Saturday, August 15, 2015

History Time! Eastern State Penitentiary

Cellblock 7. (I think?)
I have been to Eastern State Penitentiary plenty of times. For years, I have made a point to do their Terror Behind The Walls haunted house every Halloween. If you haven't done it, you should. It's considered one of the best haunted houses in the country -- and the location makes it extra cool.

A few days ago, I visited Eastern State for the not-haunted tour. And it's awesome. As a big history nerd, I have seen plenty of old sites, but the penitentiary is one of the most interesting.

Construction began in 1822 and the first inmate arrived in 1829. Until it closed in 1970, it housed thousands of men and women, among them some of the nation's most notorious criminals, the most famous being Al Capone.

Despite being abandoned for twenty years, the penitentiary is relatively intact. A few places have been reconstructed (i.e., the synagogue, Al Capone's cell), but the majority of the site is considered a "stabilized ruin."

If you're in Philly, check it out!

The kitchens!


  1. Ok, I usually don't like Haunted Houses (or scary things in general) but the fellow history nerd in me is dying to go see this!! A must next time I'm in Philly!

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