"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Wyoming Frontier Prison

Ever have the morbid urge to sit in a gas chamber? One of Wyoming Frontier Prison's tourist attractions allows you to sit in the same spot where five men were executed though you won't suffer the same fate as them. The building of this fortress began in 1888 but due to several setbacks it didn't begin operation until December 1901. Several additions were made throughout its eighty year history. It housed some women the first few years but remained mainly an all-male prison containing 13,500 prisoners during the years it was open.

Men were punished in several different manners if they misbehaved. They were strapped to a metal pole called the "Punishment Pole" and whipped with rubber hoses and leather straps. Prisoners were kept in solitary confinement cells naked for up to six weeks. The gas chamber wasn't the only form of execution. The prison also contained "humane gallows". A condemned prisoner would stand on a trap door and hang himself as his body weight forced water out of a counterbalanced bucket. If the guards didn't like you, they would make you fill your own bucket.

There is one particular inmate who was executed at the prison that is believed to now haunt it. Andrew Pixley was convicted and sent to Wyoming Frontier Prison for murdering and cannibalizing two young girls. During his stint there, he was considered extremely violent. He was put to death in the 1960s and supposedly took longer to die than most men. Some say after death he has continued his angry, violent ways and he may not be the only one. Employees, past and present, have seen many spirits wandering the building. The reports state some are aware of the people around them and others not so much. Voices and sounds are often heard in areas including showers, the Chapel, holding cells, and Death Row.

The Wyoming Frontier Prison closed down in 1981 but is now opened as a museum. Are you brave enough to take the tour?


Duane said...

Very interesting. I've taken the tour. Although not part of the tour, the guide showed us the holding cells in the death house, Andrew Pixley occupied the same cell Henry Ruhl did 20 years earlier. Pixley had apparantly tried to carve the faces of the 2 girls he murdered into the wall. One of the other guides told me that on tours of the death house, sometimes the second door will fly open on it's own (there are two doors), with no wind and no one else there. She says the other guides tell her a ghost has a crush on her! I too got to sit in the gas chamber. Pics are posted on my Facebook page. Definitely worth the trip!

Anonymous said...

They actually are not sure that the cell where the faces are carved was the exact cell Andrew occupied.

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