Deserted Juvenile Detention Center: Free Soil, Michigan
In 1960, twenty-four miles northeast of Ludington, Camp Sauble State Prison opened near Free Soil in Mason County, Michigan as a minimum-security system.
Twenty-eight years later in 1988, it became a juvenile “boot camp” for kids who were already heading down the wrong path of life. The kids were subjected to a three-month stay, at which time they were treated as if they were in the army with extensive discipline and physical training. Many of the inmates had faced prison thanks to drug-related crimes; the facility was called the "ice cream camp" for a couple of reasons:
1) a nearby ice cream factory supplied the camp with ice cream, and
2) the fact it was a boot camp for youths.
However, just four short years later in 1992, the Michigan Department of Corrections turned it back into a minimum security prison facility in order to save themselves some money. They only took prisoners who only had approximately two-year sentences – maybe to avoid overcrowding – but thirteen years later in 2005, the prison closed for good, thanks to lack of funds.
In 2010, the facility was purchased by Free Soil Township for one dollar. They had other plans for it, like office space, maybe a public center – but nothing happened. Then in 2019, it was converted once again and opened to the public.....as a haunted Halloween attraction called “Cages of Carnage”.
When it opens for Halloween, expect very little changes: peeling paint, rubble, old original prison equipment...pretty much left as it was while it was deserted, except for a few of the usual “Halloween-y” things like dripping blood and creatures.
Camp Sauble's “Cages of Carnage” is located at 4058 E. Free Soil Road in Free Soil, Mason County. The gallery below shows what the insides looked like before transforming into a Halloween attraction.
Camp Sauble, Free Soil (When It Was Abandoned)
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