Built in 1894, and one of the three oldest jails in Florida, the Green Cove Springs Old Jail was Clay county’s official jail until 1972.
Now a museum piece itself, the Old Jail house many things – the Clay County Archives and its many historical documents and historical artifacts – as you’d expect.
And, as you’d expect, bad things have happened there:
- Five hangings
- Three sheriffs killed and two others disappeared,
- Two suicides in and around the jail, which housed juveniles, the criminally insane and women in addition to the usual drunks, vagrants and river pirates.
The county even turned the old gallows into the parking lot.
This would almost explain the Jail’s ghosts.
Spooks On Tape
Even a skeptic has to admit that if it’s true places can record events, then certainly the Old Jail has sopped up some “ghostly” vibrations.
In recent memory, R.I.P., Northeast Florida Paranormal Investigations, and Florida Ghost Chasers, as well as CAPE Paranormal Investigations (with the help of one of the Old Jail’s volunteer docents) and WC 17’s Local Haunts, have led teams to document apparitions and Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs) – low-frequency sounds not detected by human listeners during taping but “available” in playback.
Maybe it’s true ghosties open and close the cell doors when no one’s around.
Maybe it’s just some jackass making noise with a karaoke machine/stereo combo and a shortwave radio.
At this late date it’s hard to be surprised either way.
Meet Your County Archivist
The guy to ask is county historian Claude Bass. Bass is the local authority on local history and has worked at the Archive for years. He also works with the Clay County Historical Society.
If you needed to feel something a little more authentic this Halloween than the typical haunted house, you can’t get spooked much than at the Old Jail.
Below you’ll find contact information for the County Archives.
Clay County Archives/Old Jail
- 21 Gratio Place at Ferris Street (State Road 16 West)
- Admission: FREE & open to the public
- Contact: Claude Bass
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 904-371-0027
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: email@example.com