Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum, Ghost Investigation, Cripple Creek, Colorado

October 22, 2010 | By | 2 Comments

( Picture courtesy of Matt Morgan, Post Interactive.net )

On April 10th of 2010, the UFOnut team ventured back in time and performed a Paranormal investigation at the Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum in Cripple Creek, Colorado. We had the opportunity not only to run a complete and thorough investigation, but were also able to run a couple of new experiments while we were there. But first, a little info on the museum.

On October of 1890, gold was discover in Cripple Creek and thousands of prospectors rushed to the area. After the largest gold strike in Colorado’s history was found, the population increased from 500 to 10,000 by 1893. Over $500,000,000 worth of gold ore was dug from the area. Cripple Creek is still transferring thousands of dollars per day between the residents and the modern day fortune seekers, but now it’s not gold they seek, it’s gambling they crave. In 1991 Colorado voters allowed Cripple Creek to establish legalized gambling, so currently casinos occupy many of it’s historic buildings.

At the end of the narrow downtown street, sits a large 2 story red-brick building which served as the Teller County Jail for almost 90 years. The jail was in operation until 1992 when it was finally closed. Used for storage for 15 years, it was reopened in 2007 as the museum. The curators have kept the original cells intact, so the visitors can experience authentic jail life for those that were on the wrong side of the law. The UFOnut team had the luxury to spend the whole night in the museum and experiment with different types of investigative techniques. At one point, two team members slept on the floor in two separate jail cells trying to provoke it’s previous occupants. The following is our investigation.

( Picture of upper level cell block)

The jails are designed in two sections, the main central area houses two levels of cell blocks in a gymnasium type room. A second upstairs section is near the building’s entrance, housed women and minors. (That’s minors, not miners.) Our investigation covered not only the two sections but the cellar as well. During the Gold Rush era, the cellar stored corpses through the winter due to the ground being too hard to dig graves. Some people say during the Gold Rush boom on an average, one person died each day. Mostly of natural causes, like gun shots, stabbings, mining accidents and illnesses. Naturally. There was one recorded death in the building consisting of an inmate falling from the second level jail section, down to the first level floor. He suffered severe head trauma and was dead within hours. Ghostly encounters experienced in the building includes:

An apparition of a small child seen near the main entrance.

The main cell block security door occasionally opening and closing.

Shadows seen towards the rear cells on the main cell block level.

Foot steps heard throughout the building.

Visitors with law enforcement backgrounds have experienced sensations of being spit on and pushed.

The museum building is quite large and we wanted to investigate as much as we could within the time frame allotted. I needed to have a full team to accomplish this, so I “convinced” my wife Tammy to help out with the investigation. Our team included, me, Matt, Trina, my son Chuck, and of course my wife. Now Tammy loves watching ghost investigations on TV but isn’t that excited about walking around in pitch black rooms looking for ghosts, so she opted to man or uh, woman our DVR monitor. This was the first time we had a set of eyes “real time” watching our every move from a base camp. Radio communication between our teams and the base camp, not only made our investigations more productive but a lot more safe too! It was nice to know we had a set of eyes watching our back just in case something else was.

( Electro-Magnetic Field Generation Device )

I love trying new things with every type of investigation I do, if it be UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, or animal mutilations. This investigation I tried a couple of new experiments in which one we noticed a pretty cool result.

One experiment I ran, was generating an Electro Magnetic Field anomaly. This experiment uses heavy duty television degaussers, (ie. electro-magnets), that turn on and off sequentially. Mounted within a metal frame, this device creates a column type of an EMF, (Electro Magnetic Field).

EMF: A natural electric field that is created by all living and possibly non living things. Paranormal investigators theorize that ghostly entities are mainly composed of electrically based energy. EMF meters (ie. K2 meters) are designed to detect EMF’s which are anomalies to the environment. Generally the higher the meter readings, the greater potential for spirit activity.

The assumption of creating an artificial Electro-Magnetic Field in these types of investigations, is to create an energy source similar to what apparitions are measured by. One of my theories is, “By generating an EMF in an area with known spiritual activity, it could actually attract entities to manifest near this new energy source.” The experiment generates a very localized strong EM field which pulsates accordingly to the electromagnetics turning on and off. The experiment runs for 5 minutes then the immediate area is video monitored with night vision for another 10 minutes. Within the 10 minute time frame, the team asks specific questions pertaining to the location of the experiment. The EMF experiment was performed at all cell block levels throughout the night. We didn’t experience any unusual activity while running this experiment but that doesn’t mean it didn’t work. I’ll have to run the experiment on more investigations to determine if I need to refine it or refuse it.

Snapshot Taken from IR Night Shot DVR Camera

Another experiment we performed were reenactment scenarios. These are fun to do and I recommend it to all future ghost hunters. The image above shows one scenario involving three members of the team running a scenario. Portrayed as deputy Sheriff’s, we reenacted scenes normally found within cell block environments. Some we performed were;

Placing and removing inmates from block cells.

Going through “lock down” procedures.

Waking up inmates to perform cell shake downs looking for contraband.

Performing different types of “lights out” procedures.

Wearing cowboy hats with badges on our chest and “cap” guns at our sides, we shook up the still of the night literally by rattling the metal cell doors. One very good EVP was captured during one of our reenactment scenarios in the woman’s cell block area. We’ll release this EVP later as part of our ghost hunting video segment by Post Interactive.net. The cool thing about capturing an EVP while running a scenario reenactment is, well, it worked! This confirms these types of experiments can get good results.

One thing the team will not do is, insult, ridicule, or harass the resident entities. We ran the previous scenarios the same way current law enforcement agencies run their procedures in which I have experience in. I believe if an entity can respond to verbal commands, then it’s a living entity and not a residual entity.

Residual Entities can be a recurrent visual manifestation of a deceased human or animal. One theory called the “Recorder Theory” is based on the concept of a tape recorder in  a loop play. It’s like playing your favorite song over and over and over again through out eternity. Residual audio can also occur defining an event. Researchers say a very dramatic event would have had to occur to throw a spirit into an endless loop of Purgatory. Possibly witnessing a death, or reliving their own death, either way there are many well documented cases of residual hauntings.

The investigation ran all through the night and into the early morning hours. About 3:30am, Matt and I decided to pick our own cells and spend the remaining night in them. Curled up in the corners of our cells with only one blanket for each, we wanted to experience previous inmate life. With night vision 8mm cameras recording us as we tried to sleep, we had a DVR camera placed outside our cells to record anything that tried to walk in. Trust me, it’s not fun laying on a concrete floor while trying to sleep in a possibly haunted cell. The rest of the night I kept one eye closed while keeping the other eye opened.

At this time the results of the investigation didn’t show any anomalies on video, but I’d like to go over them again in case I missed something. Catching anything unusual on tape can be very subtle and missed easily, so like Santa, you have to check it twice. We did pick up some EVPs and will release them later on this website. One EVP was a direct response to one of my commands during a reenactment scenario in which I barked, “Did you hear what I said?” When we release the audio I want you to tell me what you think the response was and see if you agree with the team. One problem I have watching some ghost hunting shows on TV, is their incredible creativity determining what the EVP said! I like it when the EVPs are easily understood.

The Outlaw and Lawmen Jail museum was a lot of fun to investigate and I recommend anyone visiting Cripple Creek to stop in there and say Hi! Or say, “The UFOnut Team sent me”. Which will confuse the lady working in the gift shop, but should still be interesting. While you walk through the cell blocks, think about how life would be if you were locked in one of them, then think about the thousands of inmates who had to live there through the 90 years of its existence. You may not pick up on any paranormal activity while you’re visiting there, but then again, maybe one sneaky spirit will pick up on you.

Happy Haunting!

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Category: Chuck Zukowski, Hauntings & the Paranormal, Investigations, The Z-Files

About the Author ()

For the past 28 years Chuck has been researching and investigating the UFO/Paranormal phenomenon. Chuck approaches his investigations with an analytical understanding, making sure to address all human known possibilities before venturing into the non-human or paranormal aspects of the sightings. (TV Shows in which Chuck's investigations have been featured on:) *2002, The Roswell Crash, Startling New Evidence: Documentary Sci-Fi Channel *2006, Sci Fi Investigates: Episode 5, The Roswell episode, Sci-Fi Channel *2009, Primetime: Outsiders, with Juju Chang, Alien Abductions, NBC *2010, SyFy Fact or Faked: Episode 6, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, SyFy Channel *2011, Chasing UFO’s, Episode 3, Alien Cowboys, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, Nat Geo *2013, Finding Bigfoot, Bailey Colorado episode, Animal Planet

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  1. Joseph says:

    So wierd, just found your sight today and read this. I actually live just 6 miles out of Cripple Creek. Which if you didn’t notice on your visit is pretty close for us mountain folk. 🙂

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