An Eerie House (That Comes with Its Own Personal Jail) Is for Sale in Guildhall, Vermont

This Guildhall, Vermont, residence comes with two bedrooms, four bedrooms — and seven historic jail cells.

By Joe Bills

Jan 18 2021


Vermont house with a secret

Photo Credit : Joe Martin
Every old house has its secrets, but the modest c. 1880 home sitting on an acre of land next to the Village Green in Guildhall, Vermont, is hiding a doozy.
This 2,190-square-foot New Englander was built as the home of the county jailer around 1880, after an earlier jail here had been burned down by prisoners. The barn in the background goes with the house and dates from the same period.
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
The interior of the house is modest but well appointed, with hardwood floors, high ceilings, and modern appliances in the kitchen. The stove is a replica antique outfitted with a glass-top electric cooking surface.
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
Wainscoting and crown molding provide historic charm, while radiant heat throughout most of the first floor takes the chill out of winter mornings.
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
Besides the kitchen and the dining room, the house has a living room, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, a mudroom, and a laundry area. There’s yet another space that wasn’t even included in the square footage calculations — we’ll get to that in a minute.
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
This diagonal bedroom window and a “hidden” hallway closet that blends into a wall are the kinds of unusual features you might expect to see in any quirky old New England house. But the next stop on our tour is a completely different story.
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
Attached to the north wall of the house is a 28-by-40-foot wing that served as the Essex County Jail for nearly a century. Though it has not been used in that capacity since 1969, the seven cells and the small jailer’s office have remained — looking more and more like the set of a horror movie with each passing year.
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
Rusty and run-down, and currently without electricity, the jail nonetheless has the feel of untapped potential. Previous owners have considered converting the space into everything from an antiques shop to a sprawling family room (minus the barred windows, presumably).
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
What a difference a few feet can make: from the dark confines of a jail cell to the sunny expanse of the village green.
Photo Credit : Joe Martin
The Guildhall Jailer’s House is being offered for sale at $149,000. For more information, contact listing agent Jennifer Allen at Lisa Hampton Real Estate.


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