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Case Files: Ghosts of Y2K Part One: The Burlington County Jail Visits

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

The Old Burlington County Jail (or Burlington County Prison Museum) was built in 1811 and remained in constant use until 1965.[1] It is located in Mount Holly, NJ and was designed and built by Robert Mills. It was one of Mills’ first designs as an architect and the interior concrete vaulted ceiling rendered the building fireproof. The excellent design and construction were the leading factor in the jail’s prolonged usage. October 22, 1999, the South Jersey Ghost Research team was invited to come in and investigate this old and historic prison. Accompanying us, were reporters from the New York Times. The story made its way into the October 29, 1999, Section E, Page 42 Issue titled “In Pursuit of Spirits Doing Time in the Afterlife” by Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson.

When we got to the prison, we got our first good look at the building. It looked like an old fort, with its huge stone walls, not as large as Eastern State, but still a large building. Yet, like Eastern State, it still felt very imposing. We were able to enter through these huge wooden doors and set up in the center of the building. The team then did a quick walk-through tour with a few of the representatives of the museum. At the time the building was under renovation. Starting on the second floor, I remember walking by one of the cells and there was a gurney or cot laying against the wall. While not paranormal in nature, it still felt eerie.

However, later in the evening, with nobody entering the room, the cot mysteriously was placed on the ground. These two comparison pictures above were taken at 9:24pm and 9:31pm. The 9:31pm is the positive one. This area is also interesting due to the discovery of the stretcher which in the beginning of the investigation was observed in an upright position and was later found moved to a laying down position. There were people around the room, but no one entered it, and it did not fall over.

Another interesting area of the prison was the basement. The basement was nuts! Heavy with activity, in addition, where the doorway to the back yard, aka the gallows. The basement is where during our surveillance phase of the investigation, Hildred and I saw shadows around the hallways, dodging in and out of rooms, and even into the shower room. Hildred picked up on an Andrew, which was around the stairway leading up to the first floor. I was able to capture an orb shot in front of Hildred at this same time. In another instance, Courtney heard heavy breathing and footsteps around the east end steps leading up to the first floor. This wrapped up our first investigation of the building.

We were fortunate to be invited back March 3, 2000, along with members of the media again, including Eyewitness News, The Courier Post, The Trenton Times, and The Burlington County Times.

In this investigation we had only wow moment. We were able to see shadows around the shower room on the second floor. In a photograph we even captured a wet footprint on the floor! It wasn’t even wet around the building or in it to create that wet spot. I remember walking through the shower room, looking down, and trying to figure out how?

In closing, these investigations were incredible and full of activity! Kicking off the turn of the century!

[1] Burlington County; County of Burlington, NJ; Prison Museum; Accessed on 4 December 2022 at https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/956/Prison-Museum.

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