Monday, August 24, 2009

Eastern State Penitentiary

As I mentioned below, while my best friend was visiting we headed to Eastern State Penitentiary. It was amazing! It was probably one of the highlights of the long weekend. If you're ever in the area you should definitely check it out.

We took an audio self guided tour throughout the penitentiary. They also have tour guides that give specific tours about various topics throughout the day. The penitentiary was operational from 1829 until 1971. It was the first penitentiary to use the system of solitary confinement. The cells were set up in a way, so that the prisoners entered from the outside and never had contact with other prisoners. It was very interesting and haunting to imagine how the prisoners lived. Al Capone was imprisoned here at some point and was actually given special privileges. There is a picture below of his cell, which was immaculately decorated with items that he wanted there. Prisoners didn't usually get this type of special treatment.

The other fun fact about Eastern State is each fall they set up a haunted house inside the walls of the penitentiary. I love scary movies and haunted houses, but I get scared pretty easily. I guess that's part of the fun! I hear that people come from miles and miles away to visit the haunted house. It actually starts next month so that'll be on my to-do list for September or October.

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