Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hanford's haunted Bastille

Do the spirits of inmates still haunt this old prison in Hanford?

Located in downtown Hanford, Ca is a rather unique brick building called The Bastille. Built around 1897 it served as the Kings County prison until 1964 when the building was condemned following the discovery of the sheriff office's ceiling strewn upon his desk and surrounding floor area. With the unexpected "cave-in" came additional inspection of the old structure. A new and much larger sheriff's office and jail were soon constructed about one mile to the west on Lacey Boulevard and the original prison was closed.

Over the years the building has been home to several restaurants and nightclubs. What's interesting is that there have been reports from the cooks in the kitchen of some unseen presence trying to frighten them. Pots and pans would be moved and the cooks felt like someone was always watching them. Other reports of a heavy presence in the old solitary confinement chambers (now converted to individual dining areas) and there are rumors after a new set of stairs were built leading to the restrooms, they appeared to become old and frail.

The Bastille at night.

Could some of the prisoners who died here over the fifty plus years still be roaming the building, claiming they are innocent and are trying to get anyone's attention? Or perhaps there are other spirits still there who were angry for being imprisoned there and are still making their feelings known after death? Unfortunately The Bastille is currently closed as the restaurant that was in there closed for business. Eventually another business will open up in there. Will they experience the same things as others in the past? Or have those ghosts of The Bastille finally become silent after all these years?

10 comments:

Famous said...

I went there with a paranormal group. Didn't see/hear/feel anything. It was creepy for sure. Haunted? Dunno.

Michael said...

You cheating on me with another paranormal group? :(

Yeah I went there once, didn't really see anything. Though it was during a weekend and the place was packed.

zara said...

I did a live shot in there eons ago. Was standing by myself in an upstairs corridor. Felt a cold wind brush past me. Later found out that was a hotspot of "paranormal activity". Don't know if that's true, but it freaked me out...

Anonymous said...

I went there with a group of friends and I just wanted to take a picture just to see what I would get. Well, what I got was a girl who had hung herself in the room she was at.

Michael said...

Would love to see the picture. Any way you can e-mail it to me?

Connie Moreno said...

I was visiting some friends in Hanford, CA and we got to talking about ghosts. They told me about an old jail that had been turned into a restaurant and reportedly, it was haunted. I immediately stated that I wanted to check this place out so we agreed to visit the following day.

The next day we went into town and made our way to the restaurant. I was disappointed to see that they were closed but one of my friends noticed that there were people inside so she knocked on the glass. One of the employees came over and opened the door to see what we needed and that’s when my friend asked if we could take a look around. They promptly pointed me out and informed the employee that I loved ghosts, LOL! The employee let us in, gave a brief history of the place and then told us that everyone who works in the restaurant becomes a BELIEVER within their first two weeks of employment! We were all wide-eyed at that statement and then she offered to give us a brief tour! Woohoo! Off we went….up stairs, through rooms; downstairs…it was all very interesting. She said she had to get back to work but she said we should check out the Solitary Confinement area before we left. She pointed us down a hallway and told us that once we were done, we could exit out of the back door. We went down the hall and found 3 or 4 tiny cells that now could be reserved for a cozy dinner…Each contained one very small table and two chairs.

For some crazy reason, the six of us decided to cram into one of those solitary confinement cells and we were laughing and making jokes. After a few minutes, we decided to leave so one by one we exited the cell. I was the last person to leave. Before leaving the cell, I was compelled to pause and just stood there. I thought to myself, “What an awful place to be stuck in” and turned to leave when suddenly “someone” grabbed the strap of my shoulder bag and gave it a strong tug. I turned back to see what my purse had gotten caught on…there was nothing for it to catch on! I was at least two feet from the chair and two feet from the wall and there was NOTHING for my purse strap to catch on!! I let out a big scream and my friends, who by this time, were outside of the restaurant, came running in the back entrance.

Everyone was talking at once, asking me what had happened and my mouth was so dry, I could barely get the words out — “Something grabbed my purse strap!!! Something grabbed my purse strap!!!” I remember that I was cold and needed to get outside in the sunshine. Once outside, I kept mumbling that I couldn’t believe what had just happened... I said, “We have to eat here!” We had to wait for the restaurant to open so we walked up the block and did some window shopping to kill time.

When it was time, we returned to The Bastille for lunch. We were seated in a large center room that was originally the mess hall for the prisoners. We sat at a large wooden table and the waitress took our drink orders. Several of us ordered iced tea. Our drinks were placed on the table. I was sitting with my arms folded across my chest. Before I had a chance to unfold my arms, the lemon garnish from my iced tea floated up in the air, hovered…and then slammed down on the table! Everybody saw it. We all sat there, stunned. I said, “Did you all see that?”

Everyone very excitedly confirms that yes indeed, they did see it.

“Did I touch it?”

Everyone very excitedly confirmed that NO, I did NOT touch the lemon!

Our waitress heard the commotion and came over to investigate. I continued to sit there with my arms cross…I didn’t really want to touch my iced tea! Everyone else told the waitress about my two encounters. She looked at me and said, “They like you!”

I don’t even remember what I ate that day….but I sure do remember that day, LOL!!

Connie Moreno said...

I was visiting some friends in Hanford, CA and we got to talking about ghosts. They told me about an old jail that had been turned into a restaurant and reportedly, it was haunted. I immediately stated that I wanted to check this place out so we agreed to visit the following day.

The next day we went into town and made our way to the restaurant. I was disappointed to see that they were closed but one of my friends noticed that there were people inside so she knocked on the glass. One of the employees came over and opened the door to see what we needed and that’s when my friend asked if we could take a look around. They promptly pointed me out and informed the employee that I loved ghosts, LOL! The employee let us in, gave a brief history of the place and then told us that everyone who works in the restaurant becomes a BELIEVER within their first two weeks of employment! We were all wide-eyed at that statement and then she offered to give us a brief tour! Woohoo! Off we went….up stairs, through rooms; downstairs…it was all very interesting. She said she had to get back to work but she said we should check out the Solitary Confinement area before we left. She pointed us down a hallway and told us that once we were done, we could exit out of the back door. We went down the hall and found 3 or 4 tiny cells that now could be reserved for a cozy dinner…Each contained one very small table and two chairs.

For some crazy reason, the six of us decided to cram into one of those solitary confinement cells and we were laughing and making jokes. After a few minutes, we decided to leave so one by one we exited the cell. I was the last person to leave. Before leaving the cell, I was compelled to pause and just stood there. I thought to myself, “What an awful place to be stuck in” and turned to leave when suddenly “someone” grabbed the strap of my shoulder bag and gave it a strong tug. I turned back to see what my purse had gotten caught on…there was nothing for it to catch on! I was at least two feet from the chair and two feet from the wall and there was NOTHING for my purse strap to catch on!! I let out a big scream and my friends, who by this time, were outside of the restaurant, came running in the back entrance.

Everyone was talking at once, asking me what had happened and my mouth was so dry, I could barely get the words out — “Something grabbed my purse strap!!! Something grabbed my purse strap!!!” I remember that I was cold and needed to get outside in the sunshine. Once outside, I kept mumbling that I couldn’t believe what had just happened... I said, “We have to eat here!” We had to wait for the restaurant to open so we walked up the block and did some window shopping to kill time.

When it was time, we returned to The Bastille for lunch. We were seated in a large center room that was originally the mess hall for the prisoners. We sat at a large wooden table and the waitress took our drink orders. Several of us ordered iced tea. Our drinks were placed on the table. I was sitting with my arms folded across my chest. Before I had a chance to unfold my arms, the lemon garnish from my iced tea floated up in the air, hovered…and then slammed down on the table! Everybody saw it. We all sat there, stunned. I said, “Did you all see that?”

Everyone very excitedly confirms that yes indeed, they did see it.

“Did I touch it?”

Everyone very excitedly confirmed that NO, I did NOT touch the lemon!

Our waitress heard the commotion and came over to investigate. I continued to sit there with my arms cross…I didn’t really want to touch my iced tea! Everyone else told the waitress about my two encounters. She looked at me and said, “They like you!”

I don’t even remember what I ate that day….but I sure do remember that day, LOL!!

Anthony said...

So im assuming this place is still empty?

drfrees007 said...

I have had a few Paranormal Experiences over the years. My experience at the Bastille influenced me to start my own Paranormal Ghost Investigations. You can check out my site at; http://paranormalghostinvestigations.com/
I update this site with new information each week. I was doing some work on the Bastille for the potential buyer of the business. We were working on dance floor lighting upstairs at about 2am. I tested one of the disco lights and found out that it would light up but would not rotate. I then unplugged the light from the wall power and wrapped the cord around the railing. We then went to the other side of the balcony to fix a couple other lights. Around 10 minutes later the same light that I had unplugged turned on all by itself and lit up the dance floor. Some how the light had been plugged back into the wall and turned on without any explanation. We were the only two people in the building that night. We also heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Our hair was standing up on the back of our heads. We decided to call it a night and immediately locked up and left the building.

JenDooms said...

The Lightworkers went there yesterday and got a great EVP! We just stood outside to see what we could pick up. I would love to investigate the inside!!!