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  • Erin Egnatz

Old Lake County Jail: Crown Point, Indiana

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

Northwest Indiana is home to Crown Point, Indiana, just 45 miles outside of Chicago. Crown Point is known to me as my hometown, but to the rest of America, it is known as the location of John Dillinger’s infamous jail break in 1934. John Dillinger, a cocky man who was as brazen as he was charming, was arrested for a previous escape out of Michigan City’s prison in 1933. The Crown Point jail was said to be inescapable and authorities made sure to boast that “fact” as often as they could. While at the jail, a press conference was held, Dillinger was of course in attendance. He appeared completely at ease during the press conference and even leaned his arm on the shoulder of the prosecutor, smiling and laughing as if he were at a party. Not long after he was captured, a little over a month, he made his escape from the jail while using a fake gun carved out of wood. To add to the embarrassment of the local officials, he escaped in none other than the sheriff’s car. He remained on the run for a few more months until he was gunned down in Chicago in July of 1934, just outside of the Biograph Theater (another location to be featured very soon).


Today, the jail, and sheriffs house, still remains. It sits on the edge of the square of Crown Point. About six years ago, I got the chance to go on a ghost hunt throughout the old jail. This is one of those places where you can feel the activity. There were orbs in many of the pictures we took. What really surprised me was the shadow people seemed to be all around the jail cells. Other investigators have reported evp’s, shadows and even full body apparitions. Footsteps with no source are a common report as are inexplicable doors slamming and flashing lights from on to off. Most people who have investigated here feel that this place is the real deal in terms of haunted locations.


So, who are the ghost that still haunt the old jail? Of course, many like to claim John Dillinger himself is one of the spirits here. Maybe they are right, but he has also been rumored to haunt the Biograph Theater where he was killed, as well as the cemetery in Indianapolis where he is buried. Other theories are that it is other inmates who were housed in the jail, still stuck almost a century later. Who ever the ghostly residents are, they sure like to make their presence known.


I will be returning to investigate this old gem this weekend so stay tuned for footage of the investigation!



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