The month of October brings a lot to the table: wilting leaves, beautiful weather, and of course, terror. As the most spirited day of the year approaches, Halloween, many are in need for some cheap thrills.

From the beginning of October until November 11, the state of Pennsylvania has a special treat for you. Nothing screams terror more than entering one of the most famous prisons in the world, The Eastern State Penitentiary. This historical landmark is turned from a tourist attraction by day to “The Terror Behind the Walls” at night. Located right here in Philadelphia, it is one of the most terrifying attractions in the country, once home to inmates in the 1900’s.

According to NPR’s Laurel Dalrymple, it was first opened by the Quakers in 1829 making it the first penitentiary to open in America. It housed famous inmates such as Al Cap. Due to the mistreatment of inmates and overcrowding the prison was closed in 1971. Eastern State Penitentiary re-opened in 1998.  The penitentiary was transformed into a spirited Halloween attraction with proceeds going to charities.

Now the prison is believed to be the place to be for Halloween in the country. The haunted house provides Hollywood-quality performers and special effects that will give you the most frightening experience. There are over 200 actors who volunteer to give tours during the day yet become alive at night.

One of the actors attempting to frighten a brave young boy.

A unique and attractive aspect of the haunted house is that it gives the customers the freedom to decide the type of experience they want to have. There are different levels of frightening—you can indicate if you want to be fully immersed in the action if you put an “X” on your face.

The prices range between twenty to forty dollars depending on the day. On the weekends, expect the prices to be more expensive due to the high demand. The landmark uses the money that they gain from the haunted house and use it to preserve the prison.

This week we interviewed eager thrill-seekers while they waited in line and asked for their thoughts on the venue.

Will you dare to enter behind the walls?


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