This rich, stereo soundscape mixes dozens of voices – including three former wardens and 25 guards and prisoners – creating an intimate walking tour of Eastern State’s cellblocks and yards.
When you visit Eastern State Penitentiary, you'll get an mp3 player and headphones that will guide you through the penitentiary complex and explain the prison's history. This audio guide contains a main audio tour route (available below), plus additional stops for subjects like escapes, sports, sexuality, race, and more.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, you'll be asked to stay on a linear, one-way route as you listen to our main audio tour (audio stops 1-10). The main audio tour ends at The Big Graph and its climate-controlled companion exhibit Prisons Today. From there, you are free to explore freely and tour at your own pace, listening to (or skipping) stops based on your interests.
"The Voices of Eastern State" Audio Tour is included with admission. Narrated by actor Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, Armageddon, Ghost World).
Do you want a more personal, in-depth look at the history of Eastern State and criminal justice reform past and present? You may want to consider our 75-minute Guide-Led Tour and Discussion (currently available on Saturdays and Sundays). Click here for more information.
Visiting Eastern State with 15 or more people? Click here to learn more about our group rates.
Click here for a PDF transcript of all audio stops.
Audio Stop 1: Introduction Audio Stop 2: Prisons Before Eastern Audio Stop 3: First Modern Building Audio Stop 4: A Prisoner's Life Audio Stop 5: Effects of Isolation Audio Stop 6: The Results Audio Stop 7: Reactions to Eastern Audio Stop 8: End of Isolation Audio Stop 9: 20th Century Audio Stop 10: Prisons Today