the old idaho state prison

-The Old Idaho State Penitentiary-

In July of 2011, we visited The Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho. The Old Idaho Penitentiary is located in the Old Penitentiary Historic District and is open year round.

-The First Block-

The Old Idaho State Penitentiary opened in 1872 and closed in 1973. Since the prison is notorious for being haunted, we visited with the grand hope of encountering a ghost. At least one oddity occured, but whether or not it was an actual ghostly event, I'm not sure. Needless to say it was very hot this day with the temperatures up in the 90's. The prison has no air conditioning, nor did it ever, and I can only imagine the conditions were less than desirable.

old idaho state penitentiary

-The original prison-

The older cells that were used in the 1800's used a steel grating instead of bars that tends to block a great deal of visibilty while either looking in, or out once the door is closed. I can only imagine the heat.

old idaho state penitentiary

-The First Tier-

This is the place where the oddity happened: I heard the sounds of footsteps only there was nobody around, and the sounds were of hard-soled shoes, not sandals or athletic shoes like everybody wears these days. It happened when I got close to the last cell.

old idaho state penitentiary

-death row-

These were the death row cells. The cells have been left in the same condition as the last inhabitant had left them.

old idaho state penitentiary

-the drop room-

This is where the executions took place. The method was hanging. The condemned prisoner would fall through the floor once the trap door was released-hence the name "drop room".

old idaho state penitentiary

-the showers-

The shower room was super cramped, and the shower heads themselves were very low, around 5 feet. I don't know what they had planned when they designed them, but taller people would have to crouch way down. The gate is comprised of a steel mesh.

old idaho state penitentiary

-the laundry-

Nothing about this place is cheery, but for me, the laundry room was one of the creepiest places in the prison owing to the fact that it's so industrialized with relic equipment. There's a real energy to this room - as there is in the whole prison - but this room just felt different to me.

old idaho state penitentiary


The solitary confinement cells were the most dreadful in the entire prison, even surpassing the drop room. The cells, once the door is shut, are completely black with no light coming in. These cells must have really cooked in the summer and warmer months.

old idaho state penitentiary

-found weaponry-

These weapons were on display in a glass case behind bars.

old idaho state penitentiary