The Ghostly Past Of The Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast

June 22, 2015

Within a block of the Bardstown town square is a quaint bed and breakfast with a a storied but historic past. The thick walls and barred windows tell the story of a former life; the Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast was exactly what the name implies, it was once home to the Nelson County jailer and the jail. Worried that someone (or something) might have been sleeping in your bed? Maybe you should be. A few years ago, the B&B made the Travel Channel’s list of 10 Most Haunted Places in the United States and stands firmly as one of the most haunted places in Kentucky. It’s up there with the haunted town, helltown ohio, which is also known for its spooky goings-on. Ray Parker, Jr. said it best in the Ghostbuster theme song, “I ain’t afraid a no ghosts.” My family and I spent a night in B&B on our latest road trip to historic Bardstown, Kentucky.

jailer's inn


The Nelson County Jail operated at that location for nearly 200 years, and was the oldest operating jail in the state of Kentucky. It housed numerous inmates and conducted public hangings in the courtyard. The Inn owner was on hand to give us a tour of part of the former jail and explain a little about its history. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

jailers inn bed and breakfast

When the jail was put up for public auction after it closed in 1987, it was purchased by the present owner’s mother. She opened it as a bed and breakfast, and managed it herself for many years. The Jailer’s Inn has 7 rooms available including one family suite and one unique Jail Cell room.

nelson county jail

piano in the foyer of jailer's inn

Our family suite had one king bedroom, one queen bedroom, and a living room with wet bar. I loved many of the period appropriate furnishings. The second bedroom and bathroom both had skylights that allowed natural light into the space. The family suite also has a separate entrance that allows you to come and go without entering the main house. The family suite is a great option for several people traveling together. We had a mini-fridge that kept our drinks and snacks cold. The living room was a nice space to sit and talk about our day in Bardstown, or to read the guest book left in the room. I enjoyed reading about the paranormal experiences of other guests, and taking note that several former guests were from as far away as Australia.

jailer's inn bed and breakfast

jailers inn

jailer's inn bed and breakfast


jailer's inn guest book

rocking chairs in front of the Jailer's Inn

During the summer months breakfast is served in the courtyard out back, and they’ll refrain from telling you that the public hangings took place just a few yards away until after you’ve eaten.



jail cell at the old nelson county jail

jailer's inn
Jeremy playing in the stocks out front.

jailer's inn

All in all, we enjoyed our brief stay, perhaps most of all because we did not have the pleasure of being visited by any of the Inn’s famous permanent residents. I would definitely consider making it part of your visit to the Bardstown, Kentucky area, a trip down Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, or maybe even your next ghost hunting expedition.

Have you ever stayed anywhere haunted? Do you believe in ghosts?



4 comments on “The Ghostly Past Of The Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast”

  1. Looks awesome!! I was just in Gettysburg and they have a Ghost Tour of the town. Too spooky for me!!!

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