The tale of crime and punishment in our country is fascinating. As attitude towards incarceration and crime has changed over the years, many historic penitentiaries have fallen silent. Deserted buildings are eerie enough on their own, but these abandoned prisons are equal parts creepy, heartbreaking, and hauntingly beautiful.
There are abandoned prisons where inmates were held in solitary confinement, tortured, and even executed that feel particularly chilling. For true crime fans, many former jails are open to the public and offer tours. Excluding Alcatraz, because we’ve all either seen or heard about it, here are 10 abandoned prisons around America and the stories behind them.