Old Polk County Courthouse

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The Old Polk County Courthouse in Bartow was built in 1909 on the foundations of the original courthouse, which dated back to the early 1880s. There are many claims here, including:

– Screams from the basement (supposedly from a worker killed in an explosion on the site)
– Apparitions appearing on the second floor rotunda (supposedly of the Mann brothers, whose bodies were displayed there in the 1880s)
– A “Lady in White” on the 2nd and 3rd floors
– Numerous cold spots on the first floor

If you've had a paranormal experience here, or have any additional information about this location, please let us know!

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    Geographic Information

    100 East Main Street
    Bartow, Florida 33830
    United States

    Get Directions »
    27.896819, -81.84284100000002
    Polk County, Florida
    Nearest Towns:
    Bartow, FL (0.0 mi.)
    Highland City, FL (5.2 mi.)
    Homeland, FL (5.6 mi.)
    Eagle Lake, FL (7.7 mi.)
    Lakeland Highlands, FL (7.9 mi.)
    Mulberry, FL (8.0 mi.)
    Alturas, FL (8.0 mi.)
    Wahneta, FL (8.1 mi.)
    Jan-Phyl Village, FL (9.2 mi.)
    Medulla, FL (9.4 mi.)

    Opening Hours

    9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.


    Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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    Comments (8)

    1. Carolyn Criswell  |  

      I worked there for many years in the Domestic Relations Dept. yes there was many cold spots though out the building. We kept our old paper files in the basement and I used to have to go down there to do research. It was very creepy down there and many times I felt something cold touch me. I remember feeling like someone else was in the room other than myself.
      Sometimes I would get on the elevator to go to the 2nd floor to the Judge’s chambers and the elevator would sometimes start to rock up and down and stop completely. I would take my shoe off and beat on the door to try to get it to stop or move again. It became very cold in the elevator when this happened and then suddenly it would all stop and move again. Many of the workers took the stairs instead of the elevator to keep this from happening to them.

    2. I used to work in the basement. It was known as Micrographics. It was dark and dingy. Kind of creepy but no experiences. When I would go to the first floor is when I would feel like someone was watching me from the stairs. I would look up the stairs but never saw anything. Just wouldn’t feel right. When I would leave the area I would be ok again.

    3. I was there on a school field trip one time, and while we were there i got a wierd feeling the whole time, and i kept saying this place is haunted i know it is . And everyone kept saying no its not , and as we were walking down the stares to the bottom floor a lady told me there was some paranormal activity here. She was such a sweet heart. And as we were on the bus to go back to school i told them what the lady said and they all looked at me as if inwas crazy, and said no lady was with us in our group. …. thats when i new that place was 100% haunted.

    4. Bonnie Lamoreaux  |  

      I worked in the county maintenance for 12 yrs and while going up to the clock tower to change lights I had the voice of a man speak softly in my ear. Now ther was no one with 3 floors beneath me, it was direct yet I don’t know what he said. Pretty freakin cool!

    5. My husband was driving by the court house and i was taking a few pic’s and captured a man standing next to the tree in 1800’s clothing thus was around 6:00A.M. on a Sunday morning nobody was out walking . i was Amazed …

    6. I’m a fern believer ghost or what ever you to it, return the exact date and time their death. I’ve have seen the lady on white on the second floor. She was standing with her back to the wall, between the entrance to the restroom and the railing. She had a strange look and turn to ask if she was ok and she was gone.

      The worker that died in the basement when the boiler fire accure in Feb 1952. Can’t recall the exact date, but it was in the teens. I think the only way I can get the name is to search old newspaper.

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