Penitentiary guarantees screams

By Starlene Soler
October 26, 2011

Who doesn’t enjoy a good scare every once in a while? This year, Eastern State Penitentiary is celebrating their 20th anniversary of “Terror Behind the Walls.”

“Terror Behind the Walls” is a Halloween attraction that takes place at the penitentiary every year. Actors dress in spooky costumes and roam the halls of the penitentiary at various “attractions” in different rooms of the prison. Many of them are dressed as deceased prison guards and prisoners, others just look zombie-like. The actors stand outside the prison and try to get the best possible scare out of people about to enter the attraction, as well as people just passing by.

For some people, the terror begins before they even make it to the gate. There is a “ghost bus” that runs every half hour from the parking lot to the attraction. Each bus or trolley has a storyteller, usually dressed as a deceased prison guard.

This year on Nov. 12, Eastern State Penitentiary will be celebrating their 20th anniversary. Hundreds of haunted house owners will be meeting at the penitentiary to put on a post-season performance of “Terror Behind the Walls.” Celebrities from multiple paranormal TV programs will also be there, telling guests their stories and experiences that occurred during their visit.

Some of Eastern State’s most popular “characters” are also being brought back in honor of this anniversary. These characters are known to bring the most scare, giving visitors the best possible experience. Tickets to this event gain the buyer entry to six different haunted attractions:  the Gauntlet, Lock Down, Infirmary, The Experiment (in 3D), Night Watch and Break Out.

Another special event that takes place at the prison  is Family Night. On Family Night, kids who are too frightened can yell “monster be good!” if they want to be left alone, and the actors must obey the child’s orders. Family Night at the penitentiary takes place every Sunday.

Also on Sunday nights, students that show their school ID get $10 off their ticket if they go after 9 p.m.

For those who don’t like wandering the halls of a haunted landmark late at night, there is a daytime tour of the prison. These tours, unlike the “Terror Behind the Walls” tours, take place all year-round.

Eastern State Penitentiary was not only voted one of the most exciting haunted attractions in the country, but it is also one of America’s most historic prisons.

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Starlene Soler

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