Admission to the historic Eastern State Penitentiary includes an excellent audio tour narrated by Steve Buscemi and visitors are free to explore the grounds on their own or join one of many guided tours. Some areas are still off-limits to visitors, but the newly-reopened hospital wing—full of peeling paint and creepy old medical equipment—is a must-see.
“A hauntingly historic prison experience”
Step into the eerie world of Eastern State Penitentiary and explore the remains of a once-revolutionary prison that operated from 1829 to 1971 and housed notorious criminals like Al Capone. Wander through the haunting cell blocks, stand in the eerie solitary confinement cells, and learn about the history and innovations of the penitentiary system. Discover the stories of inmates, guards, and the daily life inside this historic prison through immersive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations.
One of the greatest ghost tours in the Northeast. Self-guided, and after you sign the waiver, you just go off on your own. Amazing building, and some fun installations. Keep an eye out for the red pipes that mark successful escapes from the prison!
Go! Absolutely go. If you love visiting abandoned places, or you love history, or you love a good ghost story ESP is like the motherland of all three. Take the all the tours and then when you've finished go do the self-guided tour. The building is beautiful and the history is fascinating. And like Greg said, red pipes equal successful escapes, and that equals awesome photo ops!
The best stop on our Philly road trip! Check hotels and rest stops for a $2 off coupon or show a student ID for a steeper discount. We did the main audio tour first and then wandered the rest of the grounds for another hour or two. Such a neat and historical place with lots of fantastic photo ops. The artist installations were really neat and thought provoking. If you have children, be careful of a few of the off the main tour exhibits ;)
First prison in America is one of those rare places that rates highly on both the fun and learning scales. Touring the halls is fascinating and exciting, but also a great lesson in our approach to criminal justice over two centuries and leaves you with a lot to think about. Definitely do the audio tour.
Very interesting historic site that describes innovations in humane treatment of prisoners and changing philosophies regarding punishment and penitence. Tour guides, audio tours, and hands on exhibits make this a must see for children as well as adults. It was not scary at all.
Great place to visit and learn. Thought 2 hours would be enough time for street parking. Our car got ticketed. There was a lot down the street, should have parked there. The tour guide was great telling the history of the parts of the prison she showed us. Hard to believe what prisoners went through here. We spent around 3 hours here and didn’t see it all.
Enjoyed our experience here, was very cool to see the cells and what life was like. Brings realization about our justice system and how it needs help. If some of the walls could talk especially in the women’s section after listening to the audio and exhibits sends chills down your spine and a heavy heart.
i visited during the night time. we went on the haunted tour called LIghts Out. It was amazing! All we had for lighting was a glow stick. If you wear one around your neck, the scare actors can touch you. DO IT! It is a great experience not to miss! Well done I think it was better than my visit to Howl O scream at Busch Gardens. The atmosphere of the defunct prision makes it creepier. Will have to visit during the day
We really enjoyed this place. The audio tour provided so much information.
Terror behind the walls is the annual Halloween event. Even better is going to take the regular audio tour. Still a little eerie but very interesting.
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Eastern State Penitentiary
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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