The Brooklyn Detention Complex, once hailed as a modern marvel with its multiple day rooms, gym, and library, has a dark history that has led many to believe that it is one of the most haunted places in New York City. With its upcoming demolition and the city’s plan to replace Rikers Island with smaller jails, the question of whether the Brooklyn Detention Center is haunted lingers on.
The jail was built on the site of the old Brooklyn City Prison, which was known for its brutal conditions and high mortality rate. Many prisoners died from disease, malnutrition, and abuse, and their spirits are said to still haunt the area. The Brooklyn Detention Complex, which was in operation from 1957 to 2003, was notorious for its overcrowding and poor living conditions, and there were several notable incidents that occurred within the jail. It reopened in 2012 after renovations with over 500 staff, then closed again in 2020.
The Brooklyn Paranormal Society frequently investigated the Brooklyn Detention Complex, and they reported several cases of paranormal activity, including strange noises, unexplained movements, and ghostly sightings.
From our investigations, the most common ghostly sighting is that of a former prisoner who died while in custody. The second most popular is the ghost of a former correction officer who was killed on the job.
In addition to the usual ghost hunting techniques, the Brooklyn Paranormal Society also made contact with ex-inmates, who shared their stories of strange occurrences and paranormal experiences from the jail. Many of these individuals claimed to have seen ghostly figures and heard strange noises while they were incarcerated, and some even reported feeling an eerie presence, as if they were being watched.
While the rumors of the Brooklyn Detention Complex being haunted have been fueled by its history and the numerous reports of paranormal activity, whether or not it is truly haunted remains a matter of personal belief. However, as the building is set to be demolished, it begs the question of whether the spirits that are said to still linger in the building will find a new home or will finally be put to rest.
As the city moves forward with its plan to replace Rikers Island with smaller jails, it’s clear that the era of the Brooklyn Detention Complex is coming to a close. However, the question of whether it is haunted or not will continue to be a topic of discussion, as the memories of the dark history of the land and the jail will not be easily forgotten.