Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
Located not far from downtown Philadelphia, ESP is a world away from the bustling city streets that lie just beyond its castle-like walls. Once renowned as the most expensive prison on Earth, the former ‘residents’ here include the infamous mob boss Al Capone. Closed since 1971, it is a major tourist attraction and National Historic Landmark these days. Yet despite all those who head here to explore, the abandoned jailhouse remains a haunting place to visit.
Prisoners here were kept in complete isolation — eating and exercising alone and forced to exist in silence — leading countless criminals to be certified insane before their sentences had been completed. With its crumbling cell blocks and empty guard towers, ESP remains an eerie place indeed. Take a tour — but be careful not to get locked in and left behind when the doors are closed and visiting time is over.