Cell Block Nightclub

More From Pennsylvania

The Basement has the most scariest activity.

The Hanging of an innocent man has caused a haunting here.

Death in jail causes a hopeless afterlife for some.


“We offer something for everyone!”

The Cell Block Night Club is a popular party place with four bars inside a creepy stone, castle-like old jail, where, all told, some two hundred inmates have died. A few faced the ultimate punishment at the end of a rope, one killed himself, and others died from fights and natural causes.

From the outside, it looks very grim and uninviting, with negative vibes reaching the sidewalk. But inside, it is fun, fun, fun, with dancing, drinking and partying, a hot spot for the younger generation who don’t mind loud music and the throngs of humanity crowding around the dance floors.

Where accommodations for drinking are in every place here, the biggest dance floor is found in the main bar, that has two VIP areas, with a DJ playing tunes loved by the participants.

There is also an authentic jailhouse feel here as many of the prison’s original architectural features, including a preserved cellar on display. Many people must be glad that they weren’t guests of the county when it was operating as a place of confinement.

The Irish Pub is known as McCullin’s, in honor of the owner’s Irish great grandmother, Peggy McCullin, who ran a prohibition-era speakeasy. McCullin’s offers a more relaxed pub experience for everyday customers, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The jail’s former outdoor courtyard and traditional place of execution was enclosed due to noise complaints. It became a live music venue known as the Gallows or the Band Room. The stage is located where the early prison executed death row inmates by the noose.

The outside patio was part of the outdoor courtyard but wasn’t enclosed, the better to offer a seasonal bar for those who prefer fresh air and early evening sunshine, open from mid April to the end of September, when the weather is good. Patrons enjoy a tiki bar, with two tiers of seating and a fire pit area.

People can rent various sections of the Cell Block Night Club for special events as well. Halloween parties and events must be popular in this former jail, as it offers a scary aura both inside and out.



After the Lycoming County commissioners bought four lots in the city, the original Williamsport County Prison was built in 1801, along with the Lycoming County Court House, and city offices. A jail (or gaol) was needed to handle the incarceration of ruffians who had made bad choices and broken the law. It was a two-story stone building that had a dozen or more cells. The sheriff and his family lived in the front rooms, which was the custom of jail houses in the early 19th century.

After the Civil War, Williamsport began to expand with businesses and people because of the completed C&O Canal. “It brought a boom of prosperity to Williamsport. Warehouses, shipping firms, sawmills, and small factories were established, town businesses and population expanded.”

Another great way to transport goods was the B&O Railroad, which was also a big source of growth for Williamsport. But along with new hard-working citizens, criminals also came to settle there. The twelve cell jail wasn’t nearly big enough to handle the influx of people who were caught and convicted of their offenses.

In 1867, coincidentally, a fire broke out and badly damaged the building, to the point that the city had to tear it down. Undaunted, the authorities took the opportunity to rebuild it, at a cost of $139,440.87. The new jail was bigger with fifty cells, which could hold one hundred inmates in an emergency.

Though it was more modern, the conditions in the new facility were still dismal, as living in jail was supposed to be uncomfortable. In 1868, it opened its doors to inmates awaiting trial, serving time, or awaiting execution.

It also had a death row, with cells to house the condemned in the basement. In its history, they hung six men and one woman. The last hanging was in 1914. The gallows were burned in favor of the electric chair as the instrument of death. Eventually, the execution of prisoners was handed off to a bigger prison.

The infamous pair of criminals,Catherine Miller and her lover, George W Smith, were hung together on February 3rd, 1881, at the Lycoming County Jail Gallows for the murder of Catherine’s husband, Andrew Miller. He was a much older man who had married Catherine in a forced, arranged marriage, with the understanding that Andrew would take care of Catherine’s parents until they died.

Catherine wasn’t happy in her marriage, but loved the three daughters they had together. She claimed that Andrew ignored her emotional needs and the needs of the girls. Two years before the murder, Catherine started an affair with an old childhood friend, George Smith. Uh oh!

As divorce was a stigma during this time, where women often got the short end of the financial stick in court, another sinister plan was formed by the lovers, though both blamed the other for instigating the evil deed when the trial came.

George confessed that while he did the deed, she came up with the plan.

George clubbed the victim until he was unconscious, and then hung him with a rope that Catherine gave him. He claimed that she had asked him many times to kill Andrew, but she denied doing so, and said that she would’ve stopped him if she had known what George was planning. In fact, it was George who wanted to kill Andrew many times and she had stopped him. The court decided that it had taken both of them to carry out this murder.

Before she was executed, Catherine warned the audience not to go down the road of adultery and murder like she did. An article in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, reported her exact words. “I wish none to pursue such a course of life as I have. And on the gallows I raise a warning voice. Heed the lesson.”

The cruelest of the death row inmates was William Hummel, a real piece of work. He couldn’t read or write, but made his living as a rag peddler. He had three failed marriages under his belt before marrying Sarah Delaney, a mother with three children, aged six, four and one.

Just one week later, he murdered Sarah and her children with an axe on the evening of November 16, 1899. He blamed her for his murderous deeds, saying that she had “taunted and tormented” him.

Perhaps she found out too late why his three other marriages fell apart. He was a narcissist with no conscience, unable to love or put himself second to the needs of others. He had his eyes on Sarah’s money and property, and thought he could get away with these murders. He may have been charming, but he wasn’t real bright.

He buried the bodies under a hay stack. He killed the one-year-old later, after realizing that the child’s cries would give him away. He buried it in a different place. William was arrested for the murders and was incarcerated, awaiting trial.

He came up with a plan to try to wiggle out of the consequences. He told the sheriff that the spirit of Sarah visited him, and told him who really killed her and the kids. William dictated the story to the sheriff. The spirit, he claimed told him that it was a robber named Smith who stole two hundred dollars after killing the family.

Smith had bought an axe two days after the murders. This put a big hole in Hummel’s story. William disclosed to the sheriff where the one-year-old was buried, in a corner of the Hummel barn, still relaying supposedly what the spirit of Sarah told him. The sheriff called William’s tale the spirit letter.

The spirit letter was presented as evidence of his guilt, and he was convicted in a court of law. He was sentenced to hang on June 5th, 1900.

Another inmate who was convicted of murder, killed himself in his cell before his date with the noose came.

One of the condemned, Loyd Britten, was convicted of murder and claimed that he was innocent all the way to the gallows. The real killer confessed to the crime on his death bed, years after Britten’s execution, vindicating Loyd’s name which must have been a small comfort to Loyd’s family.

As the years passed, it became simply a county jail, where lesser criminals served their time. It was too small to handle the number of people convicted of serious crimes in the area. The population had grown tremendously, as had the criminal element.

By 1977, it was old, creaky, horrible and crowded. The Inmates sued the city over the conditions. The lawsuitconvinced the authorities that a new county jail was needed. It was built just one block away in 1982.

The formidable castle structure was sold as a commercial building. Despite its creepy aura, several different owners tried their hands at running commercial businesses, finding it hard to make money. Finally, it was reopened as “The Cell Block” in September of 2001. It became very popular as a party place, combining a creepy atmosphere with modern decor. It was the perfect match for a night club it seemed, as it created “a truly unique atmosphere for our establishment” said the present owner.

They aimed at an intergenerational clientele which is the secret of their success. Young people like the loud music of both a DJ and live performers, and a place to dance as well. Everyday customers can enjoy a drink in the Irish Pub and outside area, and oldsters love the quieter places to enjoy liquid refreshments.



The jail may have closed, but the incarcerated spirits still stay for a variety of reasons, as they try to work through their pain. Others may be condemned to stay, too evil to enter the spirit world. Below are four of the possible spirits who hang around, being themselves.


Sometimes people who were so evil during their lifetimes, are condemned to stay where they committed their wicked acts, or where they were killed.

Comedy Store, CA (When the mob had control back in the ’30s, they had a torture and killing room. They hired a sadist, who loved to fulfill the job. Today, his menacing black mist still radiates evil and malevolence, scaring anyone living who dares to come by his room in the basement).

The Irma Hotel, WY (Back in the day, the hotel experienced a guest from hell, a mean bully who liked to hang people out the windows of his room. His spirit is stuck. He tries to scare investigators for chuckles).

Shanghai Tunnels, OR (19th-century gang members known as the Crips, would kidnap women for the brothels along the coast, and enslave men for ships whose captains didn’t want to pay for help. Of course, their victims had to survive the brutal conditions first in the tunnels. The spirits of the Crips are seen in the tunnels with red eyes, a supposed sign of damnation).

The Cell Block Night Club, PA (William Hummel hacked to death without remorse his wife, and three innocent children. Such evil has left his spirit stuck in the jail where he died).


Sometimes spirits who suffered nasty and painful experiences that killed them on a property or in a structure, find that they really enjoy the next commercial enterprise or home that now occupies the space.

The Pittsburg National Aviary, PA (The Western State Penitentiary once stood on the land, where six Confederate prisoners died while in captivity here. These spirits love to walk around and see all the birds, finding some peace).

Kolb Ridge Court, GA (An exclusive housing development was built on a Civil War Battlefield. Spirits of Civl War soldiers who died there casually take strolls through these homes. One fun-loving spirit decided to stay!).

Willard Library, IN (The spirit of the Gray Lady had been haunting the field near the water canal where she drowned for years, but moved into the library when it was built on her field. She finds some peace in the Children’s Room).

The Cell Block Night Club, PA (Some of the two hundred spirits of former inmates who died here, enjoy watching the living have a good time. Others still have issues and make messes to be cleaned up).


Spirits who were executed for their crimes are often afraid to go to the spirit world because of the punishment that may await them there.

Alcatraz Prison Museum, CA (The spirit of mob hitman the Butcher was murdered in the laundry room. He is afraid to leave to go the spirit world due to his evil behavior done during his lifetime).

St Augustine Jail Museum, FL (The spirit of a convicted inmate who was hung for something he didn’t do, doesn’t want to cross over out of fear that what he did do will be judged).

The Cell Block Night Club, PA (The spirits who died here either from natural causes, fights, or executions, are still hanging around, perhaps scared of judgement on the other side).


People who were unjustly executed or killed find it hard as spirits to rest as they look for ways to clear their names.

The Tavern at Clinton, MD (Mary Surratt leased the building to her friend John Lloyd. Mary’s son John Surratt met with John Wilkes Booth at Lloyd’s tavern to plan the assassination of President Lincoln. Mary Surratt was falsely accused by Lloyd of being part of it. Mary was sent to the gallows on Lloyd’s testimony alone. Her spirit haunts the place, looking to clear her name and confront Lloyd).

Stones Public House, MA (A card player was accused of cheating and killed during a murderous outburst by someone. He was buried in the basement, and his death swept under the rug. His spirit wants his life back, and demands attention and a voice to tell what happened to him).

The Merchant Hotel (Joshua Ward House), MA (The spirits of a female torture victim and Giles Corey are still angry at their cruel executions because they protested the witch trials. Giles was crushed to death by rocks by the sadistic Sheriff George Corwin during interrogation in the basement. Both are very angry and upset, wanting the living to bring justice and the expulsion of the spirit of their killer from the structure.

The Cell Block Night Club, PA (Loyd Britten was hung for something he didn’t do. The real murderer confessed to his crime on his death bed years later. The spirit of Loyd is still angry and wants his life back).



The jail may have closed, but some spirits are still incarcerated and stay for a variety of reasons, as they try to work through their pain and fear. Others may be condemned to stay, too evil to enter the spirit world. Below are four of the possible spirits who are residents.

General Activity

The staff and guests have heard disembodied voices, and random footsteps.

They have felt cold spots, unseen presences and touching.

There have been reports of things moving on their own.

They have heard a crying and screaming woman.

The Spirit of William Hummel

He finds himself stuck in the prison where he was hung, being in his own private hell.

He may show himself as a black mist. He has an evil aura that is picked up by people.

He is accused of bringing a heavy, negative energy to the basement area where the cells of the condemned were located.

His Activity

His disembodied voice is heard in his cell and basement area.

His footsteps are noticed.

His spirit occasionally touches the living, to get chuckles at their reaction.

He loves to feel powerful and in control.

His spirit will talk to investigators through EVPs when asked questions, no matter how dumb they are. While he is still evil, he is also courteous.

The Spirit of Loyd Britten

His spirit is still angry and restless because of his false conviction and execution, and is yearning to get his life back.

He likes to hang around with the living, during live events, and musical shows, which gives him a sense of inclusion and some peace from his anger.

When everyone leaves, he shows his anger by throwing glasses and tumbling stacked chairs.

The Spirit of Catherine Miller

She may be stuck here because of her remorse over having an affair in the first place, and the awful consequences she brought upon herself and her loved ones.

She is still upset about saying goodbye to her crying daughters, and her part in her husband’s murder, though she can’t bring herself to admit that she did such a thing.

Memories of her Demise

A distraught presence has been felt and heard in the band room.

Her crying and screaming are heard.

She probably relives her awful end, including the feeling of being terrified, her screaming before she dropped, as well as the painful death she suffered in her hanging.

Cold spots are also felt.

Finding Some Comfort

She may try to be helpful, by moving items to better places, as she wanders the rooms and bars. Sometimes people see the items moving on their own.

The spirit of George may be there too, trying to comfort her.

They may talk to each other, causing some of the disembodied voices heard by the living.

Their footsteps may be noticed as well.


The negative, heavy energy has been felt by people for years.

When the shows are over, and the cleanup staff are working, they report a lot of the paranormal activity.

Paranormal investigators never leave empty-handed. Spirits are willing to talk through EVPs.

A few years ago, an amateur ghost-hunting team did an investigation inside. During an EVP session, they asked if Hummel was buried under the floorboards, and they got a recording of a whispery voice saying “No.”

It is thought to be the spirit of Willam Hummel.



Yes Indeed!

Until the spirit of Catherine can admit her part in the murder, and can forgive herself for bringing such sorrow to her daughters, she is stuck here. When she does leave, the spirit of George will go with her.

The spirit of William Hummel is grounded in the basement, still evil but he hasn’t hurt anyone yet. He has provided a scary atmosphere in the basement. The staff won’t go there alone.

Inexperienced investigators and the public are not allowed in the basement.

The spirit of Loyd needs the council of a medium, to help him let go of his anger and go to the spirit world to be with friends and family.



154 3rd Street
Williamsport, PA 17701


  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0ll2KihQmc
  • https://www.sungazette.com/news/top-news/2017/03/local-woman-last-in-state-to-be-executed-on-gallows/
  • https://tabermuseum.org/explore-museum/Taber-treasurers/Last-Moments-of-a-Murderer
    Last Moments of a Murderer, Apr 30, 2020 gweber
  • https://www.pahomepage.com/news/spirits-anyone-welcome-to-the-cell-block-nightclub/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=KDU9-QNCIUI
  • the cell block nightclub once a prison in Pennsylvania ghost sightings have been seen there
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/radunzel/6342794336
  • https://cellblockwilliamsport.com/
  • https://www.northcentralpa.com/news/is-williamsports-cell-block-haunted-by-the-ghost-of-an-axe-murderer/article_4bd7e5dc-7280-11ee-94fd-439204348bb0.htm

Our Paranormal stories are written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Pennsylvania