I went to prison this Halloween, and it was thrilling. When I got the chance to visit Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary, a historical landmark in Philadelphia, with my best friend, I was super excited to be jumping out of my skin in fear. I didn’t quite do that, but my heart was definitely racing throughout the six attractions offered within the cellblocks.
In my experience, the worst part of haunted walk-throughs is the heart-pounding terror that runs through my body before I actually get inside. Just the thought of what lies behind the walls is enough to make me tremble with fear. Before my friend and I entered we were struck with a choice: to wear a glow necklace to notify actors that we can be touched and “tortured” throughout the attraction or to not wear the necklace and take the safer route. Although we started off with the necklaces, we ripped them off less than a minute of entering the prison.
We braved through a series of six sections of the jail, each portion a different theme, such as an infirmary, a “breakout” of inmates on the loose and a creepy, decaying forest. My favorite part was the infirmary, because by that point, I was more excited than scared. My sarcastic side revealed itself when the actors told me they wanted to take my teeth, and I replied with, “I need those, but I could use a whitening.”
The final verdict? I think Terror Behind the Walls was really entertaining, and I would definitely recommend it to other thrill seekers. It had me screaming a stream of profanities, but I was not quivering with as much fear as I expected. I would love to visit Eastern State again, but for a regular prison tour at night. I would love to meet a ghost or two!