The Haunted Cells of Yuma Territorial Prison

Yuma Territorial Prison is one of the most haunted prison cells in the U.S. Three cells within this prison are notorious for being haunted.

The Yuma Territory Prison sat on top of the rocky hill opened its door to inmates on July 1, 1876. Since then, the prison housed more than 3,000 prisoners including 29 women.

haunted prison
The Yuma Territory Prison opened in 1876 (

In those times, prisoner who misbehave and broke rules was confined in solitary in the dark cell. The dark cell was a small room measuring 10ft by 10ft. The only air circulation was a small opening in the ceiling. The room had no lighting that when night came, the prisoner would be in total darkness.

The prisoner would be stripped off his clothes except for his underwear, his legs shackled to the ringbolts. He would be served with one meal of bread and water a day.

To further torture the prisoner, sadistic guards would dropped snakes, scorpions or rats into the dark cell. Stories claimed that after the solitary confinement in the dark cell, some prisoners were sent directly to the insane asylum in Phoenix.

In 1909, Yuma Prison closed down due to overcrowding. Prisoners were transported to the prison in Florence, Arizona.

The facility was turned into a school in 1910 named Yuma Union High School but was closed in 1914. During the depression, homeless used the former prison as shelter. Today, the Yuma Territory Prison is a historical park.

As it was mentioned, there are three haunted rooms in the former prison facility. Claims of ghostly activities are reported by staff members and visitors.

haunted prison
The most haunted room is the dark cell which hold the worst memories (

The most haunted room is the dark cell which hold the worst memories. However, the prominent ghost in the dark cell is not an angry prisoner but a little girl. Stories said that the ghost would pinch, poke and touch with icy fingers anyone wearing red.

Another famous part of the haunted prison is the Cell 14. Cell 14 was occupied by John Ryan convicted of a crime against nature. He killed himself in his cell before he ended his sentence.

Assistant Park Manager Jesse Torres narrated Cell 14 is colder than other cell.  “At times when I pass his old cell, I find myself shivering because of the coldness,” he said.

The third haunted cell in Yuma Prison is known to house insane prisoners. The room is said to have terrifying unseen manifestation. A female tourist had her picture in the doorway to the cell taken during her visit to the haunted prison in 1930s. When the picture was developed, she saw a ghostly figure behind.

Another ghostly activity Torres experienced was when he was in the museum one morning and someone called out to him. He heard a voice girl asking him “Did you get it?” However, when he turned around, no one was with him. He later learned that her co-worker was in the Ramada building, far from the museum.

Reports also held that muffled conversations in vacant rooms can be heard, while a woman sings early in the morning in the visitor’s area. Another ghost they called Johnny flick coins in the gift shop.


Source: Weird US   Seek Ghosts

Further Readings

Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums
The Prison

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