BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - It's as scary looking as the stories that surround it and flow through it. It's a building that holds many secrets, real and unreal. It begs for an investigation.
The Hancock County Courthouse in Bay St. Louis was built in 1911. Over the years, there has been a lot of paranormal activity reported, including one in particular.
A woman and a white, flowing gown. Apparently, she is the widow of the last man executed in Hancock County.
The haunting tales about the Hancock County Courthouse come from well-known people, including law enforcement officials, public servants and attorneys who practiced in its halls.
The Meridian-based paranormal investigative team, Ghost Chasers of Mississippi, led by the husband and wife team Justin and Ashley Pritchett, joined WLOX for the venture.
“We live on one side of the coin, and that's what we see. That's what we participate in throughout our lives, throughout every day,” Justin said. “The paranormal is the other side of the coin. I want to know the other side of the coin.”
Justin has had some uncomfortably close encounters in past investigations.
“We've had flashlights get rolled off the tables. We've had my name called the radio frequency. We've had motion detectors go off by themselves,” said Justin. “There's going to be secrets. There's going to be things that happened here that's going to leave something behind. It's going to leave a blueprint, and we're going to try to read it.”
Justin took his spirit box into the courtroom to make a first contact.
The spirit box uses radio frequencies to create white noise commonly used as a conduit for ghostly conversation.
Justin: “If there's anyone in here with us.”
Assistant Joe McCarthy: "Once again, is there anybody, anybody at all in here with us right now?"
Justin: “That was a hello. Wasn't it? Hey, how are you?”
Assistant: “What in the world was that?”
Justin: “Who's that?”
Justin: “My name is Justin. This is Jacob. Talk to us, please.”
A voice from the other side.
Next, we used a flashlight, a static camera and a walkie-talkie to coax a shy spirit.
Justin: “Were you executed in the jail, in the jail behind the courthouse? If that's true, will you cut the light on?”
It turned on.
Now, we know the spirits are here.
We were still in search of the woman in the white gown. Some of the latest sightings came from near the law library.
So, we went up there and waited. McCarthy was the only one welcomed.
The question of the night, Justin: “Are you the lady in the white gown?”
The light came on again.
Bingo. We've made contact.