Eastern State Penitentiary is America’s most historic prison which was in operation from 1829-1971. The building was the most expensive public structure built in the United States at the time of its completion. It’s unique spoked-wheel design was considered an architectural marvel and became a framework for more than 300 prisons worldwide.
The prison had a strict isolation techniques which involved 23 hours a day of lockdown and 1 hour of yard time, but prisoners weren’t allowed to mingle with others. Each cell has a small court yard built onto it to keep to their strict isolation policies.
If prisoners were taken out their cell, they would have a opaque hood over their head to prevent them seeing any other prisoners and vice versa. This extreme isolation was designed to cause the criminals to reflect upon their crimes, causing them to reform, but actually resulted in mental illness.
The guards also used vicious torture techniques that were handed out for the most minor disobedience, such as simply whistling or shouting to another prisoner in an adjacent cell.
One of the torture methods prisoners experienced was the iron gag. A chain device that crossed their arms behind their back with a clamp looping round to their tongue, causing any movement to rip their tongue out.
There were many other torture techniques including an ice bath, that caused many deaths, straight jackets, a hole under a cell block with little light and air as well as the mad chair where prisoners were strapped in so tight for days they couldn’t move, restricting the flow of blood.
These techniques, plus the extreme isolation that led to mental illness saw many of the prisoners dying or committing suicide. The prison became a place of insanity and injustice, so is it any wonder the tormented souls still linger on the grounds?
Reports have flooded in of orbs, footsteps, strange noises, shadowy figures and screams of pain and suffering. Cell block 4 is regarded as the most haunted part of the prison with faces appearing behind cell doors when the rooms are empty and apparitions walking around.
One of the guards employed to maintain the area that’s still open to the public has reported being grabbed so tightly by an unseen force in cell block 4 that he was unable to move or escape until he was released.
You can now visit Eastern State Penitentiary for day tours, group tours and event hire the venue for private events. If you would like to book tickets, you can visit here.
Are you planning to visit or have you already been? Join the discussion and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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