Prison Museums Are Becoming More Popular
PHOTO: John Dillinger's death mask. (courtesy Alcatraz East)
A sign that “dark tourism” is really taking hold: Prison museums are proliferating around the U.S.
In fact, now, when you visit Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to take in Dollywood, the Hollywood Wax Museum and the Titanic Museum, the family will also be able to tour Alcatraz East — a new crime museum that will be home to OJ’s white Ford Bronco, Al Capone’s rosary and John Dillinger’s death mask. It will also have a prison-like facade, reports Fortune.com.
“Since the 1990s, as the U.S. prison population exploded, new, bigger prisons were built –and states looked for a way to repurpose older ones,” writes Erik Sherman.
According to Fortune, “many old prisons were converted into museums or recreational sites catering to tourists. Twenty-nine states have an average of at least two prison museums each, according to Fortune’s review of multiple compilation listings — they’re run by either governments or non-profits. Some old prisons have seen new life as hotels and ‘haunted houses.’”
Other popular prison museums are Alcatraz and Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penetentiary. Boston’s old Charles Street Jail is now the Liberty Hotel and is part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection.
Get to know America’s best prison museums here.
More by Janeen Christoff
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship
Airlines & Airports