*Images by Grim and Charming
|Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Ossining, New York|
The prison originally opened in 1826 and was once described as an "old hellhole" by a former warden. For over nearly two centuries, it has grown and is surrounded by a thick concrete wall extending twenty feet high along the Hudson River. The electric chair at Sing Sing, aka "Old Sparky," was was responsible for 614 of the 695 total deaths by electrocution, sometimes performed in masses, in the State of New York from 1891 until 1963. The Rosenbergs (here is a 1953 husband and wife espionage news archive) were among several high profile executions, which captured media attention for generations to come. But that's not all that is reported to have occurred there. Water torture via "the bath", flogging via "the lash," and "bucking" a man by hanging him upside down like a pig were all examples of physical punishment reported by the NYCHS in the first century and a half of the prison's existence.
|Just a portion of the great wall at|
There's nothing charming about this prison, and I'm not remotely interested in investigating any other activity that goes on there. It's big. It's ugly. It's gray, and it's a huge reminder of the debt some criminals owe to society. Although, some debts, like murder, can never be repaid. David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam, is a serial killer with six life sentences currently residing at Sing Sing. He is known for having satanic cult affiliations but more so for taunting police over months between 1976 and 1977 with handwritten letters left with victims' bodies as he continued on a shooting spree with a .44 Caliber gun.
Another serial killer worth mentioning, once a resident but later electrocuted in 1936, is Albert Fish, who left one of his victims dismembered in the same county as the prison. Besides being engaged in self mutilation by embedding needles into his pelvis, Albert Fish was a child rapist and a murderer, who also tortured victims of various ages. Not to mention, he was as a cannibal.
The community has considered opening a museum by converting the original 1825 cell block into a time capsule of sorts. It's difficult to find paranormal reports on the facility as I found one report mentioned prisoners prefer not to talk about ghosts so as not to seem weak. Sing Sing, itself, rests in a community of quaint riverside homes and is located just north of Sleepy Hollow (my blog post on that here). The prison houses an average of 2000 prisoners per 1000 employees and gets over 5000 visitors annually. But when I think about just the few prison breaks that were successful over the last 200 years, I won't be going back.
Links (because education is our best defense against evil): NYS DCCS | Old Sparky | Town of Ossining
D.P. Joynes is a genre-crossing author hosting fairy tales, folklore, and a few unusual experiments plus torn teen puppy love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. My books are here.
“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new adventures or visit my websites: DpJoynes.net and GrimAndCharming.com.