For the last several years there has been a haunted house at the former St. Augustine County Jail. Built in 1953, this jail replaced the former jail in downtown St. Augustine which is on the city trolley tour.
Always fascinated by jails and prisons, (as in a former life I was a NYS Prison administrator), couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit this facility. Even though it was decked in Halloween attire remnants of bathrooms, cells, and the like were still visible.
The facility incarcerated hundreds of demonstrators during the 1960 Civil Rights Movement, and while no longer in use for its stated purpose it has become a pivotal player on the St. John’s County Freedom Trail.
The jail is next to the elections office where I was doing poll work. So.. after my enjoyable 12 hour day assisting close to 900 citizens to vote decided to stop by. Have you voted? Let’s hope so! Democracy is in the balance.
The area outside the haunted house had many costumed characters, jumping booths for children, decorated sheriff cars, and food venues.
The haunted house allowed no photos with 6 to 7 customers entering every 2 minutes for a 10 minute romp guided by sheriff staff. It was a very creative and scary with ghosts and goblins hiding around every corner, and occupying each cell.
Once the visit ended there were even costumed characters outside to chase patrons on their way.
Fun for all!
Wanted to know what good cause the $20 fee was going to so inquired. The gal said most of the money would sponsor the sheriff’s police dogs. They need bullet proof vests, and special training. I mentioned how Bedford Hills Correctional Facility has a program where the female inmates train these dogs. Said thiswould be a good idea for a program for Florida inmates. She was aware of the program, and I went on my way not wanting to offend. Because as the bumper sticker states –
“We don’t care how you do in the North.”
Later as I walked away I began to sadly think how important it is for sheriff officers to have a police dog and why would they have to have a fund raiser for this rather than a designated budget item? Then I thought of how governor desantis spent $12 million on shipping Texas immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, and another $5.7 million on voter police in Florida, for few voter irregularities.
Wouldn’t the money be better spent on dogs to protect the sheriff’s?
Isn’t the republican party the law and order party or so they say?
Something to think about.