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Lincoln Heights Jail – Los Angeles, CA

May 3rd 2014, Paranormal EXP along with Rob Wlodarski, G. Reynolds, W. Booner, OC Soul Searchers, PCH Paranormal and friends investigated the Lincoln Heights Jail, Los Angele’s CA. We had special access to all floors thanks to our friends PCH Paranormal.



Paranormal EXP and other investigators investigated Lincoln Heights Jail


Paranormal History:

Lincoln Heights Jail at one time housed some of the most unsavory characters, men and woman from Los Angeles, those days are now gone.  Lincoln Heights Jail is now a preserved historic building. But some believe Lincoln Heights Jail is still very active and is home to spirits of those have been abused or died still roam the dark dusty halls.


Lincoln Heights Jail : Paranormal Walk-Through

Our evidence:

As Clare and Marcus were investigating the 2nd floor close to Solitary confinement, Clare was asking if  “Anyone misses being with a woman?” she started to feel Goosebumps pass over her right neck as if someone was “touching her”.

Clare felt as if  she was being touched by a hand, then felt Goosebumps, the temperature at the time was documented at 79 degrees at 6:30pm. This happened three more times, after she repeated the question. Marcus also felt a wave of Goosebumps but his were experienced from his legs, he experienced that sensation only once.


Clare felt goosebumps as she asked questions


1. ) Morgue – As Clare was doing an EVP session we captured what appears to be a unexplained voice that did not belong to us. We tag all sounds and voices and this sound was unheard by us at the time. It is hard to make out a translation. Sounds like a voice.

2. ) Solitary Confinement wing Floor 2 – Marcus was conducting an EVP Session and asked, “If someone is here can you say something” He received this unexplained answer. Sounds kind of like “I Shot my Neighbor!” Not too sure the exact translation. What makes this EVP unique is we didn’t hear any voices in real-time.

(“I shot my <Unaudiable>” at  .11 seconds)

EVP Repeated:

Although there are broken windows, and the street is near by we tagged and labeled any sounds and voices we hear. Also, we conducted all our EVPS away from any other groups or people due to sound contamination. We are open to your ideas on the EVPS.

Although most of our EVPS are captured using digital recorders Marcus discovered this unexplained young woman’s voice while going though video footage at the Jail.

3.) The EVP is at (.1 Seconds – Softly says ‘Tell me“) It is layered right before the woman’s voice.


Lincoln Heights Jail History:

The original Lincoln Heights Jail was built in 1920; Lincoln Heights Jail is situated on the 400 block at North Avenue 19 next to the LA River.

On January 4, 1920 a census of prisoners of Lincoln Heights Jail revealed a jail population, which ranged in age from 18 to 77 years in age. Of the prisoners, 55 percent were single, most were white, and 36.7 percent were immigrants still with an alien status. Most of the immigrants were from Mexico.

During the 1930’s, the Lincoln Heights Jail was also known as the Los Angeles City Jail and 1931, the old jail buildings were demolished to make room for the new Lincoln Heights Jail and a central police station. The new jail, constructed in Art Deco architectural style, could hold 625 prisoners. It was open for business on December 16th 1931.

Lincoln Heights Jail, Los Angele's, CA

Lincoln Heights Jail:  Los Angele’s, CA

1949, the police station building was torn down and replaced with a five-story addition, which created more space for the prison. In the 1950’s, the expanded Lincoln Heights jail was a model correctional facility. However, in the late 1950’s, the Lincoln Heights Jail became over-crowded, housing up to 2800 prisoners. For a time, the Lincoln Heights Jail continued to be used as a “Drunk tank”. It was last used as a jail during the Watts riots in 1965, and then formally closed later that same year.

Life of inmates:

Lincoln Heights Jail was mostly for male prisoners; however the second floor was where female prisoners were housed. The prisoners had basic duties and jobs.

Some of the jobs included working at the kitchen for food preparation, sewing clothes to make prison work jackets out of used blankets and making stuffed toys for disadvantaged neighborhood children, and hairstyling.

Paranormal EXP Investigates Lincoln Heights Jail

Women prisoners making dolls for Christmas


The prisoners at Lincoln Heights Jail were either being held during their trials for more serious offenses or were imprisoned for misdemeanors like hitchhiking, disorderly conduct, petty theft, or lewd behavior. If a prisoner showed “uncooperative behaviors”, he would be locked in solitary confinement.

Famous Inmates:

At its peak, the Lincoln Heights Jail was crammed with almost 3,000 inmates.

Al Capone once spent a night at the jail after he was arrested at Union Station for tax evasion. It was also home to a few murders and serial killers.

Al Capone

Al Capone – Famous inmate of Lincoln Heights Jail

One of the most in famous prisoners was William Edward Hickman, 19. William Hickman was placed in the jail on December 27, 1927. Convicted for the murder and dismemberment of a banker’s daughter. He left Lincoln Heights Jail to await execution by hanging at San Quentin on October 19, 1928. This crime was one of the most shocking the United States had experienced to date.

May 1940, Lucile Watson, star of Broadway and a later Academy Award nominee, stayed in Lincoln Heights Jail when she and friend Barbara Fliescher were arrested for being drunk.

In 1952, a notable burlesque dancer by the name of Betty Rowland was incarcerated at the jail in Lincoln Heights on a charge of lewd behavior.

Zoot Suit Riots & Bloody Christmas:
During the Zoot Suit riots of the 1940s, the jail was used to hold those who were arrested. The historic violence associated with the so-called Zoot Suit riots climaxed in June 1943.

After the Zoot Suit Riots, seven young men were arrested around Elysian Park and taken at the Lincoln Heights Jail. Five of them were Mexican-Americans.

In the 1951 and event known as Bloody Christmas, about fifty officers of the Los Angeles Police Department brutally beat seven men inside the jail. The public outcry from the Hispanic communities was not heeded and an internal investigation was held. A 1996 movie, LA Confidential, was based on this event and attempts to retell the story.

LA Confidential

LA Confidential – Movie Newspaper

Until 1965, the jail continued to serve as a “Drunk tank”. The LA riots in Watts happened in 1965 and the Lincoln Heights Jail was used as for a holing place for the arrested rioters. Shortly afterward, Lincoln Heights Jail was closed as a prison.

Now 2014, encrusted pigeon droppings coat the floors the stairwells, dead bird circuses are seen all around the now empty jail. Pigeons and birds fly in and out of the empty cells and broken windows. These birds have utilized the buildings as a shelter.

Entertainment industry:

A number of movies, television shows, and stage productions have had the Lincoln Heights Jail as a location. The first was a small part in the Judy Garland film A Star Is Born in 1954. And most recently the boiler room scene of 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is in the basement of the jail. Blink 182 and most recently Lady Gaga did the music video “Telephone”.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga filmed the Music Video – “Telephone” at Lincoln Heights Jail

You can visit Lincoln Heights Jail at 421 North Avenue 19, Lincoln Heights, and California.


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3 Responses to “Lincoln Heights Jail – Los Angeles, CA”

  1. Jessica #

    Will there be any tours that the public (myself and a group) can attend coming any time soon?

    Thank you!

    January 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm Reply
    • ParanormalEXP #

      Hi Jessica!
      Sorry but at the current time Lincoln Heights is closed by the city of Los Angeles for unsafe conditions. If that changes I will let you know.

      January 10, 2017 at 6:04 pm Reply
      • Jeremy #


        How might I get in touch to see if I can shoot a film at Lincoln Heights jail?
        That is, if the conditions are safe right now.

        April 27, 2017 at 8:10 am Reply

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