Bare Necessities #13710
It’s the end of the line on this railroad, and here is the waiting room in the last stop station house. It’s a personal and permanent suite in the Bad Boy Hotel for those whose lives have derailed and fallen into the briars on the side of the usual paths. The place is spartan, but winter warm with a plain pipe radiator and a cooling decorator skylight above for summer. One light bulb should do well at night. Yes, it’s a little rough around the edges, but the arched ceiling can help defuse the feeling of four walls closing in. The train rails stop here, and you will know and understand it every waking hour.
This is a prison cell in the famous Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, which is now only a tourist destination that you can leave anytime you wish. However, walking in through heavy iron gates that clang and seeing thirty foot thick stone walls with guard towers in the corners leaves no doubt where you are, and there is the strong feel of foreboding to the entire place. You don’t easily forget it, and neither do the spooks: ESP is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the United States.
It has been out of use since the Eighties and sat abandoned for many years until it was bought from the state of Pennsylvania by the City Of and opened for tours. The place is considered a stabilized ruin. That is, if something is about to fall down, it will be repaired but the place is not about to be refurbished.
You can tour this landmark prison with the long history every day of the year but two, and it’s a worthwhile visit with very good docents to take you through or you can go on your own. Be sure to see Al Capone’s cell and find the three barbershops, all of which are here on this website too. Spooks are a little harder to find, but they are indeed there as full time overseers. Look online at www.easternstate.org and other sources of information about the site.