I am really proud of my coverage of TERROR BEHIND THE WALLS at Eastern State Penn for WPHL. I am considerably LESS proud how actually freaking scared I was in that place! I jumped, literally, at every turn on my behind the scenes tour. Literally. Every. Turn. I thought I was going to drop my camera.
This was not my first time at E.S.P. as the cool kids call it– I was there about a decade ago with my sister, her husband (then fiance) and my girlfriend. This may have been in the days it was 3D or I may be mixing it up with other things. Anyway, we parked the car, walked up the ominous facade of the building along Fairmount Ave and went inside. After you pay, but before the ACTUAL hardcore part of the attraction starts, there was an open courtyard. I made some eye contact with some boy or ghoul working that section of the Penn. As I held that gaze I went into a hypnotic like lull waiting for it to do something. Just then, some OTHER boy or ghoul jumped out from the other side and scared the crap out of me. Instinctively, I grabbed my sister and gf, hurled them towards the menacing figure and ran all the way back to the car like I was on fire. Not a shining moment in dating history…
Flash forward 10 years, a former intern of mine working E.S.P told me how awesome and intricate the behind the scenes of Behind the Walls is. I thought this would make an excellent feature photo gallery and I made the arrangements to get access that E.S.P. doesn’t give out that often. Clearly I assumed my time of being afraid of E.S.P was a thing of the past. Cleary– I was wrong! Even with an escort of three plain clothed PR people that were really nice people, I STILL jumped. They found it quite funny. They wanted me to tour 6 areas of the attraction– I toured one, as one was enough! (And of course light was fading–as I told the E.S.P press team and they gigglingly pretended to believe me!) It’s scary. That’s all there is to it.
In my defense, I am a believer in spirits, specters and ghosts. Or at least I am not a NOT believer!? OK, maybe I am just a wuss. And, the experience I got was much closer to the VIP experience that the attraction sells as I was sort of on my own a lot. I couldn’t just get in that haunted house conga line the rest of you do and fake your way through it!
In spite of all that, I LOVE the way the photos came out. E.S.P. has great light and the greys of the buildings always lead to great exposures. Here are some of my faves, followed by the bigger gallery I used for WPHL.
Here is the gallery as it appeared on PHL17.
Terror Behind the Walls Postscript
A few days after my visit, the good people at TBTW at ESP had a little fun with me on their Facebook page. My friends and family had a lot of fun seeing this. I promised them I am coming back to take more photos… this time I am coming in a chopper…