The 10 Most Interesting Abandoned Prisons of America

Photo by Victoria R at Shutterstock

Penitentiary of New Mexico, Santa Fe

Time of Operation: 1885 to 1998
New Mexico is best known for its southwestern cuisine, rich history, and its magnificent and diverse landscapes. But the Land of Enchantment with normally friendly people holds a more horrific claim as well. This is where one of the most violent prison riots in American history occurred in 1980 when inmates took 12 guards as hostages, killed 33 other prisoners, and injured 100 more in 36 hours.

Signs of a beheading and charred outlines of bodies are still noticeable on the concrete ground. This place was closed for repairs after the riot and reopened for 18 years before closing again in 1998. The New Mexico Corrections Department has been offering tours since 2012.

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