Think You’re Scared Now? Ghost Hunting at Burlington County Prison Museum

Historic Burlington County Prison DSC 0625 copy.jpg
Burlington County Prison Museum Susan SpitzOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

In a week filled with excitement and Halloween, one of my ghost hunting stops was in New Jersey at the Burlington County Prison Museum in Mt. Holly. This small prison was built in 1811 and remained in use until 1965. Today it functions as a working museum and much more. You can take a tour, participate in an organized ghost hunt, or enjoy a haunted house event around Halloween.

Pre-Ghost Hunt Dinner

Burlington County Prison
Our small group at dinner at Applebee’s

Before our organized ghost hunt with Ghost Hunts USA, we met up for dinner at Applebee’s. This was part of the same group that ventured off into the unknown last year when we investigated Eastern State Penitentiary. Everyone was nice enough to alter their dinner plans to accommodate my picky food needs. You know me.  I usually can’t find anything on any menu to eat. Applebee’s limited offerings included steamed broccoli, fries, and a side of roasted veggies. I can’t complain too much as at least I was able to get some food in me before we left.



Our Arrival at Burlington County Prison Museum

Were the spirits trying to let me know of their presence before I even got out of the car? Click To Tweet

We arrived scrambling and worried that we were late, but fortunately for us, we were on time. I had driven down that afternoon from New York with Jessica, who quickly exited the car while I took forever to get organized.

Jessica stood on the curb a few feet away talking to one of the other women in our group. I don’t know if I asked a question or someone else did at this time, but I heard a surprising response. The answer I heard was “OK,”  which was a really loud deep voice near my face on my right side. I turned quickly because I thought, “Who’s trying to mess with me before we even go inside? Very funny. HA HA,” but no one was standing next to me. They were all up on the sidewalk talking to each other. I asked if anyone had moved close to me and said something right in my ear, and of course, no one had. Were the spirits trying to let me know of their presence before I even got out of the car?

Burlington County Prison
Full spectrum images inside Burlington County Prison Museum

With equipment in hand, we headed into the Burlington County Prison Museum to meet up with Ghost Hunts USA. A little background on our group of six: There were two Lisa’s that showed up and always being the wise ass, I decided that one should be called “Fucking Lisa” and the other “Other Lisa” so we could tell them apart. What can I say? I like to be somewhat creative with a dash of sarcasm and comedy in awkward and scary situations.

The Ghost Hunt Begins

My toes were clenched down into my boots and I made every effort not to move. But move I did. Who was moving me? Click To Tweet
Burlington County Prison
Walking down the dark hallway in the basement

We started the evening off in this hallway inside the prison as the woman from Ghost Hunts USA attempted communication with spirits. Our group was somewhat separated due to the darkness and I was near Jessica in one of the cells. We stood in the doorway and the entire time I was swaying front to back non-stop. At first I thought I was doing it and maybe fidgeting. But you don’t move naturally that way as that would be more sideways than front to back. My toes were clenched down into my boots and I made every effort not to move. But move I did. Who was moving me? I had to use a wall to support myself in order to stop the swaying.

When the woman from Ghost Hunts USA stopped to reset her equipment, I turned sideways into the cell and felt something I’ve never experienced anywhere before. Sadness swept over my entire body. Now this wasn’t my brain thinking about being in a prison and how sad it might be. In that moment, I felt completely overwrought with sadness and even began to cry. No, I wasn’t weeping, but I did shed a tear and then caught myself and reminded myself this wasn’t my own emotions. I feel as if this was a residual haunting in this cell that I walked through, felt, and experienced. Later I learned that this isn’t unusual as others have felt this sadness when visiting Burlington County Prison Museum.

Residual vs. Intelligent Hauntings

Residual hauntings are where the spirits that you encounter sort of deposit an experience in an area that then remain on a loop. Think of it as an imprinted video that’s continually plays. You’re not going to interact with the spirit, but more so experience, see, hear, etc. this activity. An intelligent haunting is where you can interact with spirits by asking questions and getting intelligent responses that are directly responding to your questions or requests.

An example of an intelligent haunting is when you receive a response to a question while using a digital voice recorder and/or the SB-7 Spirit Box. If you ask the question, for example, “What’s your name?” and you receive a name, then it’s hard to dispute that it’s not an intelligent response.

When listening to audio recordings, use headphones instead of your computer’s speakers to to hear everything more clearly. Listen to these EVPs that we captured at Burlington County Prison Museum. Bear in mind that I have not enhanced the audio in any way.

Evp “Lisa”:

Burlington County Prison
Lisa EVP on clyp

At about 4 seconds in, you can hear it say “Lisa” in the EVP. Do you hear it?

Click on the link to listen ——>   Lisa EVP <——

EVP “Other Lisa”: 

Burlington County Prison
Other Lisa EVP on clyp

Here’s the “Other Lisa” EVP where we ask “Who do you want to talk to?” Do you hear “other” come through on the EVP at about 9 seconds in?

Click on the link to listen ——> Other Lisa EVP <——

Tapping

Burlington County Prison
Tapping EVP on clyp

In this EVP you’ll hear me ask the spirits to copy me. I tap twice at the 24 second mark and wait for a response. Can you hear the response in tapping around the 30 second mark? Clearly those that were present did as they ask the spirits to do it again.

Click on the link to listen ——> Tapping EVP <——

Burlington County Prison Museum Exercise Yard

Burlington County Prison
In the prison exercise yard

We had a chance to walk outside to the prison exercise yard at one point. It felt so small  considering the prison was built for 100 inmates, but at one time held over 300. There wasn’t much to see and I imagine not much to do. The walls are high and but for the trees, I’m sure they were happy to just be outside in the fresh air.

Seriously though -- there's no action in this pic and whatever this is, it's not just the person but something above and around the person as well. Click To Tweet
Burlington County Prison
Strange image shot in the prison exercise yard

I’m intrigued by this pic as I wasn’t using any special app to produce it. The image was shot with my iPhone and perhaps a spirit or two. Seriously though — there’s no action in this pic and whatever this is, it’s not just the person but something above and around the person as well.

Burlington County Prison
In the prison exercise yard facing the prison

This is the view from the Burlington County Prison Museum exercise yard facing back toward the prison.

TSG Tip: When conducting any kind of an investigation or ghost hunt, always stand in the same place and take 2 or 3 pics without moving. Sometimes you’ll see something and sometimes you won’t, but it’s always worth trying.

Burlington County Prison
In the prison exercise yard facing the prison

Back Inside Burlington County Prison Museum

After walking around outside for a few minutes, we continued on inside Burlington County Prison Museum to try and collect more evidence.

Burlington County Prison
Standing in the basement, our K-II meters started going off all at the same time

As for visual evidence, the K-II EMF meters, provided to us by Ghost Hunts USA, were active at times. However, nearly 95% of the time I held mine, nothing happened. That is, until we broke away from the main group and headed off to the basement to investigate on our own. Then we did find they were going off, lighting up, and responding to our questions.

Burlington County Prison
Inside the women’s bathroom

Here you can see we went into the supposedly highly active women’s room to try and interact with the spirits. Nothing much in there so we all piled into the men’s room. Strange, but true.

Orbs?

After I returned home and began editing audio and video, I discovered a surprise.  I believe this super short video is legit evidence of an orb in one of the cells inside Burlington County Prison Museum.

Burlington County Prison
Orb?

We were walking around this part of the prison where a few of the women wanted to check out the cells. I was more concerned about getting my equipment organized, which is why the camera is off kilter a bit while I try to find my digital voice recorders. I’m not talking about that large circle that’s a reflection, but the small light that moves quickly from the left side of the door frame toward “Other” Lisa’s leg.

The logical part of my brain always wants to rule out other possibilities before concluding that this is a real finding or not. Keep in mind that it’s November, it’s already starting to be quite cold outside (and inside), and it wasn’t dusty at all in the prison. That removes the possibility of flies and/or dust particles in the air as no other dust was found at any other point on any video. What do you think?

Equipment Used

Burlington County Prison
Ghost Radar Connect

An unusual piece of equipment that I tried out for a few minutes while there was the Ghost Radar Connect app that Kathy told me about prior to our visit. It’s $1.99 in the App store (and available for Android phones and Kindle) and it works like an Ovilus. Just open it and the dot signifies a spirit is in your presence. Once they get the hang of using it, they can start manipulating the words in the included dictionary. At one point it said “thin” then “machine” while I held up my iPhone and asked it to speak into it. Was it referring to my iPhone as a “thin machine?”

The camera I used for this ghost hunt is a full spectrum POV camera with a wide angle IR light. It was attached to a camera light bracket, which is also mounted to an Olloclip Pivot – Mobile Video Grip. I also own two Sony digital voice recorders, both of which were used while we were at the prison.

Not all of the equipment was high tech like this. I love breaking out the dowsing rods as they may be low tech, but they work. No matter where I’ve used them, they always work  and provide intelligent responses and communication.

My Thoughts on Protection

Burlington County Prison
Icelandic rune for protection

I have some basic rules that I like to follow that others may find strange, but we all have our own obsessions. Here are mine:

  1. I definitely say a prayer before I enter a location, one before I start a ghost hunt, and one to close it down. While I don’t consider myself religious, I’m definitely one to believe that I can and should protect myself from anything that I might encounter during a ghost hunt.
  2. You can expect me to wear medallions and anything spiritual for protection. And definitely more than one. On any given day I wear my Icelandic rune for protection (the same one I have tattooed on my arm), my hamsa hand, and then I add in a rosary I received while at Monserrate in Colombia and a St. Benedict’s medal for protection. Think it’s crazy and seems like a bit too much? Then look away. As for me, I’ll stay protected, thank you very much.

Know Your Limits 

  1. I don’t and won’t ever use a Ouija board. I don’t have to explain why, but if you ask me to use one, I’m just not going to.


    Again DEMONS ARE A BIG NO IN MY BOOK. Got that? Click To Tweet

  2. Demons or anything demonic are a big no-no in my book. I don’t want to discuss, cross paths with, or play with anything that can entice, incite, or stir up demons. So when we were inside the Burlington County Prison Museum and the woman from Ghost Hunts USA started using the PhasmaBox software that allowed spirits to speak through her tablet, I immediately felt uncomfortable when a “child” came through. Demons often like to impersonate children in order to get us to interact with them. I felt uncomfortable as she proceeded to speak with this “child.” Sure enough, when it HISSED, she asked us to “protect ourselves with the ‘white light.'” Again DEMONS ARE A BIG NO IN MY BOOK. Got that?
  3. Continuing with the PhasmaBox software: Someone began communicating in Spanish with a spirit. I listened as she said, “I’m not scared of you.” I thought, “Well, hell — not sure you should speak for all of us.” How many Hispanics would’ve been here from 1811 to 1965? I checked with the museum and discovered there were very few Hispanic prisoners. Why? Because there were very few in Burlington County before 1965. Could this be a demon pretending again to gain the trust of a participant so willing to interact with something, anything? Always protect yourself, learn the history of a location, and don’t get fooled by things you might encounter during a ghost hunt. I’m just big about not bringing things home with me that I can’t see.

My Final Thoughts of Burlington County Prison Museum

Burlington County Prison Museum supposedly gets high levels of activity during ghost hunts. Most of my EVPs sounded muffled and not as clear and audible as I would’ve liked. But this isn’t a ride at DisneyLand. There’s no way to know in advance if you’ll interact with spirits and if you’ll even have any tangible proof that you did like I did on the Newcastle ghost walk. We did, however, get intelligent responses to questions including names, tapping, and the orb discovered later in my video, which was an added bonus.

What did I think of my experience at Burlington County Prison Museum? I’ve decided I’m probably not as thrilled about attending an organized ghost hunt where you have to go with others and follow their lead. I’m definitely more about setting up my own plan, taking my time, and experiencing a property slowly over time. But any chance to get out and explore the paranormal is still one way I like to have fun. If you get a chance to visit or attend a ghost hunt here, you should definitely go.

Burlington County Prison Museum
128 High St, Mt Holly, NJ 08060

Have you ever visited Burlington County Prison Museum? Do you believe in the paranormal? Let me know in the comments below. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the rest of the Travel Shop Girl website.

On my new SPONTANEOUS TRAVEL SCALE of 1-5, with 1 being super easy and spontaneous and 5 being you better plan far in advance, this is a 5. Since this was arranged with a company that organizes ghost hunts, it seems highly unlikely that you could just roll in and go. But you’d want time to prepare and organize for a ghost hunt anyway. So while I love spontaneous travel, this is one of those activities where you should definitely plan in advance.

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