McMichael Realty Unsolved

I am a huge fan of this little show on YouTube called Buzzfeed Unsolved. You probably have never heard of that, so let me give you a quick explanation: Essentially it consists of two guys that explore unsolved crimes or the unexplained phenomena. When it comes to ghosts, one of the hosts whole-heartedly believes in them while the other will blame any sound (even footsteps) on a gust of wind. It’s important to understand that I love this show because when it was proposed that we visit the Missouri State Penitentiary for an office outing, my mind immediately went to imagining my own episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved.

Here’s the interesting fact that you may not be expecting though; I realized I’m not the type for ghost-hunting (although I would still go if it was with Shane and Ryan from Buzzfeed Unsolved). With that being said, I LOVED exploring the Missouri State Penitentiary. So, let me give you a quick overview of why I am not a ghost-hunter but also why you will love a tour at the Missouri State Penitentiary.

One of the first things you will experience is a block of cells in the same building as where you enter. Many of these cells have reported paranormal activity and then there is the solitary cell under the stairs. I honestly could not enter any of them for fear that I would feel a scratch on my shoulder and not be able to find the source. However, the history of this cell block was rich, and the different stories told by our tour guide were intriguing. In this first cell block, I highly recommend that you do try and experience standing in one of the cells, even though I did not.

As we progressed, we came to Housing Unit 3. The middle of the entire building was open and featured catwalks that ran all the way up to the top floor. As with the entire penitentiary, the history of this cell block was also rich, and I guarantee you will immediately want to climb up the stairs to walk across the catwalks. I promise you will get the chance, but only about 5 minutes’ worth because they have to keep the tours on time. When they allow you to explore the cell block, make it up to the top floor. The catwalks are a perfect photo opportunity if you can get the lighting to work in your favor.

The last location I’ll mention quickly is death row. While I wouldn’t say I’m a believer in ghosts, I will say that I saw things move in this area where there were no people or shadows originally when we walked in. The mood of death row is completely different than the rest of the tour and you can feel it as soon as you start to walk down the hallway. Death row is probably where you will feel the least comfortable, but you will probably be talking about the experience from this area the most.

In the end, I can’t say if ghosts are real or not, but I did experience some things that I did not initially think I would experience on the tour. Overall, I would still recommend finding a way to work visiting the Missouri State Penitentiary into your schedule however you can. They have multiple different tours that you can take part in that range in time and freedom of exploring. We stuck with the 2-hour excursion which was plenty of time for an office of Realtors, but if you really love the idea hunting ghosts, you may want to splurge for the longer excursion that allows you to tour the facility at your own will. If you are a fan of ghost-hunting shows, like me, or places that hold so much history inside of them you will also love the Missouri State Penitentiary.

Brooke Wiggins

McMichael Realty, 369 South Summit Drive, Holts Summit, MO, 65043