Sep 01, 2009
Philadelphia’s Terror Behind the Walls
Ramps Up for New Scares in 2009
(Philadelphia, August 28 2009): Terror Behind the Walls, ranked the No. 1 Haunted House in America by AOL City Guide, launches its most sophisticated attraction yet with Infirmary, new for 2009. Located inside the massive castle-like walls of Eastern State Penitentiary at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, Terror Behind the Walls, presented by Lukoil, runs on select evenings from September 18 through November 7.
An extraordinary theatrical production, Terror Behind the Walls features animatronic props, digital sound effects, and Hollywood-quality costumes and makeup. It takes an elite team of 14 makeup artists three hours to prepare the cast of 150 performers for the five haunted attractions that compose Terror Behind the Walls.
The event designers will premiere a brand-new attraction for this year’s event. Infirmary, a hospital themed haunted attraction, invites visitors to explore a prison’s long-abandoned medical wing. Startling surprises await, as visitors encounter the empty operating rooms, recovery wards, sterilization chambers, and, of course, the morgue. A giant walk-through sterilization chamber is sure to induce vertigo for even the strongest stomachs and minds.
Ticket sales for Terror Behind the Walls begin on September 10 at the penitentiary box office or online at www.EasternState.org/tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door on each evening of the event subject to availability. Reservations are highly recommended. Tickets are $10 for kids (ages 7-12) on family nights, $20 for adults on weeknights, $25 on Friday and Sunday nights, and $30 on Saturday nights. Group rates are available by calling (215) 236-2986 or emailing email@example.com. For more information, the public should visit the penitentiary’s website at www.TerrorBehindtheWalls.com or call (888) 763-NITE.
All proceeds from Terror Behind the Walls benefit the preservation of Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark. The haunted attraction does not affect operation of the historic site, which remains open for daytime tours seven days a week, year round. For information on daytime historic tours, the public should visit www.EasternState.org or call (215) 236-3300.
Eastern State Penitentiary is proud to announce that Lukoil has rejoined Terror Behind the Walls as the event’s Presenting Sponsor for 2009. The partnership between Lukoil and Eastern State began in 2005, and grew to full Presenting Sponsor status in 2006. The partnership has been cited as a model collaboration between and corporate and non-profit organization by the Greater Philadelphia Arts and Business Council.
Guests will experience a total of five haunted houses during Terror Behind the Walls, all included in one admission price:
Intake sets the mood for Terror Behind the Walls, as unearthly and mutated prison guards direct visitors straight into the prison yard. The route winds through chain link fences, under guard towers, and past the long abandoned prison bus left on the property. This attraction features custom-built animatronic props, high tech effects, and large props from Transformers 2, which filmed scenes at Eastern State Penitentiary in 2008.
Visitors enter the looming façade of Cellblock 12, a three-story wing constructed in 1911, which is said to be one of the most haunted locations inside the prison. The inmates take over the cells as the chaotic scene fills with fog, sound, lighting effects, and arcing electrical currents from three oversized Tesla Coils. The second floor affords a spectacular and eerie view down the long-abandoned cellblock corridor, and the exit is lined with groups of zombie inmates, all standing very, very still. . . . Some visitors choose to leave Terror Behind the Walls after Lock Down. It’s that intimidating.
Infirmary – New for 2009
Infirmary, a hospital themed haunted attraction, invites visitors to explore a prison’s long-abandoned medical wing. Startling surprises await, as visitors encounter the empty operating rooms, recovery wards, sterilization chambers, and, of course, the morgue. A giant walk-through sterilization chamber is sure to induce vertigo for even the strongest stomachs and minds.
The bold, dramatic illusions of The Experiment jump to life when viewed through a pair of chromadepth 3-D glasses. The effects are stunning, as flat walls appear to have shape, and actors blend seamlessly into the background. The Experiment is consistently voted the favorite attraction among visitors to Terror Behind the Walls.
This may be the world’s only haunted attraction lit only by flashlight! Guests are left alone to feel their way out of the back hallways of the penitentiary, the flashlights in their hands cutting a slim beam through the fog. Visitors may sense creatures prowling in the dark, but can’t always see them in time. Not for the faint of heart. (Flashlights provided).
The Ghost Bus – New Location for 2009
Terror Behind the Walls continues its unique transportation method, The Ghost Bus, presented by Regal Entertainment Group, with a new parking lot location at the Philadelphia Zoo, conveniently located off I-76 at 3400 Girard Avenue.
Visitors who use the off-site parking lot will be driven to the penitentiary in an open air, historic-style trolley, while a professional storyteller describes some of Philadelphia’s most frightening ghost stories.
The Ghost Bus runs every evening during Terror Behind the Walls from 6:30 pm until 30 minutes after the last tour. Parking is $10 per car and The Ghost Bus and ghost stories are free. Directions to The Ghost Bus parking lot at the Philadelphia Zoo can be found at http://www.EasternState.org/GhostBus.
Real Ghost Sightings
Many people believe that Eastern State Penitentiary is haunted. As early as the 1940s, officers and inmates reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences in the ancient prison.
With the growing interest in paranormal investigation, Eastern State Penitentiary may now be the most carefully studied building in the United States. Dozens of teams visit to explore the site each year. The historic site’s website, www.EasternState.org/ghosts, features extensive television, video, and website links that document real paranormal investigations inside the 179-year old prison.
The penitentiary has been featured on The Travel Channel’s Most Haunted Live, Fox Television’s World’s Scariest Places, TLC’s America’s Ghost Hunters, The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and MTV’s FEAR. Footage captured on the second tier of Cellblock Twelve by paranormal investigators during filming of The Sci-Fi Channel’s Ghost Hunters may be most controversial ghost sighting of the past ten years.
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. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone.
Daytime tours include the cellblocks, solitary punishment cells, Al Capone’s Cell, and Death Row. A critically-acclaimed series of artists’ installations is free with admission. Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Daytime admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students and children ages 7-12 (children under the age of seven cannot be admitted to the site). Visitors to Terror Behind the Walls can receive $5 off daytime admission with their Halloween ticket or ticket stub. The penitentiary is open every day, year round. For more information and schedules, please call (215) 236-3300 or visit www.easternstate.org.