As Halloween approaches, the eerie side of the Philadelphia area casts it spell citywide and beyond via ghost tours, haunted houses and other terrifying experiences.
Several of the area’s haunted houses (like Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary and Pennhurst Asylum in Chester County) have earned national acclaim for Hollywood-quality special effects, animatronics, pyrotechnics and teams of horrifically talented professional actors.
From taking a ghost tour of a former warship to playing laser tag against zombies and other mysterious mutants, find a ton of fright to be had with our list of the scariest attractions in the Philadelphia area for 2018, arranged in chronological order.
September 21 – October 31, 2018 (select dates)
With professional performers and hair-raising animatronic effects and pyrotechnics, it’s no wonder that the Bates Motel has been called one of America’s scariest haunts by the Travel Channel. In addition to exploring the motel, the grounds’ other spooky attractions include the Haunted Hayride — with several new, terrifying scenes for 2018 — and the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail.
Where: 1835 Middletown Rd, Glen Mills
September 21 – November 4, 2018 (select dates)
Some say the dilapidated halls of the historic Pennhurst Asylum are genuinely haunted, making this high-tech haunted house even more frightening. Navigate through the asylum’s maximum-security wing, witness harrowing scenes at the new-for-2018 Morgue, meet asylum patients in a gauntlet underneath the Pennhurst complex and more.
Where: Pennhurst Asylum, 250 Commonwealth Drive, Spring City
September 21 – November 10, 2018 (select dates)
Celebrate the Halloween season by testing your nerves at Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, a spooky haunted house inside a history-rich, abandoned prison. Designed to be high-startle, Terror Behind the Walls includes Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, digital sound, animatronic creatures and custom props. More than 300 performers participate in six separate attractions on the 10-acre complex, creating one scary experience.
Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Fright Factory (@frightfactory) on Oct 10, 2015 at 7:06pm PDT
A post shared by Fright Factory (@frightfactory) on Oct 10, 2015 at 7:06pm PDT
September 28 – October 31, 2018 (select dates)
Housed inside an old factory building in South Philadelphia, Fright Factory summons screams galore. Visit a grim chapel, encounter escaped inmates and creepy clowns, and more at three attractions for 2018: Industrial Nightmare, South Side Sanatorium and Fright Factory Unholy.
Where: 2200 S. Swanson Street
September 28 – November 2, 2018 (select dates)
Climb aboard the Haunted Hayride and confront monsters and other terrors inhabiting the area, race your way through a maze full of zombies, partake in a pulse-pounding paintball excursion and navigate a haunted forest trail filled with deranged fairytale characters at The Valley of Fear, a horror-packed patch of woods in Bucks County.
Where: 301 W. Bristol Road, Feasterville-Trevose
September 29 – October 28, 2018 (select dates)
Four fearsome attractions make up HorrorFest at Shady Brook Farm. Prepare to take on the Barn of Horror, Carnage aze, Hayride of Horror and the Alien 3-D Encounter, all filled with plenty of fright.
Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Morrisville
Explore all 17 rooms of the House in the Hollow, said to be one of the most haunted houses within Bucks County. The experience takes visitors through events from the manor’s tragic past — when it housed orphans and impoverished folks — as well as through the family graveyard. Elsewhere, the Sleepy Hollow Hayride covers more than a mile of the surrounding woods and fields that lay entrenched in darkness. Afterward, trek through the corn stalks and come face-to-face with all sorts of horrors in the Field of Fright.
Where: 881 Highland Road, Newtown
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ashley Roberts-Talbot (@aurora_bora18) on Oct 17, 2014 at 9:29pm PDT
A post shared by Ashley Roberts-Talbot (@aurora_bora18) on Oct 17, 2014 at 9:29pm PDT
October 5-27, 2018 (Fridays & Saturdays)
Before Spring Mountain Ski Area transitions into a haven for winter sports, it first transforms into Scream Mountain. Hayrides, spooky walks and a trek that begins with a ghoulish glide up to the top of the mountain on a chair lift are all part of the thrill-seeking fun.
Where: Spring Mountain Adventure, 757 Spring Mount Road, Schwenksville
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lynn Przywara (@lmprzywara) on Apr 30, 2018 at 4:14am PDT
A post shared by Lynn Przywara (@lmprzywara) on Apr 30, 2018 at 4:14am PDT
October 6-31, 2018 (select dates)
Rumors persist that Fort Mifflin is one of the most haunted sites in America. Come out to one of a number of spooky events at the fort this October, including an evening for novice and experienced paranormal investigators (October 6, 2018); Candlelight Ghost Tours (October 12, 13, 19, 20 & 31, 2018); and the overnight Sleep with the Ghosts event (October 27, 2018), where pulling an all-nighter for heart-pounding paranormal exploration isn’t required, but is strongly encouraged.
Where: Fort Mifflin, 1 Fort Mifflin Road
As if a cemetery at night isn’t already creepy enough, Laurel Hill Cemetery ups the scare level with Soul Crawl: Haunted Halloween History Tours. Pack a flashlight and prepare for an evening of fascinating history regarding the cemetery’s “liveliest spirits.”
Where: Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue
Ongoing (select dates)
Uncover haunted spots throughout Philadelphia on a variety of ghost tours that are equal parts exhilarating and educational. Grim Philly Twilight Tours, Ghost Tour of Philadelphia and Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tour supply some of the spookiest tours around.
Where: Tours start at various locations including Signer's Garden, 5th and Chestnut streets
Area 2200, an attraction at Arnold’s Family Fun Center, takes the concept of laser combat to an adrenaline-filled level. Set in a former “toy factory,” eerie elements and obstacles lurk around every corner of the creepy industrial space. Think you have what it takes to make it out “alive?”
Where: Arnold's Family Fun Center, 740 Saginaw Road, Oxford
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through November 30, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, a $25 gift card to the must-visit Reading Terminal Market, free Philly-themed mini-golf at Franklin Square and a $10 Lyft credit.
The historic region is full of restless spirits and ghostly encounters