, but the incident was not repeated.
At 10:07 pm, Noah noted that he heard someone talking near the door of the chapel, however it was noted that this could have come from outside. The team resolved to leave a two-way radio with the Old Licking County Jail staff, and ask them to highlight any particularly loud street noise they heard. The staff were on premises, but were asked to remain in the office area of the building for the duration of the investigation to prevent contamination.
Just before 10:12 pm, investigators noted a change in the room’s scent from a very neutral concrete basement sent to one of urine with increasing strength over time. It should be noted that at this time, the building was cooling down from the nearly 90 degree day, and the Basement Chapel’s temperature had changed dramatically, possibly causing condensation that carried a musty scent.
The consideration of condensation being a concern was further supported when the team was jarred out of silence by a dehumidifier tapping and humming to life in the room. The team unplugged the dehumidifier for the remainder of the EVP session to avoid a repeat performance from the noisy machine.
At 10:19 pm the team concluded their EVP session and moved to the 1st Floor Cellblock.
END TIME: 10:19 pm
1st Floor Cellblock – 10:25 pm
The team upon arriving in the 1st Floor Cellblock and closing the fire door, discussed shortly where people would be seated. Marilsa, after much protesting, stayed in the shower area on the north side of the complex, the location where inmate Martin Kelly committed suicide by slitting his own throat in 1905, while the rest of the team situated themselves throughout the cells and hallways of the block.
While getting into position, it was noticed that an IR light near the end of the hallway, outside of Walter Robertson’s cell, had not been turned on. The light had been missed while the team went about their device activation and timestamping. The light was turned on and the team settled in to observe control silence.
During the course of the silence, Brandon reported hearing the sound of movement in a nearby cell, akin to fabric on fabric. After a quick sweep of the nearby cells, nothing was found. However, at this time it was also noted that there was still a decent amount of foot traffic outside, and it could be heard rather plainly from the cellblock.
At 10:30 pm, the team began an EVP session with Brandon introducing the group and inviting any present spirits to communicate.
Shortly thereafter, at 10:32 pm, Brandon and Noah both reported the sound of movement in the space between them in the 1st Floor Cellblock corridor
Following this, at 10:36 pm, a thud noise was heard again by Noah and Brandon, but it was agreed to likely be the building shifting with the cooling temperatures with the sunset having recently passed. Then, just one minute later, Noah noted hearing a sound like shuffling footsteps from the outside corridor where Gravy was seated, and Gravy confirmed a shuffled sound near him just moments later.
Noah reported hearing what sounded like a single foot fall near him in the main cellblock corridor, at 10:40 pm. None of the other investigators were able to hear this sound, and no other sound was recorded like this for the remainder of the EVP session, which concluded at 10:49 pm. The team then headed for the 2nd Floor Cellblock.
END TIME: 10:49 pm
2nd Floor Cellblock – 10:53 pm
After moving to the 2nd Floor Cellblock the team found places to sit and observed control silence. During the control silence Gravy reported hearing something like a rattling noise very near to him in the hall, which sounded like a throat clearing.
At 10:56 pm the team began an EVP Session, and about a minute later, Marilsa claimed to hear a noise she compared to a breath near her. Shortly thereafter, at 10:58 pm, Marilsa asked the group if someone’s stomach had made a noise, and no one was aware of their stomach making a noise. It is important to note that in a quiet environment bodily noises, such as digestion, become very apparent.
With no other noises or potential activity to note, the team concluded their EVP session and stopped shortly for a break to cool down before continuing
END TIME: 11:02 pm
3rd Floor Cellblock – 11:31 pm
After finishing their break, the team moved up to the 3rd Floor Cellblock and situated themselves to prepare for control silence.
At 11:41 pm the team began an EVP session,introducing themselves to any present entities, and asking for anyone available to communicate. However, after several uneventful minutes and questions, there was no response. The team concluded their EVP session and headed to the 4th Floor Cellblock.
END TIME: 11:53 pm
4th Floor Cellblock – 11:58 pm
The team made their way to the 4th Floor Cellblock, spreading out and finding seating where available.
At 12:00 am, the team performed control silence, and began an EVP session. During this time, Chris and Gravy had moved into Mae Varner’s cell, an inmate who immolated herself as a means to commit suicide, and started an audio device that played Elvis music over speakers.
This was intended to potentially stir up activity, but in the moments following the music’s conclusion the investigators made a discovery. Mae Varner, a supposedly huge Elvis fan, died in July, 1953. However, Elvis gained popularity in 1954 with his first album being published on March 23rd, 1956. This was three years after Mae’s death, making it extremely unlikely that she was a fan of Elvis.
At 12:02 am, Noah reported a tapping noise behind him in the cell that he was seated near. The noise was not repeated, and it would stand to reason that this may have been the sound of a small piece of the ceiling or wall of the concrete structure dislodging and falling.
After many minutes of questions and silence, at 12:11 am, Chris claimed to hear a popping noise immediately in front of himself.
The team decided to move to the 3rd Floor Back Room, concluding their EVP session.
END TIME: 12:15 am
3rd Floor Back Room – 12:19 pm
Although control recorders remained running, the team used their time in this location to debunk a piece of photographic evidence that was presented on a national television program. After numerous theories and bringing in a camera, the team were able to almost perfectly replicate the famous photo, using Tom as a stand in – then Brandon moved to take reference shots of different parts that may have been on the windows during the time of the original photo.
END TIME: 12:49 am
3rd Floor Front Room – 1:19 am
After debunking some photographic evidence, the team spread out across the 3rd Floor Front Room, which previously functioned as the sheriff’s quarters. The team observed control silence before beginning an EVP session at 1:22 am.
At 1:25 am, Brandon heard the closet door in the room he was in move slightly, but it was decided that this was likely the building settling.
Shortly thereafter, the team, who had been in the hot conditions moving around for the debunking session, concluded the EVP session and decided to take another break.
END TIME: 1:27 am
At this time both Chris and Brandon leave the building to take exterior nighttime photographs of the building, returning at 1:37 am. The team then headed up to the 3rd Floor Front Room again to try to debunk another piece of video evidence.
This piece of evidence purportedly showed a figure following an investigator into the room, however after taking time to recreate the scenario, the team realized that it was likely a flashlight’s beam splashing onto a back wall as the investigator turned a corner.
After finishing the debunking session, the team decided to try to reach a couple more locations before needing to pack up and head out of the building for the night, heading first for the 2nd Floor Cellblock.
END TIME: 1:54 am
2nd Floor Cellblock – 1:55 am
The team spread out through the 2nd Floor and prepared for an EVP Session, as they had been in this location previously, there was no need for control silence. After a short while the investigators concluded the EVP session with no activity, then headed for the Basement for their final EVP Session of the night.
END TIME: 2:05 am
Basement Drunk Tank – 2:08 am
After returning to the Basement Drunk Tank and spreading out, the investigators began an EVP session. During the course of the session no activity was reported, nor was any captured on audio/video.
Due to time restrictions in this location the team concluded their EVP session as well as the investigation to be able to pack and load out all equipment by 3:00 am.
END TIME: 2:20 am
PHOTO: Due to the nature of photographic evidence, PIM does not believe photos are accurate evidence of the paranormal. However, photos are taken for baselines and documentation of trigger object starting positions.
PIM would like to extend a huge thank you to the keepers of the Old Licking County Jail, they work so hard to keep up this historical site, and are a great addition to any investigation of it. PIM had a great time investigating this historic location. Although there was no evidence captured during this investigation, PIM was able to debunk both a photo and video captured at the location. This helps to better focus future investigations so teams are not wasting time investigating claims that do not have a paranormal cause. PIM would certainly return to Old Licking County Jail in the future to continue researching the location in the future.