Eastern State Penitentiary

The frightening local event Terror Behind the Walls has recently launched their newest addition for 2007, Lock Down.

This haunted attraction is held at Eastern State Penitentiary, a massive prison in Philadelphia that once housed infamous criminals such as Al Capone within its thick stone walls. The prison is currently in its 17th year as a haunted attraction, is said to be “perfect for Halloween” and was deemed the 5th “best haunted” by America Online.

The moment you arrive, the huge stone walls looming overhead let you know that there is only one way in, and only one way out. You are met by decomposing prison guards who take your mug shots and lead you into the prison. All the while menacing inmates run amuck terrorizing whoever crosses their path.

There are five different haunted houses within the walls of the prison. Each harbors chilling surprises around every turn. For the price of one ticket, the tour takes you through all five cellblocks: Intake, 13 Rooms, The Experiment, Night Watch and Lock Down.

Each haunting features its own special effects. One attraction, The Experiment, incorporates 3-D illusions, and another, Night Watch, invites its visitors to explore with flashlights. The new attraction, Lock Down, said to be the “largest and most sophisticated event,” incorporates the use of many special effects to give the visitors the impression that the bars and surrounding walls are electrified.

Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the ticket prices vary by night from $25 on Fridays to $30 on Saturdays to $20 on Sundays. All proceeds from ticket sales go toward the preservation of the prison itself.

Be sure to bring extra money for parking. Parking for the attraction is available for $10 at a separate location where open-air trolleys shuttle to and from the event location. For those interested in the prison, tours are also available during the day to inform about the penitentiary’s history in its heyday.

The best advice for the thrill seekers who wish to explore the Eastern State Penitentiary is to be sure you know where you are going, and do not go alone!

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