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Missouri State Penitentiary

115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
+1 866-998-6998
Review Highlights
This is an eye-opening experience.

First of all - shout out to our guide, Mike, who was knowledgeable and informative about the sad... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Kansas City
Very educational

My brother in law recommended this and I wasn't too excited about going, but am glad i did. Very... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Read all 438 reviews
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The Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) opened in 1836 along the banks of the Missouri River in Jefferson City, Missouri, the state capital. The prison housed inmates for 168 years and was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi until it was decommissioned in 2004. The prison was already 100 years old when Alcatraz began taking inmates.The Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau now offers a wide variety of tours at the site, once named the "bloodiest 47 acres in America" by Time magazine. Visitors can choose to take a History or Ghost Tour, among others, and will walk through several incredibly historic housing units, the vast upper yard of the property and the gas chamber, where 40 men and women were executed. The tour also showcases cells of infamous inmates such as Sonny Liston, who learned to box during his time in the big house and James Earl Ray, who escaped from MSP before assassinating Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Excellent76%
  • Very good19%
  • Average2%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gas chamber” (98 reviews)
“ghost tour” (83 reviews)
“hour tour” (62 reviews)
115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
+1 866-998-6998
Write a Review
Reviews (438)
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1 - 10 of 436 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

First of all - shout out to our guide, Mike, who was knowledgeable and informative about the sad history of this penitentiary. I am now interested enough to want to come back for the para-normal tour - we will request Mike to be the guide...More

Reviewed 3 days ago

My brother in law recommended this and I wasn't too excited about going, but am glad i did. Very interesting and educational. Would highly recommend.

Thank LoveMyFamily6
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Excellent tour. Guide, Mike, was well spoken and very informative. It's horrible but real. Hopefully prisons have progressed beyond this inhuman nightmare

Thank stlouiewoman
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Ghost tour starts from 2000hrs and it's something one must not miss if passing by Jefferson City, Missouri.The your guide/curator made it a great tour with lots of anecdotes well mixed with history. Sony Liston learnt boxing at this place.The cell he lived in...More

Thank pkroychoudhury
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My family and I loved this tour! Michael, our tour guide, did an exceptional job. Our only regrets are not doing the three hour tour. We could spend hours at this place just looking at all the details and learning about all the history. Great...More

Thank XrayKC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was an absolute GREAT tour!! Mike did an excellent job making the information very interesting!!!!

Thank Sean I
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was an amazing tour by our guide Mike and his cohort. Mike is a wealth of knowledge on everything to do with the prison's history. And anecdotal stories made the cost of the tour more than worth it! I'd love to come back for...More

Thank Annie K
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We took a 6 pm tour. It was very informative and interesting to hear the history beyond those walls!

Thank debilind
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

did a daylight tour of the facility. Very impressed with the freedom given to explore areas of the buildings while we are in the facility. Our tour guides were fun, even though it was a very hot and humid day. Tour guides are volunteers, and...More

Thank Mbv9415
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Very interesting tour and we learned a lot about this prison and its connection to prisons within the US and with a few celebrities. Unfortunately, our tour was on a day with 110 heat index and the prison does not have heat or air. In...More

Thank 5CUBEZ
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Questions & Answers
10 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 14 answers
Response from Sheila S | Property representative |
No, the minimum age is 10 years old, these are rules put in place by the State of Missouri (who owns the property) and our insurance company. You are more than welcome to come next door to the Missouri State Penitentiary... More
24 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 11 answers
Response from Sheila S | Property representative |
There is seating available in the first two housing units you visit as well as outside between the two housing units. There is no seating in the third housing unit or the gas chamber.
24 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from cruiser1020 | Reviewed this property |
Seated at first. Seats in the old prison, your choice to look around, or remain seated after the guide's talk. Also noticed some outside benches, that could be used to for a rest stop.