Locked Up. They Won’t Let Me Out…

….Well, not exactly, but who doesn’t enjoy a little Akon?

Several weeks ago we had a visit from Adam’s parents and sister from Michigan. We spent one of the days in Philadelphia and visited the Eastern State Penitentiary where one of the most notable prisoners, Al Capone, was held briefly.

Al Capone

I’m not sure if you are anything like us, but we loved to watch Ghost Adventures and we know how haunted the Philadelphia penitentiary truly is. We also have watched every episode of Lock Up that was ever broadcast, but that’s another story. Adam spent much of the visit hoping that he would get touched, see something, or that a ghost would show up in some of the pictures. I can tell you what didn’t happen.

All of the above. BUT somehow life managed to go on.

The Eastern State Penitentiary provided us with audio equipment that guided us through the Philadelphia penitentiary. We were also able to veer off-course and explore a little in other parts of the prison once the tour was complete, which was my favorite part.

This is one of the guard towers as you enter the Eastern State Penitentiary prison:

When you first walk in the first part of the Philadelphia penitentiary, much of the cells are blocked off and boarded up. I’m assuming they want people to focus on the stories and audio of the tour and not be too busy ignoring the audio by looking in those cells. Obviously they do not know people like Adam. He found a way to bi-pass their closed doors by taking out his phone, turning on the flashlight app, and peaking inside the cracks of the doors/boards. Good try ESP, good try.

A few audio numbers later, eventually we were able to finally get a glimpse in the cells. 

Now let’s be honest and let me reveal something that might be completely surprising to you:
I’ve never been in jail. I’ve never been inside of a prison. As rebellious, crazy, and wild as I may appear, this was allll new to me. 
Now I’m hoping that these cells only housed one person, like they make it seem. I could not IMAGINE sharing this little hole with another person. And those beds? I’ll keep my pillow top king size mattress, thanks!

Now I’m not too sure what they were looking at, but I pretended to know. It said it on the audio, but I may or may not have been paying attention because I was too busy people watching:

Some more cells and rooms at the Easter State Penitentiary:

I’d be really curious to know what this Philadelphia penitentiary looked like during it’s heyday. 

I was really excited about the fact that Al Capone got a tonsillectomy while in prison at THIS prison because I too had a tonsillectomy….just not in prison. Had I known that there was another way to get into that part of the wing of the Eastern State Penitentiary, I would have been ALL over it. This was the wing that Al Capone got his tonsillectomy.

This hallway in the Philadelphia Penitentiary was so creepy to me for some reason. Just the lighting, or lack-there-of and what seemed to be endless hallways with endless cells. 

If anything in their reminds you of how much you lose and become stripped of anything you were before it is this plaque. You no longer have a name. You are just a number. You may have been and done something great and heroic, but you are still just a number and just another inmate. This is the list of inmate numbers of those who fought in the World War:

A few other rooms and cells at the Eastern State Penitentiary:

This display was really interesting. On the left is a list of countries that use the death penalty. On the right are ones that do not use the death penalty. It goes in order by countries who have the most inmates incarcerated to the least. The United States has the highest inmate population. 

This was where they exercised and had time outside:

Once the tour was over we walked around to find more things to see in the Philadelphia penitentiary. 

Now I’m sure you’ve heard a story or two about how haunted, scary, etc the Philadelphia penitentiary is. I think everyone that goes secretly hopes to see something while they are there just for the excitement factor. Adam, however, managed to stir up a little excitement himself. While we were looking through the cells and wandering around, Adam managed to hop into one of the dark cells. As his mother was walking past he decided to jump out and scare the crap out of her. It was hilarious at terrible all wrapped in a nice bow.
Lesson learned as to why we cannot take Adam anywhere creepy or haunted. Any questions? 

And then we found Al Capone’s cell at the Eastern State Penitentiary. It is a recreation of what they believed his cell looked like during his stay there. It is said that he got one of the nicer cells based on how roomy it was, double windows, and his own furniture: 

The Barber Shop:

This is death row in the Philadelphia penitentiary. While many inmates were on death row, none were put to death in the Eastern State Penitentiary. They were transported to another prison where they were put to death:

One of the other favorite parts that we enjoyed visiting were ANY cells or rooms that had “Adult Content” listed for the audio tour. We just HAD to know what they were going to be talking about while touring the Philadelphia penitentiary. 

Leaving this tour the one thing I wished was to have seen a ghost and had gotten to see the room where they performed Al Capone’s surgery. 

Have you ever visited any haunted places? What was your experience?

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