Council Bluffs, IA is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, Squirrel Cage Jail. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
Historical Society tour guides routinely tell visitors nobody has called the Squirrel Cage Jail home since 1969. Some folks may disagree with that wording: "no BODY" may call it home, but as for spirits, that's a different matter. The feelings of goings on at the jail that are other than mortal dates back to well before the 1885 structure's use as a museum. Bill Foster, who worked as the jailer in 1950's, opted not to use the fourth floor as his apartment, "because of the strange goings-on up there." He reported hearing people walking around on a floor that had nobody on it, a sensation sufficiently concerning to motivate him to bunk on the second level prisoner floor instead.
The spirit may actually date back to the jail's origin. A former jail tour guide claimed she believed the ghost to be that of J.M. Carter, the man who oversaw the building's construction. Mr. Carter was the first resident of the top floor apartment and, according to her theory, has never left, continuing to watch over the one-of-a-kind building to this day.
There have also been reports of a full body apparition on the fourth floor identified as Otto Gufath, also a former jailer. Museum staff add whatever spirit is present, it is friendly; despite an occasional door that opens by itself, strange lights, or peculiar noises, no one has ever felt frightened or in any danger. There has been some evidence of a female spirit as well. A few years ago a woman working on a project in the building after hours had been experiencing peculiar sensations. She walked through the building and was shocked to see a little girl with a very mournful expression dressed entirely in gray... inside a cell whose bars were locked with no way in or out. Occasionally, visitors have reported feeling that something was tugging at them, reported a great feeling of sadness in some of the cells, or simply felt that there was a presence there beyond those visible.
The feelings or being watched of followed have been most frequently noted on the third and fourth floors though the voice of a little girl has been picked up in various places throughout the building, as has the presence of two ghost cats.
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This property was featured in the 2018's "World's Largest Ghost Hunt" as investigated by Paranormania. The WLGH will be returning for another chilling hunt to the Jail. Be a part of it!
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