Eastern State Penitentiary’s Epic Haunted Attraction Terror Behind The Walls Is Back

The legendary prison transforms into the country’s largest haunted house this fall...

Ready to scream your brains out?

As Halloween approaches, the already eerie Eastern State Penitentiary transforms into one of the nation’s top-ranked haunted attractions, Terror Behind The Walls.

From zombies to the butcher’s lair to the new Blood Yard, the experience brings no shortage of thrills.

Buy a ticket in advance (available select dates from September 22 to November 11) and prepare for a dose of high-startle fun.


  • Terror Behind The Walls returns to Eastern State Penitentiary on select evenings, September 22 to November 11.
  • Six scary experiences are designed to thrill and chill.
  • Tickets ($19 and up) are offered online or at the door, subject to availability.
  • VIP and add-on experiences are also available.

The Experience

Once the most famous and expensive prisons in the country, Eastern State Penitentiary now stands as a living ruin with long empty cell blocks and remnants of the past. It makes for the perfect setting for Terror Behind The Walls, consistently ranked among the country’s top haunted attractions.

Exterior of Eastern State Penitentiary
(Photo courtesy Eastern State Penitentiary)
More than 200 performers lurk throughout Terror Behind The Walls to create a frightful experience inside the historic former prison.

From zombies to mad scientists to evil inmates, more than 200 costumed performers set out on a mission to terrify across the 11-acre complex, home to six different attractions.

Visitors will find plenty of Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, digital sound, animatronic creatures and custom props, all intended to foster a night of fright for those who dare to enter.

Before starting on an adventure through the historic prison, visitors must first decide whether they want to watch the spookiness take place around them or partake in a more intense, interactive experience. Choose the latter option, and you’ll be marked via a glow stick as a susceptible target for being grabbed, sent into hidden passageways and even separated from your group.

Six Attractions & What’s New

Six different attractions span the historic prison to create Terror Behind The Walls.

The newest attraction is the Blood Yard, where you’ll encounter a gruesome colony of savages as well as a path marked with bones leading to the lair of a butcher and other creepy characters. Upon approaching a gory site of gnawed bones and decayed flesh, the Blood Yard begs you to ponder whether you could be next.

(Photo By M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)
Terror Behind The Walls is composed of six attractions:

  • Blood Yard (new)
  • Lock Down
  • Machine Shop
  • Infirmary
  • Quarantine: 4D
  • Break Out!

Next to the Blood Yard is the Infirmary, where visitors get a peek into the primitive world of experimental prison medical treatment, including shock therapy and other tortures gone wrong.

In the Machine Shop, evil pervades and numerous creatures wait hidden in the shadows, ready to pounce. Meanwhile, the Lock Down is where zombie inmates go to riot, overtaking the guards who have lost control.

The Quarantine offers a one-of-a-kind 4D experience, where creatures emerge from seemingly nowhere and the flat walls appear as if they’re trying to suck you inside.

Lastly is Break Out!, where crazed inmates attempt to escape all around you.

Once you enter, it takes about 45 minutes to wander through all six attractions. Get too scared, and an event staff personnel or actor will escort you out.

VIP Experiences

A handful of different options allow you to extend the traditional Terror Behind The Walls experience into an even more memorable occasion.

Take things to the next level with The Hex Challenge, pushing you further into the action by making you become part of the actual story. At the beginning of each of the six attractions, you’ll step into a secret room, where you’ll be dared to take on special challenges, join forces with the creepy characters and more.

If you’re thinking about enjoying a meal before Terror Behind The Walls, check out the Fright and a Bite Dinner Packages. Select restaurants in the surrounding area invite you to dine out and enjoy a prix-fixe menu, ending with dessert paired with tickets to Terror Behind The Walls. Click here to view the list of participating restaurants.

Terror Behind The Walls
(Photo courtesy Eastern State Penitentiary)
Although tickets are available at the door, Terror Behind The Walls is known to sell out. Purchasing tickets in advance is advised.

To learn a bit more about the history of the penitentiary, head out on an After Dark VIP Tour. The hour-long, guided walking tour enables you to explore the cellblocks at night with nothing but a flashlight to guide your way. Afterward, you’ll be invited to skip to the front of the line to experience Terror Behind The Walls.

Want to skip the entrance line sans walking tour? Purchase a Quick Pass, available online only.

Extend your visit after getting spooked by purchasing tickets to The Speakeasy — located in former inmate Al Capone’s cell — where surprising adventures, a complimentary cocktail, beer from Yards Brewing Company and soda awaits.


Terror Behind The Walls runs on select evenings from September 22 through November 11 and tickets are sold by half-hour entry times. Hours vary by the day, so check online before planning your outing.

General admission ranges from $19 to $45, depending on the date you choose to visit. The price goes up by $5 to $6 if you buy at the door, and tickets can sell out, so purchasing a ticket in advance online is encouraged.

Get your tickets now, and prepare for a scare in a real abandoned prison!

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

When:September 22-November 11
Where:Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
Cost:General admission tickets range from $19 to $45, depending on the date




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