Inside America’s most ‘haunted’ jail where inmates like Al Capone were tortured

An urban explorer visited the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia, PA, a lockhouse that was home to some of the US' most violent and depraved convicts – including Al Capone.

In the 142 years the solemn brick monolith operated, it saw countless instances of torture, isolation, disease, murder and madness.

Indeed so fierce is the crumbling prison's reputation that it is often viewed as haunted with spooky tales routinely told about the jail.

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The mysterious explorer, who requested not to be named, spent hours in the dank prison snapping the decaying walls, abandoned and broken furniture and cramped cells.

They even claim to have sat inside one of the cells, which is a strange flex.

They revealed: "I spent about three hours inside Eastern State exploring cell to cell and photographing everything from the crumbling walls to broken stools and beds and peeling paint.

“I even sat inside a cell for a good while imagining what prisoners would have felt.

“Parts of Eastern State are incredibly uncomfortable, yet the history is all over the walls and floors, even the steel beds tell a story none of us can really imagine, each cell is different in ‘character’ and each cell feels different.”

Among the former alumni of the jail were Chicago mob boss Al Capone and "Slick Willie" Sutton, one of the most famous bank robbers in American history.

Whilst inside, prisoners would face horrific punishments such as a water bath – where they were dunked and then hung on a wall until ice formed on their skin.

They were also subjected to the mad chair, where they were bound so tightly their circulation was cut off.

When it opened in 1829 it was one of the most expensive constructions in the country.

“Inmates back then would sit in their cell for 23 hours a day," the explorer said.

"After sitting inside a few cells taking photographs, it feels each decaying wall is closing in on you.”

Since its 1971 closure, the penitentiary has since been turned into a National Historic Landmark, offering both day and nighttime tours.

“From the entrance to cells to even the exit, the decay and ruined structure of Eastern State makes it possible to experience urban exploration safely while taking in history at its finest,” the explorer said.

“It’s a shame not many places decay naturally and are open to the public such as this.

“While I have explored abandoned buildings for many years nothing will come close to photographing Eastern State Penitentiary.

"It really is a photographer’s dream inside here."

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