If you’ve been following along with Picture of the Week for a REALLY long time, you may remember that time a friend and I did this goofy photo-narrative thing called Picture Me Loving You.  As part of that project we drove up and shot in Eastern State Penitentiary, and absolutely had a blast doing it.  As a result, I’ve been itching to go visit Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary since it reopened as a museum, but just had not gotten around to it until this past Spring.  Holly and I decided to make a day of it and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  If you live in Middle or East Tennessee, you should absolutely go visit sometime.  It’s SUPER interesting.

Growing up I remember having a very healthy – if not unusual – fear of ending up in prison, and I specifically remember being terrified of Brushy Mountain.  Looking back I have no idea why it ever crossed my mind that I could end up there.  It’s not like my parents would threaten me with being sent there or anything. BUT after hearing our friend Dale (who served as assistant district attorney before becoming a judge and used to visit there to check on inmates) tell stories about the place, it turns out my early assessment of the place was correct; you didn’t ever want to end up there!

I didn’t know the half of it.

Let me just say that Brushy Mountain is STILL a terrifying place, but as I mentioned, it is immensely interesting.  The company that runs the facility now has hired former inmates and guards as tour guides, so you get to hear first-hand stories of the horrors that was life “inside the wall”.  The museum aspects of the old prison are really well done as well, and there is a restaurant on site now that is surprisingly good!  Make a day of it like we did, but until then you can check out the creepiness through this collection of images.

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Brushy Mountain
9182 TN-116, Petros, TN 37845, USA

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