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Missouri State Penitentiary

115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
+1 866-998-6998
Review Highlights
Great tour.

We did the two hour history tour and it was very interesting. We will definitely go again but will... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
via mobile
Excellent tour!

We took the 3 hour historical tour with Michael & Gretchen as our guides. Michael was great! A... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Theresa G
Read all 477 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.
  • Excellent77%
  • Very good19%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“ghost tour” (89 reviews)
“gas chamber” (105 reviews)
“hour tour” (69 reviews)
115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
+1 866-998-6998
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Reviews (477)
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1 - 10 of 474 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

We did the two hour history tour and it was very interesting. We will definitely go again but will do the three hour tour or even the ghost tour. There was so much more to see than time allowed. We were not walking or standing...More

Thank raebuch
Reviewed 2 days ago

We took the 3 hour historical tour with Michael & Gretchen as our guides. Michael was great! A true history buff who can talk for hours and makes it very interesting. The time went very fast. Gretchen made sure no one got left behind! I...More

Thank Theresa G
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

I loved this place. I would recommend this to anyone!!! I only did the two hour tour, and wanted to stay longer after it was over. The staff was great. Our tour guide was awesome. Had tons of information. The history here is amazing sad...More

Thank Cassandra B
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

The Missouri State Penitentiary Haunted Tour has been on my bucket list for several years. I finally got it done, despite all the paranormal suggestions of things that had been seen, nothing out of the ordinary occurred for me. Several in the tour felt like...More

Thank mbscherer
Reviewed 1 week ago

My husband I recently spent an afternoon learning more about the history of this institution. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and shared many interesting anecdotal stories. Be aware that the restroom facilities are very limited. If we had to do it again we would...More

Thank Teresa D
Reviewed 1 week ago

Our tour guide was Larry. He had lots of history, lots of stories, and could answer any questions that our group had. We took the 2 hour tour. We went through 2 of the buildings and the gas chamber. If you pay for the tour,...More

Thank AngelaKW502
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We went on the 1pm 2 hour tour today 10/8/2017. Our tour guide Michael and assistant Naydene were amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed our day, my only complaint was we should have done the 3hr tour but we will be back for another go round. Michael...More

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Fun tour you will enjoy . Lot of history of Jefferson City and how the prison was run for years and years.

Thank Doug C
Reviewed 1 week ago

Kind of creepy. Our tour guides were a former warden and nurse. They were very informative. It was very interesting to learn the history of the prison and to see how the prisoners lived. Especially in the dungeon. I plan to come back and do...More

Thank wstern921
Reviewed 1 week ago

A very good tour and our 10 year old son considered it a highlight of the trip. The tour guide could really talk a mile a minute (he talked for 26 minutes without stopping before we even got to the first building, I checked!), and...More

1  Thank canea
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Questions & Answers
10 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 15 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 12 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.