Thursday, April 8, 2021

HGB Ep. 380 - Old Hamilton County Jail

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Moment in Oddity - The Great Pig War

San Juan Island is located between Washington State and Canada and in the mid 1800s, the island was inhabited by Americans and British. Both countries claimed the island as their own because the Oregon Treaty didn't make it clear who had ownership. Things went pretty well despite this until The Great Pig War started. Lyman Cutlar was an American farmer who caught a British pig in his potato field. He shot the porcine thief and that was it. British Governor James Douglas ordered Cutlar to pay a $100 fine. Cutlar refused and the war was on. American Captain George Pickett was sent to the island to face off against the British who sent five warships and 2,000 troops. Pickett had been ordered to keep the British from getting on the island and he promised to make a Bunker Hill of the situation if he needed to. For a shot pig?! On the other side, the British Governor ordered his troops to take the island by force. British Rear Admiral Robert Baynes was in charge of the fleet of five ships and he thought about the orders for a minute. Was it really worth going to war over a pig? Baynes ordered his men to point their guns at an American fort, but they were told to stay on the ships and no order to fire was given. The Americans in turn also did not fire a shot. The two sides just stared each other down, neither wanting to start a war. We're not sure how long they sat there like that, but it would take 13 years before Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany gave San Juan Island to the United States. A war almost starting over a pig eating some potatoes, certainly is odd!

This Month in History - Corporal Hiroshi H. Miyamura Becomes A Hero (Suggested by: Mike Rogers)

In the month of April, on the 24th, in 1951, Corporal Hiroshi H. Miyamura became a hero. Everyone called him Hershey and despite the fact that his wife was in an interment camp, he joined the US Army in 1945. Hershey was an American citizen, having been born in New Mexico. He trained as a machine gunner and was discharged at the end of World War II. He enlisted in the Armey Reserve and joined active duty again during the Korean War. On the night of April 24th, the Chinese attacked and soon Corporal Miyamura knew his troops would not be able to hold the line, so he ordered them to retreat while he stayed behind to offer cover. Hershey jumped from his shelter and rushed the Chinese. He bayoneted ten of them. He then returned to his position and got behind his machinegun and fired until he was out of bullets. The corporal left his spot, bayoneting his way over to another gun and fired until that gun ran out of ammunition. He killed another fifty men and then he was severly wounded. The Chinese captured him and he became a POW and would remain one for 28 months. He then was forced to march 300 miles before being released on August 20, 1953. Corporal Miyamura was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was the first recipient to be classified Top Secret because the government didn't want the Chinese to know what he had done to their men or he might have been killed while a prisoner.

Old Hamilton County Jail

In our modern era, we are used to large penitentiaries housing criminals, but there was a time when local cities and counties had fairly small jail houses where the warden would live with his family. We heard that one of our local paranormal investigation teams was hosting an investigation at one of these jails here in Florida, about 2.5 hours from us and we couldn't resist the chance to join them. The Hamilton County Jail was open for nearly 100 years and housed a variety of criminals and both men and women. Many people died here and at least three were executed and there are several bodies buried on the property. This has lead to claims of hauntings and based on our experiences, we would agree that this location is very active. Join us as we share our investigation of the Old Hamilton County Jail.

The Old Hamilton County Jail is located in Jasper, Florida and was built in 1893. The structure was constructed from red brick, steel and concrete and stands two-stories. Men and women were both housed in the jail and there were separate cells for not only them, but also African Americans. The jail was added to the Register of Historic Places in 1983 and the jail itself was used into the 1980s. Rehabilitation is being done and the building is in pretty good condition.

Jesse and Brooke of Brooksville PIT were our hosts and they took us on a tour of the property and shared what history they knew with us. They were a class act, care about the history and brought lots of equipment that they were generous in sharing. We started outside before heading into solitary confinement. The owner used ground penetrating radar on an area outside of solitary confinement and 84 bodies were detected. They only know of three hangings that took place at the jail. Two of those hangings were the last legal hangings east of the Mississippi River, making this an important historic location. Walter Durham was the name of the last man hanged and this happened in 1916. Durham shot and killed Sheriff's Officer W. Raiford Royals.

We then headed inside where Brooke explained that one half of the building was where the deputy sheriff lived with his family. The main floor had the master bedroom and the children slept upstairs. There was a sitting room with a fireplace on the first level, as well as the kitchen. Two children were born in the building. The local judge would come for dinner occasionally. The warden's wife cooked for more than just her family, she cooked for the inmates as well. That was until they finally hired a cook. As we said, there were women in the jail. Here Jesse and Brooke tell us about a couple of the female inmates. (OHCJ Women in Jail) We find out about the African American cell too. (OHCJ Black Cell)

The first room we investigated was a bedroom on the main floor that was used by the deputy warden's family and we weren't expecting much activity, but some responses we got from the dowsing rods were unsettling. (OHCJ Not Human) So this entity is claiming to be neither male or female and something other than human. We think we caught some kind of anomaly on EVP. There is a lot of background contamination, but this sounds odd. (OHCJ EVP Child) (OHCJ EVP Child Amped) We think it sounds like a child making a noise. Very similar to one we caught at Villisca House. The dowsing rods then did indicate that we had a little boy with us, but when we asked about age, the spirit seemed to have left.

Then we headed for a jail cell and things really picked up. We decided to do the Estes Method here and what worked good for us was using regular earbuds with shooting range ear muffs over the ears. Note: we take out a lot of the empty air in between responses. Diane felt like there were several spirits speaking at once because many voices came through and it was really hard to decipher what was being said. There were some really clear words though too. (OHCJ Estes 1) I laughed in the middle because I could tell the words were being said sloooowwwer. Then Kelly took over listening for awhile. (OHCJ Estes 2) Diane switched to a slower sweep to see if it worked better and here were the results. (OHCJ Estes 3) Too funny that you said touching REM Pod would not hurt and I say bullshit. So it makes us wonder now if they just doubted that to be true or if it does hurt a spirit? Kelly also invited the spirits to touch my hair. Remember that. Also remember that we got the name Bob. And very cool that it says there are 3 spirits there. We are going to get a third name.

Here is more of that Estes session. (OHCJ Estes 4) Rest of the session (OHCJ Estes 5) And that was the end of the Estes sessions. So it would seem we had 3 males and 1 female. Jesse checked in with us to see how things were going. (OHCJ Jesse) Sounded like another weird anomaly in that clip and as you heard, the flashlight turned on by itself. The EMF lit up periodically as we were in this cell. It went to red once when we asked them to get it there, but we mostly got a steady orange. We started a Facebook Live about this time and that video is up on our YouTube Channel, which you might want to check out so you can see what happens when Kelly jumps into a shower to see if she can coax some spirits out.

So Kelly did some dowsing rod questions in the cell and remember how she told the spirits they could touch Diane's hair? Well (OHCJ Hair) So now Diane has been touched again, but she wasn't the only one. Kelly was touched on her arm. (OHCJ Arm) Erina was watching the Live and suggested we try a dowsing rod session using the Estes Method, so we did. At the very beginning, you'll hear the Portal in the background. (OHCJ Estes Rods) So very interesting. It was like the spirits left right after responding they were there. Was it because Kelly was closed off? I love that Kelly could tell that the energy left with even the EMF going quiet. We continued and then the spirits indicated they wanted us to leave the cell. We moved to the African American cell and the EMF went crazy. This is where we had been told that people get scratched, but it was pretty uneventful for us in there.

We could hear another couple who were in a nearby cell and they mentioned the name Bob, so Diane went over to ask them about that. They had heard the name Bob come through the portal, Diane got that name and then we heard the portal say Bob again as Kelly started asking him questions with the dowsing rods. (OHCJ Bob) So there is definitely a Bob hanging out there. Bob claimed that he was a prisoner at the jail. Kelly also talked to Marney during this session and she could feel the difference in the rods. Next we headed to a cell where Brooke and another woman were using the SLS Camera. Kelly got in the shower and was joined by two entities. (OHCJ Shower) Based on this next bit of audio, we think one of the entities with Kelly was named Tom, whose name has come up for other investigators in the past. (OHCJ Tom) As you heard, the flashlight was going crazy. This next audio is fun. Kelly was finished playing in the shower and the spirit box responded. (OHCJ Shower Yep) Kelly got back in for a bit and there seemed to be a third entity that tried to join. It was real interesting to get to see and use the SLS Camera for ourselves. There was nothing else that the system could have been mapping other than Kelly.

We went back over to the living quarters and went upstairs to the children's room. There was a crib full of creepy dolls. We didn't get much interaction here other than a ball that moved ever so slightly. And the dowsing rods seemed to indicate a little girl was there with us. Our last spot that we investigated was solitary confinement. We used the dowsing rods and seemed to have a conversation with a former resident. (OHCJ Solitary)

We had such a great time at this location and plan to return again. Jails always provide us so many cool unexplained experiences and this one certainly did that. Is the Old Hamilton County Jail haunted? That is for you to decide!

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