095 Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary - Philadelphia - Pennsylvania - 11

Is the Eastern State Penitentiary Haunted?

Is the Eastern State Penitentiary haunted? The Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) is considered one of the most haunted places on earth. Inmates were left in constant solitary confinement to “help” them repent for their crimes and rehabilitate them, but more often it drove them mad. Have some of them returned to haunt this place? Listen and vote!

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Questions Explored in this Episode

Where is Eastern State Penitentiary and when was it built? Who had the idea for this new type of prison and why did they think it would succeed in rehabilitating convicts? Who were some of its most famous inmates? Did any of them escape? What torture was used on the prisoners? Have any of them stayed around to haunt the place? What have people seen in Cellblocks 12, 6, and 4? Is this penitentiary haunted?

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Listener Mail

This week’s listener mail is about a grandparent visitation. Have a spooky story or question of your own (or someone you know)? Send your story or question to info@ghostlypodcast.com and we might read it on the podcast. You could be on a future episode of Ghostly!

The State Penitentiary for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,
Lithograph by P.S: Duval and Co., 1855.
Eastern State Penitentiary
The State Penitentiary for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,
Lithograph by P.S: Duval and Co., 1855.
Eastern State Penitentiary

History of the Eastern State Penitentiary

Pat explores the history of ESP and its designer John Haviland. The idea for the penitentiary was conceived at a meeting in Benjamin Franklin’s house in 1787. This neo-gothic prison was designed for extreme solitary confinement to allow the inmates to repent their crimes to God. After years of abuse, the prison was finally closed in 1971.

The Debate

Pat and Rebecca debate if ESP is haunted. Footsteps and screams are just the start of the paranormal activity experienced at this abandoned prison. A locksmith reportedly saw a shadow figure cross the hallway before him and those that worked for the Halloween haunted house attraction report odd noises and ghostly figures.

Video of Locksmith telling his story: https://nypost.com/2015/12/21/ghost-hunting-at-americas-most-haunted-prison/

Video from Ghost Hunters: https://ghost-hunters.fandom.com/wiki/Eastern_State_Penitentiary

Poll Results

Listen to learn if listeners thought the Lee Family was cursed. Want to listen to our previous episodes? Check them out here.

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Sources for this Week’s Episode
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_State_Penitentiary and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Haviland
Eastern State.org: https://easternstate.org/nighttours
NPR: https://www.npr.org/2013/10/24/232234570/is-eastern-state-penitentiary-really-haunted
History is Weird: https://historyisweird.com/is-the-eastern-state-penitentiary-haunted/

Ghost City Tours: https://ghostcitytours.com/philadelphia/haunted-philadelphia/eastern-state-penitentiary/
Adventure.com (Beautiful Photos): https://adventure.com/eastern-state-penitentiary/
iHorror: https://ihorror.com/haunted-history-eastern-state-penitentiary/
Homespun Haints: https://homespunhaints.com/famous-haunted-places
NYPost: https://nypost.com/2015/12/21/ghost-hunting-at-americas-most-haunted-prison/
Ghost Hunters Fandom: https://ghost-hunters.fandom.com/wiki/Eastern_State_Penitentiary
Metro Philadelphia: https://metrophiladelphia.com/is-eastern-state-penitentiary-really-haunted/
Paranormal Milwaukee: https://paranormalmilwaukee.com/locations/eastern-state-penitentiary/
Mysterious Facts: https://mysteriousfacts.com/prisoners-haunting-eastern-state-penitentiary/
Atlas Obscura: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-its-like-to-be-a-haunted-house-worker-inside-a-real-prison
New Hampshire Public Radio NHPR: https://www.nhpr.org/national/2013-10-24/is-eastern-state-penitentiary-really-haunted
Thought Catalog: https://thoughtcatalog.com/jeremy-london/2018/09/eastern-state-penitentiary/
Calculated Traveller: https://www.calculatedtraveller.com/blog/eastern-state-penitentiary-philadelphia/

Music for this episode was performed by Michael Rivers
Intro: “III. Allegro moderato from Gargoyles” by Lowell Liebermann
Outro: “Dream Images (Love-Death Music)” by George Crumb
Bumper: “Ghost Waltz” by Lowell Liebermann

“Pat Facts” and “Ghost Story” themes by Mondo
“Time for a Debate” theme by Gail Gallagher gailgallaghermusic.com