Ghost hunters on the lookout in Florence

Posted: Updated:

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- The second Pinal County Courthouse in Florence, Ariz., is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. Since opening in the late 1800s, historic figures from famous sheriffs to tough criminals have walked through its doors. But some say their spirits have never left the building. 3TV joins a team of Valley ghost hunters on their investigation to get some answers.

“We're at the old historic Florence courthouse built in 1891,” Jack San Felice said. “It's the second courthouse built here. When you look at it from the outside at night, its kind of a spooky-looking place and this is the time for ghosts.”

San Felice is part of a group called Ghost to Ghost. They're paranormal investigators on the lookout for evidence of life after death.

“I put it this way, I believe there are spirits, because if there are no spirits, then life ends when you die,” San Felice said.

San Felice is roaming the old Florence courthouse with his partners Grace Guerra and Tom Foster. They have several tools they use when on the hunt for ghosts.

“The first tool, I think is basic, and it’s called the EMF meter,” San Felice said. “You push the button and it lights up. If you’re a spirit, you would light up.”

Besides using meters to get readings of sprits, the group also bring along a voice recorder and infrared camera to capture images.

“We like doing this and see if we can conjure up some of the spirits,” San Felice said. “Ask questions, really, who are you? Are you here?”

The first stop on the ghost hunt is the area where the jail once stood.

“Pearl Hart are you here? Pearl, we know you were jailed here,” San Felice said. “A.J. Doran? Mr. Doran? Sheriff Doran? Are you here?”

When no one wanted to come out, the group moved to the basement.

“There could be some spirits down here,” San Felice said. “I've got my EMF meter on and I just got a couple of blips.”

“When I'm back in this corner, the hair on my arms is starting to stand up,” San Felice continued. “I’m getting a creepy feeling like there's something here.”

San Felice believes the creepy feeling might be because the courthouse was built on top of an old cemetery.

While the team was getting some signs, they thought they might have better luck upstairs in the courtroom.

“Is there a judge here who wants to talk to me?” San Felice asked. “Is there a judge who wants to talk to me?”

“Can you come say hello?” asked said. “Is Winnie Ruth Judd here?” Foster said.

“I'm getting three lights from Winnie Ruth Judd,” San Felice said. “She was the trunk murderess. She killed two people, she said in self-defense, and stuffed them in a trunk and shipped them somewhere.”

It appears that Judd was the only one who responded to the group, which made San Felice pretty happy with the outcome.

“All the activity going on here, I think all in all we did pretty good,” San Felice said.

San Felice said while every paranormal investigation is different from picking up voices to spotting unknown figures in photographs, it's really up to you whether or not you believe in ghosts.

“I don't know how you explain these,” San Felice said.  “Let's just say this is a case for 'The Twilight Zone.'"

Aside from the activity on one of the meters at the courthouse, San Felice said the voice recorder and infrared camera did not show anything out of the ordinary.

For more information, go to www.ghosttoghostaz.org.