The Old Porter County Jail

The Old Porter County Jail, located in Valparaiso, Indiana, was built way back in 1871. The jail is like many others in the state of Indiana, meaning the sheriff's house is attached to the jail itself as was the law back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The jail is relatively small compared to some of the others from the time, but that doesn't mean it didn't see its fair share of nasty inmates.


Valparaiso is considered part of the Chicago area, meaning it saw a lot of mob activity during the height of prohibition. Some of the men rumored to be tied to Capone had been in and out of the old Porter County jail during those days. But the mobsters were not the only criminals held at the old jail; there were many other inmates who were held there for any number of reasons from petty theft to first-degree murder.


After its closure, the jail was turned into a museum in the 1970s which is still in operation today. Many who have worked, or even visited the old building have claimed paranormal activity. Reports of apparitions have been seen in both the old sheriff's house portion as well as in the area of the jail cells. Disembodied voices are often heard throughout the building. Some mumble, while others are heard shouting loudly. Visitors and workers alike have tried to track down the voices, but never to any avail.


In addition to the apparitions and disembodied voices, there have been reports of phantom footsteps, large bright orbs, doors closing on their own, and even jail cells rattling. Perhaps the oddest piece of paranormal phenomena in the building is something that was not even original to the jail itself. It is a military helmet brought in when the jail was converted into a history museum. It is said that if one were to touch the helmet, it gradually gets warmer until it becomes too hot for the person to touch. It has burnt several people who have tried.


The old jail is currently closed for renovation, but when it does reopen, I hope to stop in for an investigation. Be sure to stay tuned for updates.

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