History Behind Haunted Abandoned Prison Hidden Deep In The Forest
The old Caddo Parish Penal Farm Prison is a shell of its former self today, but make no mistake it's got plenty of creep-appeal surrounded by deep woods, bamboo vines, and the unmarked graves of prisoners who died there. The abandoned prison is completely hidden from sight, located just off of West 70th Street in Shreveport, LA. Better known as the Pea Farm (short for penal), the century-old building serves as a grim reminder of what it must have been like to be a prisoner back then. Ironically next to it, was a women's prison that went by the same name.
The property the prison sits on was once owned by Caesar Carpentier Antoine (C.C. Antione, 1836 - 1921) from New Orleans. He was an African-American editor of the Black Republican newspaper, a former soldier, politician, and businessman. During the Reconstruction Era, Antoine was elected the third of three Black Louisiana Lieutenant Governors and served from 1873 to 1877. He was appointed during a time when Louisiana was under federal control following the Confederate's loss in the Civil War. For a brief twelve years, African Americans and people of color held high offices in government. The Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction, reversed progress, and gave way to the segregated Jim Crow era. Antoine's political career ended and he moved to Shreveport and opened a grocery store. He purchased the land, built a house, and lived there until his death at age 85.
By the turn of the century, Caddo Parish had a new sheriff in town and with a growing inmate population, he pushed for a new jail. The parish purchased Antoine’s property and built the Caddo Parish Penal Farm in 1905. The heavily wooded property made the prison the perfect location for a penal institution. It notoriously housed the most violent criminals in the state. The inmates farmed the acres of land and were fed from the crops they worked. The crops were also sold to the community and the funds were used to run the prison. As the years went by the prison grew an ugly reputation as inmates were starved to death for punishment or badly beaten. The guards were known for being extremely brutal. There is a Potters Cemetery for inmates that died at the prison, but legend has it there are other bodies buried all over the land from more mysterious circumstances.
The Caddo Prison was finally shut down in 1950s. Since then, people who've visited the site claim to have heard moaning, crying, to have seen black apparitions, shadow figures, and more. Surrounded by creepy woods the old Pea Farm is a bonified haunted location that paranormal investigators claim is filled with negative energy. Below is video footage from a recent documentary on the abandoned prison in the woods. It is one scary place. Enjoy!