Another season of Terror behind the Walls has concluded at Eastern State Penitentiary. Soon the porta-potties, extra trash cans, entrance gates, and “ghost bus” stops will be removed from the perimeter of the prison. Sadie and Lily are both fascinated with the event as well as terrorized by it every year. During the evenings they can hear the music and people through the wall, especially when the crowds are heavy close to Halloween. In the morning, if they are lucky, someone will have dropped a morsel of food on the sidewalk.
During the Terror behind the wall season, Sadie becomes a Warrior Poodle at night. She runs out ahead of Lily to check out whether or not the line to get in the event is long. She watches people walking to see whether or not they are joining the line. She investigates everyone who gathers in group, either up close and personal or from a distance, to see if they are going to get in a car, enter a restaurant, or visit a neighbor. She is especially suspicious of the event workers who dress up in costumes and rush at the people waiting in line. She barks at them under her breath and always looks for Lily to see if she is afraid or relaxed.
Sadie’s warrior heart is hard humorous because she takes her protective duties towards the family very seriously despite her slight size.
MM & RY 2011
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Posted in dog stories, fairmount neighborhood, humor, life, philadelphia, tagged eastern state penitentiary, german sheppard, halloween, holiday season, humor, labradoodle, life, nutcracker, philadelphia, terror behind the walls on October 28, 2008|
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Eastern State Penitentary is an historic landmark central to the Fairmount neighborhood landscape. It occupies a somewhat brutal part of Philadelphia’s past. It’s incredible history can be reviewed here. Beginning in late September, one of the country’s top most visited haunted house events is located inside the stone walls of the nearly 200 year old structure. There is some goofy ghoulish music that can be heard throughout the surrounding blocks. The line to enter wraps around the whole prison block on weekends. You can hear people screaming when startled by scheduled hauntings.
Sadie and Lily do not really enjoy the month and a half of Terror Behind the Walls. Sadie shares her own version of terror with the visitors who walk back to their cars at the end of the evening. She stops at their feet, sniffs them, and then barks loudly at them for quite a while. Lily becomes startled when abrupt sounds come from behind the walls. And, as we have noted before, she hates motorcycles. If any of the TBTW visitors ride them, Lily reacts by lurching away and tucking her tail.
There are two bright spots to the situation. First, the exterior walls of the prison are well lit during this time period. Second – and most importantly – extra trash cans are placed around the entire perimeter of ESP.
Our late night walks often involve a run across the back end of the prison with Lily’s best pal Toby. Toby is a white, fluffy, one-year old Labradoodle puppy. He is just a whole lot of fun. He has a glow in the dark ball that Lily likes to steal. Meanwhile, Sadie digs in the dirt when no one is looking. Toby body slams Lily. Sometimes Daisy, the white German Shepherd six month old puppy, joins the fun. One time she was a little overwhelmed by Lily, Toby and Sadie so she started to run home. All the dogs followed her and we followed them. Eventually Daisy stopped her trot and everyone returned to the yard – a little winded for the effort.
Terror Behind the Walls ends in a few days, ushering in Nutcracker Season. The Fairmount Dogs truly love ballet. Sadie likes the costumes. Lily likes the lifts. Soon they will get plenty of both, but not before their peace is shattered by trick or treat visitors this weekend! Sadie will surely greet each and every door buzz with a loud, sharp bark and jump on the door to look out of the window. Lily will wiggle, wag and curb her strong desire to hop on the tiny guests.
MM & RY 2008
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