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Marie Lacey leads tours of the spooky halls of the old prison

Marie Lacey, a member of the Jefferson City Paranormal Investigators, poses in one of the cells in what was once the women’s facility inside “The Walls.”

Marie Lacey, a member of the Jefferson City Paranormal Investigators, poses in one of the cells in what was once the women’s facility inside “The Walls.” Photo by Kris Wilson.

Walking through vacant stone hallways with the day’s sunlight fading through the limited windows, Marie Lacey is no stranger to the unexplained sounds or eerie sensations that come from a languishing old prison.

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As a teller of stories on the ghost tour at the Missouri State Penitentiary, Lacey knows the building and the grounds and many of the people who once called the prison home.

Many of those who sign up for her tour are looking for an encounter, something that has yet eluded Lacey herself.

“That would be the holy grail,” she said.

Her husband Gary, who is her assistant for many of her tours, “has had a few experiences that rattled his cage,” Lacey said jealously.

When other people would be scared, she’s hoping for the “finally” moment.

She approaches all aspects of her life in the same way — with a positive attitude.

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