Junction City Prison
Junction City, Ohio
The Junction City Prison was demolished in Spring 2005.
I visited the Junction City Prison with the Ohio Exploration Society on March 15, 2003. I ended up taking fifty-one pictures, so instead of listing all of them in one big dropdown list I broke them into sections. Click on the following links to view the photos:
The Junction City Prison was built in 1908 as a brick plant. It was purchased by the state in 1913. The state used it as a satellite prison of the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus. Older or disabled prisoners with good behavior were sent here from the Penitentiary to make bricks that were used for state building projects.
Even though the prisoners with good behavior were sent here, they weren't always on their best behavior. On September 2, 1927 Grant Weakly, one of the guards, was shot and killed by two prisoners named Patrick Riley and Fred Kellogg during an escape attempt. They managed to escape the prison but they were caught in neighboring New Lexington, Ohio.
In 1928 there was a fire at the prison. It was rebuilt using prison labor and bricks made in the prison's furnaces. The Junction City Prison closed between 1935-1938 due to cutbacks made during the Great Depression. It was reopened with a third floor and forty more acres.
In 1970 an educational/rehab building was added. This new building was used for a short time...the prison was closed in 1977. Nepco, a gasohol refinery purchased the prison shortly after it closed. It stayed there for a very short time.
In 1978 the film Brubaker was filmed at the Junction City Prison. It starred Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto, David Keith, and Morgan Freeman. You can see some great views of the prison in this movie, and see what it used to look like.
In the early 1990's a pizza place used this building. They sold frozen pizza kits for schools and charities to use as fundraisers. They left a lot of junk behind - the gym is covered in flour, and we even found some pepperoni in an office on the second floor!
I haven't heard many stories about the prison being haunted, just abandoned. There was grafitti all over the inside walls, some of it was quite entertaining! I think every single window was broken, and there was trash all over the floors. It was a very interesting place to explore, it's too bad they tore it down.
That's not to say that there haven't been some people who experienced strange, paranormal encounters there. Take Melissa Nicholson, a website visitor:
I have been to the prison and a friend of mine that was with me and I both felt something very evil and it was breathing down our necks. Very hot breath and it was very hard to breathe in there. We both got major GOOSE BUMPS although seeing strange things is a natural thing for both of us.
In January 2004 I received the following e-mail from Jessie, a website visitor. This is one of the most interesting things I've ever heard about the prison:
I have been to the Junction City Prison and there is something very wrong there, evil if you will. I know this will sound very far fetched, and you may not believe it, but there is some kind of "beast" or animal living in the prison itself and the surrounding woods. This animal is at least 8 feet tall, has a dirty, white, 'krinkly' coat. No one has seen it up close, but I know multiple people who have witnessed it. I know you say on your site that it is just an abandonded building, but its much much more than that, trust me.
This was the first time I had heard about this "big foot" creature. I asked my friend John who grew up in nearby New Lexington, Ohio. He said he had never heard about sitings of this creature near the prison, but he had heard stories about a creature like this being sighted in Shawnee, Ohio - also in Perry County.
In March 2005 I received an e-mail from Joyce Harris, another website visitor who had an encounter with the mysterious creature:
I used to live down the road from the prison. One time we all went down to the prison with our blankets and stuff and were going to stay the night. We were there for about two hours when we heard this noise. We had never heard this kind of noise before, it is one that you cannot explain. So we sat there for a few more minutes and then we saw this huge shadow go across the wall and that was all it took! Because this shadow was way too big to be any human! So we ran out as fast as we could and we left everything we took with us there. The next day when we came back to get our things, they where not there at all. So whatever that thing is, I would watch it.
In April 2005, I received this story from Jim, AKA "Solomon", with an explanation of the creature:
As odd as this is going to sound, I have to say it. That creature people are seeing isn't living, and now that I've read the story on your site and have heard other people talk about it, I have to admit that I may be one of the people responsible for bringing that thing to this plane.
On July 28, 2005 I received the following e-mail from Elastictyrant about her interesting experiences at the prison:
A friend and I went to the prison in the middle of January 2004, it was the middle of the day and there was practically no moisture in the air. There was a very slight breeze but it was exceedingly bitter. We parked our car near a trailer and some other cars parked across the road to blend it in. Since it was just us two girls, we did a thorough sweep of the area around the far guard tower and the open structure to the far right. There were no cars, no signs of life from what we could see in the building and all looked quiet at the neighbor's homes.
On October 10, 2005 I received the following e-mail from Stacy about her interesting experiences at the prison:
I too have been to the pen, many times in fact. Friends and I used to go there for the thrill and rush of it. Everytime you entered that building, day or night, you got that freaky, uneasy feeling that was so exciting. We would scale and investigate every inch of the place until something scared us off.
On October 29, 2005 I received an e-mail from Jay Fisher of Lancaster, Ohio:
I was looking at the pictures on your site, and saw something interesting in the one of inside the prison labeled looking up the staircase. Look at it, and look closely - above the doorway, in the upper right corner. I see what appears to be a head and shoulders of a man.
I've separated the photo from the rest of the list...do you see the man Jay is talking about?
In December 2005, I received an e-mail from MarlboroQueenB about her visits to the Junction City Prison:
I have read all of the stories on your site about the Junction City Prison. I have a story, but it is not a ghost or "creature" encounter. In the past 4 years, my friends and I have been to the Junction City Prison maybe 15 to 20 times. So, we knew the place pretty well. Sometimes, we would see shadows of a "person" while looking up into the windows. A couple times we saw them by the elevator. Maybe our eyes were playing tricks on us. Who knows? Other times, we would hear weird noises, footsteps above us, and whistling. Every time we went there, we would park our cars in front of the building that sits right next to the prison. There is a house or trailer that sits a ways back. One night (a couple years ago), while walking back to our cars, we noticed there were guys at the house drinking. One of them saw us walking to our cars and he took off running towards us. We jumped in our cars and locked the doors. He ran up to one of the cars and started banging on the windows. One of my guy friends got out of the car and told him we didn't want any trouble. The drunk guy attacked my friend. We tried to pull him off, but he was too strong and obviously too drunk. We then starting hitting him with our flashlights and one of my girlfriends jumped on his back. He stumbled away after some time and told us to leave or he would call the police. We told him we didn't go there to start trouble with anyone and we were just checking the place out. Then he was saying how a lot of people go there and he was sick of it because his house sits right there by the prison and people who go there are always loud. He was telling us how (sometimes) him and his friends would sneak up there and they would try to scare people off, just so they would leave. After that little "incident," we had gone back to the prison a few more times. We didn't hear or see one thing. Now, we wonder if all the times we did hear or see something it was the guy and his friends trying to scare us off.
In July 2006 I received an e-mail from Dylan Mogan regarding the mysterious white creature sightings:
I was reading some of your stories about the JCP and I have one of my own that might explain the "creature".
In October 2007 I received an e-mail from Pete Frye with an observation regarding one of my photos:
After viewing the Junction City Prison photos and stories, I've noticed what appears to be a face looking in through a window in a door. The photo is under: JCP, Main Prison Building Photos, labeled as: "Puddles in Hallway." To the left of the photo, down the hall, there are two doors in the distance. Both have a square window, the right hand door is slightly opened (light shining in). If you look at the window of the left door, you can see what appears to be a head and neck of some one looking in. Building debris?
I received an e-mail from Dennis Smith with an observation in April 2008:
I was looking at your pictures of the Junction City Prison and saw what looks like someone standing on the left hand side of the picture titled "First Floor". Upon saving it and zooming it looked translucent. The image also gets blurry as I zoom so it is hard to make out; but it looks like someone or something in a light colored shirt, dark pants, and light colored shoes. I could not make out the arms, legs, or head.
I received an e-mail from William G. in December 2011 about his trip to the prison:
Back in April of 2001 a friend of mine took a few of us there at night. We traveled up the broken stairs on the outside at night and began to explore around. One thing that we found odd is that we saw hospital beds while on the third floor. We wanted to go to the first floor, but at the time it was full of water. One of the odd things that night was voices we were hearing off and on. We were talking to some other people who had been in there and they said there were no beds in there and had never heard anything. To this day we all believe that place was haunted.
If you visited the Junction City Prison and saw the creature or any other strange things, let me know! I'd be happy to add your story to the site.