4311 NM-14, Santa Fe, NM

(505) 827-8201

Status: Former Maximum Security Prison, Riot and Murder Site; Film Location Site



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By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="">Ken Piorkowski</a> - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href=""></a>, CC BY-SA 2.0Link


In the early morning hours of Saturday, February 2, 1980 when the guards entered Dormitory E-2 the door to the dormitory was accidentally left unlocked. In a strange violation of the prison’s security policies the door to the hallway that led to the prison’s control center was also left unlocked. There were only 15 guards on duty watching over 1,100 inmates.

When the riot began the inmates fled down the hall toward the control room. The guard on duty fled as the inmates smashed the shatter proof glass leaving behind keys that would open most of the prison’s doors and gates. What followed can only be described as a “nightmare”.

The inmates tore the prison apart even ripping out the plumbing. Some inmates broke into the infirmary and began taking as many drugs as they could leading to overdoses – some of them being fatal.

Other inmates began to search for those who had done them wrong. By 8am they had gotten into the Tool Room and were using these tools to get into Cell Block 4 which housed the “snitches” and those inmates under protective custody.

The “snitches” were tortured and murdered horribly. One man was hung from the upper level of the cell block with sheets. Other men were decapitated and/or dismembered using the stolen tools. At least one man was burned alive – a mark on the prison’s floor remains to this floor from this grisly act.

All of the thirty-three prisoners killed met their end in Cell Block 4. Surprisingly, all 12 guards who were taken prisoner lived; although some of them had been repeatedly beaten and raped by their captors.

By Sunday morning the riot, which had been disorganized from the beginning and fueled only by hate and drugs, began to calm down on its own. Many of the prisoners left the prison building and were waiting near the fence, which was lined with National Guardsmen armed with M-16′s, looking for protection. In the early afternoon of Sunday, February 3 the National Guardsmen and police retook the prison without any violence.

This episode remains a black day in the history of New Mexico and the prison was closed and locked up shortly after it happened. This part of the prison now sits abandoned.

This location was used by Adam Sandler’s movie “The Longest Yard” and the water tower still bears the fictional name – Allenville.


Paranormal Activity

The New Mexico Dept of Corrections will not allow any ghost tours; nor does it accept the possibility of any paranormal activity. They will not discuss either subject.

The most active areas of the former prison are Cell Block 4 as well as Cell Block 3; which housed the maximum security prisoners; the tool room and the tunnels underneath the prison including the laundry room and the gas chamber.

Reported activity includes:

Apparitions of former prisoners, shadow figures; cell doors opening and closing by themselves despite being locked; phantom footsteps and voices, unexplainable noises including bangs, growls and screams, overwhelming feelings of evil and darkness as well as unease and powerful fear

Light anomalies; mysterious mists; the feelings of being watched and followed; being pushed, pulled, poked or genuinely attacked by invisible presences and electrical disturbances including lights coming on that have no light current going to them.