Philadelphia, PA - If you're looking for a history lesson, don't miss Eastern State Penitentiary, also known as ESP, in Philadelphia. Located at 2027 Fairmount Avenue, between Corinthian Avenue and North 22nd Street, this prison operated from 1829 until 1971. While you're there, you can learn about the prisoners' lives and experiences. In this article, you'll learn about Jewish life, the Prisons Today exhibit, and ghost stories.
Ghost stories at Eastern State Penitentiary
The haunted past of the former Philadelphia prison has long fascinated people. Many paranormal groups have documented various eerie activities at the prison, which has been the subject of many television shows and movies. Even Al Capone himself visited the facility and reportedly encountered a ghost of his slain rival. Visitors have reported hearing eerie voices, seeing apparitions of former inmates, and seeing darting shadows on the walls.
Solitary confinement at Eastern State Penitentiary
The Pennsylvania prison system was designed with surveillance and solitary confinement, and Eastern State Penitentiary is a prime example. The prison was built in a cherry orchard, with seven single-level wing cells, surrounded by a central surveillance hub. This radial design had a single 'all-seeing' guard perched atop the central rotunda. The building also featured two 50-foot-tall towers with projecting parapets and battlements.
Jewish life at Eastern State Penitentiary
The Eastern State Penitentiary is the only remaining prison in the United States to be built entirely of brick. A visit to ESP will provide a unique glimpse into the lives of Jewish prisoners and the history of the Jewish community in Philadelphia.