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Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, A Massive Haunted House In a Real Prison, Features Expanded VIP Experiences and a Terrifying New Attraction

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern State Penitentiary announces a major expansion to Terror Behind the Walls for 2012, the all-new Detritus. This new attraction, expanding the event into areas of the penitentiary never entered by the public, takes visitors through an original 1800s cellblock, past the historic prison greenhouse, and into an outdoor labyrinth of overgrown plants and twisting vines.

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Also new for 2012, Terror Behind the Walls is adding to its VIP Experiences with an ALONE package.  The ultimate Halloween experience, ALONE includes a reserved parking space and an expert tour guide who will be a personal host for the evening.  After a "Behind the Scenes" tour of the penitentiary, the visitor will experience all six haunted attractions of Terror Behind the Walls completely ALONE, see the Costume and Makeup departments and enjoy a 3-course dinner at Jack's Firehouse.  This exclusive experience is only offered once per evening.

A Massive Haunted House in a Real Prison:

Located inside the massive castle-like walls of Eastern State Penitentiary, a real abandoned prison at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, PA, Terror Behind the Walls is consistently ranked among the top 10 haunted attractions in the country.  In 2012, Terror Behind the Walls runs on select evenings from September 21 through November 10.

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a lost world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers.  This gothic structure, with soaring 30-foot high fortress walls, is intimidating enough during the day.  At night, the cellblocks fall into darkness, and the building becomes truly terrifying.

Terror Behind the Walls has grown from a single-night event in 1991 to a 29-night event with shows selling out far in advance.  Nearly half of the visitors who attended the event in 2011 traveled to Philadelphia for the event, coming from as far as Hawaii, Greece, Korea, and even Australia, making Terror Behind the Walls a national and international destination for thrill-seekers and Halloween lovers.

An extraordinary theatrical production, Terror Behind the Walls features Hollywood-quality sets, custom-designed props, animatronics, and digital sound effects, all taking place within the walls of the prison.  It takes an elite team of 14 makeup artists almost three hours to prepare the cast of more than 200 performers each evening.  The event consists of six haunted attractions that create a seamless experience for visitors.

Is it Really Haunted?

Many people believe that Eastern State Penitentiary is haunted.  As early as the 1940s, officers and inmates reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences in the ancient prison.

With the growing interest in paranormal investigations, Eastern State Penitentiary may now be the most carefully studied building in the United States. Nearly 60 paranormal teams visit to explore the site in a typical year. The historic site's website,, features extensive television and audio clips that document real paranormal investigations inside the 183-year old prison.

The penitentiary has been featured on the Travel Channel's Most Haunted Live, Ghost Adventures, and Paranormal Challenge, Fox Television's World's Scariest Places, TLC's America's Ghost Hunters, and MTV's FEAR. Footage captured on the second tier of Cellblock 12 by paranormal investigators during filming of SyFy's Ghost Hunters may be the most controversial ghost sighting of the past 10 years. During the filming of Paranormal Challenge, host Zak Bagans called Eastern State Penitentiary "one of the most haunted places in the world."

Daytime Prison Tours:

In addition to the haunted attraction, Eastern State Penitentiary is a National Historic Landmark with a rich history that visitors can experience in the daylight. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 as the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone. Tours today include the cellblocks, solitary punishment cells, Al Capone's Cell, and Death Row.  Eastern State Penitentiary is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for daytime prison tours. Admission includes "The Voices of Eastern State" Audio Tour narrated by actor Steve Buscemi.

Terror Behind the Walls does not affect operation of the historic site, which remains open for daytime tours seven days a week, year round.  For information on daytime historic tours, please visit

Tickets and General Information:

Terror Behind the Walls is located inside Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, PA.  Advanced ticket sales for Terror Behind the Walls begin on September 10.  Tickets at the box office are $40 per person.  Visitors can save up to 50% by purchasing tickets online at  The cheapest and most convenient way to purchase tickets is always through the Terror Behind the Walls website.  For more information about Terror Behind the Walls, the public can visit the penitentiary's website at

SOURCE Eastern State Penitentiary