• Joe Perez

The Haunted Gonzales County Jail Museum

For over 70 years prisoners were hung on the gallows at the old Gonzales, Texas jail. Many visitors have witnessed strange and eerie things of the years. The Prison is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Texas! A visit to the Gonzales County Jail Museum gave me insight to the life of its former inmates and the death of those who had a date with the gallows.


All of the ceilings are made of corrugated steel and concrete. On the lower floor are display cases for articles taken from prisoners, information on the sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement officials who served through the years.

At the end of the hall is the dungeon, where the only light light and air came from holes above the door. There is a jailer’s bedroom and the ‘women and lunatics’ cell. The second and third floors feature a large room known as the runaround which is two stories high and was not used for hardened criminals. The death cells are at the front of this room and feature doors of two-inch iron strips forged and fused through the use of heat, borax and hammer, since the jail was built before welding was invented. In each wing of the room are two-story metal cells, built as rooms within a room and featuring more of the riveted doors.

The last gallows were last used in 1921 and were torn down in the 1950s. They stood in the run-around next to the third-floor walkway. The present gallows are an exact reproduction. Large doors to the cell blocks feature small swing-out doors with bars, from which the jailer could observe the prisoners and inside the room are levers that opened and closed latches on the cell doors.

The jail was built in 1885 and closed in 1975. It features rebuilt gallows, original cells, sheriff’s and jailer’s quarters. Visit the Gonzales County Jail Museum and get a glimpse into working at the jail, living at the jail and of course being a prisoner at the jail. See the rebuilt gallows, sit in a cell, see the jailor's quarters. Be sure to take a free tour!

Gonzales County Jail Museum

414 St Lawrence St

Gonzales, Texas

(830) 263-4663

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© Texas Chronicles 2018

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