September 22, 2017, 7:00 pm – November 11, 2017, 7:00 pm
Select nights, Sept. 22 through Nov. 11. Tickets starting at $19. Terror Behind the Walls, America’s largest haunted house, is called “perfect for Halloween” by The New York Times, named #1 in the nation by Forbes, and featured on NBC’s TODAY Show. Terror Behind the Walls takes place inside the massive, castle-like walls of Eastern State Penitentiary and is consistently ranked among the top haunted attractions in America. All proceeds from Terror Behind the Walls benefit the preservation of Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark. Terror Behind the Walls does not affect operation of the historic site, which remains open for tours every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For FAQs, preview videos, and tickets, visit terrorbehindthewalls.com
September 23, 2017, 12:00 pm – September 24, 2017, 4:00 pm
Standard Admission. Eastern State Penitentiary partners with New Leash on Life USA for Family Weekend: Pets in Prison. Families discover unique stories about prison animals all weekend long! Kids hear about Eastern State Penitentiary’s most famous four-legged resident, Pep the Dog; participate in an animal-themed scavenger hunt; and find out how animals continue to play a role in prisons today. At age 18, Norberto "Rob" Rosa was sentenced to 12 years in prison. A puppy training program there changed his life, and today Rob is the Director of Operations for New Leash on Life USA. Hear from Rob about his firsthand experience training dogs in prison, and about the work he's doing now to improve the lives of inmates and save the lives of dogs. Following the presentation, visitors to the historic site can meet some dogs from the New Leash on Life USA program and, if interested, can adopt any dogs that haven’t yet found homes. Family Weekend activities are available from 12:00 to 4:00 pm, included with admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.
October 3, 2017, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Free. Reception to follow. Hear from Blanche Carney, Philadelphia’s first female prison commissioner, as she reflects on her two-decade career in corrections. Commissioner Carney started at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons as a social worker, and will discuss the various positions she has held within the department, as well as current projects. Commissioner Blanche Carney earned an undergraduate degree from Lincoln University and a Master of Social Services degree from Bryn Mawr College. In May 2016, Ms. Carney was appointed to her current position of commissioner with emphasis on restorative justice and reentry services. This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.
November 11, 2017, 10:00 am – November 12, 2017, 5:00 pm
Standard Admission. Eastern State is one of the most photogenic locations in America. Each year photographers travel from all across the globe to photograph the penitentiary. Members can submit photographs of Eastern State in the annual Members Photo Contest. Not a member? Join today. Each member may submit one color and one black and white Eastern State Penitentiary photograph for the annual Members Photo Contest. Photos remain on view throughout the weekend. Visitors to the historic site can cast votes for their favorite images throughout the weekend. On Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm, two sets of winners are announced in the color and black and white categories. Our 2017 judge has been secured: Ron Tarver of Haverford College. Ron will select one set of winners, and the results of the weekend’s voting will also announced. Each first place winner from the Members Photo Contest has the opportunity to schedule a four-hour, private, behind-the-scenes photo shoot of Eastern State Penitentiary. Download the contest guidelines here. Submit your entries here. Have a question? Email [email protected] or call 215-236-5111 x224.
February 6, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Free. Reception to follow. Author Lauren-Brooke Eisen examines private prisons through the eyes of inmates, their families, correctional staff, policy makers, activists, ICE employees, undocumented immigrants, and the executives of America’s largest private-prison corporations. She is Senior Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program where she focuses on improving the criminal justice process through legal reforms, specifically how the criminal justice system is funded. This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.