From 1829 until 1971 Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia was an operating prison. When it first opened it soon became a model for hundreds of prisons around the world. It was designated in the 1960’s as a historic landmark.

Tours have been given of this famous prison for a long time but it is probably more famous today for its playing host to the Halloween attraction known as Terror Behind The Walls. I heard about it being one of the best walk-through haunted attractions in America for years before finally going. I’d heard stories of grown men being so terrified they’d find themselves on the floor begging to be let out. So when we lined up at those starting gates my heart was already in my throat.

Turns out it’s good but didn’t shock or scare me nearly to the degree of all the hype. But they’re very good at surprising you, sneaking up on you, and the year I went they even had what you thought was a solid black wall suddenly made of taut fabric that a body came pushing through to grab you.

All that fun is done this year. It’s been announced that because of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic Terror Behind The Walls won’t be happening at all this year. In fact NBCPhiladelphia reports 40% of its staff has been laid off. CEO Sally Elk says it was a last resort and the decision came after months of financial troubles.

Makes me wonder if all haunted attractions will be canceled this Halloween season or maybe only the indoor ones? Time will tell. Hopefully this will all be behind us soon and next year they will reopen. It would be nice to have a fun fake scare after all the harsh real scares.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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