Eastern State Penitentiary

Again we visit a reported haunted location that can be found in Pennsylvania. The once famous prison whose walls had held notorious criminals, now stands in ruin. Crumbling cell blocks and abandoned guard towers are all that remain of it’s grand architecture. Originally designed to inspire true regret and penitence in the prisoners, the prison survives to help deepen the national conversation about criminal justice. Please see their website at easternstate.org to learn more.

Eastern State Penitentiary, called ESP, was operational from 1829 until 1971. The prison refined the system of separate incarceration, and it was a prison that emphasized reform instead of punishment. In 1913 the prison abandoned the solitary system and operated as a congregate prison. In 1923 the female prisoners were moved to a different prison in Muncy, leaving the prison solely for men.

For those interested in the paranormal, we can thank Warden Herbert “Hardboiled” Smith for some of the inhumane punishments that occurred at the prison. Some of the punishments he authorized include; reduced food portions, being dunked into ice baths in winter, tightly bound to the mad chair which cut off circulation, an iron gag in an inmate’s mouth ripping their tongue and mouth. The inmates may also find themselves in the dark cells of Cellblock 13.

Let’s lock ourselves up with the horrors that await if you go to tour this haunted location. Eastern State Penitentiary has many paranormal stories. There have been many groups to tour the site and investigate the stories that have been reported. The following are a few of what you may encounter when visiting.

  • Full body apparitions with a sack over the head have been seen. This dates back to the 1800’s when the prisoners were let out for a few hours a day to exercise but were forced to wear an eyeless sack over their heads.
  • Notorious inmates are said to be lurking inside the walls, such as Al Capone and William Blackie Zuposki.
  • Moving objects, doors slamming, and spirits roaming, can all be experienced.
  • You may also experience the disembodied moaning and cackling from Cellblock 12.
  • Shadow figures darting along the walls near Cellblock 6.
  • Cellblock 4 has a negative, horrible energy that produces tormented faces that beckon you forward.

Are any of these things true? Well that is up to you to decide. The organization that runs the tours at the Penitentiary do not claim that prison is haunted, they state they run a haunted attraction. So if you are looking to explore and discover for yourself, check out the website and lock yourself in for the night.

Be sure to share your findings with us in the comments.

You are your own best investment.

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