Eastern State Penitentiary

One of the most haunted places in Pennsylvania. In the “six block,” volunteers have seen shadowy forms gliding along the walls. In Cellblock 12, several visitors have reported the hollow, distant sound of evil, cackling women echoing in certain cells. Of the many graphic reports of ghostly activity at E.S.P., the story of a middle-age locksmith is perhaps the most powerful and most frightening. Not long ago, the man was alone there, at dusk, in “four block” (Cell Block #4), performing routine restoration work. At one particular moment, he was removing a 140-year old lock from the door of an abandoned cell when he encountered an energy so incredible and so powerful that to this day, he shudders when he recalls hi introduction to the ghosts of Eastern State Penitentiary. It was as if that locksmith somehow possessed the key, which opened the portal to Eastern State’s tortured past – and was ushered through that ghastly getaway by the phantoms who dwell in those cells. Faces in the walls … a glowing, floating rock … a foggy, steamy, form which seemed to beckon… These images were only part of the man’s encounter with the unknown in Cell Block 4 that night. He was physically transported into a nether world by a tidal wave of energy upon which as many as 100 ghosts spiraled. In what might be described as an “out of body” experience, the locksmith felt drawn not only to, but into, the horrible supernatural stew. One spirit seemed to dominate and rise above the others. It rose as the form of a man, with three rings of steam, or mist swirling around it. But within a short time, others … hundreds … of bizarre forms materialized. He describes his emotions at the time in weird and confounding terms – “It was as if I was inside a microwave oven,” he says. But then, there when he recalls, it was as if he was “standing buck naked in a sandstorm at the North Pole!” So confounding and confusing was the episode that the locksmith was riveted in place, unable to move, as spirits cried from every chamber and wall of “four block.” He could do nothing but stand petrified amid the ghosts – or at least some of the ghosts – which haunt that very special … and very haunted place.

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