Being a Kentucky native, I’m fortunate enough that the Army has us stationed in a place I’m quite familiar with. Many of the places on my “Fort Knox bucket list” are places that have been on my own personal bucket list for as long as I can remember! One of those places was an old haunted jailhouse-turned-pizzeria aptly named Jailhouse Pizza in Brandenburg. Brandenburg is about 25 minutes from Fort Knox so one weeknight we decided to go there for dinner.
Jailhouse Pizza was formerly the Meade County Jail, built in 1906 and closed in 1979. It housed notable criminals such as Hank Williams Sr and John Hunt Morgan (of the Morgan Raiders). Outlaws Jesse James and his brother Frank also stayed at the Meade County Hotel, which was nearby on Main Street.
They say the former jail is haunted by the inmates who never quite left. The restaurant was even featured on the last season of the SyFy show “Ghost Hunters.”
There was a huge dinner party when we arrived, so we had a bit of a wait. We didn’t mind because it gave us a chance to walk around the lobby and look at all the historic memorabilia.
Once we were seated (in the downstairs dining room), we went straight to ordering our appetizers. We were starving! We started with the “Outlaw Bread” which were essentially cheese sticks. They were pretty good!
Once it was time for our meal, we ordered an 18″ pepperoni and sausage pizza. Our plan was to take the leftovers home and enjoy them for a few days, but that didn’t quite turn out like we planned. The pizza was delicious when it was fresh, but the leftovers weren’t quite as enjoyable. In fact, we ended up throwing them away because they didn’t taste great. Looking back, it’s probably better to order a small size of a food you’re not familiar with, so you don’t waste it if you don’t like it!
Jailhouse Pizza has a Prisoner’s Pardon Pizza Challenge, where if you and a friend eat a 30″ pizza (12 pounds!!!) in 60 minutes, you can be on the Wall of Fame and win prizes. You do have to make a reservation if you want to do the Prisoner’s Pardon.
After dinner, Andy and I went upstairs to check out the rest of the jail. They actually have tables up there that you can eat at– one of which was in the jail cell!
I didn’t feel creeped out in the downstairs dining room– it honestly felt like any other pizza parlor– but going upstairs gave me the heebie jeebies! They still have the trap door where they would drop the inmates for execution by hanging, but now it’s covered with plexiglass so you can walk over it. My husband had no fears in walking over it, but I was terrified!
We can neither confirm nor deny if the Jailhouse Pizza was haunted, but it was a pretty neat experience! I will admit, though, the food was a little pricey. Between our 2 sodas, Outlaw Bread, 18″ pizza, and a tip, our total came to $40! We’ve honestly had better pizza at half the price! We probably won’t go again for that very reason, but it was a place I definitely recommend visiting at least once!
Have you ever been to a haunted restaurant?