Phables Oct. 02, 2006
Eastern State was built in the 1800s as a new kind of prison. It was built to instill a sense of penance in the prisoner — thus the term “penitentiary.” To give you a sense of how advanced the building was, every prisoner had indoor plumbing (including a toilet). The President of the United States at the time (John Quincy Adams) could not say the same of his White House.
When Charles Dickens visited America, he wanted to visit two places: Niagra Falls and Eastern State Penitentiary.
It’s also considered one of the most haunted places in America.
Every October, Eastern State converts part of its interior in a “Haunted House” attraction called Terror Behind the Walls. It’s incredibly popular, with lines snaking around the block every night. The money made this month will fund the excellent historic restoration of the prison throughout the year.
Today’s Phables doesn’t talk about any of that stuff (except the haunted house part). It’s a collection of ghost stories from inside the prison walls.