The Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania built by the Quakers in 1829. It broke with traditional prisons of the time because it was very expensive to construct, had an innovative wagon wheel design, and emphasized keeping prisoners isolated so they could “pay penance" for their sins -- which gave birth to the word "penitentiary."
The facility was originally designed to hold 250 inmates in solitary confinement. At the height of its use, however, the prison population rose as high as 1,700 prisoners.
The prison's most famous inmate was Al Capone, jailed on illegal weapons possession in 1929. During his stay, it's said that Capone was tormented by the ghost of James Clark, one of the men Capone had murdered in the infamous St. Valentine's Day massacre.
Other reported hauntings include:
~ A shadow-like figure that scoots quickly away when approached.
~ A figure that stands in the guard tower.
~ In Cell Block 6, shadowy forms have been seen sliding down the walls.
~ Mysterious, ghostly faces are reported to appear in Cell Block 4.
~ In Cell Block 12, spectral figures have been seen, slinking from cell to cell as if trying to not be detected, and laughter, whispers, and evil cackling have been heard.
~ Although no executions were ever carried out at Eastern State Penitentiary, prisoners spent time on “death row” until they were transferred to another prison to be executed. Over the years, shadow figures have been seen in this area and people have heard crying and weeping.
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