The Haunting of the Old Idaho State Penitentiary

Old Idaho State Penitentiary – Ada County, Boise, Idaho

Photograph ©Boise State University

The building of the Old Idaho State Prison began with one small building in 1870. Over time, many buildings were added, as needed, and the last to be constructed was a maximum security building which also housed the gallows upstairs.

Over a span of one hundred years, the prison was residence to more than thirteen thousand prisoners. The jail also saw several riots occur within its walls. The last riot to take place here was in 1973 and it lasted over three hours, leaving $100,000 in damage in its wake. This particular riot was the end of the penitentiary; inmates were then moved to a new prison. The prison was then added to the National Registry of Historical Places.

All kinds of paranormal activities have been reported among the various buildings of the prison. The first thing that most visitors notice is the oppressive feeling of dread that comes over them and then this feeling grows stronger as they get nearer to the executioners area.

Many visitors, as well as, staff members, have heard heavy, phantom footsteps on the catwalks above them or footsteps that seem to climb the stairs. The prison alarm has been known to sound for no reason.

A lot of people who have walked through the buildings or on the grounds, have heard voices and some have claimed to be touched and/or shoved from behind.

Full bodied apparitions and shadowy figures are almost a-dime-a-dozen here. So, it is no surprise that most guests feel like their being watched.

2445 Old Penitentiary Road
Boise, Idaho 83712