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Hood County Jail Museum: Case Report

February 27, 2018

 

When NTParanormal arrived at the Hood County Jail Museum on February 24, 2018, we didn't expect much in the way of activity or evidence. Previously investigating the location in Granbury, TX in May of 2017, we had been left empty-handed with no paranormal occurrences, no discomfort, and no recorded evidence to show our viewers and followers. Lacking even enough video footage to share on our website, we placed the Hood County Jail Museum on the back burner, hoping to return for a follow-up later down the road. When we finally got to the location for our second outing, we were skeptical, predicting this investigation would go the same as the last. We are surprised and excited to be able to state the opposite.

 

After our initial walkthrough of the two-story jail museum, we began our setup. Armed with four static cameras, a still photo camera, four voice recorders, two walkie-talkies, a diode, a thermal cam, and a live-streaming camera, we shut off all the lights and readied ourselves for a full night's investigation. Starting outside, Ashton gave the viewers a multi-angled shot of the exterior, giving them a little bit of a history lesson on the jail's previous uses and some of the stories attached to it. After filling everyone in and what we expected, we headed inside and locked ourselves in.

 

Downstairs, in the office, Ashton, Sara, Allie, and I regrouped, collected our individual pieces of equipment, and got to work. To begin the investigation, Allie began sweeping the first floor and taking still photographs using an IR filter, UV filter, then flash photography. While Ashton and the live-stream followed her movements, I took control of one of the walkie-talkies and my secondary video camera and followed Sara upstairs, where we began a light EVP session. Initially getting no results, we returned to the rest of the group. When Allie and Ashton headed upstairs, I followed and Sara settled in front of the static cam setup in the office.

 

As Ashton gave the live-stream a walkthrough of the upstairs area, he began hearing a scratching noise coming from the women's cell. However, we immediately discredited it as the curator watching TV in her office downstairs. Moving forward, toward the men's cell, anxiety levels had already begun to rise as we were enveloped in total darkness and surrounded by long, black corridors. As Allie took photos of the cage and its surrounding halls, my walkie-talkie sounded off with Sara's concerned voice, asking “Are all of you upstairs?” After I affirmed, I asked why. She quietly responded “nothing” at the moment.

 

Questioning why Sara would ask such a thing, Ashton, Allie, and I moved back into the women's cell for more pictures. As we stood around in the solid concrete room, all three of us heard the scratching noise this time. It was the same noise Ashton heard previously, and now we knew it was real. We wanted to debunk it, checking every nook and cranny for a rodent, checking the windows for any airflow, and shifting around on the floor to make sure we weren't the ones making the sound. When we found nothing to support our debasing, Ashton made sure the diode was functioning properly – so that we could catch any and all sound coming from this room, even when we weren't around.

 

We moved back downstairs toward the office to regroup with Sara and ask about her earlier radio message. It was then that she told us about her first experience. As she was sitting in the office, she heard footsteps walk past the doorway toward the front door. She peered out, relieved when she noticed the daytime curator exiting the museum for the night. She then relaxed and returned to her seat. However, after a minute or so, more footsteps walked by the doorway. Anxiety crept all around her as she peered out into the entrance once more, hoping that the curator had forgotten something. She waited, seeing and hearing nothing for a while. However, as empty as the rooms were, she felt as if something was watching her. It was then that she radioed in and asked if we were all upstairs. When we affirmed, she blamed the heating for the noises. Returning to her seat, she started an EVP session and tried to shake the feeling like she was being watched. When the Ashton, Allie, and I began descending the stairs, she finally shook it. With us all back together, we shared our experiences with the scratching upstairs and the footsteps downstairs. When we learned that these two separate things happened at the same time, we tried to blame the heating ducts, but couldn't convince ourselves that was true.

 

We changed our groups and split up again – Ashton and I heading up as Sara and Allie stayed down. The two ladies began an EVP session in the area outside the office while we started one in the women's cell. As Ashton and I sat in the small room, we both noticed a discomforting feeling of dread. We weren't sure if it was just nerves or a bad vibe in the room, but we were both anxious. The EVP session took us several minutes, as the first try resulted in an error on our part (we could hear the girls downstairs), the second try resulted in a technical error (the recorder was acting up), and the third try leading to a re-listen as we thought we heard whispering after one of Ashton's questions. When we didn't hear it on the second listen, we moved into the gallows area to start another session.

 

Before we got a chance to ask any questions, Sara radioed in once more and asked us to go into the men's cell and walk around because they heard footsteps from downstairs. We immediately did as she asked and stomped around the men's cell, walked, and jumped up and down in the cage. After producing as much noise as we could, Sara called in to say she could only hear us when Ashton was jumping up and down. Even then, it was muted. As she spoke, the walkie-talkie in my hand made an extremely loud squeal and I cried out in surprise as my ear began to rang. Staring down the long, black corridors along the cage, we tried to talk to Sara once more, but found the equipment to be malfunctioning. No longer able to communicate over the radio, we felt entirely isolated in the men's cell. Trying to ignore those feelings, we re-situated ourselves in the cage and began an EVP session.

 

After the first round of questions, Ashton paused and said he thought he heard a whooshing sound coming from the corridors outside of the cage. Although I hadn't heard it, I had felt a gush of air coming through the holes, but had ignored it. After our third round of questions, we were interrupted by a loud thumping coming from the women's cell. At first, neither of us spoke, both looking up and toward the room at the same time. When we realized we had both heard it, we both said “Did you hear thumping?”, which confirmed the sensation. Hurrying to the women's cell, we tried to debunk the sound. After stomping around, squeaking the bed, and trying to rattle the windows, the closest replication of the noise we could make was shaking the wooden frame of the room's sign. However, in order to cause the sound, we had to grab it and shake it pretty roughly. Simply walking around it or bumping the wall it leaned against did not cause the same thumping.

 

We tried another EVP session in the women's cell to see if we could catch the thumping on the recording. As Ashton paused between his questions, we both heard a scratching sound inside the room at the same time. Quickly rewinding the recording and listening again, the scratching was audible, and we quickly asked more questions. As the session began to wind down, we noticed we could hear Allie and Sara speaking louder than usual downstairs and decided to check in with them. We returned downstairs to the office, where Sara stood in the doorway with the EMF detector on the floor. It was then that we learned about their third encounter.

 

After feeling like they were being watched again, Sara had been leaning against the doorway of the office when she heard a very loud exhale right beside her. She described it sounding like a person sighing heavily. She had turned back to grab the EMF reader when she and Allie both noticed the dates and times on all four static cams blurring and wiping at the same time. They said the recordings were fine and the frames weren't affected. Only the number stamps had warped at once. As this happened, their walkie-talkie had begun beeping periodically and had not stopped ever since the last time they had communicated with us and it squealed in my ear. We agreed to discount all of the technical errors as just that, as the walkies had been faulty before. However, even as we agreed on this decision, questions lingered in the air.

 

Sara and I sat in the room outside of the office and watched the EMF meter for a few minutes, hoping to get some spikes as she asked whatever might have been there to make the number go up. As we waited silently, we both heard a clicking sound behind me and nervously peered back into the room where the mannequins stood. Ashton heard the sudden silence and leaned out to see what was going on. We told him about the clicking, and decided it could possibly have been the heater clicking on or off. He joined us in the room, nonetheless, and started doing EVP's while we watched the EMF reader. After several minutes with no results, we decided to move back in to the mannequin room.

 

We entered the back room, already amped up from previous experiences, and joining a room full of dolls and faceless human bodies certainly did nothing to help our anxiety. In fact, due to my phobia of dolls, I was more uncomfortable than ever. Although Sara and Ashton did not share my phobia, no one was comfortable around mannequins in the dark. We tried to calm ourselves, searching the room for any possible cause for the clicking sound we heard. Here we noticed a ceiling fan spinning above us and placed the blame. As we did, the recorder in Sara's hand began to beep repeatedly and my camera's battery suddenly went from full to dead. We took note of all the technical problems we were having – walkie-talkies, static cams, recorders, and batteries – and debated what might be causing it all.

 

The interactive viewers on our live-stream said we should do an EVP session in the mannequin room, so Sara took over while Ashton and I went to the office to replace my camera's battery. Allie continued watching the static cams as we get a new battery in and decide to take this moment to head outside for a little break. Outside, Ashton made the decision to knock on the window of the mannequin room to scare Sara. I warned him not to, but Ashton is Ashton. After we took our break, he went back inside first, then I followed a minute or so later.

 

As I entered the museum, I heard Sara shouting something from the back room and joined the others in the office to see what was going on. As I entered the room, I heard Sara running full-sprint toward us as she shoved herself inside. She began laughing nervously, saying that the heating had kicked on and she got frightened. However, as she continued to explain, we learned there had been more to it than that. She had been sitting in the back room, doing EVP's, when she heard the front door open and Ashton walk into the office. She then heard footsteps walking toward her and called out for whoever it was to announce themselves. No one responded, but the footsteps continued. She heard the front door open again and footsteps going into the office. After a moment of silence, the footsteps continued toward her. When the heating kicked on overhead, she fled to the rest of us. We accounted for our positions when she heard the footsteps. Between Ashton and me entering, something had been making footsteps through the rooms, and we had no clear explanation.

 

After a swift punch to Ashton's gut for scaring her earlier, the three of us left Allie with the static cams and went back into the mannequin room for another EVP session. After we asked and listened for several minutes, Allie called from the other room to say that the numbers and dates on the cameras were bugging out again. Soon after that, we all heard what sounded like footsteps above us and quickly debunked it as the roof rattling over us. We returned to the EVP's, but as we were listening silently, I heard what sounded like Allie whining or crying behind me. I call out her name, hoping she was okay, but got no response. I hurried toward the office to find her sitting there, watching the cameras like usual. While I was in the office with Allie, Sara began hearing stomping around upstairs in the gallows, and she and Ashton rushed upstairs. Certain now that Allie was fine, I followed them up with my camera.

 

The three of us sat in the women's cell with the EMF reader and noticed a steady field in the corner of the room, which could affect the things we were seeing and hearing. We started EVP's once more. Soon after asking a couple questions, all three of us heard a whistling coming from the men's cell. It was almost like a catcalling whistle, and we all heard it the same way at the same time. We tried to debunk it, but as the windows are sealed up in metal with no leaks (we had checked before), we couldn't. After this shared experience, we decided to split up again. After a quick meeting, it was decided that I would stay alone in the women's cell, with the door closed, while Sara and Ashton went to the men's. We agreed for them to shut the door to the cell – not latch it – so that I would be left in total darkness with nothing but my camera and the EMF reader.

 

While I sat in the small, constrictive, entirely black room, I kept getting the feeling like something was watching me. My eyes kept moving up to the ceiling, where I could sense something moving around. I panned my camera up repeatedly, but could not see anything. I covered the light of my screen and let my eyes try to adjust to the dark. When I could make out the bed across the room, I looked up at the ceiling and saw a shadow crawling from the back right corner of the room to the other side. I immediately looked back down at the room, my heart pounding like crazy, when I got the feeling like something was standing directly to my left. I didn't dare peek that direction. Instead, I clenched my eyes shut when I heard something that sounded like clicking teeth in my ear. I wanted to bolt, but also wanted to stay longer to try to capture something on film. Not much later, Sara opened the door, allowing a small amount of light into the room, to ask if I had been walking around. It was then that I learned Ashton and Sara had been hearing steady footsteps upstairs and thought I was jacking around. Learning this, I left the solitary confinement and rejoined the group in the men's cell.

 

As Ashton led us back to the cage and began reenacting the rhythmic footsteps they heard earlier, we got the feeling like we were being watched, and the live-stream viewers began commenting, saying they could hear whispers. The tension in the air was only slightly eased when Allie shouted up the stairs about needing to leave early. Because she had driven me there, I handed my camera off to Ashton and headed downstairs to collect my things from her car, leaving Sara and Ashton alone. On my way outside, I couldn't get the image of that shadow thing crawling across the ceiling, and after Allie left, I reentered the dark museum with much hesitation. I finally settled in to watch the static cams, trying to calm myself down. This didn't happen though, as a few minutes later I felt like I was being watched again. I grabbed the EMF reader off the desk and stood in the doorway of the office, watching the number rise. When it spiked up to 0.7, I clearly heard someone whisper “Hey” in my ear. Startled, I rushed back up the stairs to join the others. As I reached the top, I found Sara standing in the doorway of the women's cell, talking about what she had just gone through.

 

While I had been downstairs, she was left alone in the darkness of the women's cell, just as I had been, while Ashton waited outside the door. She explained that she had heard clicking in the back corner and asked something to sit on the bed. Immediately overcome with a feeling of dread, she felt as if something was leaning over her shoulder. With the live-stream camera in hand, she watched as the comments began talking about an indentation at the foot of the bed. She added that she got the feeling that something was on the ceiling and kept looking up with the camera, but saw nothing. However, when she looked up with the naked eye, she saw a shadow person crawling in the back corner. Suddenly faced with the reality that we saw the same thing, we all entered the women's cell together.

 

Ashton noticed that there really was an indentation at the foot of the bed and placed his hand on the mattress, pressing down for a split second before yelling out and jumping backward saying something grabbed his hand. Neither of us believed him, as we knew anxiety levels were through the roof at this point. He was adamant, however, and Sara repeated his actions, pressing her hand into the bed. She jolted back as well, saying something extremely cold brushed her hand. While we hate and discredit orbs, we did find it odd that something streaked across her hand on camera at the exact time she felt the chill. The live-stream asked if Ashton would stay in the women's cell alone, since he was the only one that hadn't so far. He agreed, but with the stipulation that we wouldn't shut the door.

 

Leaving him with the live-stream and a recorder, Sara and I went into the men's cell, sat down, and stayed absolutely quiet for quite a while. When we were sure enough time had passed, we all regrouped and headed downstairs. On the way down, Ashton halted and said he heard crying from upstairs. I immediately told him about my experience downstairs when I thought Allie had been crying. We found it strange and unusual that we were experiencing the same things at different times.

 

Downstairs, Ashton decided to send me into the mannequin room with the camera and EMF reader, due to my phobia. After filming me with the live-stream for a minute or two, he rejoined Sara in the office and told her about his time in the women's cell. He explained that he had been extremely uncomfortable and kept hearing footsteps. He continued, saying that something definitely had grabbed his hand on the bed, and he heard crying on the way down.

 

In the back room, I wanted to flee from the mannequins and dolls. Luckily, or unluckily depending on your viewpoint, I got a break when my camera's battery suddenly died again. It was the second time my battery had dropped to nothing in a few seconds in the same room, and I noped out of that room as fast as I could to tell them. Ashton started taking a look at my camera's dead battery as I discussed how creeped out those dolls made me. As I did, I noticed a shadow move across the static camera in the men's cell. With so much going on in such a short amount of time, we took a moment to try to compose ourselves and figure out what to do next. However, when the live-stream commented that they saw something peeking into the office doorway, Ashton and Sara followed the action, which led them back to the mannequin room. As Ashton gave the live-stream a close-up view of the mannequins and Sara did a thermal sweep of the area, the heating kicked on loudly, and the sudden noise mixed with the anxiety levels caused both of them to flee back to the office.

 

After getting a good laugh and relaxing enough to continue our investigation, Sara and I headed upstairs with the thermal cam. We noticed that it was so cold, the thermal camera just saw blackness, and we wouldn't be able to see a cold spot even if something happened to be there. We took much less time in the women's cell, as we nervously recalled what we had both seen earlier, before returning back to the office. Inside, Ashton alerted us to the fact that he had been watching the static cams, and when we were in the women's cell, he saw a shadow walk out of the men's cell, stop, then go back inside. Learning this new information, we all headed up.

 

The men's cage had a bad feeling to it now, and suddenly felt colder than before. Ashton took the thermal cam, surprised that the battery was already almost dead after only half an hour of use. He reenacted the shadow's path, from inside the cell, out, then back in. As he stepped out of the cell and Sara stepped in, they both paused. Ashton said he could hear the thumping sound from the women's cell again, and at the same time, Sara felt something touch the back of her head. We quickly started another EVP session from inside the cage, however, after several rounds of questions, we had no results. When the live-streaming camera's battery began to die, we decided it was probably time to wrap up the investigation. After all, we had been at the museum for four hours and our batteries kept dying.

 

In the gallows room, Ashton gave our live-stream viewers a little wrap-up, and we said goodbye for the night. As soon as the stream was down, we flipped all the lights back on and began packing up, anxious, excited, and surprised by the amount of activity we had experienced that night. We shared our stories with the curator before leaving, and couldn't wait to get home to watch the footage and write up the case report.

 

While our first outing to the Hood County Jail Museum had been uneventful and resulted in no evidence, the second had been much more active. With several shared experiences and lots of strange sights and sounds, we look forward to seeing what the footage says, seeing what we can and cannot debunk, and hearing what you guys think of our finished video. We hope you have as much fun watching as we did investigating.

 

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