When I was tipped off about this incredibly cool tourist attraction in the Smoky Mountains, I could not, for the life of me, place where I'd heard the name.


I did a Google search but found nothing more about Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary other than its history and the fact that it is quite a popular destination for east Tennessee tourists. And I can understand why.

From the time it opened in 1896, it was a working prison until 2009, after which a museum was added and tours begin. And the photos you are about to see will clarify why it's become a popular destination for ghost hunters. In fact, paranormal tours ARE available at Brushy Mountain.


Of course, regular tours are, as well.


When I first began researching Brushy Mountain, I was CERTAIN it was where The Green Mile was filmed. But that classic Stephen King adaptation utilized Tennessee State Penitentiary.

It was still bugging me, though. I just KNEW I'd heard Brushy Mountain referenced in a movie. And it wasn't The Shawshank Redemption. THAT prison is in Ohio. Then it hit me...in The Silence of the Lambs, Clarice Starling offers Hannibal Lecter a transfer to the more comfortable confines of Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in exchange for information on Buffalo Bill. It was all a ruse; he never went. Hence, there was no need for location shooting.

I don't know why it never occurred to me you could tour PRISONS because Alcatraz is probably one of the most popular attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I want to thank Lindsay Brosch of Seymour, Tennessee for letting me share memories of her tour of Brushy Mountain with you.


SEE INSIDE: Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in the Smoky Mountains

Brushy Mountain was an operating prison for more than 100 years but has been a popular destination for tourists since its closure in 2009.

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