Investigation report

Old jail copywriteOn April 29, 2016 Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations investigated the Old Jail in Charleston, S.C. There have been numerous reports of paranormal activity including seeing apparitions, being touched, hearing disembodied voices, unexplained noises, seeing shadow figures, etc.

Investigators & people present at investigation: Ed Laughlin, Beth Peters, Christie and Chris Bradley, Melissa Foster. Guest investigators Robin Davis, Bill, and Jessica.

We would like to thank Robin and Bill  for all their hard work in making this investigation a reality for us! GOGPI would also like to thank American College of the Building Arts for giving us access to the building for the investigation!




Old Jail SunriseThe Old Jail building served as the Charleston County Jail from its construction in 1802 until 1939. In 1680, as the city of Charleston was being laid out, a four-acre square of land was set aside at this location for public use. In time a hospital, poor house, workhouse for runaway slaves, and this jail were built on the square. When the Jail was constructed in 1802 it consisted of four stories, topped with a two-story octagonal tower. Charleston architects Barbot & Seyle were responsible for 1855 alterations to the building, including a rear octagonal wing, expansions to the main building and the Romanesque Revival details. This octagonal wing replaced a fireproof wing with individual cells, designed by Robert Mills in 1822, five years earlier than his notable Fireproof Building. The 1886 earthquake badly damaged the tower and top story of the main building, and these were subsequently removed.

The Old Jail housed a great variety of inmates. John and Lavinia Fisher, and other members of their gang, convicted of robbery and murder in the Charleston Neck region were imprisoned here in 1819 to 1820. Some of the last 19th-century high-sea pirates were jailed here in 1822 while they awaited hanging. The jail was active after the discovery of Denmark Vesey’s planned slave revolt. In addition to several hundreds of free blacks and slaves jailed for their involvement, four white men convicted of supporting the 1822 plot were imprisoned here. Vesey spent his last days in the tower before being hanged. Increased restrictions were placed on slaves and free blacks in Charleston as a result of the Vesey plot, and law required that all black seaman be kept here while they were in port. During the Civil War, Confederate and Federal prisoners of war were incarcerated here. It is one of more than 1400 historically significant buildings within the Charleston Old and Historic District.



Equipment used by Investigators:

Cameras: Two Canon Rebel digital cameras, Samsung digital camera, Fuji S602 digital camera, Tasco infrared trail camera, iPhone 5S Camera/Video, numerous IR Video Cameras connected to a J2000 DVR. Nikon Coolpix L28 Full Spectrum digital camera, Bell & Howell IR Camcorder, JVC Everio Camcorder, T700 Full spectrum Camcorder, DDV-2200 full spectrum video camcorder, Insignia full spectrum HD camera/video recorder, MagiCam Mini Camcorder, FLIR Bcam w/SD, set of full spectrum POV glasses.

DVR: Black HD-SDI H.264

EMF Meters: Electro Sensor EMF Meter, Cell Sensor, Digital EMF Detectors, Mel-8704R-KII, Mel-8704-R, several K-II Meters.

Audio Recorders: Sony P210 digital voice recorder, 2- Sony digital recorders, Olympus D-10 digital voice recorder, RCA digital recorder  Olympus VN-4100PC. Spion Parabolic Dish.

Thermometers: Cen-Tech mini non-contact infrared digital thermometer and an Omega HH68K ambient thermometer. Mel-8704R-KII has ambient thermometer included.

Other: 2-P-SB7 frequency sweep radio( spirit box ), P-SB11 spirit box, Spirit voice receiver, Boo Buddy Bear, Laser Grid, Compaq Presario Laptop, Dell Laptop, Ovilus M, Altec speaker, 2- Rempod’s, various flashlights.


Investigation beginning and end: Started 2:05 a.m. and Ended 7:00 a.m.

Summary of Investigation:

After arriving at the jail Robin and Bill gave us a tour of the jail along with it’s history and stories of paranormal activity. We then set up our station cameras and DVR system. We set up six IR cameras in various rooms that were used as cells when the jail was used as a jail, along with the old kitchen and hallways. We also set up a thermal camera to cover some of the hallway and stairs.

We set up our base in the existing kitchen area with our DVR system. We then split into two teams, while one team investigated the jail the other team stayed at base and watched the monitor. While each team investigated the building they took EMF and temperature reading throughout the building, all reading were normal. They also took digital photos and did EVP sessions in the rooms.



We did record numerous EVP’s throughout the night and had some personal experiences that we could not explain, see below. We did not record anything on video or capture anything in our digital photos. Right before we left two team members went back through the jail to make sure no equipment was left. While doing this they noticed that the wheelchair in the hallway had changed it’s position from facing down the hallway to facing the wall nearest the wheelchair. No one with the team moved the chair.

All the investigators had a wonderful time investigating this historic building and learning it’s history. We do believe that there is paranormal activity in the jail. Since we receive answers to some of the questions we asked we believe that it’s intelligent haunting along with possible residual energy.

Ed Laughlin

Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations



Personal Experience summaries from investigators on the investigation:


While investigating on the third floor heard two unexplained bang/thump noises. While in the kitchen I heard a disembodied voice say “Hey y’all”. After all equipment was put away Beth and Bill were doing the final check and they found the wheelchair had moved and when I went up to look saw that it had moved, no one on the team had moved it.


While sitting on the stairs at the front of the building I heard a disembodied voice say “uh huh” and I was able to catch it with my recorder. While investigating on the third floor I heard 2 loud knock sounds.


While investigating in the kitchen of the jail I watched my camera take several photos and my hands were not on the camera. Whenever we entered the last cell room on the left on the main floor I would feel a terrible sadness and depression. This happened both times I was in the room. While investigating with Chris, Christie and Ed on the third floor I heard 2 knocks/thumps. I also saw that the wheelchair had been moved on the third floor when we had finished the investigation.


When our team was conducting an EVP session in the kitchen, Robin and I heard a disembodied voice between us answer a question out loud. The question was about what kind of food was prepared in the Kitchen, and we both heard a response that sounded like the word “shit”.

Also, I have photos of the wheelchair in one position on the 3rd floor and as our team was packing up to leave, I noticed the chair had been moved out and angled toward the wall. Also, as a matter of opinion, I think the dust in the seat had been disturbed. I asked everyone who had investigated near the area, and nobody claimed to have moved it. I do not feel the chair was moved by anyone on our team and we were the only living people in the jail during the investigation.


While investigating on the third floor I heard two knocks.


I could agree to a personal experience Beth and I both had at the same time in what was the kitchen area… We were doing an EVP session and I was asking if they were the cook… and I said “What did you feed the prisoners?” and immediately we heard a voice between Beth and myself clearly say SSHHhhhhhtt!! Only the two of us heard it and I was hoping it would show up on the tape.


Below are two pictures taken two seconds apart. In picture 1 there was nothing unusual but in picture 2 there is a white streak on the right side. The picture was taken with a full spectrum digital camera and infrared illuminator on a tripod. No one was near the area other than the investigator taking the pictures.

Below the pictures are some of the EVP’s we recorded from the investigation.  Since some of the EVP’s are faint we recommend turning up the sound and listening with headphones. What we hear in the EVP’s is listed below.

What we hear:

  1. “Shhhhhh”
  2. “Alright”
  3. “Okay” sounds like a child’s voice
  4. “Neat”
  5. Unexplained knock sound
  6. “Okay”
  7. “No man”
  8. “Uh hum”
  9. “Hey” then “Roll call” or “Man” then roll call
  10. “I’ve been robbed”
  11. “Ed”
  12. Child’s voice, cannot make out what is said.
  13. “Get out”
  14. “No” then “Eat my”
  15. “Please help” then “Alex” then “Forget it”
  16. “No way” then “Okay”