Llano’s Haunted Red Top Jail 2012
The two syllable word, “Haunt-ed” is a very scary and ominous sounding word. It stirs up thoughts of a strange and frightening world. A world of extreme evil with unknown physical bounds. That’s because the general public has little understanding and knowledge of that world except what they have seen on television and in the movies. The evil on these paranormal shows is way overplayed. Let me just say, there’s a huge difference between Hollywood and real life when it comes to hauntings. While it’s true real hauntings do physically exist, that reality is much more subdued and subtle. Let us review the two major types of hauntings between Residual and Intelligent.
Residual Hauntings are basically stored up energy from human activity and strong emotion over long periods of time. This accumulation of energy is like a large atmospheric time capsule. This time capsule may contain memory of sounds, bits of conversation, music, footsteps, gunshots and anything else from folks of a bygone era. Our modern technology of digital audio recorders are only now beginning to tap into this lost audible world from yesteryear. Some of this residual energy will repeat itself over many decades or longer and occasionally will manifest into something visible. Depending on how strong the imprint was. But don’t worry, there is absolutely no intelligence involved with Residual Hauntings.
Now, Intelligent Hauntings are a whole different ballgame. It’s true that some spirits linger on in locations where a dramatic event occurred in their lives. It doesn’t always have to be their death. Sometime after passing, a spirit will return to a location where they experienced a personal tragedy in life. It could be over lost love, the taking of a life, sexual assault or some other major misfortune the spirit chooses to dwell on and not let go of. They unknowingly condemn themselves to their own private prisons of misery, grief, regret and self pity. And since the oldest historic buildings have been inhabited much longer with human activity, that is where you will find these hopelessly sad and lost souls.
But sometimes the opposite is true. It could be as simple as unfinished business of a personal nature or being completely unaware of their instant death. A spirit might return to a place that brought them much joy and where they were happiest in life. Whatever their reason for remaining earthbound, they have refused to walk into the light and cross over. Of course, not every dilapidated building or home has a residing ghost.
The Historic Red Top Jail certainly has had it’s share of unusual goings on inside it’s stone cold walls after dark. This impressive Victorian prison with it’s castle like granite walls is a foreboding sight to behold in daylight, let alone at night. On our very first investigation of Red Top, the Llano Historical Ghost Society packed up and left somewhat disappointed, after a quiet and uneventful night. Days later, after going over our Evidence Review, we realized we had captured much more than previously thought. Several digital photographs showed some unexplained phenomena occurring that the human eye could not perceive at the time.
On our second investigation, we were surprised again. This time, the opposite happened. Nothing on film in way of anomalous photographs or video, but our digital audio recordings of Electronic Voice Phenomena was outstanding. An example was when we asked for the names of two young girls standing on the front steps of the jail in an old photograph. A ghostly female voice answered back loud and clear on our Edison Ghost Box with “Pearl and Megan.”
I did the old Shave and a Haircut knock, then listened intently, nothing. But when I played it back on my PC with headphones a few days later, I heard the two knocks come answering back. It’s this kind of creepy evidence that gives you chills and makes the long hours worth it.
I would like to think I have a close personal friendship with the ghosts of old Red Top Jail. Your humble narrator did two weeks of hard time in the old outlaw jail over Halloween of 1974. Of what I can remember, I thought I was the lone prisoner on the entire second floor that night. The next morning, a very tired and angry woman jailer, “Betty Graham” blamed me for the constant flushing of a toilet all night long. The funny thing was, I had no idea of what she was talking about since I slept on my metal cot and heard nothing resembling a flushing toilet. I guess the inside ghostly joke was just meant for Betty’s ears only. Whatever one might think about the ghosts of old Red Top Jail, they probably will not show themselves to you, but they will definitely let you know they reside close by. “I can say without a doubt, death is not the end and life continues on somewhere out there….happy haunted trails to all.” Sincerely, Kenny D. Hare Jr.
I would like to give a Special Thank You to Friends of the Llano Red Top Jail. Especially Sheri Zoch, Mike Reagor, Frank Rowell and Steve Roberts.
Kenny Hare is the Founder of the Llano Historical Ghost Society, Old West Ghost Tours of Llano and the Johnny Ringo Secret Society, now on Facebook.
It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead. People feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand, looking out of the window, sound and well in some new disguise. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Llano...The way Texas used to be
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