Red Corner: Bunking Down in Latvian Prison

Rather low on my list of things to do before I die is to spend a night in jail.

Good news, however, for adventure tourists hopped up on doing so; they can now avoid the social stigma of a public trial, and simply pay a few bucks for the experience.
For just $8, the very curious can sleep overnight in Latvia’s notorious Karosta prison. Each guest receives his own jail cell and cot, access to a communal “Soviet prison toilet,” and cold water.

For just four dollars more, a local theater troupe will dress up as guards and turn an already harrowing experience into an altogether more frightening and realistic one. They won’t beat you, but they ain’t putting chocolates on your pillows either.

A quick word about the prison. Karosta isn’t a modern prison with automatic doors and a row of bars to clank your metal cup against. This is an old school jail. Built in 1905, it was operated by the 20th century’s most notorious regimes; the Nazis during World War II and the Soviets during the Cold War. It was a horrible place that still harbors horrible memories even today. Don’t expect a good night of sleep while bedding down there.