Old Idaho State Penitentiary

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Witnesses have reported flickering lights and uneasy feelings at this site.

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    Geographic Information

    2445 Old Penitentiary Rd
    Boise City, ID 83712
    United States

    Get Directions »
    43.6026381, -116.16271319999998
    Ada County, Idaho
    Nearest Towns:
    Boise, ID (2.2 mi.)
    Garden City, ID (4.0 mi.)
    Meridian, ID (11.5 mi.)
    Eagle, ID (11.5 mi.)
    Kuna, ID (15.0 mi.)
    Star, ID (17.7 mi.)
    Nampa, ID (20.5 mi.)
    Horseshoe Bend, ID (21.6 mi.)
    Idaho City, ID (22.6 mi.)
    Middleton, ID (24.0 mi.)


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    Comments (17)

      • I was there and had a feeling in the laundry room. I felt very ill and had to walk out. Once outside I felt fine. There could have been a presence in there.

        • My sister and brother and I went there about 6 months ago and had the exact same experience in the laundry. Very scary and felt I just needed to get out of there.

          • My friend and I were in the laundry room during the day and I climed under the railings near the shower room entrance. I have been “ghost hunting” for over 10 years, so I don’t get scared very easily. I touched the door and suddently I needed to GET AWAY FAST! When I climbed back through the bars (where I was supposed to be), I just started laughing at myself. I thought it was funny that I freaked out. After I got home, I realized that I caught an EVP. Right before I suddenly freak out, there is a voice that says “you don’t belong here.” It is clearly not my friend or I, and there wasn’t anyone else around. One of the best EVPs I have ever captured.

            • i went here a couple of months ago with my step dad my mom and my sis felt a cold spot and heard some footsteps in max security. got scared i dont think im coming here again lol

    1. I was there last November doing an investigation with a friend and we were in Siberia alone. After being there for about 10 minutes we heard people coming towards the building, so I walked out of the cell and we started gathering our equipment. I said let’s scare the people that were coming only joking and on our digital recorder that we had running we got an eve that said, “why are the people coming and two crazy sounding and loud voices laughing in an evil, scary manner. We were both still talking to each other which you can hear in the background and if I heard this with my own ears I would have run. The people that were walking up came in and the little child that was with them said this place is scary. This is one of the best evps I have ever gotten after 100’s of them. This prison has a lot going on.

    2. i went there and i was in the hanging gollows and i felt like i was being watched from behind and when i looked back nobody was there……..my grandma works the lights at the batanical garden and i dont go anymore cause the dark and the histroy of that prison scare me

    3. I took my young son aged 10 – 12 there. He’s a medium and my side of the family tends to be psychic. He wanted to visit Alcatraz with his uncle so I said “Let’s see how you handle the Old Territorial Prison. Alcatraz is bound to be 100 times worse.” Neither of us knew anything about the prison’s history. My son related thing after thing that he was seeing and hearing that I couldn’t. The whole place did give me a creepy feeling. What my son saw and heard was an oubliette where he could hear a prisoner begging to be let out, saw a skull pop up in a window in the burned out part of the Old Penitentiary, knowing that a basketball court and the rose garden were sites where people were hanged, he knew that a man jumped to his death several days before he was to be executed and where it happened. My son said that there were about 100 ghosts with approximately 20 being guards and 80 being prisoners. Maximum security and the oldest part of the prison where the conditions are very primitive is where I could feel a heaviness that was emotionally draining. I researched what my son said and talked to a woman who works there in the Geology Shop. She told me that the events I couldn’t find weren’t generally known or recorded. Everything my son related did happen. The skull in the window was a guard that was shot through the head during the riot that shut down the prison in the 1970’s. The weapons museum was where I could really feel a heavy somber presence particularly the hand weapons like the scimitars. I felt drained. Strangely, my son wasn’t affected at all. My son decided that visiting Alcatraz with his uncle wasn’t such a good idea after all! Behind the prison on the hillside is an old Indian burial ground where on another occasion I saw “Medicine Dog” at the top of the bluff looking out over Boise. He was a medicine man that loved wolves and dogs and would go up there often. A live dog was cavorting around the image. Medicine Dog was in full regalia with a fur cape but was only a recording. I watched him for over five minutes and his image didn’t change. My Indian friend who took me up there and related the ghost sightings and history there said I was “blessed”. She hadn’t told me about Medicine Dog before I first saw him. I was just glad that seeing Medicine Dog wasn’t a creepy experience like the old prison had been. Sadly, a lot of people will dig up bones and Indian artifacts from these gravesites and sell them on eBay. There are hot springs at the base of the hillside which is probably part of the reason the Indian burial sites are such an active area for hauntings since the whole area is geologically active.

    4. This place is makes the hair on your arms stand up with uncomfortable breathing. Very haunted, visited this location on a field trip in my youth and never wanted to return, EVER it!! I always felt like I was being followed and heard many voices, bursts of cold air, and loud screams especially in the jail cells and where people were hung. Great place to go if you’re into this stuff but gives off a very uncomfortable feeling

    5. Felt a lot of cold spots and uneasy especially in the older areas of the prison. You felt like you were being watched all the time. I have goose bumps just thinking about my trip there last year.

    6. Walked around the outside of the place in the middle of the night. We didn’t have any connections to go inside it at night so that was the best we could do. Even so, You could here voices from inside the walls and cell doors shutting.

    7. About 5 years ago my sister and I took a day time tour of the Old Pen. While in the laundry area, my sister snapped a picture in which a face appeared. We did not detect it until after the tour concluded. As well, while in the execution room, my sister snapped a picture of me standing in the doorway, and my face in the picture did not look like my own. When walking the tiers, we felt like we were being watched and followed. I can only imagine what it’s like to be there at night!

    8. I went on the tour about three years ago. I felt absolutely fine the whole time except for when I went up to the death row cell area and was standing by Raymond Snowden’s old cell. I felt light headed, dizzy, nausea and had to get out. When I went outside I felt totally fine again. Very weird.

    9. We went two years ago to visit this place. When we walked through the kitchen area, we felt a strong presence there of something evil. It was a very strong eerie feeling that something was right behind you. My cousin felt the same thing and told me that we needed to leave this area. When we did leave,that feeling went away. We didn’t feel that feeling again until we went into the laundry area.It was like a heavy presence was there, it became difficult to breathe and very cold. Once we left the laundry area, everything went back to normal. Something is there alright. Come check this place out and you will see what I am talking about.

    10. Our paranormal team has been there several times and each time we have had some unexplainable experiences and captured some amazing E.V.P.S on our voice recorders. One in particular was captured in front of Raymond Snowden’s cell. I asked him why he stabbed Cora so many times, and upon evidence review we found an agitated man with a raspy voice saying my name TWICE! I used to be quite skeptical, but now have become more open minded to the possibility.

    11. Have been to the site numerous times. In 2017 we were there with some friends from out of town and in “Siberia” I kept hearing what sounded like metal doors shutting – that “clang” of a cell door. I asked the people with me if they heard it, nothing. That same day, in cell house 5 I could clearly hear footsteps walking on the floor above, but there was no one else in the building, and the stairs leading to the second floor were closed off with a gate that was chained. Definitely a lot of unexplained activity here, pretty cool!

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.