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Episode Recap: Essex County Penitentiary


This building's not small enough for the lot of them, so this week TAPS is joined by Destination Truth's host Josh Gates in the investigation of the eerie Essex County Penitentiary. The abandoned jail most recently operated as a state prison but was first used to hold confederate prisoners of war in the 1860s. According to the local historian, numerous suicides have occurred in the prison and to date the spirits of the tortured inmates are still rumored to roam the grounds. Talk about a life sentence.

Jason, Grant and Josh begin the investigation in the Center Hall where witnesses saw shadows and heard footsteps. While there, Josh spots an entity at the end of the cell block, so the three hunters decide to follow the ghost's lead. Once at the end of the hall Grant steps inside of the last cell and Josh uses the thermal imaging camera to scan the space. Much to their surprises an image appears to be standing behind Grant but quickly vanishes. They also notice that the K2 meter receives significant spikes in that area, leading Jason, Grant and Josh to believe that they've got company.

Meanwhile Kris braves the darkness of the tunnels beneath the jail alone. She wears a head camera attached to her helmet, which provides artificial light and will adequately scan the area and pick up any images she's unable to see. But she quickly learns that what you can't see won't hurt you. While conducting an EVP session she feels as if something or someone is moving towards her before abruptly stopping. Close call.

After their experience with the paranormal in the cell block, Jason, Grant and Josh head to the West Wing. They hear what appears to be running water, but there is no functioning water in the entire building. The thermal imaging camera also picks up extreme heat residues on the walls, yet none of the investigators are able to see any visible image around them.

Later on, Amy and Britt Griffith, who's come to help from the West Coast team, investigate the locker room area where people say they've heard noises from the attic above. As soon as Britt and Amy get near the attic, something shuffles and runs out of the room and up the stairs. They follow in its direction, but aren't able to find any trace of the entity. That is until Britt has the idea to stop where they are to conduct an EVP session with whatever they they're chasing. Good idea, because the entity was in quite the cooperative mood. When the hunters asked the paranormal to knock if it was present, they both heard a series of knocks.

To wrap up the investigation, Dave, Steve and Josh re-investigate the cell block area on the first floor where Josh first saw the shadow. While there, they receive a pretty high EMF reading at a clocked rating of 1.0, which is significantly high for a building that has no power. They then go up to the fourth floor to survey the area. Once there, the three investigators continue to hear various wind noises, metal sounds and footsteps coming from all directions. When the noise level increases, Steve gets authoritative and shouts, "Stop making those noises!", and the room goes silent. Obiedent ghosts? Who knew?

Based on the evidence gathered during the investigation, Grant and Jason definitely believe that the Essex County Prison is haunted, and since it is such a vast space, they'd like to come again in the future to continue with the investigation.