America's Most Haunted Places
Courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
Horror movies don’t get more horrific than this: in a prison meant to hold 250 people, 1,700 inmates were tortured by sadistic guards who soaked them in freezing water outside in the middle of winter, kept them in solitary confinement for days, forbade any conversation between inmates, and looped chains from an inmate’s tongue to his wrists, which were then bound behind his back. Once the prison was shut down in 1971, the ghosts of those criminals supposedly took over. The prison, which is a National Historic Landmark, does host family-friendly events, as well as ghost tours and an annual Halloween haunted house called Terror Behind the Walls.