Old Licking County Jail - Ohio

When terrible people do terrible things, they wind up in a place that contains them from ever partaking in such horrendous activities ever again. But could the things that these people are doing be so horrific that their spirits are entirely unable to rest in peace? When you visit the Old Licking County Jail, you’ll often wonder what it is that happened to these tormented souls that have them haunting the cells and halls of the prison they were once kept in. Think that you’re brave enough to make it through a tour of one of Ohio’s most haunted attractions? Learn a little bit more about the location and see for yourself if this tale is one that you’re brave enough to experience on your own.


While this is a jail that we’re talking about, it looks far from that. The building has details that are found in some of the most beautiful castles and a foundation and styling that is solid and sturdy. There are four full floors of cells, holding both men and women. The individuals that were put into this prison were some of Newark’s worst criminals. There are some spirits that still linger in these buildings, and a few individuals that worked there before have identified a few spirits that they remember interacting with.

Built in 1889, this jail had plenty of prisoners that served life sentences, and quite a few prisoners that died while in prison. While not all of them have been believed to still haunt the building, there are a few well-known names that were kept in this prison, many that were known for terrible crimes. Some of the ones that have been noted are:

  • Sam Bucklew who died in 1907
  • Lous Trunnel who died in 1916
  • Albert Miller who died in 1932
  • Walter B. Robertson who died in 1935
  • Charles Hill who died in 1949
  • James H. Shaner who died in 1955

While there were more prisoners that died, there were a few officers that also died while residing at the jail. A total of three Licking County Sheriff's died:

  • Ross Embry died in 1934
  • Albert Roe Francis died in 1949
  • William McElroy died in 1962

The deaths of some of the sheriffs were questionable, especially since they were entirely unexpected and the officers were all so incredibly young. These are one of the mysteries that people find so questionable and wonder if it is tied to a paranormal spirit or energy of the building.

As a team of professional ghost hunters and paranormal explorers, we have seen quite a bit, and when it comes to the history of locations we learn about places and the terrors that happened within them. In the Old Licking County Jail, we were blown away by a number of strange occurrences, random deaths and horrible things that happened in this building. In order to grasp some of what remains haunting this building, you must first understand what has happened to some of the prisoners.


The Old Licking County Jail was home to some of the most terrifying and cruel prisoners in the area. Some of the worst people that you will hear about when you visit the Old Licking County Jail are:

Laure Belle Devlin

This woman was placed in the Old Licking County Jail for murdering her husband. She had cut off his arms and head, which were later found in the stove of her kitchen.

Carl Etherington

A young man that had been locked away for shooting in self-defense is one of the better-known individuals whose spirit still resides in the prison. At a time when the town was known for being dry, but Carl Etherington was one of the few individuals that were still distributing alcohol. After having shot someone in a fight that happened, the man that he shot died almost immediately, it was very well known that Etherington would die too. A crowd came after Etherington and beat him up, to the point of him being unable to walk. They drag him to the jail and he is brought into the prison.

In 1910, a crowd of over 1000 people showed up at the prison, broke the door to the prison, and pulled Carl out of the prison. He was hung in front of the entire town. This is known as one of the darkest days that ever happened here at the prison, and one of the cruelest forms of punishment that a prisoner could have encountered.


In a place that had quite a bit of torture done, the souls that haunt this place definitely evict quite a bit of emotion when visitors come and visit. While a change in emotions are one of the things that people note when the visit, it isn’t the only. This haunted attraction has incredibly active spirits, and they aren’t silent by any means. From women chit-chatting on the floor ground they once stood on, to the whistling that is believed to be from an officer who once roamed the body, it is not uncommon for visitors to hear sounds.

One of the opportunities that you’ll have on your ghost hunting experience is sitting in the cells that once restrained the prisoners. While the doors have all had their locks cut, there are a few cases of people saying that when they went into the cell and closed the door, they felt fine. After a few minutes when the emotions started to shift or sounds were heard, and they made an attempt to run for the door, they were completely unable to open it. This isn’t something everyone experiences or something that only happens to certain cells, so you will have to make this choice on your own.

These are only two of the prisoners that can be encountered with when you visit the prison, but they aren’t the only ones. There are so many prisoners that had brutal and torturous encounters while they were in their prison, and the sounds of them can be heard still. Many people talk about hearing the rustle of a fight when they walk through the hallways, while others talk about the footsteps of a guard that echo through the prison. There were also quite a few suicides that happened on the property, whose spirits are also said to frequent the property.

While there are suicides and deaths that do leave spirits haunting the Old Licking County Jail, there are also a few individuals that served multiple sentences in the prison. For some, they had experienced the changes of the prison and the evolution of processes. There was one inmate, in particular, that is known for asking for someone's hand in marriage while serving time, who later died in the prison as well. He very well may have spent so much time in the Old Licking County jail that he was entirely unsure of what to do when his life ended.

Ghost Hunts USA knows first and foremost that the Old Licking County Jail has some incredible stories to be told. We find it absolutely fascinating that the spirits of those that once were held here still remain, and seem more than willing to interact with those that tour the building. Check out the variety of dates that we’ll be stopping through the Old Licking County Jail so that you can find the best one for you.