Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary was built in 1829 and immediately took solitary confinement to new levels. Prisoners lived alone, exercised alone, and ate alone; when an inmate left his cell, a guard would cover their head with a hood so he couldn’t see or be seen.


The prison had to abandon its solitary system due to overcrowding from 1913 until it closed in 1971, although the forms of punishment did not get any less severe (chaining an inmate’s tongue to his wrists is one example). The site remained empty until it opened its doors to curious visitors in 1994, and now welcomes thousands of visitors every year, both for its museum and ghost tours.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

You cannot copy content of this page