Twin Falls County Courthouse

The jail, on the nearly windowless fourth floor of the Twin Falls County Courthouse, could house up to 30 inmates. The jail was used until 1989.

CLARENCE E. BISBEE, TWIN FALLS COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM

TWIN FALLS • For 78 years, prisoners were housed on the fourth floor of the Twin Falls County Courthouse. When the new jail opened in 1989, they all moved. Except one.

Some county employees have reported feeling a ghostly presence or have seen a person walking through the former jail area, according to Mike Miller, who has spent the past 34 years working for the county and is in charge of all maintenance for the building, which was constructed in 1911.

Three prisoners hanged themselves in the building in the 1980s, so one of them is the most likely specter, Miller said.

“I think it’s his ghost that everyone says they feel or see,” Miller said.

Miller said he'd never seen or felt anything himself, but some people said they saw a person walking through the jail area, and there were also some people who were scared to go into the basement.

“They thought they could feel or see a presence,” he said.

He said the stories were prevalent for about 10 years, but then they largely died down.

“I haven’t heard anybody talking about it for quite a while now,” Miller said.

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Several people who work for the county today whom the Times-News contacted said they were aware of rumors from years ago, but were hazy on the details.

“I know that the old timers used to talk about it,” said Lori Stewart, spokeswoman for the county sheriff’s office.

Commissioner Terry Kramer said a paranormal group asked the commissioners years ago, before most of the county offices were moved to County West, if they could do a ghost search at the courthouse. The commissioners nixed the idea, worried it would be too disruptive to normal business.

So is the ghost still there? Or was it ever there? Who knows? But what good is an old courthouse without a good ghost story?

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