Haunted Site-Eastern State Penetentiary

No, that’s not a castle you see. It’s a former prison in Pennsylvannia. In honor of my marathon watching of the entire Prisonbreak series over the course of six days, I bring you a prison site that’s bound to be haunted in a big way. At the time it was built back in the early 1800’s, the structure was the most expensive in the United States. In a system designed by Quakers, prisoners were there to come to terms with their crimes and turn to God. They lived in their cells 23 hours a day, the only sunlight coming in through a slit in the ceiling. Given the harsh solitude and the fact that most folks do not acclimate to a Quaker lifestyle, many inmates lost their sanity in this place. And while the system was put in place by the Quakers, it was hired help that ran the prison, which as one might imagine, did not lend itself to human treatment. Some of the common punishments for not living up to the Quaker rules (like not speaking to other inmates…at all):

  • The Water Bath
    The inmates who broke the rules risked being dunked in a bath of ice-cold water then hung from a wall for the night. During the winter months, when this punishment was most popular, the water on the inmates’s skin would form into a layer of ice before morning.
  •  The Mad Chair
    The Mad Chair was named such because it was not uncommon for an inmate to go mad before his punishment ended. Inmates would be strapped into the chair with leather strips, so tightly that it was impossible for them to make the smallest of movements. They would sit for days, without food, until the circulation in their body almost stopped from the tightness of the straps and the lack of movement. 
  • Iron Gag
    The most deadly punishment was known as the Iron Gag and specifically designed for those inmates who refused to obey the no communication policies. An iron collar was clamped onto the tongue of the inmate, and then chained to his wrists which were strapped high behind their back. Any movement resulted in a tearing of the tongue and severe bleeding. Many inmates who suffered this torture died from loss of blood before their torment ended.

As you can see, not what we would consider a very just penal system. If ghostly activity is influenced by the amount of pain suffered by those who died, this place should be running amok with ghosts, and it seems that most paranormal investigations of the place have yielded evidence of activity. I’m not surprised. This place sounds like it was pure hell for those unfortunate enough to spend time there. Happy reading/writing everyone.

(info about this site thanks to: http://crime.about.com/od/prison/a/easternstate.htm)


4 responses to “Haunted Site-Eastern State Penetentiary

  1. What a coincidence. I a m just about to head to Philly for a three day visit. I don’t know if I will be able to swing the money for a grand tour, but this urban landmark is definitely worth writing about or just a stroll around the perimeter.

  2. I am a huge fan of all the paranormal shows hitting the air these days.
    Physically I am unable to go out ghost hunting myself, and I don’t want to do it at home (I like our few benign kitty ghosts and whatever is in the back yard keeps to itself, no need to invite any more to the party) but I love to watch the episodes and hunt vicariously :-}