Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ghost Hunters Recap: Essex County Jail

"Essex County Jail", North Caldwell, New Jersey
The TAPS team welcomes their guest investigators Josh Gates (Destination Truth) and Britt Griffith from their West Coast team to help investigate this enormous place. In season 5, TAPS investigated the Essex County Asylum in the show titled "Garden State Asylum". Click here to read my recap of that show. The Essex County Penitentiary was built in 1873 and closed only 5 years ago. This rundown jail used to house the confederate prisoners during the war. The local historian, Robert Williams, was their guide to all the paranormal hotspots. He takes Jason, Grant, Steve, and Josh to the Center Hall first. Many have reported seeing shadow figures and hearing footsteps by unseen forces. The next place is the West Wing where a man in one of the cells set himself on fire trying to commit suicide. Many reports of footsteps, banging on the bars and noises overhead can be heard in this area. In the Guard’s Locker Room, shadows have been seen by some eyewitnesses. He takes them through the tunnels that connect the main cell blocks to the Warden's House. Many have reported the intense feeling of being watched while in the house. Lastly, he takes them to the old Women's Wing part of the jail which was built in 1916. The reports here are the sounds of footsteps and the rattling of keys by the unseen spirits. Now that they got the full tour, they waited until dark and started their investigation.
INVESTIGATION: Jason, Grant & Josh start in the Center Hall. As Grant was telling the spirits that you can go ahead and push them to get their attention, Josh was telling the spirits to push them and not him. Right after saying that, Josh sees what looks like a dark shadow person down the dark corridor. It was at the end, and to the right of the hall. The KII meter was lighting up and with the place not having any power this was puzzling. Josh got a weird reading on the thermal imaging camera but they couldn’t figure out what it was. In the tunnels, Kris is alone wearing the head camera. The head camera captures exactly what Kris is seeing letting us see it too, which is pretty cool for us. She heard lots of knocking and clanking all around her and went to investigate the noises. She then hears a noise in front of her and asked the spirit to come towards her. She moves towards the end and heard the sound of dripping water which could account for some of the noises. There were other noises she could not explain. Steve and Tango start out in the Warden's House to see if they get any ghostly action. They start asking questions and get a loud noise as a response. They try and figure out what may have caused the noise and Steve bangs on the rafters to see if maybe an animal might come out. All of a sudden, something frightens them and they run out of the room. It looked like a bird or a bat that flew out at them. In the West Wing we find Jason, Grant and Josh where they hear the sound of running water. There was no water running to the building so there is no explanation for the sound. Josh noticed that one of the doorways was giving off heat. Glancing in one of the rooms, Jason saw a shadow moving across the room, near the door. At the same time Grant saw something down the hall near the stairs. In the Guard's Locker room was where Britt and Amy started to investigate. They heard a noise which sounded like something moving up the stairs. They went up to investigate and Britt sees something moving in the dark. They started hearing knocking in the upper attic room after asking questions. Back with Josh, Steve and Tango who are now in the Center Hall where Tango finds an old cup and they all sing a round of "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen". Steve was getting high EMF readings with no explanation of where the source was coming from. They find another set of stairs leading up and head up them to check it out. They experience lots of noises while up there which appear to be coming from everywhere. They heard something like a mechanical sound, movement and footsteps. They keep moving to each spot investigating what the noises might be, with no wind outside, they can't figure out what is causing it. Steve told them to stop making the noises and instantly the noises quit. Steve was impressed by that. In the Warden's House are Britt and Amy checking out the reports of the many noises there. They use the Geophone as well as other pieces of equipment to see if they can capture anything. Amy asks many questions as well as Britt and then he notices a light in another room, like a ball of light. Amy went outside and shined her flashlight in the window and he thought it was probably a car light or someone’s flashlight because it was close to what he saw. Josh and Kris go to the Warden's house to see if they can get any evidence of any activity. They sat down and asked some questions and Josh heard a noise in the dark corner. Josh enjoyed watching Kris during the EVP session because he conducts his sessions differently. Josh tells the spirit that this is its one shot to let them know they are there, to go for it, but it didn’t. Jason calls everyone in to end the investigation. Josh enjoyed his time with the TAPS team.
RESULTS: In the tower room they captured the loud bang that Amy and Britt heard. The West Wing where the man set himself on fire, they captured a clinking sound like jail keys. No one was in the area when this was recorded. Because of the lack of hard evidence they couldn't say the place was haunted. Too bad because this place had lots of possibilities.

Click here to see Essex County Jail once more in it's entirety.

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