It looks more like a fortress than a prison with its massive, impenetrable stone face, gothic architecture, corner buttresses and huge square, castle-like entranceway. Built in 1829, the foreboding ruins of the Eastern State Penitentiary are a perfect site for a haunted attraction. Just touring the sinister prison grounds at night would be daunting enough, even without bringing in living ghouls, horrific sets and movie quality special effects.Run by the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. this U.S. national historic landmark operates as a museum and is open for tours seven days a week year round. Having housed notorious gangsters Willie Sutton and Al Capone, it also is purportedly home to a number of mysterious ghosts and paranormal phenomena, reportedly observed by inmates and officers in the early 1940’s.In fact, paranormal-oriented television shows Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and MTV’s Fear have all filmed segments about the facility. On June 1, 2007 Most Haunted Lived! aired seven hours of live footage from inside the prison, hoping to come in contact with supernatural beings. Atlantic Paranormal Society has even released footage of something they claim to be a ghost.Terror Behind the Walls began as a Halloween fundraiser, held on Halloween weekend of 1991. It was so successful that it continued and expanded over the years, until it became the major attraction it is today, rated number 25 in’s list of scariest attractions for 2012. Now the museum’s largest source of revenue, proceeds from Terror Behind the Walls are used for preservation of the historic landmark.Inside the walls of the hub-and-spoke prison house construction, the cell blocks are home to six semi-permanent thematic horror houses, with the names Lockdown, Infirmary, The Experiment (in 3D), The Gauntlet, Breakout and Night Watch. Each incorporates the inherent eerie atmosphere of the eroding prison cells to achieve a truly frightening, nightmarish experience you won’t soon forget.For the ultimate immersion package, the After Dark VIP Tour combines the historic ambiance of the prison with the delicious chills of Terror Behind the Walls. Start with an hour-long guided flashlight walking tour of the prison, including the cell blocks, death row, Al Capone’s deluxe cell and the underground isolation cells under Cellblock 14, also known as “the hole.” Then move to the front of the line for Terror Behind the Walls and take home a souvenir photo and Terror Behind the Walls LED flashlight (included in admission).For those who really want to make an evening of it, a number of local restaurants offer “Fright and a Bite” dinner packages, whereupon your Terror Behind the Walls “quick pass” tickets arrive with dessert, allowing you to cut to the front of the line. These deals are individually offered and arranged by the restaurants; no additional service fees are charged by the park. Check with Jack’s Firehouse, London Grill, McCrossen’s Tavern, Mug Shots, Rembrandt’s and Trio BYOB for details.