By Kimberly Wallis

Deridder’s Gothic Hanging Jail boasts an unusual combination of fascinating history, stunning architecture, and paranormal activity. What more could you possibly need to entice you to schedule some time to go and explore it, right? 

Well, how about an event where you go to this aforementioned beautiful, haunted, historic jail and are allowed to accompany a paranormal investigation team as they work? February 25th and 26th, Gothic Jail After Dark and the Georgia based Searchers will be co-hosting just this very event! So if this sounds like an adventure you wouldn’t want to miss out on, they have four different ticket options available for you to choose your own adventure. Find out what they are and purchase your choice of them here. Better hurry though, because the event is almost sold out!

The event flier for the Searchers Return to the Gothic Jail, includes a picture of Josh Purvis and Shane Pittman standing back to back at the front right side of the Gothic Revival style jail in Deridder, La.

If just the very thought of ghost hunting makes you feel a little faint at heart, never fear! You can still go and explore the jail without intentionally trying to awaken any of the spirits purported to reside there. Day tours are offered Monday through Friday with no reservations required at 10, 11, 1:30 and 3. On select weekends, they also do a night Lantern Tour which does require reservations. Once the Lantern tour date has been set, they will post the event on Gothic Jail After Dark’s Facebook page and then open up reservations. 

The Gothic Hanging Jail is a haunted attraction hosted by the Beauregard Tourist Commission Office. It was originally built in 1914 and was added to the National Historic Register in 1981. It has beautiful architecture designed in the Gothic Revival style (also known as Gothic Collegiate) and was considered very extravagant for the time period. It resembles a mansion more than a prison; no wonder the jailer lived in it!

A front a front facing view of the historic Gothic Revival style jail in Deridder.
credit: Bearegard Tourist Commission

There are some very interesting tidbits of history behind both the construction of the building and the building itself. Speaking of history, you can learn all about how the jail had “hanging” added to its name through the story of the two prisoners who were hanged in the spiral staircase back in 1928 (and whose spirits are said to remain to this day). 

With hanging, murder, and suicide stories in its past, is it any wonder that it’s a hotspot for paranormal activity? It’s been both featured on and written about by the Travel Channel. It’s aired on Discovery+. It appears in Haunted Nation’s blog. It was the setting used in the 2019 horror movie Eli. Country artist and  Deridder native Clay Alston has a song about it called The Hanging Jail. With all of the hype about it, that should be more than enough to make even those who are timid curious enough to schedule a trip to check out everything they have to offer at Deridder’s Gothic Hanging Jail.