Those brave enough to enter “Terror Behind The Walls” at the Eastern State Penitentiary are in for a truly haunting experience. There are insane prisoners, intimidating wardens, darkness, gore, and other creepy effects lurking around every corner.
Before entering the penitentiary, one must sign a waiver that warns, among other things, that one “hereby assumes all risks of loss, damage, or injury, including death, that may be sustained by the undersigned while in, or about the property.” This foreboding statement sets the mood for the many horrors one will encounter at “Terror Behind The Walls.”
Males and females are separated upon entry into the Intake portion of the tour. Loud sirens and glaring lights flash before your face as a warden interrogates you before you continue on into darkness.
As you continue on to the Lock Down portion, prisoners reach out to you and plead for help from behind bars. The props look just as creepy as the prisoners so it is often hard to differentiate a real person from a mannequin. Screams and eerie noises are heard as you travel through the halls of the penitentiary.
While walking through the 13 Rooms you encounter a crazed cook shaking pots in your face in the kitchen, decaying corpses in the morgue, and a laundry room full of noises and people that will make you jump.
Upon entering The Experiment, you are given 3-D glasses and taken through winding halls of fluorescent illusions. The colors and designs literally jump out of the walls and move right before your eyes.
The last segment of the tour is called Night Watch, and, as the name implies, it is the darkest part of the penitentiary. You are given a very small dim flashlight and sent on your way through dark, foggy corridors. It is impossible to see what might jump out in front of you. Loose criminals pop out of trap doors in the walls and linger in dark corners.
Buying tickets ahead of time is a good idea because the earlier time slots sell out quickly. You may end up waiting a few hours before you get to enter the penitentiary. However, waiting outside is not a total loss because you never know who or what might pop up and scare you. As you get closer to entering, you watch a television program featuring Eastern State Penitentiary as one of the world’s most haunted places.
Eastern State Penitentiary was built in Philadelphia in 1829, and it was a working prison until it was abandoned in 1971. It was uniquely created to house prisoners in solitary confinement. This system became known as the Pennsylvania system and was replicated in various prisons throughout the world.
The penitentiary remained untouched for over a decade, allowing it to get to the creepy deteriorated state that it is in today and providing the perfect atmosphere for “Terror Behind The Walls.”