About Colorado Prison Museum
Cañon City, located in southern Colorado, is the location of the Museum of Colorado Prisons. Originally built in 1935 as a Women’s Correctional Facility, the museum shares a wall with a still active prison which has been in continuous operation since 1871. The 32 cells in the museum building are spread over two floors and house a fascinating collection of exhibits relating to the staff and inmates that once lived and worked here.
Visitors can explore the cells, original kitchen, dining room, and the laundry room of the prison. There are historical displays of disciplinary paraphernalia dating from as early as 1871, a frightening collection of contraband and weapons confiscated from inmates some of which were involved in deaths in the building. Visitors will see the infamous gas chamber, and the hangman’s noose used during the 1933 execution of “Shorty” Jones, the last person to killed by hanging in Colorado. There are also exhibits relating to notorious Colorado inmates including Antone Woode, convicted on murder aged just twelve, and Alfred Packer who was convicted of cannibalism.
Is Colorado Prison Museum Haunted?
Given the history of the building, and it’s close proximity to an even older, still used prison, it is no surprise that there have been frequent reports of unexplained activity in the building. Visitors report regular encounters with spirits in the museum. The laundry room in particular is well known for cold spots that defy any rational explanation. The laundry room has also been reported as a popular location for the smell of tobacco to be manifested. No-one has smoked in the room for many years, yet the unexplained smell appears to linger here. It is not just minor manifestations such as smells and cold spots that are noticed here. The museum is notorious for unexplained screams and coughing which rend the air here when no visitors are present, and most of the cells are unoccupied.
Life for the women kept here was far from easy with conditions being decidedly unpleasant at times. Many women have died here, and at least one of them appears not to have ever left. The occupant of cell 19 has been regularly captured in floating orbs in photographs, and has been heard coughing by many investigators.
What will you discover when you visit the Museum of Colorado Prisons? The building has a long history of violence, death, and oppression. There are certainly still mysteries to be unlocked here, so be prepared to be surprised during your visit.
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