The Voice

The Voice

The Voice

Daytime Stories: The Old Joliet Prison

Join editor Jadyn Sola as she talks about the Joliet Prison
CC By 4.0 DEED
CC By 4.0 DEED

Roughly an hour away from Huntley, the Old Joliet Prison is considered one of the most haunted places in Illinois. It has now become a popoular attraction for ghost hunters and locals, and this huge, eerie building has a dark story behind it.
First built in 1858, the prison started off pretty small with only 53 prisoners. It was a highly trusted and commended building, and they intended to expand and make it larger to hold more inmates. It received recognition from papers from cities all around the state.
After 20 years, however, their image was completely destroyed when they held almost 2000 prisoners in horrible conditions. The prison was reported as unclean, uncomfortable, and unfit for people to stay or work in. Not only that, but they had greatly exceeded their maximum capacity for inmates.
By 1905, citizens and politicians were begging and petitioning for the prison to close. After back and forth debate, their wishes seemed to be ignored. Finally, in 2002, the governor decided it was officially time to close down the building, leaving it abandoned for years.
During its life, the prison saw many tragedies and held many dark stories. Many famous criminals were held here, including the infamous killer clown, John Wayne Gacy. Not only that, but many people, both innocent and guilty, were killed in this prison, and executions were held right on prison grounds.
After a few years of its abandonment, crime started to ensue around the area. As with most abandoned places, people from around the state came to explore and vandalize its remains. Some even attempted to set fire to the building. Shortly after these disruptions, upset locals made the decision to try to preserve this historical building.
Today, the building has become a popular place to visit. A few have caught sight of their most famous apparition, a singing ghost on the outskirts of the building. They host tours of the prison, and it has also been made into a haunted house attraction with actors and guides.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Jadyn Sola
Jadyn Sola, Floating Editor
Jadyn Sola is a Floating Editor for The Voice, and it is her second year on staff. In her free time, she likes to play the piano, hang out with her family and friends, and watch movies.

Comments (0)

All The Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *