Eerie pictures show decay and bones at prison where Al Capone was jailed

Inside one of America’s most haunted locations: Eerie pictures show decay and bones at prison where Al Capone was jailed for eight months in a cell dubbed Park Avenue

  • Infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia, is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings
  • Built in 1829, it was the first jail in the US to implement solitary confinement for every single inmate
  • It housed infamous criminals like bank robber Willie Sutton and even Al Capone who headed a criminal syndicate illegally supplying alcohol during the prohibition in the early-1900s

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Eerie pictures reveal the inside of one of America’s most haunted prisons where the notorious gangster Al Capone was jailed for eight months in a cell dubbed Park Avenue.

The crumbling stone walls, dark corridors and claustrophobia-inducing cells that once housed thousands of dangerous criminals are lade bare in a series of photographs taken by an urban explorer. 

The infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia, which closed its doors in 1971, is considered by many people as one of the most haunted buildings in America.

Built in 1829, it was the first jail to implement solitary confinement for every single inmate which was thought to have brought on mental illness. 

Even outside the tiny cells, guards would cover their heads with a hood so they remained in confinement even when they wandered through its stone halls.

The Philadelphia prison’s 142-year history is steeped in controversy and cruelty and those who believe in ghost stories say the troubled souls of inmates still roam the abandoned halls.

The explorer captured the prison’s eeriness in photos of its decaying walls, abandoned and broken furniture and cramped cells where the bones of dead animals remain.

The crumbling stone walls, dark corridors and claustrophobia-inducing cells that once housed thousands of dangerous criminals are lade bare in a series of photographs taken by an urban explorer

The crumbling stone walls, dark corridors and claustrophobia-inducing cells that once housed thousands of dangerous criminals are lade bare in a series of photographs taken by an urban explorer

Eerie pictures reveal the inside of one of America's most haunted prisons where the notorious gangster Al Capone was jailed for eight months in a cell dubbed Park Avenue

Eerie pictures reveal the inside of one of America’s most haunted prisons where the notorious gangster Al Capone was jailed for eight months in a cell dubbed Park Avenue

The infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia, which closed its doors in 1971, is considered by many people as one of the most haunted buildings in America. Pictured: Inside one of the cells

The infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia, which closed its doors in 1971, is considered by many people as one of the most haunted buildings in America. Pictured: Inside one of the cells

Built in 1829, it was the first jail to implement solitary confinement for every single inmate which was thought to have brought on mental illness

Built in 1829, it was the first jail to implement solitary confinement for every single inmate which was thought to have brought on mental illness

The explorer captured the prison's eeriness in photos of its decaying walls, abandoned and broken furniture and cramped cells where the bones of dead animals remain

The explorer captured the prison’s eeriness in photos of its decaying walls, abandoned and broken furniture and cramped cells where the bones of dead animals remain

The crumbling walls and the destroyed furniture is seen inside one of the prison cells

The crumbling walls and the destroyed furniture is seen inside one of the prison cells 

The prison guards would tie inmates so tightly in a device called 'the mad chair' that it would cut off circulation and necessitate amputations

The prison guards would tie inmates so tightly in a device called ‘the mad chair’ that it would cut off circulation and necessitate amputations

The former possessions of feared mobster Al Capone go up for auction in  Sacramento on Oct. 8

The former possessions of feared mobster Al Capone go up for auction in  Sacramento on Oct. 8

‘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,’ said the explorer, who did not want to be named.

‘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.  

The inmates were severely mistreated by the prison guards who found a number of sick ways to punish those who misbehaved.

Prison guards would use a torture method called the ‘water bath’ where they would dunk the prisoner in water then hang them to dry in the cold outside until ice formed on the skin.

They would also tie inmates so tightly in a device called ‘the mad chair’ that it would cut off circulation and necessitate amputations.

And the worst offenders would be put in ‘the hole’, a pitch-black underground cell where they had no light, no human contact and little air.

‘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.’

The solitary confinement system was eventually discarded when the prison became overcrowded but Eastern State is widely thought to have induced mental illness in many of its inhabitants.

The inmates were severely mistreated by the prison guards who found a number of sick ways to punish those who misbehaved

The inmates were severely mistreated by the prison guards who found a number of sick ways to punish those who misbehaved

The explorer captured the prison's eeriness in photos of its decaying walls, abandoned and broken furniture and cramped cells where the bones of dead animals remain

The explorer captured the prison’s eeriness in photos of its decaying walls, abandoned and broken furniture and cramped cells where the bones of dead animals remain

Since its 1971 closure, the penitentiary has since been turned into a National Historic Landmark, offering both day and nighttime tours. Pictured: The remains of a rusty bed inside a prison cell

Since its 1971 closure, the penitentiary has since been turned into a National Historic Landmark, offering both day and nighttime tours. Pictured: The remains of a rusty bed inside a prison cell 

It housed infamous criminals like bank robber Willie Sutton and even Al Capone who headed a criminal syndicate illegally supplying alcohol during the prohibition in the early-1900s.

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.’

Abandoned and decaying furniture was left inside the Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia

Abandoned and decaying furniture was left inside the Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia

The remains of some prison clothing was pictured by the explorer during the eerie visit to the prison

The remains of some prison clothing was pictured by the explorer during the eerie visit to the prison 

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

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

Capone was one of the most feared figures in organized crime during the Prohibition Era, when the sale or production of alcohol was banned in the United States.

He is widely believed to be behind the bloody St. Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929 that left seven rival gang members dead.  

Born in 1899 to Italian immigrants, the Brooklyn-born Capone became influenced by a life of crime by friend Johnny Torrio.

He earned the nickname ‘Scarface’ in 1917 after getting into an altercation with a man at a bar that left three scars on his face.

He married wife Mae Coughlin in 1918 and his son Sonny was born on December 4 of that year.  

This is the last photo taken of Al Capone with his wife Mae and grandchildren Diane, Barbara and Ronnie

This is the last photo taken of Al Capone with his wife Mae and grandchildren Diane, Barbara and Ronnie

Capone was considered one of the most notorious gangsters of the Prohibition era and was the mob boss of the Chicago Outfit. This photo of Capone and his associates in Hot Springs, Arkansas, will begin at $1,250

Capone was considered one of the most notorious gangsters of the Prohibition era and was the mob boss of the Chicago Outfit. This photo of Capone and his associates in Hot Springs, Arkansas, will begin at $1,250

He was the boss of the Chicago Outfit, a 1920s gang that beat out rivals in bootlegging and racketeering with increasingly brutal methods.

These culminated in the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre, when seven members of a rival gang were executed, resulting in Capone being dubbed ‘Public Enemy Number One’.

He was indicted in 1931 on 22 counts of tax evasion and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. 

He ultimately ended up in Alcatraz, a San Francisco island fortress prison in 1934. 

He died on January 25, 1947 at the age of 48 after developing dementia as a result of a syphillis contraction. 

He has been immortalized in film and television on numerous occasions, mostly notably by Robert De Niro in The Untouchables and Stephen Graham in Boardwalk Empire.

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