Inside Abandoned Death Row Prison Where Inmates’ Bodies Found At Bottom Of Well

by : Emily Brown on : 09 Dec 2019 15:51
Inmates' Bodies Found At Bottom Of Well In Thai PrisonMedia Drum World

Chilling photos taken by an urban explorer show an abandoned Thai prison where a number of inmates are said to have taken their own lives by jumping down a well. 

Members of the public are typically prohibited from entering the dilapidated facility, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but American urban explorer and ICT teacher, Dax Ward, 39, managed to get inside for a closer look.


The death row prison shut down in 2013 but the structure still remains, with photos showing utilitarian cells where multiple prisoners would be forced to live together; the overgrown courtyard where convicts got a breath of fresh air; and the creepy well where a number of bodies were discovered, supposedly after a mass ‘suicide’.

Abandoned Thai prison cellsMedia Drum World

Ward, who specialises in photographing abandoned sites across Thailand and south-east Asia, described the deaths as ‘suspicious’ and said the exact number of bodies found in the well has never been released.

He commented:


Executions were performed here as it was a death row facility, and a number of egregious events were said to have occurred here, including suspicious ‘suicides’ of inmates in a water well.

A number of bodies were found in a certain well on the premises, with suicide being given as the cause of death.

Jumping into a well doesn’t seem the optimal way to commit suicide. Sometimes it’s just easier to list the death as a suicide to avoid having to do an investigation.

Well where prison inmates allegedly took part in mass suicideMedia Drum World

The prison was opened in the early 20th century and housed only male inmates until the 1970s, when the convicts were sent to a newer, larger incarceration centre. The facility then became a women-only prison until its closure in 2013.

Ward has explored and documented more than 30 derelict locations in Thailand, though he wanted to look around an abandoned prison as he felt it would offer ‘a very different atmosphere from other locations’.


He continued:

This particular prison was in operation over a period of about a century, so it saw its fair share of ‘guests’ during that period.

Every abandoned place that I shoot has its own ‘if these walls could talk’ quality, but some do more than others, and the prison is one that the walls would have a lot of stories to tell. I don’t think that many of those stories would be happy ones.

Abandoned Thai prison where inmates allegedly took part in mass suicideMedia Drum World

Though the explorer does not believe in ghosts, he admitted the prison had a ‘really creepy vibe’.


The prison is said to have been one of the ‘better’ facilities in terms of living conditions for the inmates, though Ward had his doubts about how comfortable it really could have been as the buildings suggest inmates would have been cramped into cells with no privacy.

Abandoned Thai prisonMedia Drum World

Following the prison’s closure in 2013, a team of Buddhist monks spent a week there attempting to ‘cleanse’ it of evil spirits as it is ‘widely understood’ in Thai culture that spirits ‘must be treated with respect and vigilance’.

Ward explained:


These ceremonies are sometimes held at a location to appease the spirits of those who once dwelled there so that they do not seek vengeance on future inhabitants.

Seven days and nights of rituals is very unusual, however, indicating that there were believed to be a lot of nefarious happenings at the prison during its century of operation.

The goings on at the prison certainly sound mysterious.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Abandoned, Adventure, prison, suicide, Thailand