Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Eastern’s massive, medieval frontage stands in stark contrast to it’s church-like interior. Opened in 1829 and known for its magnificent architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to enthuse penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts.
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but today it is a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and gangster Al Capone. No longer has a home to prisoners, today the Eastern State Penitentiary offered a comprehensive visitor experience.
Located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the penitentiary is open seven days a week, year round. A trip to Eastern State includes an audio tour narrated by Steve Buscemi, hands-on experience that allows visitors to unlock an escape-proof cell door, history exhibits in addition to other activities. In the fall, Eastern State also offers one of the scariest haunted houses in the country, Terror Behind the Walls.
The original seven cellblocks spread like spokes on a wheel, and had running water and central heat before the White House. Closed in 1971, an estimated 300 prisons worldwide have been modeled after Eastern State.
Ghost Tour of Philadelphia
Philadelphia is America’s most historic and most haunted city with hundreds of cemeteries buried beneath the city. In the mood for something truly mysterious? Join the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia for a candlelight stroll along the back streets and secret gardens of Independence Park, Society Hill, and Old City, where mysterious tales of ghostly spirits, haunted houses, and eerie graveyards lurk in the night! Philly’s most unusual and popular evening activity gives you the chance to discover a ghost story, experience a haunted house, and visit a spooky cemetery as it brings history back to life.
At Independence Hall, the souls of American history are as restless today as they were in colonial times. Library Hall, overlooking Independence Mall, is one of Ben Franklin’s favorite haunts in the afterlife and explore the lost and lamented tradition of storytelling, hear chilling tales of long-ago lovers, the nation’s first bank robbery, the Yellow Fever epidemic, and the ghosts that have been left behind!
Hear chilling tales of Benedict Arnold and other Founding Fathers that may have you looking over your shoulder as you cruise through Society Hill. Benjamin Franklin, who recently turned 300, is said to still roam the streets of Old City. While on the Ghost Tour, one can visit several of his old haunts, as well as St. Peter’s Cemetery, known to be the most haunted site in the city.
For more information please visit www.discoverphl.com