Saturday, July 14, 2012

Eastern State Penitentary

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Philly was definitely the Eastern State Penitentiary. Not only was it yet another aspect of a new city to explore, but it was one of the coolest compounds I've ever been inside.

The prison, which has been falling further and further into disrepair since its closing in the mid-20th century was dark and eerie. Dust from the crumbling walls clouded the air and coated streaks of sun breaking through the cracked ceiling. My penitentiary wanderings, directed by a self-paced audio tour was chillingly and creepily fascinating. Not only did the tour provide facts spanning the space's entire history, but they added a soundtrack and personal testimonies. Bring the halls I was walking further to life.

There were many times when I paused and a cold wave washed over me. While I didn't have a supernatural encounter there, the stories of prisoners and guests alike were enough to keep me on my toes and the back of my neck tingling.

With the active imagination of a creative writer, I will proudly claim the title of World's Biggest Wimp when it comes to the horror, thriller, or supernatural genres. My mind does not need any help taking a haunted possibility and turning it into a "What's behind me?! Hello?"

I admit that there were a few moments when the tingles on my neck turned into involuntary jerks of the head. Luckily, whenever the spook was getting too much, I could retreat to behind my camera lens and view the buildings for the great photography backdrops they were.

The shadows, the textures, the sheer expanse of each row of solitary confinement cells was more than enough to keep my composing eye and trigger finger occupied.

If ever you visit Philly, make sure you stop by for an unforgettable afternoon of sights, sounds, and chills.