The “Ghost Adventures” team interviews locals and spends nights in allegedly haunted places, searching for paranormal activity.
According to The Herald-News of Joliet:
The piece will be included in a four-part special, which should be airing around Halloween, Peerbolte said.
The team from the show told members of the Joliet Area Historical Museum they were interested in the prison’s reputation.
The filming was extensive for three days, taking 10 to 12 hours per day. The final investigation took all night, Peerbolte said. Along with filming, the “Ghost Adventures” crew took time to meet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and his family.
The Joliet Patch last year reported on the Chicago Hauntings’ examination of the prison. The group said spirits still were there in the long-closed facility:
There are a variety of factors at play, including the limestone, a nearby cistern, the forces of evil and so much sadness and misery on the prison property, our guides explained.
Additionally, there were a number of violent deaths at the Old Joliet Prison over the years, including murders and beatings within several of the buildings we visited Friday night.
We heard about one prisoner who was dismembered in the old segregation building and his body parts were scattered throughout the upper level of the unit. Elsewhere, there was the notorious murder of the warden’s wife during the early part of the 20th century, and the real culprit was never determined.
All the money used to film at the prison goes back to the facility’s renovations. It needs all the money it can get. A report a few weeks ago stated the prison needs $10 million in work to stabilize its key structures.
Guided tours of the old Joliet prison may be booked here.
A local official said a new tour based around the “Ghost Adventures” episodes may be booked after they are broadcast.
Joliet Correctional Center’s distinctive limestone walls were built in 1858, and the state of Illinois closed it in 2004. The city of Joliet signed a five-year lease with the state in December 2017 to use the prison.
The city seeks to eventually open a hotel, restaurants and gift shops on the prison grounds. The prison remains a popular photo-op for Route 66 travelers.
The prison has been used in many film and television productions over the years, but it remains best-known for the opening scene of “The Blues Brothers” film from 1980.
The old Joliet Correctional Center shouldn’t be confused with Stateville Correctional Center, which sits in nearby Crest Hill, Illinois, along Illinois 53 (aka Route 66) and still is being used for its original purpose.
(Hat tip to Lynn Bagdon; an image of the Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, by JymPolranges via Flickr)