Sunday, October 20, 2013

PA Halloween Horrors: Eastern State Penitentiary

One of the most haunted places in America is here in Pennsylvania - Eastern State Penitentiary. I'm glad it's closer to Philly than Harrisburg. It. Is. Creepy!

The penitentiary has been abandoned a long time, but not uninhabited. There are supposed to be many, many tortured souls who linger there. Though the Quakers who built it intended it to be a spiritual place where sinners could do penance (hence the title 'penitentiary') rather than simply serve prison time, guards apparently had more sadistic ideas. You can read more about that here.

During their incarcerations, inmates were forced to remain separate from everyone else. Their one scheduled hour a day outdoors, they spent alone.

Maybe that's why they come alive when people visit. Though some inmates were supposedly visited by spirits during their stay - Al Capone, for instance, was said to have been haunted by James Clark - who Capone murdered during the infamous St. Valentine's Day massacre.

During the year, an average of two dozen paranormal investigations happen there. Almost every single one finds evidence of spirits. That's pretty rare.

The penitentiary remains open to the public. Many who go there claim to hear weeping, giggling or whispering. Many have caught evidence on film, and other instruments such as thermometers register rapid drops in temperatures before an activity. Some see shadow people. Some who challenge spirits to move objects, as in the video below, have their challenges accepted.

I'm not brave enough, but if you'd like to take a Halloween tour, you can order tickets. If I ever go, I'll opt for the daytime tour!

Oh, and a little real estate tidbit for you... from my stint working in the press office for the Pennsylvania Department of State, I learned that in Pennsylvania, realtors aren't required to inform buyers if a property has a tainted past. Whether the past owners were haunted, or even murdered. The only information they must pass along pertains to the property's structural soundness or other physical defects relevant to the property's value. You can, however, do your own research. :)

Have you ever visited Eastern State Penitentiary? Or a similar haunted facility?

You might want to watch these ghost hunters interact with former penitentiary residents:

Be my Halloween guest!

Now that the Decadent 1NS celebration is ending today, I'd love to host some Halloween guests. If you're the author of a paranormal, that would work best, but everyone's welcome! Just shoot me an email at cate.masters AT

Visit tomorrow for a special Halloween guest!


Maria Zannini said...

I love these posts. :)

I won't knowingly go into a haunted place because I know how it affects me, but I like to read about other people's experiences.

Cate Masters said...

Yes, I imagine you'd be overwhelmed with them, Maria *shudders*