While the Bullock County Courthouse was designed to be a beautiful and imposing building, the Pauly Jail was constructed with more practical considerations in mind. Finished in 1897, the jail is one of the oldest in the state, if not the oldest. The jail is of an interesting design. It is a three-story, red brick structure that—with its spikes and turrets—reminds one more of a castle than a place of incarceration. Today, the jail serves as a museum of sorts to the facility’s primary goal in the days of its operation: combating the persistent and pervasive moonshine industry in the forests around the city.
The second floor of the jail features a trapdoor. One might wonder why, until you realize that it was in this place where the men condemned to die within Pauly’s walls would meet the hangman. Down went the trapdoor, and down the men followed. Death came quickly. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who died within Pauly went quietly, and some of their voices can still be heard.
There aren’t that many aspects of a paranormal haunting that aren’t present at the Pauly Jail. Cold spots in the middle of summer. The sound of footsteps down empty hallways. Thumps and bangs and things that go bump in the night, followed by shadowy figures that can’t be explained. Is Pauly Jail haunted? The moans of the dead executed within its walls certainly seem to say yes.
Haunted Alabama Black Belt written by David Higdon and Brett Talley – Copyright © 2013 by David Higdon and Brett Talley – All rights reserved