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Eastern State Penitentiary-FAMOUS HAUNTED PLACES

Updated on August 30, 2011
Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, PA
Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, PA | Source

By Christine B.

Built in 1829 near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this penitentiary was the most expensive building built in the United States in its time. It was run by the Quakers system from 1829 through 1913. The solitude and cruel punishments enforced on the prisoners drove many to madness. It’s not so surprising that many of the inmates have never left their cells—forever imprisoned by their tragic experiences while incarcerated at this prison.

The prison was originally built to house 250 prisoners in solitary confinement (how all the prisoners were kept at this prison), however as many as 1,700 were housed here at one point. Between the extreme overcrowding, the misery, madness and death that prevailed during the prison’s history, it’s not a wonder the building is haunted.

One of the many infamous inmates at the prison was Al Capone. While he was incarcerated he often complained of being haunted by one of the many men he had killed, James Clark. Whether Mr. Capone had gone mad by this time, or if he was really being tormented by a spirit is unknown, but since he had killed so many, it’s a wonder there was only one of his murder victims that haunted him.

Some of the many reported unexplained events that have occurred at the prison are: a shadow figure that dashes away when approached, a figure has been seen in the guard tower, sinister laughter can be heard in cell block 12, another mysterious shadow figure has been seen in cell block 6, a Hessian solider has been witnessed in the basement of the building, crying from what seems like a young boy has been heard, spirits/ghosts of American Indians and African Americas have been reported, a woman in period dress has been seen in the dining room, kitchen items have been thrown about by unseen hands, doors that have been locked were standing open hours later, and soldiers have been see throughout the building.

For more information about tours of this prison, go to:


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