Night at the Crown Point, Indiana Jail
September 20, 2014 -- Hunt for Ghosts at the Jail that Held
AT THE CROWN POINT, INDIANA JAIL
Join American Hauntings at the Old Lake County Jail
226 South Main Street - Crown Point, Indiana
8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Join American Hauntings for a
night that you won't soon forget -- a search for the ghosts of
the old Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana, made famous by
a daring escape by infamous bank robber John
Dillinger! Spend the late night hours
looking for the ghosts of this historic -- and very haunted --
old jail with a limited number of ghost hunters during a
private ghost hunt. Find out if the place is really as
haunted as so many people claim and perhaps come face to face
with one of the former occupants of the place! The evening will
include a historic tour of the jail followed by a
ghost hunt at a place that has been called one of the most
haunted places in Indiana. The night begins at 8:00 p.m. and
continues until 2:00 a.m. -- unless you get too scared to
continue! Don't miss out on this chilling night at a place where
gangster history lives on!
Make Reservations Now for a Limited Number of Spots!
$60 Per Person
Here for Reservations for this Eerie Event!
Lake County Jail
In 1840, Crown Point was established as the county seat of Lake
County, Indiana. A frame courthouse was built in 1849 on Clark
Street. The building contained a courtroom, jury room, and
sheriff’s room. In 1851, a small, wooden jail with heavy
hardwood cross planking and cells defined by sheets of iron was
added. The town and county developed rapidly in the next 30
years and a new brick and stone courthouse was erected in
1878 at the intersection of Main and Joliet Streets. The first
permanent sheriff’s residence and adjoining jail was built in
1882 at its present location, 226 South Main Street, at a cost
of $24,000. The jail measured 36’ by 48’ and contained six steel
cells for males, four for females, and strong steel corridors.
As the local population grew, a larger jail was needed. Around
1908, this jail was replaced with a larger structure, and in
1928, another addition was made that extended the length of the
jail through the block to East Street. The combined residence
and jail included all the facilities necessary for its purpose
as a law enforcement institution. Located within the walls were
the family’s living area, warden’s residence,
department offices, 150 cells, maximum security accommodations,
institutional kitchen, food storage, heating and
cooling systems, barber shop and a garage.
||The Crown Point
jail was considered to be one of the finest in Indiana and
thought to be escape-proof. However, on March 3, 1934, gangster
John Dillinger proved it to be otherwise when he made his daring
escape. Dillinger was arrested in Tucson, Arizona in January of
that year for a bank robbery in East Chicago that resulted in
the death of Detective William Patrick O'Malley. He
was extradited to Indiana on January 28th and placed in the
Lake County Jail in Crown Point. Legend has it that Dillinger
carved a gun from a piece of wooden washboard others say
he acquired a real gun (the story varies) and forced a trustee
and others to lock up 14 jailers including the Warden and a
fingerprint expert. With a fellow prisoner and two hostages, he
made his escape over the state line into Illinois. The hostages
were released unharmed.
Unfortunately, this escape didn't do much to help the career of
the state's attorney (posed to his right) or Sheriff Lillian
Holley, who had taken on the position after the murder of her
husband, the former sheriff. Dillinger embarrassed her by
driving off in her car.
Until 1958, state law required Indiana
sheriffs to reside in a house adjoining the jail but once the
requirement was lifted, the sheriff's house was turned into
offices. The last sheriff to live in the residence was Jack
West. The house was used as an office until 1974 and has been
empty ever since -- of the living anyway.
In 1974, the current county government complex was completed on
North Main Street in Crown Point, and the sheriff’s
offices moved to that facility. During the late 1970s, some
areas of the old residence and jail were used for retail
purposes as part of a commercial complex. After they closed, the
buildings remained unoccupied. In 1987 interest in restoring
the facility grew and the Old Sheriff’s House Foundation, Inc.
was formed the next year. The Old Sheriff's House and Jail was
placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and
the property was acquired in 1990 and restoration plans began.
As restoration has continued over the last two decades, stories
have emerged about a haunting at the jail. Apparitions have been
seen in cells and corridors, strange photographs have been
taken, doors open and close by themselves, lights turn on and
off and disembodied footsteps and voices have often been
reported by volunteers and visitors alike.
|Take advantage of this
opportunity to join American Hauntings at
this famous historic location! Walk the corridors and pass
through the doorways in the footsteps of John Dillinger and
enter the cell where the legendary bank robber once served time
-- and then search for the spirits that still linger in this
place. It's a night you won't soon forget!