Event Starts at: 8:30pm
Event Finishes at: 3:00am
Crown Point, Indiana is the home of one of the most haunted locations in the Midwest. The Old Sheriff’s House and Jail is a late 19th century structures that housed infamous inmates, many of whom have never left! Paranormal enthusiasts and investigators travel to Lake County, Indiana from all over the world to hear the stories and learn the truth from the spirits that still lurk in the shadows.
Originally constructed in 1882, the building underwent several renovations. In 1928 the Old Lake County Jail was thought to be one of the finest in Indiana with over 150 cells, maximum security accommodations and all the fortified and necessary aspects required for a law enforcement institution. It also gained the reputation of being escape-proof until its most famous prisoner dispelled that belief in March of 1934.
John Dillinger was arrested in Arizona earlier that year and extradited to Indiana to face trial for 24 bank robberies and the shooting death of Detective William Patrick O’Malley. As he awaited trial, he called the Lake County Jail home. A couple of months after his arrest, Dillinger fashioned a gun out of a wooden washboard (other legends claimed he had a real gun) and forced a trustee to entrap the jailers and warden while he made his escape across state lines with two hostages. Although the hostages were released unharmed, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI caught up with Dillinger later that year and shot him outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.
Dillinger never had the opportunity to have his day in court. Many believe that his spirit is restless and still haunts the strong steel corridors of the old jail. Perhaps you will be the one that is able to reach the old gangster and hear his side of the story! Or maybe you’ll be in contact with James “Fur” Sammons, acknowledged as a psychopath by the gangland communities he was known as a hitman for Al Capone.
The rumors of gangster life are only part of the hauntings of the Old Lake County Jail. For over 76 years, the sheriff and his family resided within the building. Tales of the laughter of young children is a common experience of visitors to the institution as well as the shadow figure of a statuesque woman that overlooks those who enter into the old sheriff’s house. Could it possibly be one of the sheriff’s wives still making sure that the prisoners stay away from her children?
Cell doors slamming, knocking, lights that turn off and on of their own volition, shadow figures, full-blown apparitions, objects moving of their own accord, bone-chilling EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), disembodied voices…this is one location that will make you wish you had an extra pair of pants!
The only question that remains is….will you be brave enough to undergo a lone vigil in Dillinger’s old cell?
The sheriff’s house and jail were first built in 1882 in Crown Point, Indiana. The structure included six cells for men and four for women within strong steel corridors. By 1910 the population of Lake County had grown so immensely that the first renovations were required to expand the number of cells available and again in 1928.
The new additions included the family living area, warden’s residence, department offices, 150 cells, maximum security accommodations, an institutional kitchen, food storage, heating and cooling systems, barber shop and a garage. In its glory, the Lake County Jail was considered to be the finest law enforcement institution in the state of Indiana during that time. It also gained a reputation of being escape-proof. Of course, it only takes one person to prove that claim wrong.
John Herbert Dillinger is a renowned gangster that was charged with robbing 24 banks, four police stations and one homicide of an East Chicago, Indiana Police Officer. The Dillinger gang was romanticized by much of the American public at the time and stylized as Robin Hood figure, but their exploits caught the attention of J. Edgar Hoover who used Dillinger’s antics as a platform to establish the FBI. The evolution of the BOI (Bureau of Investigation) to the FBI allowed for more tools in the fight against organized crime.
When Dillinger was arrested in Tucson, Arizona in January of 1934, he was extradited to Indiana to face charges in the death of Detective William Patrick O’Malley following a shootout after a bank robbery in East Chicago. While waiting to face trial, Dillinger was housed at the Lake County Jail in Crown Point.
The stories of his escape on March 3, 1934 are those of legend. Some versions say that he fashioned a gun from a piece of wooden washboard others claim that he had somehow acquired a real gun. He was said to have used the gun to force a trustee to lock up 14 jailers (including the Warden and a fingerprint expert.) With the help of a fellow prisoner, they took two hostages and escaped into Illinois in the sheriff’s car. The hostages were released unharmed, but Dillinger’s days were numbered. A few short months later, on July 23rd, he was shot and killed by FBI agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.
Dillinger was not the only famous resident of the Lake County Jail. James “Fur” Sammons, the hitman for Al Capone) also spent a month within the cells as he awaited his conviction in 1933. He was known as a notorious psychopath amongst the gangland circles, but it was public intoxication that eventually brought him down.
For seventy-six years, the Lake County sheriffs and their families lived in the house adjoined to the Jail as required by Indiana State Law. When the residential requirement was revoked in 1958, the house was then used as offices up until 1974. The new government complex was completed that year and the sheriff’s offices were relocated to the new facility. In the late 70’s the old jail and residence were used for retail but after they closed the buildings were unoccupied until 1987 when restoration began under the Old Sheriff’s House Foundation, Inc.
Your ghost hunt at the Old Sheriffs House & Jail includes the following:
- Exclusive Overnight Access to this very haunted House and Jail,
- Overnight Ghost Hunting,
- Small Group Vigils,
- You will be ghost hunting in the most active areas of this very haunted location,
- Ghost Hunt with experienced Ghost Hunting Team,
- Use of our equipment which includes, trigger objects and EMF Meters,
- Unlimited refreshments available throughout the night including: Tea, Coffee, Coca Cola, Diet Coke, and Bottled Water.
- Selection of snacks.
Guests are strongly advised to bring extra warm clothing with them.