Haunted Prisons
East State Penn.

When evaluating the scariest places on Earth, I have discovered that the most haunted prisons seem to be most appealing to the individual who is a ghost hunter at heart. True ghost stories, detailed ghost pictures, frightening ghost videos, and unexplained phenomenon are just a few traces of evidence that surround these haunted structures known for misery and confinement. Here, you will learn about some of the most haunted prisons that I have stumbled upon in much personal research. The spooky tales and frightening evidence surrounding these prisons will outline why many refer to them as the scariest places on Earth!

Eastern State Penitentiary

The first haunted prison that we will review is Eastern State Penitentiary. This particular prison was opened in the year of 1829 in Philadelphia. Prior to the opening of this establishment, the jail on Walnut Street in the area housed individuals who were found to be crime committers. The Quakers of the time established the fact that some major changes needed to occur when it came to incarceration methods. It was established by this particular group of individuals who when an individual broke the laws, they should endure a period of “penitence”. This group believed that being confined in a solitary manner could assist in this time of penitence.

This prison was constructed to reflect the beliefs that confinement and silence by the Quakers could benefit the inmates, as well as society on the whole. Each criminal who entered this facility was issued their own room, as well as their own small outside area. The individuals were not permitted to interact with any other inmate while serving their time at Eastern State Penitentiary. Silence was imperative at this prison. Inmates were not allowed to talk, sing, read, or communicate in any other manner. If the individuals failed to adhere to these rules, they were punished and were not permitted to have any type of food or drink.

While the Quakers had a sound concept in mind, and believed that there would be little need to punish outside of the confinement and solitude, the staff of the prison thought otherwise. As prisoners reached out to communicate with others, new ways of punishing them were implemented and the methods were relatively harsh. These methods included using a straight jacket, a device called a “mad chair” in which they could be strapped for days, “water baths” that occurred mostly in the winter months where the inmates would be drenched with cold water and chained to a chair for many days, and the “iron gag”. The iron gag involved tying the tongue of the inmate and then attaching it to the hands behind the back. When the hands were moved, it would pull and tear the tongue.

Many prisoners died while at their stay at the Eastern State Penitentiary. It is believed that the tortured souls of these individuals still roam the haunted prison, only they are not as silent. The average visitor to this haunted prison is likely to hear noises that are chilling to the bone, like screams and cries that display sadness and despair, and a relatively high amount of anguish. Many have actually seen apparitions that appear to be residual hauntings, of the ways in which the inmates were tortured, just like it is happening in the presence. The negative and emotional energy created at this haunted prison definitely qualify it as one of the scariest places on Earth today.

Moundsville West Virginia Penitentiary

The Moundsville West Virginia Penitentiary is also considered to be one of the scariest places on Earth. This haunted prison has had a number of sightings, and frightening experiences. As you approach this immense structure, you are likely to be taken back by the spooky, gothic building style that was used to create the facility. Constructed in the year of 1866, on the outer area of a place called “Moundsville”, this spooky prison housed several different individuals for a period of about one hundred and twenty nine years. A good majority of these individuals lost their lives while staying at the prison. There were some who died of natural causes, others who died due to the shear violence, and many others who were actually executed in the prison.

It is believed, at one point in history, an ancient burial ground for Native Americans stood on the property where Moundsville West Virginia Penitentiary was constructed. This is, in all actuality, how “Moundsville” got its name. The purpose and intent of the facility was to house the most dangerous criminals of the time. This prison also housed women prisoners as well as men prisoners. One of the main things that played an important role in this particular prison was that it actually had what was called a “Death House”. Throughout the history of the prison, individuals were executed here – typically, by hangings, and then eventually by an electric chair.

There have been a number of scary tales to circulate regarding this particular haunted prison. The violence, the torture, and of course, the murders and suicides that were experienced in this haunted prison all account to the tales that circulate of ominous ghosts and evil spirits. It is not unusual to hear footsteps approaching from an unknown source, frightening noises echoing off of the walls of the structure, screams and cries emerging from every direction, and even an occasional apparition.

Mansfield Reformatory

The Mansfield Reformatory is another haunted prison that is believed to be one of the scariest places on Earth. In the year of 1896, this structure was established in order to provide a location that boys who were sent to be reformed could be completely turned around – in a spiritual way. Unfortunately, things did not work out as well as the original creators may have thought that they would. Stories of torture, despair, sadness, and death have been circulated for years. As a result of these gruesome stories, it is believed that a number of hauntings have occurred at the Mansfield Reformatory. Here, I will share some of the haunting tales of this haunted prison.

One of the main stories of a haunting in this prison occurs in the wing where administration serves. At one point in history, a Warden’s wife lived in this area with her husband. She was trying to retrieve something from the close when a gun fell and a bullet entered her chest. She died, and many claimed that the Warden actually killed her, despite the fact that evidence pointed a different direction. Approximately ten years later, the Warden had a heart attack and he passed away. It is believed that the couple still resides in the establishment as ghosts. Scents of roses in the air, as well as cold, ghostly breezes and apparitions have been spotted in this wing.

Many individuals who have visited this haunted prison have had accounts of hearing strange noises, seeing apparitions, smelling unusual scents, and hearing conversations and even screams while there. The lingering sadness and evil seem to linger in every area at the Mansfield Reformatory – both inside and out!

Rawlings Frontier Prison

The Rawlings Frontier Prison is considered to be one of the scariest places on Earth as well. This haunted prison is located in Rawlings, Wyoming. Many individuals refer to this establishment as “The Old Pen”. Several different accounts of hauntings have been experienced at this particular prison. There seems to be a number of residual hauntings that occur in and around the structure. The spirits that many witnesses have viewed do not seem to actually be aware of the presence of the living. Residual hauntings are more less high levels of energy that are located in certain places. The living sees this energy, or “recording” and it is referred to as a haunting.

While there are many residual type hauntings at the Rawlings Frontier Prison, there are several other types of activities that occur in and around the facility. These include strange smells, devastating wails, screams, and feelings of immense fear, hot spots, cold spots, and more. Several ghost pictures, and ghost videos have been taken here to establish the fact that these are real ghost stories


As you can see, there are several haunted prisons that are deemed as the scariest places on Earth. If you want to experience these hauntings yourself, these establishments allow tours and more! Plan your trip to the scariest places on Earth – the haunted prisons mentioned here!

To discover more haunted places that you can visit check out Haunted Places To Go!

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