EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY
Founded by the Quakers in 1829, who envisioned the stone castle as a place where criminals could become penitent for their crimes (hence the name, “penitentiary”), the prison was a place of total isolation. Inmates were confined in windowless rooms and allowed no contact with any living person. Many of them were driven insane by the solitude. Punishments for breaking the rules were extreme and suicides became common. Solitary confinement was ended in the 1870s and a century later, the prison was closed down. Since that time, ghost stories and paranormal encounters have become commonplace. Apparitions have been seen, mysterious footsteps heard and strange sounds reported.