Cool Facts about the Eastern State Penitentiary Facts in Philadelphia
Eastern State Penitentiary Historical Facts
Philadelphia is home to dozens of historical landmarks including The Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Independence Hall and many more. However, no landmark may be more notorious than Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia’s famous haunted prison. Learn some fun, interesting and scary facts about the Eastern State Penitentiary.
10 Eastern State Penitentiary Facts: Philadelphia’s Haunted Prison
- Construction was completed in 1829. At the time, it was the largest building in the United States.
- It is considered one of the most haunted places in the world. Paranormal activity includes seeing orbs, streaks of light, loud cries & screams and much more.
- It has been featured on notable shows including Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Cold Case, Most Haunted Live!, Fear and more.
- The prison housed the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone who decorated his cell with antiques and oil paintings. Other notable prisoners include “Slick Willie” Sutton, Freda Frost, Leo Callahan, Victor Andreoli and many more.
- Prison reformers envisioned Eastern State Penitentiary as a safe and humane alternative to crowded, dangerous prisons. However, it is known that prisoners were routinely tortured, deprived of food and sent to The Hole for weeks at a time.
- The stone walls are twenty inches thick and the entrance features two six-foot-tall stone gargoyles to welcome all who enter the gates.
- The building was designed by English-born architect John Haviland and was meant to resemble a church.
- It was way ahead of its time. The prison had central heating, running water and toilets that flushed before the White House had such luxuries!
- Eastern State Penitentiary operated for 142 years before closing its doors in 1971.
- The prison became a National Historic Landmark in 1965. It reopened in the 1990s as a tourist destination, museum and the site of “Terror Behind the Walls,” a very popular & frightening Halloween attraction.
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