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Missouri State Penitentiary

115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
+1 866-998-6998
Review Highlights
Awesome Historical Tour

Have always been interested in the Missouri State Penitentiary tours. My college daughter booked... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Boonville, Missouri
via mobile
Mike and Naydene were great! 3 hour history tour

It was so cool walking the halls, and hearing story after story of riots and like over the 160... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Saint James, Missouri
Read all 485 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.
  • Excellent78%
  • Very good18%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“ghost tour” (90 reviews)
“gas chamber” (109 reviews)
“hour tour” (75 reviews)
115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
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1 - 10 of 482 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Have always been interested in the Missouri State Penitentiary tours. My college daughter booked it for a group of students and parents. It was so informative and interesting without bias or political agenda. It was a very eye opening experience. Please be advised to dress...More

Thank TravelingMom8066
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It was so cool walking the halls, and hearing story after story of riots and like over the 160 + years. It would be great for anyone to go on even if you don't like history. Also reminds us of how lucky we are not...More

Thank dragonfly5759
Reviewed 2 November 2017

We took the two hour tour on a whim as we were in the area for the day. This was probably the most interesting tour I've taken. The architecture alone was completely fascinating as you could literally see the evolution of stone structures and the...More

Thank go-kiwi-3805
Reviewed 26 October 2017

This is a great example of living near a fascinating, historical landmark and not ever visiting it. Fortunately, three of us made the 30 mile drive and took the 2 hour tour. The tour organization is excellent. No time is wasted. Initially, we were encouraged...More

Thank 67kewpie
Reviewed 25 October 2017 via mobile

I rarely give five bubble ratings on TA however this time it is well deserved. Thanks Tom for a wonderful evening paranormal tour. Seeing the Penitentiary in the dark gave it a different perspective and some great photo ops. This place is huge and our...More

Thank PMMarion
Reviewed 25 October 2017

What a fantastic time we had. We went with our Boy Scout troop. We booked a private tour with 22 of us. Lisa was our tour guide and she did a fabulous job. I enjoyed the history part as much as the ghost hunt. Lisa...More

Thank gregory_bira
Reviewed 22 October 2017 via mobile

My husband & I love history, so we took the 2 hour history tour. Mike was our guide & he was terrific. He was an encyclopedia of knowledge about the prison. He kept it interesting & fun throughout. This was a great way to spend...More

Thank katgerke
Reviewed 21 October 2017 via mobile

We took the Wardens tour and it was wonderful! Very informative! He was very good. Take the extra time to do the tour across the street as well!

Thank missyb78
Reviewed 17 October 2017 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 17 October 2017

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
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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.