Old Hartford Jail, Indiana

There’s something about the jails and prisons that we visit that leave us hungry for more information about what it was that left this particular prison haunted. It’s not as though every single prison that ever existed has paranormal activity happening within its walls, so what is it that makes this particular jail haunted? The Old Hartford Jail is one that is hard to ignore, especially because the history of the prison and the hauntings that are recorded in this space are nearly impossible to ignore.


The Old Hartford City Jail was established in 1879. It was a fully functioning prison up until 1995. While the prison hasn’t been used as a jail for years, the prison itself is still very much active. Also known as Blackford City Jail, this prison has quite a bit of history tied to it. In order to understand more of the hauntings that happened in this prison, it’s necessary to have a better understanding of what could be contributing to the haunted space. In the early 19th century, most of Indiana had yet to be settled upon and was frequently visited by various Native American tribes. It is almost entirely certain that at least three tribes visited this area before the city of Hartford settled down.

The jail itself is in incredible shape when you consider how long it’s been open, and most of that is due to the quality and durability of the materials that were used in the construction. These materials are also likely the reason that there was never a single prisoner that was able to escape from this jail. With ceilings made from granite, walls, and floors that were eight feet thick and a staff that was adamant about the punishment these prisoners deserved, this building was as solid as could be and prisoners were unable to escape. The prisoners were separated with the men living on the bottom floor of the prison, and all women on the upper half.

The building was purchased in 1996 by a man of the name Dann Allen who still resides in the front of the jail. He too has seen plenty of strange and unexplainable occurrences in the prison that, for some time, he was afraid to admit were real.


Many people have come to the area to experience the hauntings that remain in the Old Hartford County Jail. These prisoners that linger have been noted in a variety of ways, but there’s no questioning whether or not the prison itself is still containing these spirits. From hard-soled shoes walking on the catwalk of the 1st-floor prison cells to the sounds of cell doors slamming shut, the many people that have visited the Old Hartford City Jail have noted some seriously spooky happenings.

Aside from the sound of footsteps and slamming cell doors, people have also talked about various shadows and ghosts that they see making their way from one cell to another, and when you think about some of the torturous events that have happened in this jail, it’s pretty difficult to question why this is the case.

A few of the individuals who have had ghost hunting experiences in this location have tried one particular thing that really started to awaken some of the spirits and spark some activity. Yelling out the names of various prisoners that once spent time in the prison. Visiting the cells of specific cells can bring out some waves emotion, ranging from anger to sadness, that the prisoners still lingering there hold on to.

One of the ways that our tours most commonly connect with the spirits of this prison is through the various technological appliances that are used on tours. In fact, this is one of the most active places to encounter interaction through EVP. Because the energies are so incredibly high, we see equipment losing and being drained of its power to the point where we need to switch out batteries. The shadows and figures that have been seen also appear in the form of orbs that dance along the walls and from cell to cell.

If you’re daring enough to try it, one of the ways that you can experience some of the paranormal activity is to spend some time in the cells that the prisoners once spent time. But other areas of the prison that have shown interesting signs of paranormal activity are in the lower levels of the prison. As you walk through the lower levels, listen for footsteps coming from the first level of the prison. Because they are hard-soled shoes, it’s believed that the footsteps are those of a prison guard that still remains in the building.

The Speakeasy

Right at the square that the jail is on is a speakeasy that also talks about hauntings and paranormal activity happening on a regular basis. If you are hoping to hear some EVP recorded, of souls that remain trapped in a building, this is right around the corner and so incredibly close that those that are daring enough to explore can usually experience both haunted locations in the same weekend. Recordings that are done in this space often ask the visitors who they are and why they’re there and make quite an effort to get in contact with the people that are visiting. The spirits also warn of other spirits that are in the area, that may have endured more torture than the rest.

If you’re interested in visiting one of the most haunted locations in Hartford, this is the place to go. This prison has had some incredible EVP recordings captured and the team at Ghost Hunts USA has the equipment and team members to make your trip to the Old Hartford City Jail a memorable one. These spirits and a lot of the prisoners that were kept in this jail are not recorded, and the mystery behind their hauntings makes the interactions, even more, nervewracking. From EVP recordings that tell people to hide, ask them “who are you”, “will you love me” and more, it goes without saying that the spirits that remain here are looking for some sort of answer in every visitor that does make their way through the Old Hartford City Jail.

The individuals that come out with us on these tours are patient and curious about learning more in regards to who, and still may, linger in the halls of this prison. The stories that we learn each time are more and more intriguing and always provide us with a better idea of what it is that these spirits hold onto. Check out the schedule of tours that we have scheduled currently and allow for us to take you on the ghost hunting adventure of a lifetime.