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In 1852, the State of Alabama began planning a state mental hospital under the Kirkbride Plan (an architectural system designed for better patient care) with the input and influence of pioneering psychiatrists Thomas Story Kirkbride and Dorothea Dix. Construction commenced in 1853 based on the designs of Samuel Sloan. The project was finished in 1859, becoming the first building in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to feature gas lighting and a central head.
Late at night, the ghost of a man can be seen leaving his cell in the middle of the jail. The toilet there has been known to flush voluntarily. Legend has it that the cell used to serve as what police had nicknamed “the drunk tank” where they held criminals with DUIs or illegal drinking. In the 1980s, they hung a man in the cell even though they were not supposed to.
- Forgotten USA. “Bayou La Batre Jail,” www.ForgottenUSA.com
- Haunted Hovel. “Haunted Places in Alabama,” www.HauntedHovel.com
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