USA Pennsylvania Prison

Pennsylvania prison was built in 1907 and closed in 1979 due to relocation. The building was acquired with a plan to run it privately but although there were many ideas about what it could become, including a restaurant, apartment block, hotel and nightclub, none of these happened and the prison still remains derelict. B.F Willis designed it and to begin with there were many other buildings in the grounds including a hospital and a poorhouse. In the 1950s, conditions were terrible, including overcrowding, bad treatment of the inmates, unsanitary conditions and segregation of white and black Americans despite the official end of segregation. Cells became crammed and when beds weren’t available, tiny padded cells were used instead. There are even claims that inmates were fed dead animals found on the road outside. Inside, there is a gallows area where hangings would take place. Lives were lost inside the fortress and it is hard not to hear the whispers of ghosts that were once trapped inside the tiny cells. This jail had a very dark past and it was incredibly eerie walking around inside. We kept silent the entire time, which left much time for thoughts about what it would be like to be imprisoned there. Many dark things happened inside those four walls; hangings, suicides, murders and torture.

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