Jailer's Inn Bed and Breakfast – Bardstown, Kentucky - Atlas Obscura

Jailer's Inn Bed and Breakfast

Kentucky's longest operating jail is now a spooky spot to spend the night.  


The Old Nelson County Jail was once Kentucky’s oldest operational jail. Though the current buildings weren’t erected until the 19th century, a jail operated on this property from 1797 to 1987.

The old jail is now an inn, making it a historically rich place for weary travelers to rest their heads. Those looking to really soak in the historic environment can choose to stay in one of the uniquely titled and themed rooms, including one called “the jail cell.”

The current hotel is a vast improvement from the conditions the prisoners who stayed here faced. The building was constructed of thick, limestone walls. There was no heating or air conditioning during times of extreme weather, and as you can imagine, the harsh condition resulted in numerous inmate deaths over the decades.

This, coupled with the fact that executions were carried out on the property (sometimes to the wrong inmate!) and that they buried the dead in the backyard in unmarked graves, has led many to report that the grounds are haunted. The jail is also listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. 

Know Before You Go

Unsure if you want to spend the night? Don’t worry! You can still visit and take an official guided tour of the grounds. Tours are offered daily and are $5 per person.

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May 16, 2019

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