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Creepiest places in Pennsylvania: Eastern State Penitentiary

21 Pictures that Prove that Eastern State Penitentiary is the Creepiest Place in Philadelphia

There’s no question that Eastern State Penitentiary is the creepiest place in Philadelphia. While there are other creepy spots (most notably the Mütter Museum and Fort Mifflin), nowhere comes close to the creepiness of this former prison.

Opened in 1829 and not closed until 1971, this prison housed 75,000 inmates during its nearly 150 years of operation.

After it was closed, it was reclaimed by nature until it was finally reopened for public tours in 1994. While tourists now fill its halls, the echoes of the criminals that spent their lives here still reverberate through the walls, and there are many that say some of them never left.

As it’s been said before, if ghosts exist, it must be at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Read about the prison’s history here, and then scroll down to see 21 pictures that prove Eastern State Penitentiary is the creepiest place in Philadelphia.

Photos of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA

Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829.

Creepiest places in Pennsylvania: Eastern State Penitentiary

It was the world’s first penitentiary and was designed to inspire penitence in the inmates.

Creepiest places in Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary

Inmates were kept in solitary confinement at all times.

Eastern State Penitentiary Photos

Eventually, overcrowding forced an end to the controversial “Pennsylvania System.”

 
Creepiest places in Pennsylvania: Eastern State Penitentiary

Approximately 75,000 prisoners were held at Eastern State Penitentiary over the years. According to many, some never left.

Creepiest places in Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary

The most famous inmate was Al Capone, who had a very lavish cell.

Creepiest places in Pennsylvania: Eastern State Penitentiary

Prisoners held here committed crimes ranging from shoplifting to murder.

Photos of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA

The worst were kept in solitary confinement in cells directly below Death Row.

 
Eastern State Penitentiary Photos

Eastern State Penitentiary had one of the most advanced medical units of any prison in the country.

Eastern State Penitentiary Photos

Prisoners would get transferred from all over the state to be treated here.

Eastern State Penitentiary Photos

There was even a state of the art surgery room that performed everything from major procedures to plastic surgery.

Inside Eastern State Penitentiary in Philly

Of course, there also was treatment for mental health problems.

 
Creepiest places in Pennsylvania: Eastern State Penitentiary

The prison was open until 1971.

Photos of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA

After being abandoned for many years, the prison was open to the public in 1994.

Photos of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA

Today, visitors can stroll the grounds of this former prison.

Inside Eastern State Penitentiary in Philly

The prison is still in a state of disrepair with peeling paint and some cells are still filled with rubble.

 
Inside Eastern State Penitentiary in Philly

On the other hand, some cells have been cleaned out and give a good look at prison life.

Photos of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA

Visitors can take guided tours or self-guided audio tours through the prison.

Creepiest places in Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary

Tours take you down hallways that once housed prisoners.

 
Creepiest places in Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary

The former barber shop is a must-see during any visit to Eastern State.

Inside Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary

However, unlike the prisoners that used to reside here, visitors can leave and head home after a few hours.

If you want more information, check out our full article on Eastern State Penitentiary.

AUTHOR - Jim Cheney

Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited all 67 counties in the state. Jim has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

1 Comment

  • Amy Quinn

    Great pics, but one correction: “physiotherapy” is not mental health. It’s physical therapy!

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