Eastern’s massive, medieval frontage stands in stark contrast to its church like interior. Opened in 1829 and known for its magnificent architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary.”
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but it is a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. It’s 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.
Philadelphia is most historic and most haunted city in America, with hundreds of cemeteries buried beneath the city. Philly is the most 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.