Mazes of crumbling cellblocks, empty guard towers and sky-lit cells – this is one of America’s most ‘haunted’ places.
For 142 years, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia was one of the most well-known prisons in the world, but today it stands in ruin.
This is where Alphonse ‘Scarface’ Capone got his first taste of prison life after he was arrested outside a cinema for carrying an unlicensed revolver.
Chicago’s infamous mobster, who attained notoriety during the Prohibition era, only served eight months of his one-year sentence.
But his cell named Park Avenue has been attracting tourists for years.
‘I spent three hours inside Eastern State exploring cell to cell and photographing everything from the crumbling walls to broken stools and beds and peeling paint,’ said an explorer, who requested not to be named.
‘I even sat inside a cell for a good while imagining what prisoners would have felt.
‘Parts of Eastern State are incredibly uncomfortable, yet the history is all over the walls and floors, even the steel beds tell a story none of us can really imagine, each cell is different in ‘character’ and each cell feels different.’
Because of its history of torture, isolation, disease and murder, the place is often dubbed haunted.
Like the Tower of London, Australia’s Aradale Mental Hospital and Romania’s Hoia-Baciu Forest, it attracts hundreds of thrill-seekers every year – and the eerie photographs show why.
The explorer captured the jail’s creepiness in pictures of its decaying walls, abandoned and broken furniture and cramped cells.
‘Inmates back then would sit in their cell for 23 hours a day,’ the adventurer said.
‘After sitting inside a few cells taking photographs, it feels each decaying wall is closing in on you.’
When Eastern State opened in 1829 it was one of the most expensive buildings in the country.
It was built in a wagon wheel design and emphasised separate confinement.
Since its 1971 closure, the penitentiary has since been turned into a National Historic Landmark, offering both day and nighttime tours.
‘While I have explored abandoned buildings for many years nothing will come close to photographing Eastern State Penitentiary’, the explorer said.
‘It really is a photographer’s dream inside here.’
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