CacheCrazy.Com: Eastern State Penitentiary

Friday, October 28, 2011

Eastern State Penitentiary

When I was younger I used to love going to haunted houses, and on haunted hayrides.  My dad, who regularly let my sister and I stay up late and night to watch horror movies, would take us to these seasonal exhibits.  My mom, not the biggest fan of the scary and ghouly, stayed on the sidelines.  In my teenage years, trips with my dad were replaced by nights out with friends to these places.

Haunted houses lost their appeal, to me, as an adult.  It was one of those things where you know what to expect, you know what can and can't happen, and as a result, they seemed to be increasingly anticlimactic.  That is, until I visited Eastern State Penitentiary.

For those unfamiliar, Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia.  ESP was active up until 1971.  Among its famous tenants were bank robber Willie Sutton and gangster Al Capone.

I toured Eastern State Penitentiary for the first time in the fall of 2002.  I was skeptical of what I would see.  Sure, it's an old prison and all, but beyond that, how scary could it really be?  You know the actors can't touch you, so there is nothing in there that "gonna getcha."  Lame-O!

Boy, was I in store for the unexpected.

We drove to the prison from my home at the time in nearby Exton, PA.  Approaching the prison, I just had an eerie feeling come over me.  As stood across the street, purchasing our tickets to the "Terror Behind The Walls" exhibit, as it is known, we gazed at the old structure, lit up in the night sky by floodlights.  The light mist which was falling that night created a slight fog as it bounced back of the lights.  We stood in line, and watched the video monitors, which outlined a history of the prison, and what to expect once we got inside.  We could hear the screams of the brave souls inside on the tour, obviously getting a lot more than they bargained for!

After standing outside for a good 30 minutes in the crisp, cool October air, we made our way to the front door.  Walking inside was like a step back in time.  The prison looked as it probably always did.  The old bricks with (presumably lead) paint chipping away.  The place had that old musty stench to it.  Noises echoed off the cathedral type ceilings.

There was not much light to be found during the tour.  Many of the cells were lit, for effect, with blacklight.  We were shuffled through cell blocks, with the fictitious pleas for help and mercy coming from places unseen to us.  We passed by the cell where Al Capone once lived.  At one point, the men and women were separated, and the women taken off to a separate section for additional torment.

To me, the "haunted house" aspect of the tour was outdone by the facility itself.  There was a lot of history here.  It was like exploring an abandoned building, only in an organized format.  I felt like a kid again, except it wasn't what I saw and heard.  It was the unknown.  I was taken aback by how creepy the place was.  One could only imagine what went on behind those walls.  How many prisoners drew their final breath there?

It is well documented that Eastern State Penitentiary is haunted.  Several television shows on the paranormal have visited the prison, in an attempt to film, and see firsthand, the ghosts and spirits which allegedly reside there to this day.

Naturally, since Eastern State Penitentiary is a really cool place, there has to be a cache there.  All cool locations need caches!  GCVJ8M-Big House, by GadzuCrew, is a micro located near the prison.



What a cool story! The Penitentiary looks really scary and I'll bet when it's all decked out for Halloween it's the bomb! I always wanted to go there and have read about some of the horrors there. It's haunted, there is no doubt about it! This place has a long history of paranormal events. I love it! Thanks.....

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

I'd love to just tour that some time. I toured Alcatraz many years ago and that was really cool. Thanks for sharing.

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