The Old Idaho Penitentiary was built in 1870 and opened its doors in 1872 to some of the West’s most desperate criminals. Today, visitors can experience over 100 years of Idaho’s unique prison history with a visit to Solitary Confinement, cell blocks, and the Gallows. The Friends of the Historical Museum and Old Idaho Penitentiary is an organization dedicated to support the Idaho State Historical Museum and the Old Idaho Penitentiary.
The Old Idaho Penitentiary features thirty historic buildings and special exhibitions including the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit of Arms and Armaments. Events and programs provide families, school groups, and visitors an opportunity to relive the Old Pen’s exciting past of daring escapes, scandals, and executions.
Old Idaho Penitentiary Haunting
This old state prison was once home to 13,000 prisoners. One of its most infamous inmates was Raymond Allen Snowden, also known as “Idaho’s Jack the Ripper.” Visitors report strange sounds and a feeling of dread while visiting the site of his 1957 execution.