Burlington County Prison, New Jersey
Prisons hold some of the worst people of mankind, but the county prisons often show no mercy, and neither do the prisoners. Known as the most haunted location in New Jersey, Ghost Hunts USA wants you to join us as we explore the Burlington County Prison in Mount Holly. When you think about it, how could a place like this not offer a wild ride of a ghost hunt? Even in the times where you’d like to doubt it, there are pictures, videos, audio recordings and individuals that you can talk to that will tell you the terrible pleas for mercy that they experienced while touring the Burlington County Prison.
This stone building was built in 1811 by a young architect by the name of Robert Mills. This was one of the first designs that Mills had done, and it was beautiful, to say the least. In fact, this building was considered state of the art. Since his first design of this building, Mills moved on to design and construct prestigious buildings like the US Post Office, the US patent Office, and the US Treasury Building, as well as a few monuments.
You can tell the architecture of this building was done well, because the prison ran steadily from the years of 1811 to 1966. At the time that this prison was closing down, it was not only one of the oldest prisons, but it was the prison that had remained opened for the longest consistent period. In that time, the Burlington County Prison became well known for housing some of the most notorious and threatening prisoners. One that is always brought up as Albert DeSalvo. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, consider the name “The Boston Strangler”. Are you familiar with that one? An arrest that began with lewd action in public lead to the arrest of a well-known murderer in the Boston area, but we’ll get to that later on.
Aside from being one of the oldest prisons, and one that held incredibly dangerous prisoners, the Burlington County Prison was known for the straightforward take on executions that they had. It wasn’t unusual for executions to happen at this prison. In fact, all but two of the recorded executions happened on the lot. The only other executions that are known to have happened, happened across the street from the prison but drew an overwhelming crowd. One of the individuals that were hung was a woman, the other a man by the name of Joel Clough. The remains of Clough were found and later buried on the land of the prison. His burial spot can still be seen when visiting the space today, and he is believed to be the primary haunting of the prison.
Aside from the executions that all are well aware of, there were plenty of other deaths that took place on the prison grounds. There were a few prisoners who managed to escape early on, but it wasn’t without a little bit of dirty work that they were able to do so. The first escape required taking the life of a guard that was on the property and guarding the lower level that was used to escape. Nearly two decades later, a very similar plan was executed and also took the life of another guard in the exact same corridor as the prior.
The Death Cell
One the upper level of the Burlington County Prison is a room that is known as the Death Cell. This room is said to have health the early-executed Joel Clough for his extreme case of stabbing a woman until she died. This room was set in the center of the top floor of the prison. As strange as it may seem to place a room in this location, it was placed there in order to completely eliminate the chances of escape plans or communication. There was constant surveillance by the guards for this room. This small, confined room was known for offering less to the prisoner that was kept inside; there was no fireplace, no light and only one small, high window for visitors or guards to communicate with the prisoner. This is believed to be one of the most haunted places in the prison. You can only assume what types of bad energies and haunting moments linger in this space, at least, until you visit it for yourself.
When it comes to the prisoners that were kept in this building, there are some that will stick with you. As we mentioned above, The Boston Strangler is one that is commonly brought up when people are visiting. Known for brutally killing 13 women through strangulation. This man was arrested on account of lewd behavior in a public place, and after being arrested and brought to court, he stated that he was guilty of all 13 accounts of murder.
Joel Clough, who was the first man that was executed at the Burlington County Prison, was dealt a bad hand when it came to his experience at the prison. Aside from being the first execution and attracting quite a crowd, he was also one of the first prisoners that was placed in that single cell room on the upper floor. It is his brutal crime that landed him in that location. Known for murdering a pregnant woman, 29 year old Clough was treated horribly, and executed almost immediately.
There are plenty of other interesting and terrifying characters that enjoyed a stay at the Burlington County Prison, but we’re sure that you’ll be interacting with a few of them when you show up for the ghost hunt.
As we mentioned, it’s not entirely surprising that a place like this is so incredibly haunted. Between the cruel things that were done to wind up in this prison, to the unimaginable thoughts that had to have been haunting the minds of the prisons, and even the deaths that happened throughout the prison yard, this property is bogged down with so many different types of bad energies that it goes without saying there are some dark things to experience.
Strange occurrences have been noted as the ghosts not enjoying the attention that is given to the visitors that come to the prison. At times, there are residents of the prison, still living, that linger too. When you enjoy a tour with Ghost Hunts USA in the Burlington County Prison, you will see the history that lays in this building, but you will also experience just a small amount of the pain and guilt that continues to hang around the prison, which is one of the reasons that it is such an incredible place to schedule a ghost hunt.
The building that once stood as a prison is now actively used as a museum and one of the top places for individuals passionate about hunting ghosts to visit. Tours continue to happen as people from near and far stop by the town of Mount Holly and get a taste of what this haunted building has to offer.If you are interested in experiencing the various encounters that this space has to offer, check the schedule that we currently have set up and find a date that works. We would love to have you come to the Burlington County Prison with us.