Pioneer Village Reconstructed 1881 Sheriff’s Office, Circuit Court and Jail

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Former jailers and prisoners are still lingering at the jail.



This carefully reconstructed 1881 adobe building is a replica of the original Gia County Courthouse in Globe AZ, that included the Globe Sheriff’s office, a two cell jail for bad ones, and a small space for a make-shift courthouse for the circuit judge who came once a month.

Building materials were ideal for the time, meeting the needs of both law enforcement and the contained guests of the county. The very thick adobe walls are mixed with straw and sand to keep them strong; discouraging break-outs. They kept the heat inside during the winter months, and kept the heat outside during the summer months.

Standing in front of this Sheriff’s Office, there is a wide front porch with a wooden awning. The open front door had a rope across, preventing entrance, but the structure is so small that the visitor can see everything from the front door.

Looking inside, the visitor today can see how they made good use of the inadequate space in this small, rectangular building. The front half of this structure the visitor sees a gun rack, wanted board, shackles and other artifacts hanging on the wall. There is a small table, some chairs and a roll-top desk and chair.

In the back of the structure there are two large cells with 2 sets of bunks per cell (3 tiers to a bunk).This jail was big enough to hold 12 people; size of a large gang, or a rowdy group of hotheads or drunks, or misc. law-breakers and had the flexibility to keep prisoners somewhat separated.


It was called back in the day The Gila County Courthouse; built in 1881 in Globe, Az. It was thought by planners that this structure didn’t have to be very big, possibly because of the small population. This turned out not to be true. Unfortunately, this structure was inadequate to begin with, and a scant three years later, petitions were presented to the Board of Supervisors seeking the construction of an additional story. This second story on this building wasn’t in the stars.

The group of early Sheriffs who worked in this little adobe; The Gila County Courthouse, include: Andrew Halbert, Lindly Orme William Thomas Gray, and John Montgomery.

The crowding problem in the small jail came to a head in 1892, and Sheriff James Murphy had the task of finding more existing jail space. Finally, a new, bigger jail was built to hold law breakers in Globe. The new Gila County Courthouse that was built near the new jail was a much bigger courthouse but wasn’t open for business until 1906. This means that court business still took place in the original, small Gila County Courthouse.

Sheriff John Elliot Walker may have been the last Sheriff to serve in this little structure. His term was from 1905 to 1906. After the sheriff’s office and the court moved out, the little building may have been a home or business for several eras. It didn’t survive as an original building possibly because it was annexed into a bigger building or was torn down.

A Maricopa County Supervisor and Sheriff of Maricopa County; John Mummer was the mover and shaker that was responsible for this reconstructed contribution that is now an exhibit in the Pioneer History Village. The details of the inside were gleamed from a glass plate photo of the original 1881 Gila County Courthouse. Old artifacts and furniture were gathered to complete the exhibit.

The finished reconstruction of the 1881 version of The Gila County Courthouse;legal circuit court, Sheriff’s office and jail, was completed with the additions of some authentic artifacts. Sheriff John Mummer also got ahold of the original, old Maricopa County jail bars and beds in 1971, making this exhibit very authentic indeed! It makes a fine exhibit for the Pioneer Living History Village.



Antique furniture and artifacts that are brought into a building can bring spirits along with them.

Belcourt Castle, RI (This grand mansion was haunted by a boatload of spirits who were attached to the antiques on display inside).

That Steak Joint, IL (Two spirits were attached to their portraits hanging in the restaurant, along with other spirits who were also attached to other antiques on display).

Loveland Castle, OH (Spirits are attached to various items inside, such as the knight armor).

Sheriff’s Office & Jail, AZ (The authentic period artifacts and jail furniture have brought some spirits into this reconstructed jail).

People who die unnecessarily because of a lack of help, can’t accept their death and still look for the help they never got while alive.

Saint Augustine Jail, FL (Many inmates died of disease due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. Innocent men were slowly strangled to death by hanging).

Rawlins Territorial Prison, WY (Because hardened killers were mixed with minor offenders, some minor offenders were killed by their murderous cellmates).

Alcatraz, CA (The oppressive and dangerous situations that preyed on inmates caused a lot of death and insanity).

Sheriff’s Office & Jail, AZ (One spectral prisoner who is attached to one of the original beds died because he didn’t get any medical help while incarcerated).


Spirits of past guards and jailers who took their responsibilities seriously while alive, can’t let go and may stay in this world to look after the spectral prisoners still here in this world as well, especially if they were killed on the job, or failed in some way in their job performance.

Cripple Creek Jail, CO (A spirit of a female jailor is still taking care of the spectral inmates that are still incarcerated).

Crown Point Sheriff’s House and Jail, IN (The escape of John Dillinger has caused restlessness in the spirit of the jailer who was fooled by Dillinger’s fake gun. Also, a convicted prisoner suffered a bad hanging and had to be cut down. This man died on the sofa inside the Sheriff’s Office, causing the sheriff to feel responsible for the man’s suffering. Both spirits are still residing in this structure).

Squirrel Cage Jail, IA (Two spectral jail superintendents share the job of taking care of the spirits who still reside in the jail cells).

Sheriff’s Office & Jail, AZ (As there are still spirits in jail here, there are also  jailer or sheriff  spirits here as well, still looking after them and supervising visitors and the village staff as well).


Spirits are attached to the beds and or bars, or the shackles or anything else hanging on the wall. The roller desk may also be popular with a spirit.

Intelligent Spirit people

Disembodied Voices have been heard coming from the structure.

EVP’s caught here suggest that the spirits are intelligent and not just residual energy.

Disembodied Voices have been heard coming from the structure.

Spirit of an Unhappy Prisoner

A cold spot or two were felt in the cells.

This spirit is still asking for medical help that may have saved his life.

He could’ve avoided dying in jail. Actual EVPs backed this up.

Follow the Rules!

Apparently, the jailer and/or the sheriff are still on the job.

This spirit is professional and has his standards! He isn’t afraid to express his opinion in no uncertain terms.

He didn’t approve of cards being part of the exhibit.

Playing cards that were left on the table were thrown all over the office.

Cards could be associated with gambling and trouble, not a busy, professional law enforcement structure.

Don’t Bother the Inmates

As part of their investigation, a paranormal researchers actually entered the structure.

This spirit in authority supervised the investigators as they visited the structure.

It firmly asked some paranormal investigators to stay back from the cells and stay out of the cells as well.


For Pioneer Living History as a whole:

Mediums have come in and experienced spirit auras, and have described some of the spectral residents.

Staff members have had many personal experiences with spirits, especially the groundskeepers. Sometimes they are the recipients of little jokes by the spirits. At one building, all the doors closed at the same time.

Visitors occasionally see spirits going about their business.

Paranormal Investigators, mainly, the Phoenix Arizona Paranormal Investigators have held several tours here and have caught a lot of hard evidence. These successful tours also are a fundraiser for the Pioneer Living History Village, as tickets to the public are available. Most spirits here also find them entertaining.

For Reconstructed 1881 Sheriff’s office, Circuit Court and Jail specifically, staff members need to watch their p’s and q’s, and not violate the high standards of the jailer and/or sheriff. This is a serious place for both spirit people and the living.



phoenixYes Indeed!

The reconstructed 1881 Sheriff’s office, Circuit Court and Jail still has spirits incarcerated and the dedicated jailer/sheriff still on duty.

The hard evidence gathered inside this building suggests that the spirits here don’t find the investigations entertaining.

The spirit of the unhappy prisoner is still in jail and is earnestly looking for help to stop the illness that killed him, and the jailer finds the living annoying, a hindrance to his work. He must appreciate that the public can’t enter but can only look inside from the doorway.




The Reconstructed Sheriff’s Office and Jail, can be found on the far north west side of Pioneer Living History Village.


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