Friday, September 23, 2011
Eastern State Penitentiary
Keeping in theme with famous haunts of the US, up next we've got Eastern State Penitentiary, probably one of the most well-known haunted locations in the paranormal community.
Eastern State was opened in 1829, based on designs made by none other than the Quakers. Seems like an odd group to design and structure a prison, but Eastern State was meant to act as a building of reform, where those who committed crimes (everything from stealing to murder) would not necessarily be punished, but taught to repent from their mistakes and find solace in God. Unfortunately, they decided to do this by using solitary confinement. All Eastern State really managed to do was make men go crazy. This, in fact, might be the main reason the location is said to be so haunted. ghosteyes.com gives a little more insight as to the horrific punishments the inmates suffered:
"One of the inhumane punishments was the water bath, where prisoners were dunked in a bath of cold water and hung from the wall overnight (Layers of ice would form on the body during winter months). The mad chair was another punishment where prisoners were strapped to a chair so tight that there could be no movement for days without food. The iron gag was another punishment particularly used for disobeying the no communication rule. An iron collar was attached to the tongue and then chained to his wrist which would be tied high behind his back. Any movement brought extreme pain and tearing of the tongue resulting in some prisoners bleeding to death."
The prison provided the basic structure of more than a hundred other prisons in the United States, some of which are still in use today. Eastern State was shut down in the 1970's and left to its own devices until 1991. It was made a historic landmark, and stands as such today. It has been investigated countless times, and everyone seems to have a story, a photo, recording, or video of what lies inside the dark, damp spaces of Eastern State.
So, what goes on here?
If any of the ghost hunting shows on television nowadays are to believed... everything happens here. The Ghost Hunters Jay, Grant and the team have an apparition on video:
EVPS of every kind have been captured here, including some by the Ghost Adventures team:
Even the famous Al Capone said he was haunted in his cell by the victims of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre back in 1929. Every night he'd tell "Jimmy" to let him alone.
Visitors to the Penitentiary have claims of cold spots, sounds of laughter, physical touch, angry voices telling them to leave and have even been overcome with feelings of anger, sadness and nausea. I have not heard a story come out of Eastern State where nothing paranormal happened. Could it be all of the inmates from years and years of unfair treatment? Probably. This place deserves exploring for yourself. Below are some links to help you further in your search for what makes Eastern State Penitentiary such an enticing and exciting place.
http://www.strangeusa.com/Viewlocation.aspx?id=8586&desc=%20Eastern%20State%20Penitentiary%20%20Philadelphia%20%20Pa (For those that like testimonies)
http://www.easternstate.org/ (for history, and their great Terror Behind the Walls)