The Season of Falling

It is a picturesque autumn day here in Hempstead, New York. The leaves are vivid shades of orange and red, gently being picked off branches one by one and blowing in the light breeze. The sun is shining and the air wraps around me with a light warmth, almost making me forget that temperatures will soon be unbearably chilly.

It’s fall, and college students like myself like to compare this time of the year to falling grade point averages and diminishing motivation to get things done. It is days like today I flash back to summer and wish I were on a beach without a care in the world.

I have been pondering the incredible adventures I had this summer and how fortunate I am to have gained so many precious memories. From cruising along the Danube to driving to Boston for just a day, the trips on which I embarked during the summer were only a foreshadowing of the adventures awaiting me.

The main attraction this semester was my fall concert series, as I call it. I was fortunate enough to attend four concerts during the semester, and of course, I wrote about them.

Until I unveil my experiences, however, here is a summer throwback to my trip to Lake Wallkill with one my best friends. This is something I watch to help me get through this time in which everything is “falling.”

 

Philly’s Eastern State Penitentiary: Terror Behind the Walls

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Laurel and I made a friend

I went to prison this Halloween, and it was thrilling. When I got the chance to visit Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary, a historical landmark in Philadelphia, with my best friend, I was super excited to be jumping out of my skin in fear. I didn’t quite do that, but my heart was definitely racing throughout the six attractions offered within the cellblocks. 

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Feelings right before entry

In my experience, the worst part of haunted walk-throughs is the heart-pounding terror that runs through my body before I actually get inside. Just the thought of what lies behind the walls is enough to make me tremble with fear. Before my friend and I entered we were struck with a choice: to wear a glow necklace to notify actors that we can be touched and “tortured” throughout the attraction or to not wear the necklace and take the safer route. Although we started off with the necklaces, we ripped them off less than a minute of entering the prison.

We braved through a series of six sections of the jail, each portion a different theme, such as an infirmary, a “breakout” of inmates on the loose and a creepy, decaying forest. My favorite part was the infirmary, because by that point, I was more excited than scared. My sarcastic side revealed itself when the actors told me they wanted to take my teeth, and I replied with, “I need those, but I could use a whitening.”

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All smiles at the end

The final verdict? I think Terror Behind the Walls was really entertaining, and I would definitely recommend it to other thrill seekers. It had me screaming a stream of profanities, but I was not quivering with as much fear as I expected. I would love to visit Eastern State again, but for a regular prison tour at night. I would love to meet a ghost or two!