Friday Night Frights

If I don’t get a sense of impending doom at any point, I’d say it was a waste of money. What I’m referring to of course, is the experience of a haunted house. I love all things Halloween, so finding a place that can give me a good scare is highly notable. Last weekend, my friends and I took a little road-trip to see Terror Behind the Walls, a massive haunted attraction in Philadelphia. I do a lot of research when it comes to finding a worthy haunted house and this one jumped out to me immediately. For one, Terror Behind the Walls is actually Eastern State Penitentiary. Everything inside is absolutely authentic, ranging from old prison-cell bed frames to hospital equipment. I also cannot fail to mention that Al Capone once resided in this penitentiary. That in itself makes for an interesting exploration.

As we walked into the building, there was a man giving us the typical rules and regulations rundown. However, he mentioned something I’ve never heard in any other haunted houses thus far. Each guest had the opportunity to “choose your fate” with a red glow-stick necklace. With that necklace on, any monster-actor was given permission to touch, push, or drag a guest into a scene. I saw a girl in front of me get locked into a prison-cell with a deranged inmate. At that moment, I’m sure she was regretting her decision.  

Before we could officially enter the attraction, all guests had to join an assembly line. This line led to two nurses painting bloody symbols on bare cheeks. After a quick group photo, my friends and I were finally able to start our haunted tour. In total, there were six separate attractions. Each focused on a different fear. I won’t give too much away, but certainly know that each section possessed its own wonderful aesthetic.

After the tour had ended, we were released into a courtyard of military monsters dancing to a choreographed piece. In addition, there was a lovely walk-through novelty gift shop where I purchased my official Terror Behind the Walls sweatshirt. Besides your typical food and snack stands, there was one really unique feature of the courtyard: an open prison-cell hallway. Here we were able to explore the insides and take photos of the decrepit chambers. It was absolutely fascinating, though we stayed only for a few minutes.

The overall experience lasted in total about an hour. It wasn’t long, but our time at the penitentiary was certainly worth it. I give it an 8/10 on the scare scale. So if you’re ever in the Philadelphia area around Halloween and you’re looking for a unique, out-of-the-box adventure, I very much recommend Terror Behind the Walls. 

You can check the website out here

Happy Hauntings!

J.

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