LICKING COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – ‘If the walls could talk’ and that might happen at the Historic Licking County Jail. Some say it’s haunted. I say it’s a One Tank Trip!
Licking County calls itself the “Land of Legend.” It doesn’t disappoint. About 45 minutes east of Columbus, we saw some legendary scenery on our drive into the town of Newark.
But underneath the town’s quaint beauty lies darkness.
Welcome to the historic Licking County Jail.
“The jail was built in 1889. There’s actually 21 confirmed deaths here that we know of that are on record,” said volunteer tour guide Darrin Smith.
A spirit? That’s right. Many say the historic Licking County Jail is haunted.
“The fourth-floor women’s, there’s a lady up there named May Vaner, that actually committed suicide by burning herself in the cell. And she’s very active. She moans. She’ll talk over us when we’re doing tours. It’s almost like we must be telling the date wrong because she’ll correct you,” Smith said.
If any place were going to be haunted, this old jail seems like a good candidate. It has a dark history that you can learn all about from volunteer tour guides like Darrin.
In addition to historical tours, ghost hunters come here nearly every weekend looking for proof of the paranormal.
“I mean, we get a lot of voices, a lot of footsteps. Nobody knows who exactly it is, but it’s definitely active in here,” Smith said.
So, what better place than an active haunted jail to put a haunted house?
“The Jail of Terror” takes over three floors of the jail to put you in the mood for Halloween.
“It’s based on a paranormal ghost hunt. You start off like you’re in a ghost hunt and it just gets worse until you get to the basement,“ Smith said.
Some may wonder, do the spirits who haunt the jail year-round ever participate in the haunted house?
“I wouldn’t doubt it because paranormal works off of energy. If the energy is high in this building from the fans and the patrons and the kids screaming and yelling every night, eventually
something’s going to work off of that energy.”
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the Jail of Terror lives up to its name and runs through this weekend.
Licking County, the Land of Legend, is just a One Tank Trip from Cleveland.