The Old Joliet Prison is now a haunted house

Chicago Scene

JOLIET, Ill. — Growing up in the Chicago area, it’s a rite of passage at some point to see the Blues Brothers. The iconic shot of Joliet Jake leaving the prison and heading back to Chicago is burned into the memories of thousands of Chicagoans who grew up with Belushi and Aykroyd.

The old Ilinois State Penitentiary was in operation from 1858 to 2002. During its time of operation, the Old Joliet Prison has seen some famous inmates. Among thousands, Leopold and Loeb, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, James Earl Ray and Baby Face Nelson all called 1125 Collins Street home.

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“We found some old pieces of wood that defiantly looked like they used to be something out in the woods back behind the prison, apparently that was an inmate graveyard…don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what we’ve been told be some pretty decent sources,” General Manager Bryan Kopp said.

Touted as Chicagoland’s first and only haunted house inside real abandoned prison, the Old Joliet Haunted Prison is located in the annex building at 401 Woodruff Road in Joliet. Believed to be haunted since closing its door in 2002, the grounds and interior of the prison will be transformed into a haunted house.

To find out information and times to visit the haunted house, click here.

The Old Joliet Haunted Prison. Photo by @WillByington © 2021

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