It may be part of their job to keep the peace, but a typical day in the life of a prison worker is anything but peaceful. When it comes to grisly jobs, there are very few occupations out there that can match up to the horrors and barbarity involved in being a prison guard. We salute anyone who can spend hours among fierce killers and rapists and still manage to keep a level head at the end of the day. But as these terrifying accounts will reveal, no two shifts are ever the same for prison workers – and when they’re bad, they could scar that person for life.
The kinds of things prison guards see over the years is something most of us could never imagine. TV and film might give us a pretty close indication as to what life is like in a cell block, but as always, the reality is far stranger and a hell of a lot more disturbing than fiction. On better days? Prison workers may be witness to gang violence and the gross bathroom habits of inmates. On a bad day? Keep reading to find out (although you might wanna make sure you’re not on your lunch break).
So, if you’ve got a vendetta against that annoying co-worker at your office who won’t shut up, spare a thought for the guys who literally share their office space with murderers and child molesters. From inmates who got super creative with their bodily fluids to those who played mind games with the officer on duty – these are a collection of the 15 most disturbing and messed up things a prison guard has ever been made to witness.
15. Guy Pulled Out His Intestines, Thinking There Were Diamonds Hidden Inside
Take one inmate with a mental illness and a belief that he has “buried treasure” on his person and you’ve got one of the most disturbing things you’re likely to read today. Working in a county correctional facility, one prison guard had seen a lot of truly horrifying things in his time, but this was one that stayed with him – the day that one guy practically disembowelled himself because he believed that diamonds were somehow hiding in his colon.
The mentally disturbed inmate was placed in a padded cell in the nude to prevent causing himself harm, but he managed to do some pretty serious damage anyway. After a few hours in the cell, the prisoner’s mental state had deteriorated quite dangerously to the point that he believed he could bribe the officers to set him free with the diamonds that were in his intestines. He repeatedly began shoving his hand up inside himself so deeply that his innards were eventually hanging out. He ran around his cell with his intestines dangling and had to be restrained. WTF.
14. The Prisoner Who Turned His Excrement Into A Pet Parrot
No, you’re not hallucinating. You read that right. While some prisoners are known for going a bit Jackson Pollock with their fecal matter, there are some who prefer to be a little more creative with theirs – like this nutcase who made a pet parrot out of his poo. Yuck. Prison officers discovered that one of the inmates had carefully sculpted a parrot out of his own Number 2 and even kept it on his shoulder, like some kind of demented pirate.
The guy apparently kept his poo parrot with him for four days, by which point the smell was unbearable according to prison staff. I’m not surprised. After 4 days, I’d kind of expect the parrot to be talking too! On the fourth day, officers needed to do a routine search of his cell, but the poo parrot man refused and threatened to kill his parrot if they came near him. As soon as the officers grabbed his cell door, he bit the head off Mr. Poo Parrot and chewed it. Nasty AF.
13. Inmate Assaulted “By The Devil” Cut His Own Genitals Off
At a maximum security ward for the mentally ill, a prison worker noticed a pool of blood seeping out from under one of the prison cell doors. When the guard and his co-workers went to investigate, nothing could have possibly prepared them for what they saw. The inmate inside had tied dental floss around his manhood and was in the middle of cutting it off with a razor blade. His reason? Because allegedly the devil would have sex with him in the night and he “wanted it to stop.”
Because of the nature of this particular prison facility, guards made their rounds quite regularly to check on inmates. They had only been away from this inmate for 5 minutes. When they returned, he had apparently managed to slice his bits ¾ of the way off. When you realize what this guy was serving time for, it all begins to make sense (sort of). The inmate was charged with killing his girlfriend, cutting up her body, and boiling her head. And he’s scared of a fictional guy with horns?
12. Hopping Mad Inmate With An “Easter Surprise”
Not all incidents in this list involve an act of violence – some are just so surreal that it’s hard to ever get the image out of your head ever again (sorry), like this one. On Easter morning one year, a corrections officer was making the rounds in his cell block when he was treated to a disturbing Easter surprise. He found that an inmate had stripped completely naked and had somehow managed to insert a toilet scrubbing brush up his backside.
The only part that was visible was the white bristle brush on the end – or what the inmate believed was his fluffy bunny tail. The guy then began repeatedly screaming over and over again “I am the Easter bunny!” while hopping around his cell to try and dodge the prison guards. This poor prison officer will likely never forget this image for as long as he lives and unfortunately, neither will we.
11. Real-Life Hannibal Lecter Played Mind Games
It wasn’t just the horrific acts of physical violence that made the character of Hannibal Lecter so terrifying in the Silence of the Lambs, it was often just the way he spoke and the unnerving mind games he played with his prison officer Clarice that had us all squirming in our seats. This unsettling scenario is pretty similar to what one young woman experienced while on her night shift as a prison guard.
The 22-year-old quit her role after feeling continually intimidated by Daniel Eastwood – the well-spoken British murderer who had been nicknamed “Hannibal Lecter” by others on duty. Eastwood would taunt the young female prison officer by telling her what her exact home address was, where her father lived and even the precise model and make of hers and her family’s cars. Eastwood is serving life for strangling a fellow con to death with his shoelace. Terrifying.
10. Violent Prisoner Who Forced A Screw In A Kid’s Eye
A Prison CO recalls responding to a horrific scene of violence when one guy had shoved a screw into the eye of another inmate! At a juvenile detention center, a new kid arrived at the prison one day and was made to share a cell with one of the most violent inmates in the facility. We’ve all heard the stereotype about what happens to “fresh meat” in prison, but this takes things to the extreme.
The new young prisoner was apparently quite shy and kept himself to himself, but this didn’t seem to go over well with his inmate. His aggressive cell mate claims the young boy had looked at him in “the wrong way” and decided to do something about it. During the new kid’s second night, his maniac fellow prisoner managed to unscrew a screw from his bench and waited until the next morning. When the kid woke up, the guy said: “I’mma make you a pirate!” and forced the screw into the boy’s eye. Messed up.
9. Guard Who Couldn’t Handle Heroin Addict’s Gangrenous Leg
A prisoner who had been continuously injecting heroin into his legs finally paid the price when his legs became severely infected, and it was one poor guy’s job to escort him to the medical wing to get him the attention he needed. The prison guard watched as the nurses removed the guy’s leg bandages and his senses were not at all prepared for what was uncovered. (Seriously, make sure you’re not reading this on your lunch break!).
The inmate’s leg was a mass of swollen, rotting flesh. On top of this, the smell was horrific and when one of the nurses asked him to bend his knee, the skin split open and released oozing infected pus all over the floor. Miraculously, the prison guard watching this horror unfold didn’t hurl there and then, but he was told by the nurse and other officers that he had gone into shock and was sure to pass out. Despite seeing people hanging and blowing their heads off, the guard maintains that this heroin addict’s leg was “by far, the worst thing I’d ever seen.” Wow.
8. Inmate Terrified Of Invisible Chickens
This story might not involve violence or gore, but tales of mental breakdowns and drug trips happening to prisoners can be equally disturbing – especially if they happen to big, burly biker dudes like this inmate. When one woman was on her night shift as a prison guard, she became alerted by screams of help and distress. Guards working the graveyard shift are presumably used to all sorts of terrors and are always prepared for whatever the job throws at them, but not many people could have predicted this.
When she approached the cell where all the screaming had come from, she first peered through the door window latch and found the inmate curled up on a chair in the corner, scared out of his mind that something on the floor would attack him. As it turns out, this guy was convinced there was a flock of chickens surrounding him and he cried “It’s the chickens. Everywhere! Please get them out.” The guard guided the invisible chickens out of his cell, until he screamed “You forgot one!”
7. Smeared Feces? Try Smeared Afterbirth…
Unfortunately, a fairly common sight for prison workers is to find an inmate has covered their cell walls in a form of “dirty protest.” But as this incredibly disturbing story will prove, a prisoner’s protest can get even more graphic than that. One prison officer recalls the time one of his partner’s saw something no one should ever have to see smeared across a cell wall: “When I used to work in the jail, I initially thought people covering themselves and their cells in feces was as bad as it ever got.”
It can. Apparently, a disturbed inmate in a partner’s cell block had a miscarriage in the toilet and decided to decorate the cell door and walls with the afterbirth. Who would ever become a prison officer after hearing that? This is grim beyond words. Smeared feces in jail cells are referred to light-heartedly as “Poocasso’s.” I wonder what name they’d come up with for this atrocity?
6. Young Offender Who Found Creative Ways To Self-Harm
It’s pretty common for prison workers to find inmates self-harming with any object they can get their hands on. But what do prisoners do if they’ve had every potential “weapon” taken off them, from their shoelaces to a conveniently hidden pencil? If they happen to be a young offender with corrective dental treatment, they use the wire from their own braces, of course.
One young inmate at a juvenile prison facility was struggling to find something remotely harmful in his cell when it occurred to him that he had access to a very sharp wire in his mouth. Yep, that’s right – he pulled his own braces off his teeth and began self-harming with the wire that was threaded through the brackets. The lengths some prison inmates go to self-harm or even explore their morbid curiosity is unnerving. It makes you wonder if anyone with a glass eye has tried to choke themselves to death.
5. Creepy Threat From Inmate Hungry For Extra Chicken
What does a prisoner have to do to get some extra chicken pieces? Creep the hell out of the person serving them, it seems. A novice prison guard working in the Riker’s Island jail complex in New York recalls one intimidating experience when he was still pretty new to the job. During one particular shift, he was handing out bits of chicken to the inmates, when one guy demanded more.
Being a dutiful prison guard, he stood his ground at refused him, but it clearly made the inmate mad and the next day he started making creepy threats and personal comments about his family. A few days later, the chicken-hungry guy lured the new guard to come closer to him and said “Hey, don’t you live on [the guy’s exact address] and your wife’s name is [the actual name of the guard’s wife].” He finished with the veiled threat: “You know, a little extra chicken is nice once in a while.” Creep.
4. Man’s Eyeball “Popped Out” During A Hook-Up With Cell Inmate
We’re all familiar with the phrase “f**king his/her brains out” right? Well, swap brains for an eyeball instead and this was quite literally the scene that one prison guard walked in on. What sounds like a bragging sexual metaphor was, unfortunately, a very real situation. It had become apparent to a couple of prison workers in charge of inmates on suicide watch that an inmate had died in a pretty grim way after having sex with his fellow inmate.
Security camera footage taken from their cell had revealed that one guy had been screwing the other prisoner in his cell and it became apparent in the footage that he had choked the man during the act, causing the guy’s eye to pop out of his head. Gruesome. The next day you’re having a bit of a hard time at the office, consider what these guys sometimes encounter on the job. Yikes.
3. Child Molester Who Made Wall Collages From Boy Scout Magazines
Being in the presence of a child molester has to be creepy in itself, but those working in a prison are given a personal window into their world and sometimes see things that can’t be unseen. One example of which was a sex offender who was serving time for child molestation and pursued a creepy hobby inside his jail cell that didn’t exactly help his case. The inmate would somehow get his hands on Playboy and Boy Scouts magazines (which ended up producing some pretty f**ked up results).
In a Reddit post, a former prison guard recalls the disturbing scene himself and fellow officers would find in the molester’s cell: “He would cut out the boy’s faces from the Boy Scouts magazine and paste them onto the bodies of the girls from the Playboy magazine, then hang them on his wall.” Just to imagine that wall is disturbing enough. This is something the guards won’t have forgotten in a hurry.
2. Prisoner Caught Snorting White Substance (Not Drugs)
Okay, so you can probably guess where this is headed, but for the sake of being gross let’s explain it anyway. We all know that prisoners like to be a little, shall we say, experimental with their bodily fluids and this inmate takes the grand prize for weird behavior in that category. While working in a Level 5 maximum security prison in southwest Virginia, one prison guard recalls supervising a guy who wasn’t too popular with other inmates – because they all thought he had drugs that he wouldn’t give up.
This is because the guy would usually be found with a whiteish powder-like substance on his nose. One day, he was taken out of his cell to be tested for drugs and so that officers could do a cavity search of him. These same searches were carried out for months and every time, the inmate passed the drugs test with flying colors. His prison officers were baffled until it became disgustingly clear what was going on. The guy had been flogging his log and letting his essence dry before…snorting it like coke. Vom.
1. Inmate Who Ate A Homemade Crap Sandwich
Fecal matter has certainly been a common theme in this list of disturbing prison stories. (You’re welcome). In this instance, an inmate who had been refusing food for a while was apparently saving his appetite for the really good stuff – his own human waste. Life has a way of occasionally serving you up a sh*t sandwich, but this guy literally took one for the team and ate that sandwich. Hero. During his regular cell block checks, one prison guard offered this guy a lunch box of bread and cold cuts. The inmate gratefully took it from the officer, but decided it was missing a certain ingredient.
The prisoner placed the bread down and reached his hand behind his body. His face strained a bit and as his hand returned, it was covered in crap. He then proceeded to spread his homemade ingredient on the bread and squished the two slices together, smiling at the poor guard while he tucked into an actual crap sandwich. Bon appetit.
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