Orlando Sentinel

Historic jail, maybe haunted, up for sale


GAINESVILL­E — A historic jail from the 1920s is for sale in Florida. Buyer bonus: It might even be haunted.

Although the property surroundin­g the Old Gilchrist County Jail, which opened in 1928 and operated for 40 years, is somewhat dilapidate­d, the interior is well preserved, with original cell doors, bunks and bath fixtures in place. There’s also running water, though the jail portion has no electricit­y.

The eight-cell, eight-bath property comprises a little more than 2,000 square feet and also includes an attached jailer’s house, added in 1965. The asking price is $140,000.

Arlene Hale’s husband bought the jail for her as a birthday present a dozen years ago, paying about $30,000 for it.

Hale told The Gainesvill­e Sun she and other paranormal enthusiast­s have used the space to talk with the spirits associated with the jail they believe remain there. Inmates and the ghost of a man found murdered there in 2008 are most often reported. Unexplaine­d voices, shadowy figures and a sensation of being touched have been reported, she said.

The 73-year-old said it’s become too difficult for her to keep up with the property, but she is hoping to strike a deal with the new owners so she can still court other paranormal enthusiast­s there from time to time.

Little is known about the history of the jail because of a lack of records available from the courthouse and police department.

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