Accidentally Historic

Council Bluffs Squirrel Cage Ghosts

Episode Summary

Investigators of paranormal phenomena have discovered the unique 1885 rotary cell jail in Council Bluffs, Iowa to be teeming with activity. This episode explores what they are finding, why it is here, and how you can search and discover for yourself.

Episode Notes

The “squirrel cage” jail in Council Bluffs, Iowa is unique in many ways. The largest of a rare 19th century design that featured a cell block that rotated, the 1885 former Pottawattamie County jail has increasingly come under scrutiny as a site of robust paranormal activity. Occurrences that were difficult to explain date to its early days as a jail.  In modern times, teams of paranormal investigators have conducted tests with positive results.  The building was featured on Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, Serial Killer Spiritsmini series in 2019.

In this episode, host Richard Warner talks with Historical Society vice-president J.W. LeMaster, Society Museums Director Kat Slaughter, and Sarah Stream, member of the Paranormal Research Institute and investigative team Paranormania.  The trio discuss why the history of this building makes it particularly likely as site of activity, what types of evidence are being found, how investigations are undertaken, equipment needed, and tips for those new to the field that might want to participate in a paranormal event or investigation.  For more information or to contact the Historical Society go to the website 

You can view the jail’s segment of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, Serial Killer Spiritsmini series on the Travel Channel’s page or on IMDb at