Top Prison Escapes in History

Top 5 Prison Escapes in All History

Ever watch a football game that you weren’t that invested in, mainly because you didn’t really have a dog in the fight? If you’re like me, you probably find yourself rooting for the underdog (because who doesn’t love a comeback??)

Maybe it’s in support of the underdog, or maybe it’s the dramatic excitement of “real life” playing out like an epic movie scene. You know, those scenes where the impossible is overcome, against all odds! Kinda like a prison escape movie perhaps? But let’s be honest, prison escapes are a whole other “ball game”.

When it comes to prison escapes, you could almost say there’s a sense of safety surrounding it (because of course they will be caught, right?) but also with an element of danger (because you can’t be quite certain of exactly what is going to happen!).

Speaking of prison escapes, we’ve done some research and found 5 hard-to-believe real stories that’ll blow your mind! This is the stuff movies are made of!


5. Choi Gap-bok

Choi was a 50-year-old man who was arrested in South Korea. With a criminal history, Choi was no stranger to prison, and this time he was being held on burglary charges. He also avidly practiced yoga throughout his life. Amazingly, in less than 30 seconds, he was able to squeeze his entire body through his food slot. This slot was less than 7 inches tall, and 13 inches wide. Though impressive, he was quickly recaptured and put in a cell with a smaller food slot.

4. Frank Abagnale

Frank is a notorious con-artist made famous in the film Catch Me If You Can. Frank spent his life impersonating doctors, pilots, lawyers and more. He was charming, well spoken, and presented himself well, making people want to trust him. That charm served him well, as he was able to convince his guards that he was really an undercover prison inspector. With a female accomplice pretending to be a FBI agent, she was able to convince the guards that she needed to speak with him privately, outside the prison gates. Frank simply walked out the gate, to drive off into the sunset.

3. 38 IRA Prisoners

In 1983 a mass exodus took place at HM Prison Maze when 38 Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners escaped. They were able to work together to overpower the guards, strip them of their clothes and weapons, and tie a food service person to their vehicle in an effort to escape the maximum-security prison. They were largely successful, as only 19 of the men were recaptured. Though the prison is notorious for being difficult to escape from, it has had enough attempts to have to string up wires to prevent helicopters from attempting to land.

2. Honorable Mention: Colditz Escape

This qualifies as an honorable mention, because Jack Best and Bill Goldfinch never actually put their plan into action, but had they actually gone through with it, it’s widely believed that they would have been successful! What makes their escape plan so amazing? Best and Goldfinch were British Pilots, held as prisoners of war at Colditz Castle during WWII. They decided to build a glider to escape, as the guards would be looking for tunnels. In order to build a glider, they first had to build a false wall in the attic. Then they painstakingly stole wood from around the camp to build their glider. They were rescued by allied troops just as they were finishing the glider, but their plans were reviewed and recreated by a documentary team in the year 2000, with a successful flight as a result.

  1. Jack Sheppard

Alive in the 18th century, Jack was a petty thief that found himself in plenty of scrapes. Though a bit of a troublemaker, Jack was more well-known for his elaborate escapes, and citizens would come from all over to watch him escape from prison. Jack is significant because he is the grandfather of prison break. Jack was known for tying sheets together to jump out of windows and off of towers, as well as for being able to get out of his shackles. Jack never stopped trying to escape, even after his death. His plan was for his friends to take him to a doctor to revive him, but due to the number of people there to witness his hanging, his friends never got him to the doctor. Jack is number one on our list for his tenacity, his ability to overcome any situation, and for his determination.


These are just a few (but my favorites!) of some of the most amazing prison breaks that have taken place throughout time. We would like to invite you out to our escape room so you can experience the mystery and intrigue that only we can provide! Think you would be good at escaping?? Try out Clue Avenue Escape Rooms!

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