Ex-Cons Describe The Most Terrifying Thing They Witnessed In Prison

Ex-Cons Describe The Most Terrifying Thing They Witnessed In Prison
Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

Prison is one of the worst places on Earth.

So it's best for all of us to do the most we can to stay far away from them.

Ex-cons and even ex-staff will have plenty of warnings about what it's really like behind those concrete walls.

Prison isn't the version you see in Hollywood films and TV.

It's much much worse.

Redditor Shrekisball101wanted to hear from people who have served time about what life is like in the inside. They asked:

"Ex-Cons of Reddit, what’s the most terrifying thing you saw inside of prison?"



Excuse Me No GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy

"A dude got two full kettles of boiling water poured on his head. And a convicted murderer explaining how he killed, dismembered with an angle grinder then disposed of the body."


"It must have been tense waiting for that kettle to come to a boil for the second round."



"Not me, but- I spoke to a former inmate after his release who had developed severe ptsd from some of the things he witnessed while incarcerated. One of the stories was that he was playing cards with some guys and one of them was smoking a cigarette."

"Another inmate who was not playing with them approached the table and asked the guy smoking if he could get 'shorts' on the cigarette ( shorts means, before you finished smoking, you gave the cigarette to someone else so they got the last few puffs of the cigarette before putting it out) the smoker agreed, the inmate wandered off and they went back to playing cards. Well the guy playing cards must have forgot and finished the cigarette."

"A little while later the other inmate came back to the table asking for the short, and the guy at the table told him that he had forgotten about it and finished the cigarette. Guy wanders off again and they go back to playing cards. Shortly afterwards, the inmate who wanted shorts comes back to the table, comes up behind the player, pulls his head back and started shanking him in the eye and throat with a pen/pencil. Dude died over forgetting to give someone a damn cigarette butt."


Farts Away

"My brother said a guy across from him had a new cellmate who had gastrointestinal problems and wouldn't stop farting these rancid horrible farts after the guy told him repeatedly to stop (not like he could help it,) so the guy beat the farter to death in their cell with his bare hands. My brother said he had never seen so much blood from one person before."



"I did a 4 month stint in Kajang (Malaysia). This Nigerian dude used to pilfer from other cells. This Malay gang found him and dipped his hand in boiling oil (basically deep fried it while it was still attached to him). That scream, it still curdles my blood."



"I was in a South American prison, there was a lot of drug addicts, they usually sold their food in order to buy more drugs so they were always hungry. One day I was eating my lunch: rice, a leg of chicken and some beans. When I finished my meal there were some chicken bones left in my plate, and a drug addict approached to me to ask if I could gift him the chicken bones. So I lend him my bones and he started eating them. It was heartbreaking."


Until he was dead

"A guy got stomped to death my first day in. The 2 guys fighting were rival gang members. The guards didn't do anything until the guy getting stomped stopped breathing. Then they came in and took them both away. One in a bag and one in cuffs."

"The were in different cells and always talking sh*t to each other. When we had rec time they both ran at each other. They were both pretty big. One picked up the other and slammed him on the concrete and proceeded to kick him in the stomach and face until he was unconscious. Until he was dead."


What happened to prisons initially being about rehabilitation? This is a mess...

casually walked away...

"Brixton, A Wing. Coming back from canteen this scary looking wild eyed dude steps across and tells me to hand over my burn/tobacco. I laugh and say no and walk by, waiting for him to do something. Nothing happened. Few minutes later, same guy opened some poor lads stomach with one slash and he was lying there trying to hold his intestines in, I saw the fear and panic on his face. The scary guy just casually walked away. No idea what happened to either of them. Alarms went off. Everyone back to their cells and locked up again."


The Cool Kid

"I was never in prison, but in jail a bit for drug charges. I was in my 30s, but my bunky was a really nice 19 yo kid in there for selling drugs. He seemed a bit over his head, but introduced me to the jits (I didn’t know anyone) and we’d play cards and stuff. He had a real high bond, and one day they said to get his crap he got bail."

"He didn’t know who, but I was so happy for him. The next morning the CO told me he was shot and killed that night (Being very respectful, everyone liked the guy). It was confirmed on the evening news. Really messed me up, and I can guess who got him bailed."



"Not a crazy story but was in for a few days and didn't realize they put you in cells based on the color of your skin. I'm a white dude with a Hispanic last name and they put me in a cell with a straight nazi who told me if I went to actual prison (I was only in for a weekend) that I would be a misfit because I wasn't one thing or the other."


"million dollar man"

"My criminal justice professor always used to tell us about the 'million dollar man' in his prison he used to work at. The prison was an old school style with multiple floors and the open part of the middle like you see in the movies. To avoid jumpers they put chainlink fencing along the walkways."

"One day this guy managed to squeeze through the fencing on the third floor and swan dive face first to the concrete floor below. When they came in they all thought he was dead until he began making noises. The prisoner was then transferred to a hospital for a year and a half getting around 12 different surgeries. Eventually he was released back to the prison and on his second month back he did it again but didn't survive this time."

"The running joke was that he was named the million dollar man because he had cost taxpayers millions from all his surgeries and time in the hospital. Our teacher also liked to add in every time he told the story that some how his glasses survived both falls completely fine."



"I don’t know if this counts but, my dad was in prison with Richard Speck, who is, if you don’t know, an American mass murderer who brutally murdered and raped 8 nurses. My dad told me during his time in prison, Speck bragged about what he did all the time, and said prison was a wonderful vacation for him and he would do it all again if he had the chance. He would even go as far as saying how much he loved to kill those women. So sickening. Speck also made porn in prison, which I’m sure is on the internet somewhere."



"I saw someone take a hotpot fill it up with baby oil add a pound of sugar, add some magic shave, bring it to a boil then splash it in a person's face... It literally melted the guys face off. This happened around 1999 and I still have the occasional nightmare about it."


So Casual

"Just the way that some people talk about murder. Some of the people in there would be telling a story, casually drop the fact that they killed someone, then keep going on with the story like nothing happened."


In the Yard

"I’m not a con but my dad told me when he was up stream, guards informed them that they had a high case child rapist coming in. When the guy got there he ended up being this old white man walking with a cane. He didn’t last very long on the court yard. (They killed him on the prison yard)."


Where to Begin?

"I spent time in county on misdemeanors. During my first week an alcoholic died in the cell below me. We could hear him moaning and calling for help and the guards had been in multiple times. The last time I heard the guard tell the “bum” to deal with his bad choices like a man. The man had a seizure and died in that cell in a pool of crap. The following week the jail was on lockdown and inmates where rioting in their cells."

"Fire sprinklers where broken and the pods flooded. I saw multiple inmates hauled out after being peppered and subdued. The guards left the inmates not participating alone in their cells, just bored. This all happened in a relatively small town jail (population ~80,000). The man who died was a well known homeless fixture."

"He was known for getting petty charges to have a warm bed during especially cold nights. He was arrested for drinking on the courthouse lawn. I consider this to be terrifying because as an incarcerated individual your medical care is given through the facility, and I have never met a more callous individual than the medical staff in jail."


Photo Proof

"Some forensic photos the guy in the cell next to me showed me of his victims (corpses, he killed them after he tortured them), in gang related abductions. He 'removed' a tattoo with an electric sander, and knives in both eye sockets, still in. (They were part of his trial evidence.)"


The Corner Spot

"Ok so unfortunately, my bunk was close to the corner where everybody came to fight or whatever. So this one guy claimed that he was a gang member but it was discovered that he was a false-flagger. So, the gang members put him in the corner and took turns beating him."

He was in the infirmary for about a week. When he came back, the gang got him all over again. He was transferred after that. I promise there aren't many things more terrifying than hearing a grown man scream while he's being attacked."



"I’ve had ex-cons as clients. One saw his friend get stabbed (a lot, to death) and couldn’t jump in to help him or he’d get stabbed too. Same guy was in charge of removing gang patches from other inmates. Patches, in this case, meant tattoos. You don’t see many elderly gangsters for a reason."


Well those stories are horrible. Let's all stay on the straight and narrow.

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