The Old Nelson County Jail, right off the center of Bardstown, Kentucky, is rich in history and paranormal activity. The original jail was a log structure built in 1797, which later was burned by a woman wanting to spring her husband. The original stone Jail was built in 1819 with limestone walls 30 inches thick, a second floor “dungeon”, and two downstairs cells. When the Jailer was required to live in the jail in 1879, the ‘new jail’ was added to the back, with a high stone wall enclosing a jail yard. Believe it or not, the jail was used by the county until 1987.
Paranormal activity? Oh my yes. The structure is now a Bed and Breakfast, with six guest rooms, including one which is in an old cell complete with original jail beds. A full time resident and employee of the B&B also lives in the facility.
Dixie, the caretaker, cook, and proprietor, shared some of her encounters with us. She said that there is almost always some type of activity manifesting itself in the building, and in the back courtyard. The most recent she personally heard was a distinct child’s voice saying “Come here” over and over. Guests also reported hearing the same voice. We would have liked to hear more of her stories, but Dixie had to get back to preparing the evening meal for the guests of completely booked Jailer’s Inn.
We were definitely feeling the strong presence of spirits in this building. Every step into a different portion of the old jail was, well, cause for another sensation to our feelings. Photos on one wall documented the last hanging, which took place within the walls of the back yard. Being in that back yard was, to say the least, creepy. The energy was running high, and for me I felt a blend of excitement, foreboding, fear and conflict.
We will return someday and stay at the Jailer’s Inn. I think.