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Charleston’s Old Jail

With three different trips to Charleston’s Old Jail, the evidence is substantial to say it is truly haunted.

The Old Charleston Jail is the final home to Lavinia and John Fisher. Lavinia was known as America’s first serial killer and it is questionable whether her husband, John, was involved with the murders she was charged with.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that we were using apps for smartphones to aid in our investigations. Our third and final trip to the old jail, we used a K-II EMF reader, a voice recorder as well as an actual spirit box. With my team in tow, we each had a device we were in charge of and the results almost matched what we caught with the smartphone apps.

To elaborate, an EMF reader detects an electromagnetic field near a specific area. We tested the reader around our home with a spike around surge protectors with multiple electronics plugged in. The spirit box uses radio waves to randomly spit out words as it scans through each individual radio signal. The voice recorder was so we could record any words that came out of the spirit box by saying them out loud.

The front gates of the old jail gave us plenty of words with the smartphone app along with some strong EMF signals. One of the words that came through the app was “chair” and after some research, I found that there is an old wheelchair inside the jail that is said to be haunted all on its own. Feel free to check out the “Links” section below to watch a YouTube video that discusses this chair.

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Also, during the first and second visits, quite a few names came through the app. It wasn’t something we were expecting, but there was a definitive pattern.

Please keep in mind that we did not take the interior tour, all three of these visits were simply by walking around the building. We did not want to be influenced by tourist attractions that speak of the legends, we wanted to remain in the dark.

With our last and final trip using everything but our smartphones, we found a few hot spots with our EMF reader where one of the team members felt dizzy and a bit disoriented. We tested this by removing ourselves from that area and then returning to the exact area. I also wanted to note that is was approximately 50 feet away from the building, in the parking area. The EMF spiked and remained there until we walked away leaving one of my team members feeling disoriented. Here’s a pic of the EMF detector:

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EMF Detector spiking near the back steps of the Old Charleston Jail.
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Another hot spot with the EMF reader was at the bottom of the stairs that sits behind the building. I climbed the stairs to catch a stronger signal, but it was only at the bottom of the stairs where the meter spiked. No disorientation from any team member occurred.

As for the spirit box, over 40 phrases came through our hour-long walk around the building. Phrases like “It’s an accident”, “July 20th”, and “Free the cannon”. I was unable to find a connection to any of these phrases, but “July 20th” sticks out in my mind and I plan on investigating further in the downtown Charleston library where the records are kept from all inmates who entered and served time in the old jail. Perhaps a second post/podcast episode will be in order with my findings.

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One other phrase stands out; “Why John?” came through about 20 minutes into our tour. This could refer to the questionable involvement of John Fisher, (Lavinia’s husband) with the murders he was charged with. It is said that John Fisher before his death wanted to address the public and apologize for any wrongdoings he may have caused. Lavinia, on the other hand, did nothing of the sort.

Names that came through the spirit box app: “Kennedy”, “James”, and “Madison”. Notice how all could be first or last names.

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Names that came through the physical spirit box: “Why John?”, “Father Morgan” and “South Carolina”.  I mention “South Carolina” here only because that’s five syllables that were able to come through during a speedy search of radio signals by the device.

Overall, the disorientation of team members, the spikes of EMF outside the building and the terms that came through the spirit box(es), I can conclude that there is something residual staying at the Old Charleston Jail. With the other phrases that came through, I can also conclude that someone or many someones are trying to clear up any urban legends that are surrounding the mystique of the long-standing building.

There are plenty of resources I will need to investigate before making a second post about the Old Charleston Jail,. As for now, if you have any connections to the aforementioned terms, please reach out to me. I would love to hear your take on the Old Charleston Jail and its mysteries.

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More than just a Blog

This is episode 11 of the Stories in the Cemetery podcast.

E42: The Stone Tape Theory and Lodge Alley Stories in the Cemetery

This episode discusses The Stone Tape Theory and uses Lodge Alley in Charleston, South Carolina as a study for the theory. You can always become a sponsor the Stories in the Cemetery Podcast by going to Anchor.fm and searching the name of the podcast. Sponsorships buttons are available. See the blog post for this episode on http://www.storiesinthecemetery.com along with our other Ghost Hunting 101 posts and Paranormal Investigations. Or if you'd like to see/hear more about the Interactive Ghost Hunting Experiences, visit the same website and click the "Let's Go Ghost Hunting" tab.  Resources used to create this episode and blog post:  References for The Stone Tape Theory Bos, P. B. (n.d.). The Stone Tape Theory. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from Haunted Walk: https://hauntedwalk.com/news/the-stone-tape-theory/ Danielson, L. (n.d.). Using GIS to Analyze Relationships to Explore Paranormal Occurrences in the. Retrieved from http://gis.smumn.edu/GradProjects/DanielsonL.pdf Lucia. (2020, March 9). How Does It Work?: The Stone Tape Theory, Residual Hauntings and the Deep Influence of Memory and Emotion. Retrieved from Ghost in the Machine: https://theghostinmymachine.com/2020/03/09/how-does-it-work-the-stone-tape-theory-residual-hauntings-and-the-deep-influence-of-memory-and-emotion/ ParaPedia. (n.d.). Theory behind Limestone Quartz and Magnetite. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from ParaPedia: http://www.panicd.com/encyclopedia/theory-behind-limestone-quartz-and-magnetite.html Potter, C. (2004, October 14). Were Pittsburgh's original finished roads and streets paved with cobblestone, Belgian block or some other type of brick? Retrieved from Pittsburgh City Paper: https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/were-pittsburghs-original-finished-roads-and-streets-paved-with-cobblestone-belgian-block-or-some-other-type-of-brick/Content?oid=1336413 References for Lodge Alley SC Picture Project. (2022). Lodge Alley. Retrieved from SC Picture Project: https://www.scpictureproject.org/charleston-county/lodge-alley.html Zierden, M., Calhoun, J., & Paysinger, E. (1983). Archaeological Investigation at Lodge Alley. Charleston, South Carolina. Retrieved from https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/assets/pdf/ArchaeologyReports/Lodge%20Alley%201983%20-%20AC%205.pdf References for Cesium Foist, L. (n.d.). What is Cesium Used for in Everyday Life? Retrieved June 22, 2022, from Study.com: https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-cesium-used-for-in-everyday-life.html Nelson, R. (n.d.). Cesium FAQ. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from Rochester: https://www.cs.rochester.edu/users/faculty/nelson/cesium/cesium_faq.html U.S. Geological Survey. (2018, June 14). Mineral Resource of the Month: Cesium. Retrieved from Earth Magazine: https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/mineral-resource-month-cesium/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/storiesinthecemetery/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/storiesinthecemetery/support
  1. E42: The Stone Tape Theory and Lodge Alley
  2. A Few Announcements
  3. E41: Types of Hauntings with BONUS Audio
  4. E40: St. Augustine Lighthouse; St. Augustine, Florida
  5. E39: New CoHost Amy Smart and Interview from Hillbilly Horror Stories Podcast

RESOURCES and LINKS

YouTube video: Wheelchair

If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always Buy Me A Coffee to keep me fueled and ready for more investigations. Your contributions to my craft are always appreciated!

Let’s Go Ghost Hunting

Let’s go Ghost Hunting in Charleston, SC. Click to find dates and times.

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