The city of Philadelphia is abuzz with activities and tourist attractions owing to its rich historic dispositions that add a touch of mystery and mysticism to them.
Philly as the locals say, has a philosophy of its own that states, “What we think and the way we say it is just as interesting as the city we live in. More than a point of view, we call it a certain Phillyosophy.”
Keeping true to the words, Philadelphia, the largest city of Pennsylvania celebrates its rich history on display at American Revolutionary Sites such as the Liberty Bell. In addition to this, the city of Philadelphia also promises tourists a perfect combination of history meets mystery, through its Ghost Tour of the city and a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary.
Ghost Tour of Philadelphia
Philadelphia is America’s most historic city and rumoured to be the most haunted one, with hundreds of cemeteries buried beneath the city. The Ghost Tour of Philadelphia is a candlelight walking tour that takes one along the back streets and secret gardens of Independence Park, Society Hill, and Old City, where ghostly spirits, haunted houses, and eerie graveyards lurk in the night!
Philly’s most unusual and popular evening activity gives revellers the chance to discover a ghost story, experience a haunted house, and visit a spooky cemetery as it brings history back to life. At Independence Hall, the souls of American history are as restless today as they were in colonial times.
It is believed that Benjamin Franklin, who recently turned 300, roams the streets of Old City. In addition to the old haunts, the tour also takes one along to the St. Peter’s Cemetery, known to be the most haunted site in the city.
Tourists are also subjected to spine-chilling horror stories of Benedict Arnold and other Founding Fathers while their spirits overlook your presence.
However, one has to make prior reservation and book tickets to avail the 90 minutes tour that is offered in the evenings at 7:30 pm, from March to November. October tours are also offered at 9:30 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and on Halloween.
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including “Slick Willie” Sutton and “Scarface” Al Capone.
Eastern’s massive, medieval frontage stands in stark contrast to its church-like interior. Opened in 1829 and known for its magnificent architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to enthuse penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts.
Located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the penitentiary is open seven days a week, year round. A trip to Eastern State includes an audio tour narrated by Steve Buscemi, hands-on experience that allows visitors to unlock an escape-proof cell door, history exhibits in addition to other activities. In the fall, Eastern State also offers one of the scariest haunted houses in the country, Terror Behind the Walls.
Terror Behind the Walls consists of six haunted attractions that create a seamless experience. All six attractions are included in one admission price.
The original seven cellblocks spread like spokes on a wheel, and had running water and central heat before the White House. Closed in 1971, an estimated 300 prisons worldwide have been modelled after Eastern State.