Ghost Hunters: “The Oldest House in Georgia”

Kris reprised her role as jail bait for ghosts of inmates past at the Old Ulster County Jail in Kingston, New York. Grant terrified the ghost of a young girl at the Thornton House in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Old Ulster Jail is actually a fairly recent structure built in 1971. It closed in February of 2007. Both correctional officers and inmates reported a variety of paranormal activity. Objects had been known to move by themselves, footsteps led officers on fruitless chases, people reported having been touched and a particularly frightening figure of a long-haired woman with empty, dark eyes had all been reported.

Sheriff Paul handled the walk-through with Jason and Grant.

A former female officer was interviewed. She had been on duty early in the morning and had closed her eyes for a moment. A ghostly presence chose that moment to place a finger in the middle of her forehead and say, “Hey” as if someone were trying to get her attention.

A past male officer recounted his experience of hearing footsteps echo between cell blocks C and D when he was the only person in the area. He wasn’t able to track down the source of the footsteps.

The third floor of the 60,000 square foot jail had a housing unit that seemed to host a number of shadow figures and football shaped orbs of light. Originally built to be a recreation area, I saw the ghosts of four male inmates repeatedly slam the head of a doomed inmate into a table. It wasn’t a clean or pleasant way to die. The murder’s buddies kept everyone away until their chosen victim was dead.

Officer Pettit shared his vision of a frightening female apparition with flowing hair and black eyes that had confronted him as he was patrolling the E and F tiers one night. He was terrified and quickly left the area.

I don’t think it was the ghost of a woman who confronted him. It was a non-human entity that was masquerading as a female ghost. It was fairly nasty so my guides dissolved it in divine light.

TAPS set up cameras in all the hot spots. Jason and Grant started the investigation on the first floor women’s unit. I saw the ghosts a lot of 70’s era hookers in fake fur and orange and brown skimpy outfits, chatting among themselves and calling out suggestive comments to Jason and Grant. They didn’t hear any of it.

What they did hear were footsteps and the sound of someone or something moving around near cell five. They entered the cell but it wasn’t wasn’t the source of the sounds. As they were poking around cell five they heard cell doors opening and closing down the hall from them. They were alone in the cell block and didn’t find any explanation for the assorted sounds.

Kris and Amy picked their way through a utility corridor on the second floor. It contained pipes that controlled the toilets and sinks in each cell. The pipes were around, above and underfoot, so I was surprised they didn’t attribute some of their experiences to the fact they were surrounded by empty pipes and assorted electrical wiring.

I have said it before, but it was true again in this episode, Kris is a ghost magnet for male prisoners who have died but not moved on.

Granted she was asking the ghosts around them to touch her. A rather vile minded male ghost with bushy hair, bad teeth, overgrown beard and freakishly long fingernails took her up on her offer. First he ran a fingernail from her shoulder down her arm.

Amy and Kris kept provoking with somewhat salacious suggestions. Amy told the ghosts they had two girls trapped in the utility tunnel and asked how often did they get that? I heard several enthusiastic male ghosts reply, “Whoot!” in appreciation. Fingernail freak tugged on the left shoulder of the tank top Kris was wearing.

Amy asked any ghosts around the girls, “Is this where you hide” I heard a ghost respond, “We all hide here.”

Kris and Amy continued down one of the cell blocks served by the utility corridor. Kris repeatedly stuck an arm between the bars of closed cell doors inviting ghosts to reach over and grab her arm. One of them obliged. At this point Kris may have been tiring of being poked and prodded as she suggested the ghosts around them do the same thing to Amy. Amy didn’t have any takers.

Steve and Tango checked out the first floor women’s cells where a black mass had been reported in one of the entrances to the block. Steve offered himself as male bait asking the past female inmates, “Isn’t it nice to have two young handsome men here?” Equipment didn’t pick anything up, but I was treated to a cacophony of catcalls and whistles. One female ghost yelled that she wouldn’t mind taking Steve home with her.

Tango and Steve did get some knocking responses when they promised to leave if they got some sort of interaction. The first sound was faint. The second louder and the third was in direct response to Tango’s request. The guys kept their word and left the area despite wanting to gather more evidence.

Kris and Amy were sent up to housing unit on the third floor that had reports of shadow figures and football shaped orbs. Amy asked, “What are you in here for?” I heard back the chilling answer, “rape”. The gals did hear some sort of machine type sound farther down the corridor that seemed to travel to the door at the end of the hall. They experienced what corrections officers had reported, sounds bouncing around between cell blocks. They decided to split up. Amy took the sixth tier of E block and Kris went to the third tier to try to figure out the origin of the sounds. Kris saw a shadow figure against the white cell door bars that wasn’t caught on camera. Meanwhile the elusive sounds seemed to come from the housing unit the gals had just left.

At this point in the investigation Jason radioed Kris asking if she and Amy had been banging cell doors? They had not moved any cell doors, but heard them banging around as if opening and closing under their own power. Jason and Grant heart the same thing one floor below Kris and Amy.

In order to eliminate any possible contamination Jason and Grant removed the gals from the area and continued to investigate on the second floor. Grant heard a uncaptured moan come from down the hallway, followed by disembodied footsteps. Apparently Jason didn’t hear anything as he razzed Grant, “You are hearing a lot of sounds man.” That abruptly changed when Jason heard a door open. Although Jason and Grant walked the perimeter of the cell block they were not able to locate the source of the sound of a door opening.

During the reveal with Sheriff Paul Kris’s experience of being touched three times was shared along with a faint, hard to hear EVP that Jason characterized as a whisper. The footsteps Jason and Grant heard in the E/F tier were replayed. They commented the steps sounded like an officer walking rounds. A third weak EVP was captured as Amy and Kris chatted. It reportedly sounded like two male voices in conversation. I had a hard time hearing anything in any of the EVP’s.

Sheriff Paul was polite if not convinced about the evidence at the reveal. He said his ideas about the reported paranormal activity had changed a little but that he remained mostly a skeptic.

The second location of the episode was the Antebellum Plantation in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The plantation is a collection of historic Southern buildings relocated from other properties. The focus of most reported paranormal activity was the 1783 Thornton House that holds the honor of being the oldest standing home in Georgia.

Curator Cindy Horton led Jason and Grant through the hot spots during the pre-investigation walk-through.

In the Thornton House the ghost of a little girl had frequently been spotted on the staircase leading up to the second floor. Most accounts described her as wearing a long dress and appearing in a shimmering outline of blue light. Cindy once saw a shimmer of blue energy at the top of the stairs when she was alone in Thornton House at night.

The Antebellum Plantation had two former slave cabins. Two past employees of the plantation reported experiencing conflicting emotions coming from the cabins as they headed for their cars at night. One cabin seemed to give off feelings of warmth, the other of seething malevolence.

Staff had also felt watched in the Courtyard and Old Barn area. A full-bodied apparition in 1800’s style clothing had been reported numerous times. I saw this particular apparition as a soldier brandishing a sword and talking trash about a duel. Since he was still there it is probable he didn’t survive it.

The Coach House seems to continue to shelter an Edwardian era family of ghosts. The family group had been spotted looking out the upper windows of the carriage house. A father, mother and two children were consistently seen. This was one of two places on the plantation I didn’t feel tragedy had struck. The family group was happy when they lived in the Coach House. The elder child was a girl who doted on her brother. He was probably only a couple of years younger than she was. I saw the girl as about six and her baby brother age four.

TAPS set up cameras in the Courtyard, the Thornton House bedroom and staircase, and both slave cabins.

Jason and Grant started out in the Thornton House. Right away they thought they heard a footstep and their K2 meter lit up. They heard three loud steps in a row that Grant described as, “boom, boom, boom”. The footsteps seemed to be coming from the floor above them. Grant sat on the top stair and Jason stayed below on the first floor. Grant asked the ghosts behind the footsteps to say their name loudly. Jason heard an unrecorded slight voice in the midst of a wind. I have no idea how that happened as they were inside a closed up building. Grant repeated his request for a name shouted loudly. Both Jason and Grant heard a two-syllable word. Supposedly the word was the name “Margaret” I heard something else.

Jason heard something moving in the child’s bedroom under the eves of the house. Grant entered the bedroom, badly frightening the girl ghost that had been reported on the stairs during walk-through. She was young, four or five years-old. Grant terrified her. I saw her backed against the windows of the room, clutching a doll and telling Grant and Jason to, “Go away!” 

The thumping or “booming” sounds Jason and Grant heard when they first entered the Thornton House was caused by the ghost of the nanny who tended to the little girl ghost Grant frightened. She was pushing several big black trunks around, preparatory to packing.

The story the ghost of the nanny told me was that the little ghost girl’s mother had died. Her father didn’t feel up to the task of raising his daughter on his own, so was in the process of sending her back East to his family. The little girl’s grandparents and at least one Aunt and Uncle shared a large comfortable home and were willing to take her. The ghost girl was too young to fully understand what was going on. I asked her what she was doing on the stairs and she told me, “Waiting for Mommy.”

Steve and Tango investigated one of the slave cabins they designated as cabin one. They asked to experience the intense emotions of dread and misfortune past staffers had encountered. Instead a chair next to the fireplace started to move on its own. This was followed by a loud hissing noise Steve and Tango interpreted to be a warning that they move on. They did.

The slave cabin with the dark, uneasy emotions coming from it still housed a bitterly unhappy couple. A man and a woman, both slaves during their lifetimes nursed brooding anger and spite between them. Granted living a life of slavery and extreme poverty would be enough to sour many people, but these two hated each others guts for reasons that were not clear to me.

The second slave cabin did have happier vibrations coming off it. I got a brief glimpse of a past slave family enjoying singing around the fire at night. I do not believe for a moment they were jolly, happy slaves. I do believe they made the best of a rough life. Frequently slave families were broken up as members were sold to other plantations. Oddly this particular family looked intact. Perhaps that helped them make the best of a brutal situation.

Grant and Jason checked out the Carriage House. Jason called out “Hello” in greeting to any ghosts who might have been about. He disturbed the ghost of an elderly worker who asked him, “What do you want?” Jason didn’t hear the question.

Jason did see a light in one of the upstairs windows of the Carriage House. He described it as looking like a flashlight moving across the room left to right. The angle from which Jason saw the light would have put it at ceiling level as viewed from the ground. Grant and Jason high-tailed it up to the room the light appeared in but found that there was no central light fixture on the ceiling.

I saw the ghost of a woman from the 1840’s holding a lamp high above her head to check on her children sleeping in the room. The light Jason saw was residual haunting.

Lamp light is quite soft compared to a modern flashlight, but the lamp the woman’s ghost was carrying aloft did have a glass chimney on it which might have helped direct the light from the lamp flame into a more concentrated beam on the ceiling of the room. It is possible to adjust the height and intensity of a lamp flame by using a screw that changes the position of the wick in relation to the fuel. (Assorted power outages have taught me this.)

Jason and Grant revealed their personal experience in the Carriage House to Cindy. They recounted the footsteps in Thornton House, how their K2 meter lit up and the booming sounds they identified as footsteps on the floor above them. They also shared both hearing but not capturing the name “Margaret” in the upstairs bedroom. In addition they had heard sounds of movement in the first floor bedroom of Thornton House that was behind them at the start of the investigation.

The best EVP of the entire episode was one Steve and Tango picked up in the first slave cabin. First Steve’s voice was heard saying, “They had to build their own furniture.” This was followed by an EVP saying, “Hey you.”

A second muffled EVP was presented. Jason and Grant thought it sounded similar to the voice on the “Hey you.” EVP. Based on a number of personal experiences and several poor quality EVP’s Grant said, “Something is going on here,” And pronounced the property haunted.

Cindy made the best of it, brightly telling the camera, “To have a little bit of explanation is just great.” What wasn’t great was the episode. The personal experiences were moderately interesting, but the evidence was poor at best. Not every episode can be a home run, but I hope next week will be better because this season had shown signs of major improvement.



Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at:

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About Lynne Sutherland Olson

Professional Psychic Medium
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