On Jan. 30, 2021, Ghostly Activities and AGHOST investigated the site of the old Thurston County Jail in Olympia, Washington. The contemporary business in the Historic Downtown, Fleshworks Tattoo Studio, has reported ghostly activity. Get the report after the jump.

Investigation Background

Fleshworks Tattoo Studio lies where the original Thurston County Jail sat. The jail was torn down in 1903.

Thurston County Jail’s Dark History

Fleshworks Tattoo Studio is built on the block where the original Thurston County Jail was built. The jail was temporary: It was open from 1897 to 1903. Then, it moved to its permanent location.

There is tragedy associated with the jail. In March 1903, a deputy sheriff was killed in action. Deputy David Morrell was putting prisoners in their cells after dinner, when he was attacked by one of them. Christ Benson had pried a pipe from the jail wall and struck the deputy. The officer tried to fire his gun, but Benson wrested it away. Then, Benson shot Deputy Morrell to death and escaped (Chamberlain 2009).

Two months after Deputy Morrell’s murder, the jail closed and moved to a new facility. Once the old jail was demolished, the area was acquired for residential development. Fleshworks Tattoo Stuido’s current building was built in 1989.

Eyewitness Reports

The current owners and staff have had some potentially haunted activity. First, the ghost lights manifested (as seen in video) that security cameras captured. There are also reports of:

  • The feeling of being watched
  • Objects falling or being thrown in a storage closet
  • Phantom footsteps
  • Cold spots

Investigation Details

AGHOST arrived on site at 8 PM and began collecting baseline measurement.

Investigators present:

  • Ross Allison (founder, AGHOST)
  • Josh Wilmoth (investigator)
  • Jake Rice (technical manager)

Baseline Measurements:

The areas measured included the main lobby with a large, Ouija board coffee table, the billiards area, tattoo stations and a waiting room with a UFO decorating a wall.

Overall, the EMF fields were nearly 0.0mG in most of the space. Jake did have REM breaks with his Mel-8704R-REM-ATDD by the mirrors and some spikes to 2.0mG. However, there were electronics and lights by the windows and mirrors, so that likely explains the spikes. The temperature ranged from 66°F to 72°F.

Equipment Used:

  • Mel 8704R-REM-ATDD
  • EDI+
  • GS2 Laser Grid System
  • 360° IR motion detector
  • Rode NTG5 dynamic shotgun mic
  • Zoom H4n audio recorder
  • Canon XA11 camcorder
  • Sennheiser MKE600 shotgun mic
  • Zoom H2n audio recorder
  • Particle detector
  • EM array
  • Neon cat balls (as trigger/motion detector)
  • Boo Buddy Jr.

Environmental Factors:

Date: Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021

Start Time: 8 PM PT

End Time: 11:30 PM PT

Solar X-Ray Activity: Very low

Geomagnetic Field: Minor storm

Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous

Temperature: 66°-72° indoors | 48° outside

Humidity: 45% indoors | 93% outside

Barometric Pressure: 29.88″

Wind Speed & Direction: Indoor investigation – N/A | 5 mph S (outside)

Investigation Experiments

The investigation broke into 4 different experiments:

Debunk Ghost Lights Test (see video)

First, the team tried to reproduce the ghost lights seen in the video. For this, Josh got cobwebs from the hallway to place in front of the security cameras to see if the webbing or bugs caught in the webs could cause the phenomena. Spider webs did not appear to cause the orbs.

Next, Jake used his Canon XA11 to see if IR flares could mimic the orbs. While the cross flare did capture 2 orbs, it did not have the same movement or vertical flight pattern. The XA11 also did not capture anything from the outside that may have created the orb effect.

Waiting Room Tests

In the backroom with the UFO structure, Jake placed a GS2 laser grid system, a Mel 8704-R-REM-ATDD meter and conducted an EVP session.

The GS2 laser grid noted a few cooling anomalies, but it was debunked as normal cooling for a wall facing a hallway. The Mel meter never detected anything with its REM field. As for the EVP session, no ghostly voices were captured. The team focused on engaging with Deputy Morrell’s spirit.

Billiards Area

For this experiment, a 360° IR motion detector scanned the area to see if something may manifest. Jake set it to 4-ft. detection area. The gadget detected no changes in the environment.

Main Lobby Ouija Board Coffee Table

The last experiment dealt with engagement with Deputy Morrell. On the table, the team had placed EM arrays, cat toys that glowed when touched, an EDI+, and a Boo Buddy Jr.

Over the course of 45 minutes, investigators asked EVP questions, played gunfire to simulate the shooting from 1903, played music from the early 1900s, and asked any spirits to move objects on the table. The EM array and EDI+ flickered a few times, but the team did not capture any objects moving, nor collect any EVPs.

However, upon EDI+ data log reviews, there were more EMF spikes captured. The spikes became more frequent toward the end of the experiments. The vibration spikes were caused by team members moving the EDI+ or knocking on the table. The other metrics were stable.

Fleshworks Tattoo Studio Conclusion

Not much activity was collected during the investigation, but the team would like to return to continue experiments and discover what really caused the ghostly activities at the tattoo studio.


Chamberlain, Jimmy (July 4, 2009). “History of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office: 1852-2009,” Thurston County (WA) Sheriff’s Office, retrieved from https://www.co.thurston.wa.us/sheriff/information-history.htm by Melissa Becker (AGHOST research manager) on Jan. 30, 2021