FBF: Old Idaho Penitentiary
The film Malcolm X once quoted that some people are always in prison because their mind is imprisoned. Well this place supposedly imprison some for eternity as their souls never leave.
Well do souls exist? Do you believe in hauntings? You decide. I have my answer, or more like my own questions in this matter. Though here we were, at another allegedly haunted place.
This prison operated for 101 years until a riot in 1973 exposed the abuse and horrid conditions that lead to its closure.
Today is a museum, and a destination for those looking to see if they believe in ghosts.
We were in Boise to enjoy ourselves and knew that Ghost Adventures did an episode here, and we couldn’t resist checking the place out!
Haunted or not, this place did have some infamous residents. Two famous prisoners were Harry Orchard & Lyda Southard. Orchard assassinated former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg in 1905, and Southard was known as “Lady Bluebeard” for killing several of her husbands to collect upon their life insurance.
Here, we had a fun discussion whether something happened or not. My wife heard 2 distinct bang sounds on the metal bars coming from the cells. Here’s the problem: there are no stairs to the cells and the lock to the blocks themselves are welded shut. Nobody can get there.
It is said that prisoners would bang on the bars twice to signal to everyone that a woman is in their midst. I can’t confirm this nor deny this, maybe you can tell me…
Prisons are not pleasant places, maybe I doubt hauntings but there is nothing not haunting about the smell and feel of this place. Everything we touched have a story, and I don’t imagine most of those have happy endings.
Hauntings and belief thereof is a human condition where we associate inanimate objects and places with things that do (or did) have life. What makes a guitar special if it has been played by a great artist? Possessing such does not guarantee mastery. Nor does touching the desk that belonged to Adolph Hitler make you a raging anti-Semite. So what makes us believe a places such as this where hundreds died will have lingering effects?
But for us, the memory of this place taints the innocent building. We as a specie believes the “ghosts” of this building and the skeletons in its closets are still here. I don’t know if I saw a ghost, or heard of their voices but I do know they are here – In our minds as we read of this prison’s history. The echos of the screams during this riot. The whispers of the plans for some ill fated escape
Well, haunted or not, that’s up to you when you go to this old prison.
“Good deeds are better than wise sayings.” – Talmud