Many prisons built in the 1800s and early 1900s were
massive foreboding structures which offered only the most basic needs to the
inmates they housed. The antiquated concept of reform was designed to break the
spirits and force conformity. The methods used were viewed even then as being
cruel and barbaric.
Many who study paranormal activity believe these prisons,
each with its own history of immense pain and suffering, attract spirits who
are caught between worlds.
They believe some of these spirits were too evil to move
on, others have old scores to settle and some wander the prison’s cell blocks
looking for the way out.
Years after “The Rock” was closed as a prison,
stories persist that Alcatraz is haunted. Ghost hunters have said they feel
parts of the island and areas of the prison evoke a certain
“strangeness,” but it was mostly employees, working in areas of the
prison alone, who have reported most of the unexplained events that haunt the
dark corridors of Alcatraz. Reports of areas that are suddenly cold,
unexplained clanging sounds, sobbing coming from empty corridors and reports
of Al Capone playing his banjo in the shower room.
Charles Dickens visited the prison in the 1840s and found
the conditions appalling. He described the inmates at Eastern Penn as being
“buried alive…” and wrote about the psychological torture the
inmates suffered at the hands of their captors.
Today, many claim to have met some of those tortured
souls, while walking through the deserted halls of Eastern State Penitentiary.
From weeping, giggling, whispering and paralyzing forces, this penitentiary
keeps paranormal investigators busy.
Also known as the Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield
Reformatory is believed to hold the spirits of many of its worst criminals,
some of them being the prison employees, locked away forever.
Since its closure, rumors of the spirits of tortured
inmates who died in the prison fill the halls with restless energy, unable to
escape the prison’s bars. Guilty guards and tales or brutal prison officials
also contribute to the stories of the haunted facility, as they remained
trapped in the gruesome nightmare they created for the prisoners locked inside.
The ghosts are Mansfield do not seem shy however, since many a visitor
photographing the old prison has manage to capture images of orbs in their photographs.
In the late 1800s, Moundsville took over all executions
for the state. But the executions were only a small part of the violent past at
Moundsville. Suicide, murder and torturous and violent punishments
contributed to the death of hundreds of inmates. Today, some visitors and
employees claim to see evidence that many spirits still inhabit the old
penitentiary. Paranormal experts say the prison experiences residual haunting,
which they describe as tragic events from the past that are repetitively
replayed forever. The penitentiary also seems unable to keep prisoners
from coming in, although they are only heard and never seen, as they push the
circular entrance gate that guides them inside the prison walls.