Old Licking County Jail : April 23rd, 2016

Old Licking County Jail : 04.23.16

The C-Bus Paranormal team routinely holds online meetings at the beginning of every year to discuss possible locations to investigate. These meetings will provide each team member a chance to pick the top locations that they would like to investigate within the upcoming year. These discussions will often revolve around several locations in Ohio and various haunts across the United States. This year would be a bit different as we focused on locations that we haven't had a chance to investigate within the state. This year the Old Licking County Jail won by a unanimous decision based off of it's growing reputation within the paranormal community. This investigation would consist of members from C-Bus Paranormal, Ohio Lost Souls Paranormal, and Ohio Black Sheep Paranormal.

Our team knew that we would be pacing ourselves in the upcoming year ,and that we wouldn't be investigating as many haunts than we have in previous years. This was due to multiple reasons. The Friends Of Prospect Place restoration efforts would be taking considerable amounts of our time, the previous year had kept us busy with numerous evidence review sessions and book signings ,and I was also expecting my first child to be born in the Spring. The team naturally needed a chance to catch it's breath, recuperate, and refocus. The Old Licking County Jail originally opened it's doors in November of 1889 ,and was designed by a renowned Ohio architect named J.W. Yost. The structure was built for the amount $120,000 ,and was constructed out of pink sandstone quarried near Millersburg, Ohio. The front three levels were built to house the families of the sheriff and the jail matron ,and the rear portion of the building was used for the incarceration of male and female prisoners on separate floors. Overall the jail has 32 jail cells ,and was built for a total capacity of 68. However the building was known to be overcrowded on several occasions. The jail was last used for incarcerations in 1987.

July 8th, 1910 was a dark day in Newark, Ohio history. Carl Etherington, a detective the "Anti- Saloon League of Ohio", had come to Newark to raid saloons, and speakeasies for illegal alcohol. During this time Etherington was forced to shoot local saloon owner William Howard in self-defense ,and he was taken into custody at the jail. A mob formed shortly after ,and stormed the North side of the jail. Eventually they made their way through the front door ,and then forced their way into Carl Etherington's cell. They would then beat Carl Etherington ,and hang him from a nearby telephone pole. Governor Judson Harmon intervened to restore order. Fifty-eight of the mob participants were indicted: 25 for first degree murder, 10 for assault and battery, 21 for rioting, and 2 for perjury. The event quickly gained national attention. Infamous murderers including "The Hand Saw Slayer", "The 22 Caliber Serial Killers", "The Proposal Day Murderer" and many more were housed here. There was also a woman that made a suicide attempt on the fourth floor by attempting to set herself on fire. Overall there is believed to be a total of around 16 confirmed deaths throughout the buildings years of operation. Over the years visitors have reported seeing full bodied apparitions, shadow figures, and have also claimed to hear footsteps and disembodied voices with the jails walls.

The investigation itself was fairly slow. The teams involved weren't reporting much in the way of activity. However we did have time to experiment with the Microsoft Kinect software near Carl Etherington's cell. Some of you might have seen this device on paranormal television shows. It uses human body recognition software to form skeleton figures when it detects a presence of a human form. Some investigators believe this can be used to see spectral visitors during investigations. However I don't believe the device is fully capable of imaging spirits onto it's software. It's important to note that I'm intrigued with what other investigators have stated about the device ,but I also want to witness something unexplainable on the device myself. Are people really seeing ghost through the miracle of technology ,or is there a glitch that is causing these false alarms? I have made it a personal goal to test this software in the upcoming months and decide for myself. It didn't take long for our first possible hit or glitch (however you want to look at it). Our investigator Julie Tankovich was standing next to Carl's Etherington's cell when the unthinkable happened.... a second skeletal figure appeared on the screen standing right next to her. Naturally I was in the final stages of setting the device up when this happened. Four other witnesses watched the second figure move with it's own body movements for about 20 seconds. Then it vanished as quickly as it appeared. We weren't able to get video of the event. However we did get a photo from the encounter. Did we communicate with the spirit of Carl Etherington? ,or was there a valid natural explanation for this event? We may never know. I have tested this device multiple times since the investigation ,and have yet to have the same phenomenon occur.

(The photo above shows the odd Microsoft Kinect hit in front of Carl's cell. Our investigator Julie Tankovich is on the left ,and the unexplained figure is on the right. )

(The photo above shows the same dark cell block the prior Microsoft Kinect photo was taken in. )

Overall we enjoyed our time at the Old Licking County Jail ,and we appreciate the guides showing us through the building. As well as sharing the buildings unbelievable history. It's truly a unique building ,and it was an amazing site to see in person. We recommend the building to all curious visitors and investigators alike. We didn't get much in the way of activity on this night ,but we would definitely be open to investigating the jail in the future again. I don't believe this will be our last encounter with this building. Sadly, this would be my last investigation for several months. My wife and I lost our child during the last weeks of pregnancy due to unknown causes. It was obviously a crushing blow for us at the time ,and I took a considerable amount of time away from the field afterwords. It would be nearly 6 months before I would pick up a recorder, review evidence, or even update this blog again. I know some people have been wondering why we went fairly quiet during 2016 ,and this was the reason for the additional time off. I'd like to take this time to thank our friends, family ,and supporters that have helped us during one of the most difficult moments in our lives. Never take your life for granted. You never know what obstacles might get thrown in your path along the way.


Inside look at the investigation :

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Weather Conditions :

Temperature : 63°F

Wind Speed : 8 MPH

Moon Phase : Full Moon

Paranormal Claims :

- There have been numerous reports of full bodied apparitions, disembodied voices, footsteps, female screams, strange heat signatures, and battery drainage.

Observations :

- Sound contamination can be a problem at the jail ,and large teams will want to keep track of their investigators at all times. You will not only have audio problems from inside of the building ,but also the outside of the building. This will depend on what floors your investigating at the time. We noticed that sound travels well throughout the cell blocks ,and would often hear our other investigators one or two floors down from where we were standing. The fourth floor was also a challenge as you could hear the outside traffic and neighborhood noises coming through each of the cells shutter windows.

- The Old Licking County Jail has a unique and dark history. It has held suspected murderers, had suicide victims ,and has even bore witness to a historic lynching. It's easy to forget that your in a jail as opposed to some of the larger maximum security prisons we have investigated in the past.

- Construction crews have started circling the building ,and it appears there are major changes ahead for the land surrounding the old jail. Only time will tell if the changes will help ,or be a hindrance to the building visitors and investigators. We parked a few blocks down as the parking lot was being torn up at the time.

(The photo above shows the massive amounts of construction going on around the jail.)

Personal Experiences :

- The team didn't have much to report on the "personal experiences" front. However we did have a strange anomaly show up on our Microsoft Kinect system. One of our investigators was standing near Carl Etherington's cell ,and the system picked up a second figure standing next to her. The unknown figure seemed to stay close to the investigator for about 20 seconds before it slowly disappeared without a trace. We tried to recreate the event ,but couldn't replicate what we witnessed.


Evidence :

- No evidence found.


Conclusion: Inconclusive At this time we must file the case in our "inconclusive" folder. The Microsoft Kinect personal experience did add a rather odd twist to the night. However more research and data will need to be gathered before we can state the event was possibly paranormal in nature. Overall we don't have any audio or video evidence to help back up the claims of a haunting at this time. Hopefully this will change on future visits and investigations. Paranormal activity doesn't always happen on command ,and it's likely we were just investigating on a slow night.