LINVILLE FALLS — Avery County residents and guests and folks just passing through are invited, or, rather, dared, to pay a free visit to the historic jail behind the Linville Falls General Store at the intersections of Highways 221 and 183 on Halloween eve, Oct. 30, from dusk to 9 p.m.
The highly scary experience of this chilly concrete bunker will be limited to one family, group, couple or lone individual at a time. No candy will be served, nor will there be open flames. Importantly, each child must be accompanied by an adult. There is parking behind the general store, and a short path leads down from a metal utility shed to the jail.
About the Old Jail
Built in the 1930s for the temporary holding of the lawless in what resembled a frontier town in the Wild West, the squat white bunker often held drunken workers from the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway for transport to the proper county seat (remember, three counties meet in Linville Falls at Famous Louise’s Rockhouse Restaurant, another historic landmark in the unincorporated village-hamlet-community).
Legends have a way of sprouting out of the mulch and humus of real life, and the following story may be as true as many another from the Blue Ridge Mountains. The haunting of the Linville Falls Jail may be in many parents’ minds as they lead the little ones down to the echoing, musty cubical tomb to view what has happened to the last person in the jail; that unfortunate little boy or girl who was “The Forgotten Prisoner.”
What spooky sight they will witness there will not be divulged in this notice, however. No spoiler, right?
The event is staged by Friends of Linville Gorge with the permission of the management of Linville Falls General which is not responsible for accidents due to neglect or carelessness. Flashlights and masks required of all jail visitors.