The Yuma Prison in Arizona
Said to be one of the most haunted structures in the area of Yuma, Arizona. On the 1st day of July in the year of 1876, a group of seven people entered this prison for the very first time. In a very unusual turn of events, these individuals were actually locked into cells that they had constructed with their very own hands! These inmates marched into the newly constructed prison with a high level of discomfort, knowing that the prison was sound, and unless they were released, there were no means of escape. To date, there are several stories of hauntings that seem to be related to the prisoners housed at this structure. Are the spirits of the souls that were locked at the Yuma Prison in Arizona still trapped?
Yuma Territorial Prison
1 Prison Hill Road
Yuma, AZ 85364
The Yuma Prison
Held prisoners for over three decades. As a matter of fact, the structure served in the capacity of a prison for a total of thirty three years. In that time, thousands of individuals were incarcerated and ordered to stay within the confines of the prison walls. According to documentation housing records regarding the prisoners, a total of 3,069 individuals served time here. Out of this grand total of individuals, documentation proves that there were at least twenty nine different women that resided within the Yuma Prison for an extended amount of time.
These individuals committed a variety of crimes. It was not uncommon for those who had committed murder, or attempted it to be ordered to stay. Grand larceny and even crimes such as that of having more than one wife were punishable by a stay at Yuma! According to the laws and procedures of the time in which this prison was in full operation, the individuals who were punished to spend time within the walls of the immense structure were treated in a way that was considered to be appropriate. Naturally, in today’s criminal justice system, many of the techniques used to punish would be considered to be inhumane. For example, when an individual disobeyed the rules, they would be placed in the “dark cell” – a form of severe isolation – for extended amounts of time. In addition to this, a large ball that restricted the prisoner’s movements would be strapped onto them by way of a chain if they attempted escape.
While there were opportunities for the prisoner to excel, these were mostly short lived opportunities for many. For example, many were given lessons that would teach them to communicate by way of writing, and other courses were given in reading. There was a library and instructors on the premises to assist in these endeavors. In addition to this, there was an on-site medical facility that assisted the sick and injured. Unfortunately, things got out of hand. Several prisoners were sent to this prison to serve out their time. As a result, it became too crowded. A severe case of tuberculosis also broke out.
Several prisoners, right at about one hundred and nineteen, died at the Yuma Prison. It is believed most of the spirits from these individuals still walk the corridors of the prison, bound here for all of eternity. These hauntings seem to be the strongest in the area of the “dark cell”. While there is no documentation proving that there were any deaths that occurred in this cell, paranormal researchers believe that the spirits in the structure are drawn to it, because of the emotional charge that the room has. It is almost as if the energy from the room powers the spirits. There are several other haunting that are said to occur at the prison as well.