Sunday, April 4, 2010

Haunted places - Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania

One of the most haunted places in the world is the Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) in Pennsylvania. It was originally opened in 1829 and is considered to be the world’s first true penitentiary. But the prison, designed to hold just about 300 prisoners, soon became overpopulated (about 1700 were jammed into the cells) and in 1913, Eastern State officially abandoned the solitary system and operated as a congregate prison until it closed in 1970.

Image left: The Eastern State Penitentiary from the outside.

The inmates at EST had no easy life. Torture and harassments by the guards was a part of their daily living and maybe this is one of the reasons why the prison is reported to be one of the most haunted places in America. One of the most famous paranormal stories from there is about a locksmith who had an eerily encounter.

One day, a locksmith was doing some restoration work in Cell Block #4. According to the story, he was working to remove a 140-year-old lock from the cell door when a massive force overcame him so powerfully he was unable to move. Some believed he opened a gateway to the horrific past and the trapped spirits could now escape. All hell was now broken lose. On the cell wall, anguished faces appeared and hundreds of distorted forms swirled around the cellblock and one dominating form seemed to beckon the locksmith to him.

Image right: One of many cell blocks at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Today the penitentiary is open for the public and daily tours of the place is made. Every there are more than a two dozen paranormal groups investigating the place and in almost every case, they find evidence of paranormal activity. Probably the most famous evidence was captured by the Ghost Hunters team while doing an investigation there. A stationary camera captured a human-like figure running towards the camera, then stops and takes off in the other way.

Video of the incident:

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