With its crumbling cells and imposing guard towers, Eastern State Penitentiary is eerie any day of the year. But when Halloween approaches, the fortress-like attraction ups the ante on spine-tingling fright. It’s time for Terror Behind the Walls.
Brave souls enter this haunted house set inside the historic prison to encounter zombies roaming the halls, and creepy doctors and nurses performing gory procedures; the experience brings no shortage of frights and thrills.
Buy a ticket in advance (available select dates from September 21 to November 10) and summon the courage to enter.
TERROR BEHIND THE WALLS FAST FACTS
- Terror Behind the Walls returns to Eastern State Penitentiary on select evenings, September 21 to November 10.
- Six scary, interactive experiences are designed to terrify even the boldest of visitors.
- Tickets ($19 and up) are offered online or at the door, subject to availability.
- VIP and add-on experiences are also available.
Once one of 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.
From zombies to mad scientists to evil inmates, more than 200 costumed performers set out on a mission to terrify visitors across the 11-acre complex.
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 thrills and chills for those who dare to enter.
Before starting on an adventure through the historic prison, visitors get to decide if they want to simply watch the action or be a susceptible to being grabbed, sent into hidden passageways and even separated from their group.
Six Attractions & What’s New
Six different attractions — all included with admission — create Terror Behind the Walls.
Visitors begin the journey in Lock Down in Cell Block 12, the prison’s most haunted location. Here, thick fog, zombie guards and mangled bars induce sheer horror, so much so that some guests refuse to go any farther. Those who summon the courage continue to the Machine Shop, where gruesome chaos reigns.
Next, a path of bones and an eerie drumbeat lead visitors to the Blood Yard, the lair of a butcher and other creepy characters.
From there, it’s onto the newly revamped Infirmary. Here, maniacal surgeons, nurses, dentists and orderlies prep for some unnatural operations — and they’re always on the hunt for new patients.
Be careful not to get infected in Quarantine: 4D, where visitors experience mind-altering hallucinations, creatures emerge from seemingly nowhere, and walls appear to move and morph. Just when it seems the terror is coming to an end, a zombie SWAT team must stop a horde of undead inmates from escaping in Break Out.
It takes about 45 minutes to wander through all six attractions. Staff are on hand to escort guests out at any time if the action becomes too overwhelming.
Guests have a handful of options to extend the traditional experience into an even more memorable occasion.
Select restaurants in the surrounding area offer a prix-fixe menu as part of the Fright and a Bite Dinner Packages, ending with dessert paired with tickets to the attraction.
To learn a bit more about the history of the penitentiary, visitors can book an After Dark VIP Tour. The hour-long, guided walking tour takes guests through the cellblocks at night with nothing but a flashlight to guide the way. Participants then go to the front of the Terror Behind the Walls line and receive a souvenir photo and branded flashlight.
Want to skip the entrance line sans walking tour? Buy a Quick Pass.
Purchase tickets to The Speakeasy — located in Al Capone’s former cell — where live entertainment, table games, complimentary drinks, beer from Yards Brewing Company and more await.
Terror Behind the Walls runs on select evenings from September 21 through November 10. Tickets are sold by half-hour entry times. Hours vary by the day, so check online before planning an outing.
General admission ranges from $19 to $45, depending on the date. Get your tickets now, and prepare for a scare in a real abandoned prison!
Although tickets are available at the door, Terror Behind the Walls is known to sell out. Purchasing tickets in advance is advised.