Jailer's Inn and Talbott Tavern, Bardstown, KY

The Jailers Inn Bed & Breakfast
( http://www.jailersinn.com/ )

Spending the Weekend in a Haunted Jail Cell


What better way to spend one's birthday than in a 150 year-old, haunted jail... in a jail cell... The opportunity came with Patti Starr's Ghost Hunt Weekend Getaway [link].

With options of upscale, remodeled rooms in the jail -or- next door at the 1797 Talbott Inn -or- a minimally improved jail cell with original bunks -- there was no question: The Jail Cell. After checking in (booked?) I met a couple that had attempted to stay in the cell a year ago and lasted only one hour! I was psyched.

The Weekend:

20 folks gathered in the ballroom in the Talbott Inn on Saturday afternoon. We spend time going over equipment protocols for the new folks and the history of the 3 areas we would spend the night investigating:
- Pioneer Cemetery
- Jailer's Inn
- Talbot Tavern

The Analysis

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The Old Jail:

The original building was built in 1819 and in 1874 a back wing was added which is basically unchanged today. You get a chilling, sobering look at former conditions in the Old Nelson County Jail used in full operation up until 1987. During this time many a man met his final fate at the gallows. With this type of history it makes good sense that the Jailer's Inn is quite haunted. As a matter of fact, the Travel Channel named the Jailer's Inn as one of the ten most haunted places in America.

(Iron bars on windows, 30 inch thick stone walls, and a heavy steel door slamming behind you may not sound like the typical tourist accommodation and Jailer’s Inn is anything but typical. The historic Jailer’s Inn, circa 1819, offers a unique and luxurious way to "do time."

Jailer’s Inn is a place of wonderful, thought provoking contrasts. Each of our six guest rooms are beautifully decorated with antiques and heirlooms, all located in the renovated front jail. The back jail, built in 1874, is basically unchanged; you get a chilling and sobering look at what conditions were like in the old Nelson County jail that was in full operation as recently as 1987. )

(The Old Nelson County Jail property, housed prisoners from 1797 till 1987. The front building, sometimes referred to as the "Old Jail" was constructed in 1819. Records indicated that John Rogers architect of St. Joseph Cathedral, performed certain carpentry on this structure. The upper floor of this native limestone building, with 30 inch thick walls, contained two cells and an "upstairs dungeon" to house prisoners.)

The Old Talbott Inn

When visitors walk into the Old Talbott Tavern, there's a feeling about the place. It's well kept, but the passage of time is evident in a few creaking floorboards. There's an air about the place that speaks of people who have come and gone, spending time in the pub and retiring to their rooms before an early morning departure.

Travelers used to arrive on horseback or in buggies; today they come in automobiles. Tourists and locals mingle and lives intertwine in the "ordinary," a place to rest and receive nourishment before traveling on to their final destination.

The old stone reminder of Bardstown's beginnings still welcomes visitors to the bustling downtown area. Since the late 1700s, the Old Talbott Tavern on Court Square has provided shelter, food and drink to Kentucky travelers.

Talbott Tavern is said to be the oldest western stagecoach stop in America as the westward expansion brought explorers from the east into Kentucky.

According to legend, figures straight from the history books sought lodging here during their travels; as a young boy Abraham Lincoln and his family stayed here, Gen. George Rogers Clark, Daniel Boone, and exiled French King Louis Phillipe and his entourage stayed here, even painting murals on the upstairs walls. There are noticeable bullet holes in the now faded paintings and Jesse James is said to be responsible for them.

Dr. Jim Clauson
Lead Investigator and Case Manager

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