A Halloween Festival of Epic Proportions: Five Haunted Houses, Plus Historic Tours, Themed Bars, Live Entertainment & More
August 22, 2022
Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary is an immersive experience featuring five haunted houses, as well as historic tours, themed bars, live entertainment, and more — all inside the massive, abandoned, historical complex of Eastern State Penitentiary. Halloween Nights features Hollywood-quality sets, props, and special FX makeup; custom soundtracks; and more than 200 talented performers per night. All proceeds benefit the preservation and interpretation of Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark.
General Admission tickets include entry to all attractions and areas except The Speakeasy at Al Capone’s Cell and the After Dark CB3 Tour. VIP Admission tickets include entry into all General Admission attractions, entry into The Speakeasy at Al Capone’s Cell, two complimentary drinks, and Express Entry into the festival. Entry to the After Dark CB3 Tour can be purchased for $12 at the door, subject to availability.
For more information, the public should visit www.HalloweenNights.org.
Big Top Terror – NEW for 2022!
Step out of the center ring and head backstage through the carnival grounds where menacing performers will do anything it takes to carve out their moment in the spotlight. You’d better hope fortune is on your side tonight….
What to Expect: Walk a winding, one-way path through the outdoor area of a twisted carnival. Get ready for show-stopping imagery, jump scares, and special effects like animatronics, fog, strobe lights, and startling noises.
Nightmares – NEW for 2022!
As sleep paralysis sets in, there’s no escaping the terrors that lurk in the shadows. Mr. Sandman conjures up a menagerie of frightening personalities all dead set on trapping you in your worst nightmares… forever.
What to Expect: Walk a winding, one-way path through your worst nightmare. Encounter menacing creatures in the most diabolical dream-like scenes. Contains unsettling imagery, jump scares, and special effects like animatronics, fog, strobe lights, and startling noises.
Wade through the mist and into the lair of an ancient vampire clan. The creature that lives within requires a sacrifice. Watch your step or the queen and her bloodthirsty minions might mark you as their next offering.
What to Expect: Walk a one-way path through this high-startle, high-intensity haunted house. Watch out for the ancient, hungry vampires who roam these halls. Jump scares, intense imagery, and special effects like animatronics, fog, strobe lights, and startling noises.
Hidden away from the world is a long-forgotten machine shop. Evil pervades this space – an evil with one mind but with many bodies. Will you survive, or will you become just another cog in the machine?
What to Expect: Walk a one-way path through this high-startle, high-intensity haunted house. Encounter menacing shop workers, eager for you to join their crew. Jump scares, intense imagery, and special effects like animatronics, fog, strobe lights, and startling noises.
Take a mind-altering trip through a murky neon jungle where nothing is quite as it seems. Medusa and her menacing friends emerge from the shadows as the world you thought you knew shrinks away.
What to Expect: Walk a winding, narrow, one-way path through a psychedelic forest and dark claustrophobic corridors. Encounter spine-chilling creatures, and grab a pair of 3D glasses (optional) for an even more mystifying experience.
Themed Bars and Lounges
Bizarre Bar – NEW for 2022!
Carnival-themed food and drinks
Fresh off their final performance of the night, join the carnival crew for a round of drinks and some lively merriment. Knife throwers, fire dancers, and more… you never know what you’ll find in the shadow of the carnival tent.
The Bloodline Lounge – Redesigned for 2022!
Vampire-themed cocktail lounge and snacks
Unlike the vampiric friends you’ll meet here, you don’t need a special invitation to enter this fine establishment. With a selection of delectable drinks, sweets, and plenty of corners to lurk in, The Bloodline Lounge is sure to leave its mark. One complimentary drink included for VIP Admission ticket holders.
The Fair Chance Beer Garden
Interactive and educational programs, pizza, beer, and soft drinks
Soak in the crisp night air on Eastern State's historic baseball field. Enjoy a Triple Bottom Brewing Company beer and Down North’s famous Detroit-style pizza. Participate in hands-on activities that invite conversation and reflection on Eastern State’s history and legacy of criminal justice reform.
The Fair Chance Beer Garden creates meaningful, living-wage jobs for people who may otherwise be excluded from the mainstream economy, including people who have experienced homelessness or incarceration.
The Speakeasy at Al Capone’s Cell
Prohibition-themed cocktail lounge
VIP Ticket Holders Only
Unbundle your nerves with a nightcap at this cozy little hideaway. In The Speakeasy at Al Capone’s Cell, spirits are high, and surprises hide around every corner. Play a round of chess. Grab a drink, settle in, and prepare to be serenaded by our spectacular, undead lounge singers. One complimentary drink included for VIP Admission ticket holders.
Gargoyle Gardens featuring The Skeleton Crew
Live dance performance, food, drinks, and shopping
Iconic gargoyles Frank and Carson watch over a dynamic backdrop of hay bales, pumpkins, and other classic Halloween scenery as a searchlight sweeps overhead. Plus, The Skeleton Crew lights up the night with electric dance performances sure to move you from your feet up to your skull.
S’mores and Lore
Campfire ghost stories
Gather around, grab a friend, and listen close. Flickering projections onto tall stone walls share ghost stories that send shivers down your spine. Roast some s’mores for the full old-fashioned bonfire experience. And don’t worry, they’re only stories after all…
Kaleidoscope Hall – Redesigned for 2022!
Journey into a realm of shifting shapes and dazzling light. Watch this rainbow world unfold before your eyes as vivid hues illuminate picturesque crumbling walls and vaulted ceilings.
Historical and Educational Experiences
“The Voices of Eastern State” Highlights Audio Tour
Self-guided audio tour
A 20-minute, abbreviated version of our audio tour recorded especially for Halloween Nights! Featuring narration by actor Steve Buscemi, plus the voices of people who were incarcerated or worked at Eastern State. Visitors will explore Eastern State's center surveillance hub, Cellblock 4, and prison baseball diamond as they discover the penitentiary’s history and reflect on issues of justice and mass incarceration today.
After Dark CB3 Tour
Guide-led flashlight walking tour
$12. Available at the door only.
A 20-minute, guide-led, flashlight walking tour of Cellblock 3, the Hospital Block. Learn more about Eastern State's medical history and get a look at the Operating Room and other fascinating spaces.
The Big Graph and companion exhibit Prisons Today
Learn about criminal justice today with these award-winning exhibits on mass incarceration.
The Big Graph is a massive, three-dimensional bar graph sculpture illustrating the unprecedented growth in U.S. incarceration rates since 1970. The graph also compares the U.S. incarceration rate to other nations’, and it shows the racial breakdown of the American prison population in 1970 and 2020.
Prisons Today, the award-winning companion exhibit to The Big Graph, sheds more light on these issues. Through digital interactives and innovative displays, it elicits personal connections, encourages reflection, supports dialogue, and suggests steps that visitors can take to help shape the evolution of the American criminal justice system.
Halloween Nights visitors have the opportunity to shop a curated selection of unique Halloween merchandise and apparel, plus Halloween treats and festival eats throughout. Concessions are available throughout the festival; vendors include Triple Bottom Brewing Company, Down North Pizza, The Monkey & the Elephant, French Toast Bites, Tuck-Ins, and more.