Below is a link for the Night Time Tours. This is more of a haunted house than a Nice Tour. For that, You need to go on a “Daytime Prison Tour”.
You Must be older than 7 to go. Click to watch 30 sec video.
Read The FAQ’s Below:
Is it Scary? Will Things Jump Out at Me?
You bet it’s scary. We do our absolute best to terrify you and your friends. Imagine just being inside an 11 acre abandoned prison at night. This is Philadelphia’s premier Haunted Attraction, head and shoulders above the hay rides and haunted houses out there. Our goal is to make you scared. Really scared. And yes, it’s possible that someone (or something?) might be lurking inside one of those empty, dark cells you keep walking past…More of what to expect on our Preview page.
Is It Appropriate For Kids?
We recommend that kids ages 7 – 12 visit on our Family Nights held each Sunday of the event, plus Wednesday, October 14th & Tuesday, October 20th. On these nights the show is as frightening as ever, but ghouls close to kids can be tamed by saying “Monster be good!” Even on Family Nights, the tour maybe too intense for some younger kids. Please Note: Kids under the age of seven (7) are not permitted on the property.
Are there special prices for kids?
Yes, but only on certain nights. On Family Nights kids’** tickets are available all evening for just $10* each. Discounted kids’ tickets are also available for pre-scheduled groups of 20 or more. Discounted kids’ tickets are not available on other nights of the show, so we highly recommend that families or groups with children visit on Family Nights. Visiting on Family Night will mean a substantial savings for your group!
Are Family Nights As Scary As Other Nights?
Yes they are. It’s the exact same show, but our actors are on the lookout for kids so they can chill out if the kid says monster be good. But kids who don’t ask for mercy get none!
How Do We Get There? Is there Parking?
Take the Ghost Bus!. Easy, inexpensive parking, a free trolley ride and real ghost stories!
During every night of Terror Behind the Walls, Eastern State Penitentiary offers off-site parking at the Philadelphia Zoo (about twelve blocks from the Penitentiary). For just $10 per car you’ll get easy, inexpensive parking, a trolley ride and real ghost stories!
For more information and directions see our Ghost Bus Parking Page.
How long does Terror Behind the Walls take?
When you enter the Penitentiary Complex your first stop will be “Yard Out.” Here, inside the Penitentiary’s 177 year old rec yard, you’ll encounter insane prisoners and sadistic guards while our video introduction will keep you entertained with real ghost stories about Eastern State, clips from MTV’s “FEAR” episode, FOX’s “Scariest Places on Earth” and Sci Fi’s Ghost Hunters, all filmed here. You can expect to spend about 25-30 minutes in “Yard Out.”
Once you enter the haunted attraction, it takes about forty-five minutes to go trough all five haunted houses (INTAKE — Expanded for 2008!, Lock Down, 13 Rooms, The Experiment: In 3D and Night Watch). After surviving the haunted house you may wish to visit the Historic Site Museum & Gift Shop, feast on some batter dipped Oreo’s or fresh funnel cake at the snack bar or groove to the monster mash with our Zombie DJ. All five haunted attractions and admission to the Historic Site Museum are included in the ticket price.
Where Does the Money Go?
Terror Behind the Walls is not expensive compared to other first-rate Halloween events. Most events on the scale of TBTW typically range from $20 to $35.
Eastern State Penitentiary is a tax-exempt charitable organization as described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All revenue from Halloween tours benefit the preservation efforts at this National Historic Landmark. In fact, you can write off one-half of your ticket cost (excluding TicketMaster charges) as a donation to charity on your income taxes. Our Federal Employer Identification Number is 31-1627155. Save your ticket stub. Halloween tours are the single largest source of revenue for the historic site. Thank you for your support!
Where Can I Get Discount Coupons?
You can download a $3 off coupon right from our website! If you want to save even more, visit any Pennsylvania or New Jersey LUKOIL location for a $5 off coupon*
*Coupons available while supplies last
Will I Learn About Eastern State Penitentiary’s History?
Good question. No, Terror Behind the Walls makes no real effort to explain the Penitentiary’s fascinating history. The tour does end in the historic site’s small museum area (formerly the no-contact visitation room for inmates), where you can watch a video and read a bit about the Penitentiary’s past. But for anyone interested by history or architecture, we recommend they also visit during daytime hours for our historic tours and exhibits. They’re really wonderful.
Eastern State Penitentiary is a ruin. It was abandoned in 1971. The City of Philadelphia, which owns the property, therefore requires that every visitor complete a waiver before entering the property. A waiver can be downloaded from our website.
Will I have to Wear a Hard Hat?
No! Due to stabilization efforts, Terror Behind the Walls tours have been “hard hat free” since 2001.
I Drove by and Saw a Line, How Long will I Have to Wait to Get In?
Tickets are sold in half hour time slots. (The first time slot each evening is 7:00 to 7:30 pm The next time slot is 7:30 to 8:00…. ) We will nearly always get you in within your 1/2 hour window; however, you will not get in before you 1/2 hour window even if you arrive early. For example, if you purchase a ticket for the 7:30 – 8:00 pm time slot you will get in sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 pm If you arrive at 7:30 pm you may have to wait up to a 1/2 hour in line. If you arrive at 7:00 pm, you would still get in between 7:30 – 8:00 pm so you would still have to wait at least a 1/2 hour, maybe even an hour. Please do not arrive before your time slot.
Can I Bring __________________?
In general, if you have to ask, it is better to leave questionable items in the car, or better yet, at home. The staff at Terror Behind the Walls is dedicated to providing a safe, fun, high quality Halloween event for every visitor. Therefore, any potentially dangerous objects, including weapons of any kind, pepper spray, pocket knives, lighters, cameras, flashlights, alcoholic beverages etc., are not permitted inside the Penitentiary.
We have a strict “no guns” policy, which means that even persons licensed to carry a firearm, including off-duty police officers etc, will not be permitted to bring their weapon into the penitentiary complex (and we can’t hold them for you either). Our Security Team checks all bags for potentially dangerous objects and conducts random pat downs.
Does Eastern State Penitentiary serve or allow alcoholic beverages?
NO! No alcoholic beverages are permitted inside the Penitentiary Complex.
Does Eastern State Penitentiary have a Security Team?
Yes, Philadelphia Police Officers – as well as uniformed and plain clothed security officers (Guest Relations) – are on duty every hour the attraction is open. In addition, the Penitentiary Complex is monitored by an infrared security surveillance system. Eastern State Penitentiary has a zero tolerance policy for trouble makers. Trouble makers will be ejected from the Penitentiary Complex without refund. We want everyone to have a safe, fun and spooky time.
Does the “show” start at a certain time?
Terror Behind the Walls begins at 7:00 pm each night; however, tickets are sold in half hour time slots. You do not have to arrive at 7:00 pm If you have prepurchased your tickets online, by phone, or the Penitentiary box office, you should show up during your time slot, which is the half hour window listed on you ticket. For example, if you purchase a ticket for 8:00-8:30 pm, you should show up between 8:00 and 8:30 pm We will nearly always get you in during your half hour window.
If you have not prepurchased tickets, simply show up and you can purchase tickets for the next available time slot at the Penitentiary Box Office. See the Schedule and Prices page for specific dates and times for Terror Behind the Walls.
Do you give group rates?
Yes! Discounted tickets are available for groups of 20 or more on specific nights. In order to receive the discounted ticket price, groups must make reservations in advance and prepay. Please see our Group Tour page for a list of group tour nights, group tour rates and instructions on booking a group tour.
Is it as good as last year?
No, it’s better! Each year, Terror Behind the Walls is a little bit bigger and a little bit better with new effects and updated and expanded attractions. Terror Behind the Walls was named the #1 haunted attraction in America by AOL City Guide in October, 2008. In recent years, Terror Behind the Walls has consistently been ranked as one of the top haunted attractions in the nation. Previous recognitions include: “6th Best Haunted House in the United States” by Hauntworld Magazine (2007), “The scariest haunted house in America!” by the Rachael Ray Daytime Talk Show (2007) and “One of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions” by The Travel Channel (2006).
Is this the 13 floor haunted house where you get your money back if you make it all the way through?
No, but if you find it, let us know! Although widely rumored to exist, there is no 13 floor haunted house in the United States where visitors receive all or a portion of their money back if they make it all the way through. You can find out more about the origins of this urban legend at snopes.com.
Will the monsters touch me?
No. Likewise, we ask that you do not touch the monsters.
Can I attend TBTW if I am pregnant or have other health risks?
Terror Behind the Walls is a high startle, high intensity event featuring strobe lights, fog, loud noises, and electrical effects that can affect pacemakers, other implanted medical devices and those prone to seizures. Visitors who are pregnant or who have certain health conditions should check with their physician before attending the event.
Is Terror Behind the Walls handicap accessible?
Many visitors in wheelchairs take the Terror Behind the Walls tour every year. That said, the Eastern State Penitentiary complex is not fully ADA compliant. The building is over 175 years old, and is a National Historic Landmark. Sections of it may never be fully accessible.
There is a small section of the Terror Behind the Walls route which goes up on the second floor of a cellblock. This section of the route can easily be bypassed. The rest of the the route is equipped with ADA compliant ramps and meets most ADA guidelines.
* No combination of discounts.
** Kids are ages 7 – 12. Kids under the age of seven (7) are not permitted on the site.