General Fiction posted December 17, 2020


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A new prison guard is faced with rumors of haunting's

The Old Prison

by Mr. Green

Some people will tell you that working in a prison is the easiest job they have ever had. They make jokes about having a "real" job before going to work with the department of corrections.

That is until the day they become aware of just how many deaths have taken place inside certain prisons, especially in prisons over a hundred years old.

That is how Roy Carlton felt when he started working in the old territorial prison. With its high granite walls and old outdated towers. He had no idea what would happen when he openly laughed at the old prison guards when they would tell their stories.

Then things began to take place that made him question his own sanity. He began to hear the echo's, the almost silent noises that experienced staff talk about but they can never explain.

Like the sounds of a card game inside a cell, and inmates laughing but when you step to the cell front to tell them to be quiet, the noise stops and you realize, there is no one living in that cell.

When this happened to Roy, he quickly looked around, wondering if anyone else heard the laughing and the slapping of cards on the footlocker used as a table. But no one was paying it any attention.

That's when Roy Carlton began to ask himself if the old guard's stories were true.

I suppose what really rattled his bones was the night he heard the sounds of someone being killed, and the sound of that person crying for help. How does one rationalize, running to someone's aid, only to discover, there is no one there?

So, he told himself that he was letting these stories get into his head and there was nothing to them.

Not long after that Roy transferred to night shift. He needed the job and it didn't make much sense to resign because of an overactive imagination.

His first work assignment was in building six, the same building where the gallows had been built long before he ever started to work at the prison. But they had not been used for sixty years, and no one was allowed into the gallows anyway. They had been sealed off and the death penalty no longer existed.

His first night on shift he entered the prison through a steel door built into the fifteen-foot rock wall that was surrounded by high towers and guards with rifles standing on the catwalks.

When Roy entered the prison, he had to walk straight towards a control room window where a Sergeant would work, from there he had to turn right for about eighty feet before turning left. He got an uncomfortable feeling every time he walked down this dark sidewalk that ran between two buildings,

This was the part of the prison, known as "Deadman's Alley." It couldn't be observed by any towers and no guard walked down this alley alone during the day. It was where many of the prison "deals" would go down.

But Roy Carlton would find out during his shift that it was also where many murders had taken place. But it was the only way to enter building six and his new work assignment.

The first few hours of shift were routine, He would walk the long tiers of cells doing welfare checks on inmates, asking others to turn down their radios, and throughout the night he would do security checks.

Then Roy would go to his desk and fill out his log book and make his reports. Being the only guard working in that living unit on graveyard, with a population of about 200 to 250 inmates who were locked in their cells, made it easy for one's mind to wonder, but after a while the unit would become very quiet on a normal shift.

Roy was at his desk when he suddenly stopped writing in his log book and he sat very still for several moments trying to define what he was hearing up on the third tier of cells.

It was dark in the living units after 9:00pm and Roy had just conducted his count of the inmates. He was filling out his count slip when he heard what sounded like running on the upper tiers. But that was impossible everyone was locked up and there was no one out in the unit.

So, he sat very still in the dark silence, and listened to the quiet talking of inmates and the low volumes on the radios.

Then Roy heard what sounded like running on the tiers again, and this time he put it off to being the noises from the radios and he decided he would get those turned down after he called in count. But when he hung up the phone, he could hear someone running again, this time he knew it was not the radios.

He got up from his desk and got a flash-light. He walked over to the side of the unit and looked up, there was no one there, no one running on the tier.

As he started to walk up the stairs to the upper tier's he heard running on the opposite side of the unit. So, he walked over to the other side, and as he approached the tier, he suddenly felt someone's hand on his shoulder, his heart pounded in his chest.

He was startled when he turned and there was nobody standing behind him. He could only hear a faint laughter and then more running. It was like he was caught up in a cat & mouse game but for the moment, Roy Carlton was frozen in place, as his hands gripped the hand rails to the stairs.

When he got back to his desk, he thought about calling the shift Lt., but then again, what would he tell him, and how would it sound.

Roy walked from one side of the unit to the other. Using his flashlight he could see nothing out of place, he could hear nothing out of the ordinary. So, he walked back to his desk and sat down, when a faint voice seemed to come right next to his head, like there was someone whispering in his ear.

"Come find me if you can." Then Roy's pen flew from the desk across the area, and landed by the door.

More laughter followed, like this thing, this person was mocking him. Roy stood from behind the desk, his hands began to shake as he walked over and picked up the pen. It was 11:00pm.

When he turned and looked toward the desk, he heard the same voice only this time it was whispering in the other ear..., "I'm right here, copper!"

And then more laughing. It wasn't loud, it was distant, very distant.

Roy walked the tiers after a few moments of gathering his thoughts. Everything was normal. The inmates were either sleeping or they were quietly reading. When he finished his tier check, it was 11:35pm.

He was finishing a security check of the living unit's laundry area and securing the door when Roy heard someone screaming from the back of the middle tier.

"Guard... Hey Guard, cell 17." Followed almost immediately by a more frantic call from the same area;

"Hey Boss, you need to get up here now!"

Roy went to the cell, and found the only two inmates in the cell with frightened looks as they gazed over toward the guard standing in front of the cell.

When Roy asked what was going on, they both said they could hear someone in the cell next to them. Roy stepped to cell 16 and told them the cell was quiet, but the inmates shook their heads and pointed to the other side of the cell.

Roy tried to tell them that they lived in the last cell on the tier, thinking they had to be aware of that. But the inmates insisted there was someone in cell number eight-teen.

The tier curved around the back of the cells and continued across the back wall allowing for staff and inmates to walk from one tier to the other without walking all the back to the front of the tier.

When Roy checked around the corner there was no one there, only a faint noise that he could not identify, and at the moment, did not want to identify. He left and returned to his desk

At around 11:50 pm another guard showed up at the door to do a welfare check on the guard working the unit. It was standard procedure, and Roy asked the old guard if anyone had ever been killed in the unit, in the past.

Jason Simmons paused before answering Roy's questions. Then a concerned look came into his eyes.

"Why, Roy?"

"I was just wandering."

"Roy this unit has had many murders take place in it. The last one I can remember is an inmate who was carrying a tattoo of a gang, ( he paused for a moment before continuing.) It was the poor kids first time down and he had gotten this tattoo because he liked the art."

After another moment of silence.

"Anyway, this gang wanted proof that this kid was part of the gang and the kid tried to explain, but the gang members told him to get rid of the tattoo or they would do it for him.

About two weeks later we responded to screams at the back of the tiers. This kid had been skinned alive and his tattoo had been removed.

"Carlton" the old guard began as he looked into his eyes. The stories you heard at the academy.

"Yes!" Carlton responded.

"Those were the gentler stories, the ones we can tell new staff. Stories like this, you will only hear after you get the job."

"Yeah, ok. Thanks, Simmons"

Roy could feel the goose-flesh crawling up his back as he walked to his desk. He was making his next tier check at about 11:55 when he stopped at the back of the middle tier.

There appeared to be a glimmer, or a shinny reflection coming off of the red brick. He reached out and touched it with his finger-tips, curious, because he did not see it before. It had a strange texture to it, so he took out his flashlight wandering what it could be.

The first thing that came to mind was that the bricks were sweating, but that was ridiculous. He was rubbing this sweat between his thumb and his finger-tips, when he turned on his flashlight.

Roy Carlton was taking a long look at what he had on his finger-tips, both of his hands began to shake. It was close to midnight now, when he realized that the bricks at the back of the tier were sweating, there seemed to be blood coming from the porous brick.

Roy dropped his flash-light, it was midnight and the inmates sat quietly in their cells and listened to the heavy sound of the gallows doors dropping.

Roy Carlton never checked in, he never finished his tier check, and he never finished his shift. The morning staff found him hanging at the back of the middle tiers.

It is up to Roy Carlton now, to check on the graveyard staff when they come on shift. It is his job to make sure, that the guards are not harmed, by those they cannot see. It is his job to make sure that his brothers go home after each shift.

The running up and down the tiers has stopped, but there are still strange noises in the night, and many stories yet to be told.

There have been a lot of changes since 1970, but Roy Carlton still watches over the staff who work in building number six, each and every night.







There are many stories that go with old prisons. I visited the old Montana State Prison one time and heard some stories. I know many staff who have many stories to tell. I thought I would share this one.
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