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Eastern State Penitentiary

Nation's most historic (and haunted) prison

CREDIT: M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

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Top Haunted Attractions in Philadelphia for 2015

The historic region is full of restless spirits and ghostly encounters

As one of the oldest cities in the country, Philadelphia’s historic landmarks and iconic attractions are a favorite destination for ghost hunters from around the world.

The cells have long been empty at Eastern State Penitentiary, but many believe the spirits of former inmates remain behind the looming walls of the historic prison. In the streets of Historic Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin is sometimes seen frolicking with his fellow Founding Fathers while the ghost famed author Edgar Allan Poe has been spotted ruminating in his former home.

Continue reading to discover more of the haunted locations and restless spirits that roam the region to this day.

Day-by-Day Guide To 50+ Halloween Events Over Two Halloween Weekends

Ready for spooktacular fun? In our Day-By-Day Guide to Halloween, we’ve broken out dozens of Halloween activities, tours and attractions by day over the last two weekends in October. Click the button below for more info.

day-by-day guide to halloween events

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Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth

Haunted history on the nation's oldest residential street

Take a walk down the nation’s oldest residential street and you could catch a ghostly glimpse of one of the some 3,000 people who have lived on along this eerie alley way. There are rumors that a soldier was hanged on Elfreth’s Alley and several visitors have even been able to nab what they consider to be photo evidence of paranormal activity.
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First National Bank

Lingering ghost of Alexander Hamilton

America’s first national bank was established by the first U.S. treasurer Alexander Hamilton in 1795. Hamilton died from wounds he got in a deadly fight and left his surviving wife and children with a stack of debt and a haunting spirit. Even several years later when the bank finally reopened, the new owner had to request a priest come bless the place. Even despite this blessing, the ghost of Hamilton still lingers.
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City Tavern

City Tavern

Colonial America is recreated at this authentic tavern in Old City

Serving up all of the culinary tradition of the colonials, City Tavern also regularly dishes out some frightening spirits of the bygone era they aim to keep hold of. So look out, you might end up getting served by the former waiter that’s supposedly always on the job.
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Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

Edgar Allan Poe House

Find the spirit of the famous author at his former home

American literature’s most beloved teller of dark and mysterious tales spent several years expounding on evil thoughts in the Edgar Allan Poe House in Philadelphia. While you can stop by this spot on one of the city’s ghost tours, come on your own so you can stay and conjure the spirit of Poe, which is said to still linger here.
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Grumblethorpe

Grumblethorpe

Gruesome stains remain in the historic home

Germantown Avenue has a haunted adventure waiting for you at the Grumblethorpe House, the former summer home of the Wister family. The house continues to be haunted by the bloody spirit of British General James Agnew who was fatally wounded and died in the house during the Battle of Germantown. If the legends don’t creep you out, the still-visible blood stain on the floor might do the trick.
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Moshulu

Moshulu

Lanterns still burn aboard the former sailing ship

One of the world’s biggest and oldest four-mast sailing ships still in the water, the Moshulu is said to be haunted by “The Lantern Ghost” by employees who often open the restaurant to find lanterns burning on the table even after being extinguished. 28 people died on board the Moshulu while it was still at sea and three in the more recent past — this might have something to do with the trick lanterns, murmurs and hysterical laughter the owner and staff have heard.
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Museum of Mourning Art

Hearse by Sayers & Scoville, on display at the Museum

Philadelphia museum devoted to mortality

Those with a fascination with death and mourning look no further than this morbid museum. The Museum of Mourning Art features a horse-drawn hearse, a 400-year-old guide to getting to heaven, and art and fashions decorated with emblems of death, angels, crossed bones and lambs. They even have a lock of George Washington’s hair along with an informative breakdown of the mourning of his death.
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The Powel House

Paranormal activities reported at the historic home

Legend says that a respected historian and his wife both claimed to have seen ghosts of the Continental Army including General Layayette and even the spirit of the lovely Peggy Shippen, the wife of Benedict Arnold, back in the 1960s. Ghost tours continue to investigate paranormal activity that’s still happening today.
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Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church

Ghostly carriages and ancient Native American chiefs

People have claimed they’ve seen a horse and carriage charging across the cemetery lawn — that’s one heck of a ghost-sighting. Not sure if we can promise that you’ll see that here or not, but we don’t think you’re likely to see it anywhere else. Also keep your eyes peeled for non-living Native American Chiefs roaming around. Oh, and there’s the colonial African American ghost, too. Check it out on your own or visit with the Spirits of ’76 tours.
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The Bishop White House

The Bishop White House

Yellow fever left a lingering mark on this Philadelphia home

This 3rd and Walnut Street building was the former residence of Bishop White, the chaplain to the Second Constitutional Convention and the U.S. Senate in the late 1700s. During the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793, Bishop lost one of five house residents and likely many more from within his ministry and charity clientele. See if you can feel the eerie, phantom sensations the rangers have gotten from walking through the place at dark.
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Library Hall

Frolic with the ghost of Ben Franklin

Many stories persist of the ghost of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin seen climbing down from his statue at Library Hall and dancing in the streets of Historic Philadelphia. In addition to jovial spirit sightings, some say he can be found wandering through the building with an armful of books.
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The Physick House

Weeping wife spotted at the home of the famous doctor

The former home of Dr. Phillip Syng Physick, the "Father of American Surgery" and the creator of first carbonated soft drink in the United States, is said to be haunted by the ghost of his estranged wife, Elizabeth. Rumors persist that her spirit can be found crying near the site of her favorite tree, which was cut down shortly before her death.
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Washington Square

Washington Square Park

Eternal patrol spotted at Philadelphia's former burial ground

Washington Square served as a burial ground for fallen soldiers and victims of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia during the 18th Century. The square is said to be patrolled by the spirit of a woman named Leah, who protected the site from grave robbers centuries ago. Today, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is lit by an eternal flame honor of the of soldiers of the American Revolutionary War buried beneath the square.
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