Photo of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA, US
Photo of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA, US
Photo of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA, US
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Eastern State Penitentiary

History Museum

Eastern State Penitentiary24.5
al capone • audio tour • haunted house • steve buscemi

2027 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19130, US
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  • Photo of Citymaps
    2 years ago
    An actual defunct prison, home to infamous criminals like Al Capone… and their spirits. Once the last tour ends for the night, the prison turns into a startling haunted house, where you can journey through all the cell blocks.
    1 Like
  • Photo of Steve S
    4 years ago
    Currently home to the "Terror Behind the Walls" haunted attraction, Eastern State is one of the most notoriously haunted locations in America
    Like
  • Photo of Lisa L
    4 months ago
    Loved the gargoyles and the history. Capone was incarcerated there as well as historical notaries. Tour about an hr.
  • Photo of filinsk
    4 months ago
    This is a must-see if you're in the area. The prison is hauntingly mesmerizing. There is a self-guided audio tour narrated by Steve Buscemi. It's really interesting to learn about the prison and hear the stories of prisoners who spent time there. It's really creepy and not recommended for children under 7. We traveled with our 17 month old and I had him in my Ergobaby carrier instead of bringing a stroller. If you are travelling with small children, I'd recommend doing the same instead of using a stroller as I don't think you'd be able to successfully navigate a stroller around the property. I wouldn't recommend bringing a child much older than that though. For parking, it was within walking distance from our hotel so we walked, but if you need to drive, there was a lot of street parking in the area!
  • Photo of beachbum52124
    4 months ago
    This is a self guided tour. The headset was easy to use. Interesting to hear the inmates view of the prison
  • Photo of Travelchic66
    4 months ago
    Be sure to pick up a brochure from your hotel. A $2 discount is attached. I'm all about saving 😁! The tour is self guided and offers an audio tour. There's a lot of history behind those walls. Take your patience with you. It takes a while to see and learn about everything through the stories told on the audio. Highly recommend putting this on your list of things to do. Parking is available but you can also find parking on side streets.
  • Photo of amanda a
    4 months ago
    This is an incredibly well done tour. A real credit to the city and a total must see The audio tour goes at your own pace and there are around 50/60 items covered It also covers the exponential growth in the inmate population in the USA over the last 20+ years. Despite falling violent crime rates. Plenty to think about I strongly recommend this tour. They also do ghostly night tours.
  • Photo of neilrenton01
    4 months ago
    Stopped off on a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary on a trip to Philly and so glad we did. It's a really interesting place to see with the old prison housing the likes of Al Capone over the years. It influenced hundreds of other prisons while its methods of incarceration were questionable to say the least. There's a great audio tour given by Steve Buscemi which adds to the atmosphere of the place. Its like visiting a long lost town whose inhabitants have long gone. We spent ages walking it's grounds and marvelling the sights on offer that could have come right out of a horror movie. The only real surprise is that Hollywood, while using the prison for such films as 12 Monkeys, hasn't used some of the stories from the actual jail itself. There must be a thousand tales waiting to be told.
  • Photo of Sherrel3
    4 months ago
    Such a cool experience! We loved the audio tour. Learned a lot about the history of this place. The architecture was really cool too. I would highly recommend this place. We will be back in Philadelphia next year and can't wait to take our teenage son.
  • Photo of MuseumStoreShopper
    4 months ago
    Perhaps the most gothic stop on your tour of Philadelphia: ESP is haunting (and maybe haunted) and thought-provoking and well worth a visit. There's nothing quite like it anywhere else. The story it preserves is uniquely American, but the format reminds me of touring old castles and prisons in Europe. ESP does a good job bridging the desire to preserve their building (as a "sustained ruin") while layering it with education, about the architecture, history, and the American prison system in general. Plus, the site is simply gorgeous--trees grown from windblown seeds wend their way up crumbling cell blocks, geologic layers of peeling paint create visual texture, and the air and temperature fluctuated with the seasons. (Wear a warm coat if you're going in winter.) It's a truly beautiful place to see on a rainy day.
  • Photo of Pinay P
    4 months ago
    The place was creepy but interesting! It looks haunted but full of history! The self audio tour was great! It was the best time for a rainy day. It was very fascinating and I love it! I would come back again!
  • Photo of Victoria N
    4 months ago
    This place is incredibly interesting and the audio tour which is included in your entry price is excellent. I recommend watching the episode of Ghost Adventures which took place here before you visit!..The place is huge and has barely been touched to allow visitors to experience exactly how life was here. Some of the wings are not accessible however most areas are, including the yard outside and other areas within the vast prison walls. There is a gift store and a I was informed about a terrifying Halloween experience which takes place here annually. There is also some interesting art work on display here, some by former inmates in the prison. This is allegedly the most haunted historic prison in the USA, and I believe I captured the face of a ghost in an old Barber's chair in one of my photos!...
  • Photo of Stacy K
    4 months ago
    This place was awesome. We did the self guided audio tour that was Super informative. It was well worth the fee. Hard to believe having to be incarcerated there in the 1800s. AL Capones cell was cool.
  • Photo of DaveHen
    4 months ago
    The system used at the Eastern State Penitentiary was the system adopted by many other countries prisons. The star shaped design where the Wardens stood in the centre and could watch over the inmates in the blocks of the prison was used many times. Al Capone was imprisoned here for one year an the cell he had has been fitted out as it would have been. Unfortunately most of the other cells are in a bit of disrepair but you still get an appreciation of how things were. The audio tour, supported by photos throughout the​ the cell blocks, however gives a great insight as to how thing were in the prison. Well worth visiting.
  • Photo of gordondavid
    4 months ago
    The wife and I had a great time walking around here, very interesting to see how the penitentiary system was developed. The self guided audio tour really added to the experience, would definitely do it all over again. They do a Haloween event that seems like it would be a blast!
  • Photo of Michelle0970
    4 months ago
    Unique place to visit! Enjoyed art installations, a nice surprise. Saw Al Capone's prison cell. Liked audio tour narrated by Steve Buscimi.
  • Photo of Meghan S
    4 months ago
    The audio really isn't necessary and it takes a long time for each segment to finish so you walk faster than the speech segments. We turned ours off soon after starting. All of the halls look pretty much the same with random out-of-place art installations that really don't belong or serve any purpose. The ticket price is expensive for what you get. The architecture itself is beautiful and it's exciting knowing you're standing in what once held prisoners and has insane history.
  • Photo of Val P
    4 months ago
    My friend and I love checking out historical churches, graveyards and "ghosty" places. Eastern State did not disappoint. Lots of history, sadness and interesting stories. The crumbling prison has been around for 150 plus years and has a lot of tales to tell. Everyone gets a head set to wear and it's a go at your own place which was nice. My friend and I decided it was definitely a place that felt "sorrowful" but not in scarey way. They run a Haunted House in late Sept-Nov to earn money for the restoration of the facility which I would not want to go to!!!! Eekk!
  • Photo of Neezysargent
    4 months ago
    Really good audio tour, saw al capones cell and heard about the history and the reasons for the incarceration and how this changed over time.
  • Photo of virennarula n
    4 months ago
    It was a learning curve....A deep insight into how the world penitentiary system came about and how the study of the mind and human behavior developed during those years. The audio tour is very very comprehensive and very simple to understand....10 out of 10 for this visit!
  • Photo of Aston8210
    4 months ago
    ESP has done a tremendous job with the audio tour....very informative and well worth the time to visit! Street parking is available in the area as well as private lots.
  • Photo of A TripAdvisor Member
    Took the Big Bus out to the Penitentiary. Had a wonderful self guided audio tour. Guards and some actual prisoners are on the audio tour. It's interesting. If you have kiddos they will really like it.

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