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Terror Behind the Walls

Premier haunted house in Philadelphia’s historic prison

Terror Behind the Walls

You may not be the only one wandering the cellblocks of Eastern State Penitentiary. Credit: M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia


September 22 – November 11, 2017 (Select dates — View full schedule)

Overview of Terror

The massive Eastern State Penitentiary — a gothic, castle-like structure in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood — is also home to one of the nation’s largest and most ambitious and top-rated haunted attractions, Terror Behind the Walls.

Once the most famous and expensive prison in the country, Eastern State Penitentiary now stands as a living ruin with long empty cell blocks and remnants of the past. The frightening setting and professional scares make Terror Behind the Walls one of the country’s top-ranked haunted attractions.

Designed to be high-startle, Terror Behind the Walls includes Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, digital sound, animatronic creatures and custom props. More than 200 performers are needed for six separate attractions in the 11-acre complex.

Frightening Attractions

Terror Behind the Walls is more frightening than ever. Expanding on a terrifying option introduced in 2013, visitors can decide if they want to be fully immersed in the action by marking themselves to be potentially grabbed, held back, taken into hidden passageways and maybe even become part of the scares.

Venture into the Machine Shop, the most interactive attraction ever devised for Terror Behind the Walls. Visitors will be led deep into the cellblocks into a space never before open to the public. Expect industrial nightmares and unique one-on-one experiences that will surely stick with you.

Additional attractions at Terror Behind the Walls include the brand-new Blood Yard, the inmate-filled Break Out, the Lock Down, a riot inside Cellblock 12, said to be the most haunted spot inside the penitentiary, Detrius, a walk through an original 1800s cellblock and the overgrown prison greenhouse, Infirmary, a frightening look into the world of prison medical treatment, and the Quarantine, an interactive, 4D experience.

VIP Experiences

Quick Pass
Anxious to get scared? Hop to the front of the line with the Terror Behind the Walls Quick Pass available online only.

The Hex Challenge
Take your experience to the next level with the Hex Challenge, which entails going into secret rooms at the beginning of each of the six attractions where you’ll then be dared to take on special challenges, join forces with the creepy characters and more.

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 that comes with tickets to Terror Behind the Walls. Click here to view the list of participating restaurants.

After Dark VIP Tour
You may run into the actual spirits of Eastern State Penitentiary during this hour-long, guided walking tour of the history prison. Explore the cellblocks at night with nothing but a flashlight to guide your way, then skip to the front of the line to experience Terror Behind the Walls.

More about VIP experiences

More Information

For more information about Terror Behind the Walls at the Eastern State Penitentiary, click the button below.

More about Terror Behind the Walls


Eastern State Penitentiary
N. 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 236-3300

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