¶ Among the many legacies of 1959 riot at Montana State Prison is the “Death Tower” where inmates Jerry Myles and Lee Smart died in a murder-suicide. This tower, at the northwest corner of the 1912 cell house, was open for public inspection during the 50-year riot commemoration on April 18, 2009.
¶ Paranormal investigators who spent the night recently inside the old prison tell of moving orbs, floating mists and growling men’s voices. They purposely try to interact with spirits, using cameras and recorders to document their findings. In one recent instance, an investigator said a spirit shoved him against a wall inside one of the cells.
¶ Museum staff at Old Montana Prison tell about an instance a few years ago when a man and woman ignored reminders of the museum’s closing and hid inside the 1912 cell house. They broke out a window during the night and yelled desperately to the street below for someone to let them out. Seems they had company in the dark and it wasn’t pleasant.
¶ Many men died inside the prison in its 108 years of operation. The deaths of Myles and Smart are among the best known and lead to popular debates about which one shot the other and from what distance. However, they weren’t the last to die in the prison. Before the prison closed in 1979, other inmates died — killed by other inmates.