‘Sophisticatedly Creepy’ Fundraiser Masks Eastern State Penitentiary

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We’re a few weeks away from Memorial Day, but it felt more like Halloween over the weekend at Eastern State Penitentiary.

The prison opened its doors for a special fundraiser Friday and Saturday night.

Party at the Pen: The Masquerade wasn’t designed to be as startling as their most known attraction, Terror Behind The Walls, but still freaky says Eastern State’s Amy Hollaman:

“At the masquerade you won’t scream, but you might get creeped out and you might see something you never thought you’d ever see.”

Like glow in the dark dancers, a DJ using an old-fashioned talking machine and even Freddy Krueger to name a few.

Freddy Krueger

On Friday the 13th weekend it was Freddy, not Jason, appearing at Eastern State Penitentiary. (Credit: Andrew Kramer)

Hundreds of guests showed up both nights in tuxedos, suits, gowns, and…

“Everyone is wearing a mask,” says Hollaman, “and that’s what makes it really cool. All different types of masks, lots of color.”

Alec Pezzano of Delran, New Jersey had the right idea:

“I’m wearing a blazer and some witchy medallions and a little crows mask with some leather on it, so we’re going all out.”

He says the masks and the outfits were “incredible looking.”

But this event wasn’t just about dressing to impress says Hollaman:

“People come to dance, they come to drink, they come to explore the building. We have characters inside. We have a special host, he’s a stilt walker.”

stilts

There were some very tall entertainers at Party At The Pen. (Credit: Andrew Kramer)

And adding another twist to this already unusual event…the party actually moves within the prison.

“Gates open to cell blocks and doors close,” explains Hollaman, “so you might enter the party and go in one direction and find out you can not go back the way that you came from.”

Money raised benefits preservation of Eastern State Penitentiary.

For fans of Terror Behind The Walls, Hollaman says there were a few hints dropped about what’s to come this October.

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