201 North 1st Street, Cañon City, CO, USA
The only thing more terrifying than “doing time” in prison is being surrounded by 140 years of frustrated spirits that are still waiting to be released. The Museum of Colorado Prisons is not only haunted by the inmates whose artifacts have been placed on display but also by the women who had the unfortunate opportunity to reside within the cells of its building. Each and everyone one of the spirits is waiting patiently for guests to hear the painstaking stories of an imprisoned life. Known as one of the most haunted locations in Colorado, paranormal investigators from all around the country and world have flocked to Cañon City to seek out evidence and experiences of inmates who have crossed beyond the veil.
The Museum of Colorado Prisons opened in June of 1988 after devoted and concerned Fremont County residents realized their vision of documenting over 140 years of prison life in the state of Colorado. Among the haunted exhibits and displays are that such as the old office furniture used by former Warden Roy Best, documentation the Prison Riots of 1929 and 1947, and items belonging to both Alfred Packer who was convicted of cannibalism and Antone Woode who was convicted of murder as a 12-year-old boy.
With over a century of trapped souls and haunted objects on display throughout the building, it’s understandable that the paranormal community is fascinated with the Museum of Colorado Prisons. Orbs floating, screams that shatter the silence, soft and loud sobs that tear at your heart, the smell of tobacco wafting through the corridors, inexplicable cold spots, shadow figures lurking within the cells, disembodied female voices harassing male guests, bone-chilling EVPs (electronic voice phenomena,) full-bodied apparitions, the appearance of a trickster spirit, objects moving of their own volition, lights flashing on and off, cell doors slamming shut…the imprint made by the artifacts and former inmates leaves mounds of evidence and experiences for the living to relate to and be terrified of the formerly imprisoned!
The only question that truly remains is…will you be brave enough to undergo a lone vigil in Cell 19 that is said to be haunted by a female prisoner that died inside? She may have more than simply a message from the other side waiting for you!
In the 1980s, a group of Fremont County residents envisioned the preservation of the history of the Colorado Prison System in order to educate the public, memorialize the evolution in prison system and deter criminal activity. With the approval of the Colorado State Legislature on April 24, 1986, the vision became a reality with the birth of The Museum of Colorado Prisons.
The uniqueness of the museum lies not only in its attention to detail in cataloguing artifacts of over a century worth of criminal activity but also in the building itself. In 1935, the facility was constructed as the Women’s Prison Building which housed the female prison population until the late 1970s.
Although the living women are no longer residing on the premises, there are inmates just a stone throw away. The building shares a wall and armed towers with a prison that has been active since 1871. One can imagine that the residual energy of former inmates coupled with the vibe of the current prisoners contributes to the stories and evidence of paranormal activity on the property.
The artifacts displayed by the Museum of Colorado Prisons also bring a residual and eerie feeling to the building. They boast exhibits that span over 140 years of history of the prison system. The early territorial prison days leading up to modernized displays, each exhibit entertains and educates! The cell house itself spans two stories. The upper level has 30 inmate cells and office space while the lower level has the dining room, the trustee sleep area, original kitchen, isolation cells, and laundry room.
On the top floor, guests can move from cell to cell following the progression of the phases of life behind bars. These exhibits include displays such as the office furniture of former Warden Roy Best, documentation and information about the Prison Riots of 1929 and 1947. They also feature infamous inmates like Alfred Packer who was convicted of cannibalism and Antone Woode who was convicted of murder as a 12-year-old boy.
The Museum of Colorado Prisons is a wealth of information, displays and exhibits that document punishments, crimes and the daily lives of both inmates and guards within the Colorado Prisons for over a century.
201 North 1st Street, Cañon City, CO, USA