The Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge

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We welcome anyone and everyone reading this to come join Bear Camp Cabins in enjoying the post-holiday Winterfest in the Smokies. Winterfest doesn’t end after the holidays? No sir, there’s still quite a bit more winter after the start of the new year and therefore we celebrate it!

So what is there to do in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and beyond after Christmas and New Years? Lots! While it’s true the post-holiday Winterfest in the Smokies is something of a “downtime” for the season, an overwhelming majority of the attractions, restaurants, shops and places to visit are just as open for business as they were during the Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends. Just think of it – hundreds of incredible attractions that are even more accessible than they were before simply because it’s January. Smaller lines, less traffic, and great places like The Alcatraz East waiting to fill up your January memory bank with excellent memories.

What is Alcatraz East? We take it you probably haven’t been to Pigeon Forge for some time – it’s a huge, multi-story museum located directly in front of The Island in downtown Pigeon Forge and it is extremely easy to get to. Their website states: “Alcatraz East is a crime museum featuring an in depth look at American Crime History which includes artifacts from Alcatraz, but this is not a Museum dedicated solely to Alcatraz. The museum is divided in five galleries: History of Crime, Crime Scene Investigation, The Consequence of Crime, Crime Fighting and Pop Culture. Within those five galleries there are 28 areas which have interactive exhibits and over 500 artifacts that the entire family can enjoy.”

The building is a huge 25,000 square foot affair and some of those aforementioned galleries include:

A Notorious History of American Crime

In this gallery, you get to take a look at how crime has evolved from its earliest incarnations to today. It’s a pretty chilling journey from then to now and you might feel glad we don’t live in those eras anymore.

Crime Scene Investigation

Does watching fiction and nonfiction shows about people being able to solve crimes using the utmost tiniest of clues and modern science get you excited? Then this is the gallery for you! You get to see a crime scene investigation lab, a morgue to see the “wonders of an autopsy”, engage in a personal safety challenge, real life cold cases and more.

Punishment: The Consequence of Crime

This gallery gives you an intimate look at what goes on behind police and prison doors. Procedural fans, active police force and more will find much to respect in this gallery as visitors get to see mugshots, a realistic recreation of a booking room and police lineup, an electric chair, a lethal injection machine and more.

Crime Fighting

The tools and the tricks of the trade of enforcing law and keeping the peace, from the old days to today. See what they used to use when J. Edgar Hoover was in charge. Gasp at what law enforcement had to do to capture criminals and experience thrills and chills in a high-speed police chase simulator, a field sobriety checkpoint and more.

Counterfeit Crimes and Pop Culture

The pirating trade is still alive and well so many hundreds of years after they were popularized; and they aren’t just on sea anymore. Learn more about how pirates used to operate, how they operate today and every era in between. Check out how fake merchandise makes it to stores and sidewalks today and how they get faked.

Among those artifacts and things to see are:

 

* O.J. Simpson’s White Ford Bronco

* Torture devices from the Salem Witch Trials

* John Dillenger’s Death Mask

* A lie detector test from 1967

* Al Capone’s Rosary

* Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle

* The Dillon Massacre Hatchet

* Sing Sing Prison Lock

* Venetian Finger Screws

The museum also hosts special events throughout the year, temporary exhibits for truly rare items, multiple types of galleries following themes from yesteryear to today, crime fighting technology, interactive exhibits, activities for girl scouts and junior detectives… the list goes on and it’s all available for you to see no matter what time of the year it is.

 

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