(Source: Atlas Obscura | Curious Expeditions via Flickr)
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20. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA
Smack in the middle of urban Philadelphia, the massive castle known as the Eastern State Penitentiary may appear to be an impenetrable fortress, but the truth is that it wasn't built to keep anything out: It was built to keep the inmates trapped inside.

Known as the world's first "penitentiary," the prison opened in 1829. Highlights of a stay there included inhumane treatment like never being allowed to interact with other prisoners –– and we mean at all whatsoever. Each inmate was forced to eat, exercise, and read the Bible in utter and complete solitude. If they were ever allowed to leave their cells, hoods were placed over their heads.

The system was thought to inspire penitence, but actually sparked insanity –– and understandably so. Is it no small wonder, then, that the spirits of these lonely prisoners still wander the doomed halls even to this day. 

Image via Atlas Obscura | Flickr.
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