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Haunting Images Of The Real Abandoned Prison Featured In The Green Mile Film

Hamish Kilburn

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Haunting Images Of The Real Abandoned Prison Featured In The Green Mile Film

Haunting images of the once over-crowded prison that was used in the film The Green Mile have emerged.

An American photographer has taken images inside The State Prison near Nashville, Tennessee where 125 inmates were executed in the electric chair.

Urban explorer Jeff Hagerman's collection of images include the inside of a rusted multi-storey cell block, an untouched phone system and an eerie execution chamber. Another photograph shows a warehouse full of the inmates' discarded work overalls and cardboard boxes.


The walls are riddled with history. In the 1960s, James Earl Ray, the man who was convicted of the assassination of Martin Luther King, was held there.

"Some crazy stuff happened in this place, tons of stuff no one will ever even know about," said Hagerman. "The inside of this prison and its history are pretty amazing, and I think people should be able to see it."


The State prison has stood abandoned since its closure in 1992.

Other images in the collection highlight how the once used prison's hospital and dental equipment have been forgotten since it closed.

"The building was in surprisingly good condition considering how long it's been susceptible to the elements," Hagerman said. "Places that are untouched and dilapidated over time are just as, or more, beautiful than anything new you'll ever see."


When the prison formally opened in 1898, it had 800 cells for single inmates and were immediately overcrowded with more than 1,000 prisoners.

As well as being used as a location for film blockbusters including The Green Mile and The Last Castle, the jail was also where country singer Johnny Cash recorded his album A Concert: Behind Prison Walls in 1976.


Getting into the prison to take the amazing photographs involved Hagerman breaking a few rules of his own.

"Once I've gained access to the building I have a pretty limited amount of time before someone might ask me to leave," he added. "I move pretty quickly. I don't take many photos, so I take a little extra time to compose my shot the way I want before firing away."

Left to decay and crumble naturally, the abandoned prison on the outside may be architecturally stunning, but within the walls, it resembles the setting of a nightmare - or an award-winning film starring Tom Hanks.


It's now become an obsession for Hagerman to photograph as many abandoned places before they all disappear.

Featured Image credit: Jeff Hagerman/Media Drum World

Hamish Kilburn
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