Explore a ‘haunting’ legacy with special tours at the Old Joliet Prison

Museum says narratives are ‘more chilling than fiction’

Grab some last-minute Halloween scares by registering for a haunted history guided tour or a self-guided flashlight tour at the Old Joliet Prison.

Both tours of the 16-acre grounds and the areas behind the 25-foot high limestone walls will run nightly through Sunday. Registration is required for the haunted history guided tour, which is “guided” by a staff member from the Joliet Area Historical Museum, according to a news release from the museum.

Patrons will access cellblocks and buildings that are rarely seen and hear true stories about the prison’s people, places and things, a narrative that is “far more chilling than fiction,” the release said.

Or patrons can set out on their own with a limited-edition Old Joliet Prison flashlight (while supplies last, included with admission) to explore the prison at their own pace. The “guide” in this case will be “Illuminated interpretative signage illustrating the history of the prison” along with “dozens of historic photos and firsthand accounts,” the release said.

On selected evenings, patrons 21 and up can visit the “Captain’s Court” beer garden, which is available from 5 to 9:30 pm. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and features local craft beers and adult beverages. The beer garden is included in the admission price, the release said.

Patrons should dress for outdoor weather and be able to walk at least one mile.

For times and to register for a tour, visit jolietmuseum.org or call 312-978-1282.

Prefer a more traditional Halloween experience? The Old Joliet Haunted Prison still has a few openings. To see a trailer and event times, purchase tickets and for information, visit hauntedprison.com.