Eastern State Penitentiary's Halloween Nights has frights, family fun for all

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's the 30th season celebrating Halloween at Eastern State Penitentiary and the historic institution is serving up all of the terror behind the walls and a whole lot more.

Now called Halloween Nights, it's designed to be a Choose Your Own Adventure-style festival that includes the spectacularly scary Machine Shop along with three new haunted houses.

But this year, you can do a number of not-so-scary things, too.

The festival has 15 attractions and is twice as big as previous events, covering the entire 10-acre site. You'll get a map to navigate the fear and the fun.

You can head straight for the scary attractions or spend an entire evening wandering kaleidoscope hall, toasting s'mores while watching ghost stories projected on the prison wall or chilling with a beer and a bite in one of the four themed lounges.

There's live entertainment, from a choreographed zombie dance crew to a band playing found objects from the penitentiary.

And you can also learn the history of the place. Eastern State Penitentiary was a model for 300 prisons nationwide, dedicated to truly rehabilitating inmates so they could return to society. All of the vendors-from Triple Bottom Brewery to French Toast Bites and Down North Pizza-are fair chance businesses, meaning they hire people who were formerly incarcerated and homeless folks, and they pay a living wage.

Sign up for the VIP experience and you can visit the new vampire-themed Bloodline Lounge and hang out in Al Capone's Speakeasy, a flower shop disguising a lounge with cabaret entertainment. You can poke in and out of prison cells to play blackjack, consult the ouija board or a Tarot card reader.

Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary | Facebook | Instagram
2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-236-3300
Through November 13th. Attendance is capped because of COVID-19 so it's recommended that you purchase tickets in advance
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