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2019 Season Overview

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary Enhances Interactive Experiences for its 2019 Season

August 14, 2019

Philadelphia, PA (August 15, 2019) – Terror Behind the Walls, consistently ranked among the top haunted attractions in the nation, is located inside the massive, castle-like walls of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For its 2019 season of scares, Terror Behind the Walls is bringing back six thrilling attractions with new interactive experiences that are more immersive than ever.

In 2013, Terror Behind the Walls introduced an innovative, more interactive experience for those brave enough to opt in. This year, Terror Behind the Walls continues to lead the haunted attraction industry in interactivity by providing enhanced up-close and personal encounters from the moment visitors step through the front gate until they finally make their way through all six attractions.

Terror Behind the Walls begins with a critical decision for visitors: should they explore the prison and watch the action, or should they mark themselves to truly interact with the denizens of the cellblocks? Those brave enough to opt in and mark themselves for a more intense experience will find themselves pulled down dark passageways and even isolated from their group.

This year, visitors face more opportunities to fall prey to the creatures who roam the dark penitentiary than ever before. Visitors to Terror Behind the Walls will wind their way through the narrow cellblocks of the historic prison, encountering zombie guards, a gruesome colony of cannibal warriors, maniacal surgeons and nurses, and other fearsome inhabitants.

Terror Behind the Walls runs select nights from September 20 through November 9, 2019. All six attractions are included with admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability. Ticket prices start at $24 and vary by night.

A Massive Haunted House in a Real Prison:
The setting for Terror Behind the Walls is perfect for a haunted attraction. Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a lost world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. This gothic structure, with soaring 30-foot high fortress walls, is intimidating enough during the day. At night, the cellblocks fall into darkness, and the building becomes truly terrifying.

No. 1 Haunted House in America:
Terror Behind the Walls is consistently ranked among the nation’s top haunted attractions. The Travel Channel calls it “One of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions,” The New York Times calls it “perfect for Halloween,” and Forbes names it #1 in the nation.

The industry commends the event as well. It was named “One of the top three must-see haunts in America” by Haunted Attraction Magazine. Brett Molitor, president of the Haunted Attraction Association, says, “Terror Behind the Walls is awesome. Eastern State Penitentiary is a perfect, natural setting for a haunted attraction, and the actors and staff really take things to the next level.”

Terror Behind the Walls is a national and international destination for thrill-seekers and Halloween lovers. More than half of the visitors who attended in 2018 traveled to Philadelphia for the event, with tickets sold to visitors in 49 states and 38 foreign countries.

Terror Behind the Walls has grown from a single-night event in 1991 to a 32-night event. It features Hollywood-quality sets, animatronics, and custom-designed soundtracks, all taking place within the walls of the prison. An elite team of 20 makeup artists spends three hours preparing the cast of 200+ performers each show night.

Is it Really Haunted?
Many people believe that Eastern State Penitentiary is haunted. As early as the 1940s, officers and prisoners reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences in the ancient prison.

With the growing interest in paranormal investigations, Eastern State Penitentiary may now be the most carefully studied building in the United States. More than 800 paranormal investigators have examined the site this year alone. The penitentiary has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell, Most Haunted Live, Ghost Adventures, and Paranormal Challenge; Fox Television’s World’s Scariest Places; TLC’s America’s Ghost Hunters; and MTV’s FEAR.

Footage captured on the second tier of Cellblock 12 by paranormal investigators during filming of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters may be the most controversial ghost sighting in history. During the filming of Paranormal Challenge, host Zak Bagans called Eastern State Penitentiary “one of the most haunted places in the world.” Jack Osbourne, host of the Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell, agrees. After filming the series, he noted, “Eastern State Penitentiary really freaked me out… The place is terrifying… Easily one of the most haunted places I’ve ever been.”

General Information:
Terror Behind the Walls is located inside Eastern State Penitentiary at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Terror Behind the Walls does not affect operation of the historic site, which remains open for daytime tours seven days a week, year-round. All proceeds from Terror Behind the Walls benefit the preservation of Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark.

Terror Behind the Walls runs on select evenings from September 20 through November 9, 2019. Tickets for Terror Behind the Walls are on sale now at Buying online is always the cheapest and most convenient way to purchase Terror Behind the Walls tickets. Visitors save time and money, and purchasing in advance is the only way to guarantee entry to the event. For more information about Terror Behind the Walls, the public can visit

Tweet This!
A massive haunted house in a real abandoned prison, @TerrorAtESP at @EasternState is open September 20 through November 9. Experience six chilling attractions in the dark cellblocks. Buy your tickets online to save! #TerrorTime

Are you brave enough? Opt in for a more intense experience at @TerrorAtESP and you may be grabbed, held back or even separated from your group. Terror Behind the Walls runs from 9/20 to 11/9 inside a real abandoned prison @EasternState.


Press Contacts

Nicole Frankhouser

Director of Marketing and Communications
[email protected]