From terrifying haunted houses to creepy ghost tours to family-fun fall fests, there are tons of excellent ways to celebrate Halloween in Philadelphia.
For those who dare, there’s a number of top-ranked haunted attractions in the Philadelphia region to explore. Guests rave about the Hollywood-quality special effects and the seriously scary professional actors that roam around attractions like Terror Behind the Walls, Pennhurst Asylum and The Bates Motel.
Beyond the haunted houses and hayrides, there’s still more spirited events and festive parties happening throughout October at institutions like the Mütter Museum, the Penn Museum, Shady Brook Farm and The Woodlands.
Read on for our top picks for Halloween events and activities in Philadelphia in 2018.
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 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: The Bates Motel, 1835 Middletown Road, 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)
At Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, one of the country’s top-ranked Halloween attractions, guests can walk through six haunted attractions with different themes — including the Infirmary, a new-for-2018 nightmarish hospital — all set within the halls of the abandoned prison. Beware of the creepy zombies, deranged nurses and spooky ghouls lurking around every corner.
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 and encounter escaped inmates and creepy clowns at three attractions in 2018: Industrial Nightmare, South Side Sanatorium and Fright Factory Unholy.
Where: 2200 S. Swanson Street
Dates vary by event
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 Toursupply some of the spookiest tours around. Fort Mifflin hosts candlelight ghost tours on its property on select evenings throughout October as well. And for fright-loving foodies, the Chew Philly Haunted Food Tour hits the spot.
Where: Various locations including Independence Square, 111 S. Independence Mall West
Looking for more scares? For spooky haunted houses, horror-filled hayrides and more of the top frightful attractions in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, see our guide here.
Where: Various locations including Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley
Screenings of popular Halloween movies take place throughout October at venues all around Philly. The Piazza’s Halloween movie nights feature House on Haunted Hill (October 11), The Final Girls (October 18), Hereditary (October 25), Hocus Pocus (October 27), Ghostbusters (October 28), Night of the Living Dead (October 29), It (October 30) and Halloween (October 31). The Landmark’s Ritz Five Movie Theater presents Young Frankenstein (October 16), while The Woodlands hosts a fun-filled night dedicated to the cult classic T.V. show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” with screenings of three Halloween-related episodes following a Buffy costume contest (October 12). Over at the always-creepy Mütter Museum, guests can take in a Swedish horror documentary from 1922 called Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (October 31).
Where: Various locations including The Piazza, 1001 N. 2nd Street
The Woodlands in West Philly shows its Halloween spirit with a handful of spooky events, including an event devoted to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fandom in the cemetery (October 12), a historical tour that unearths Hamilton Mansion’s former role as a funeral home (October 17), and the annual Halloween Family Fun Day (October 21).
Where: The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Avenue
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A post shared by Linvilla Orchards (@linvillaorchards) on Aug 25, 2018 at 7:13am PDT
September 8 – November 6, 2018
More than 100 tons of pumpkins in all shapes, sizes and hues make up just one part of this annual months-long celebration of all things fall at this popular attraction in Media. Harvest hayrides, a corn maze, apple picking, live music, a jack-o’-lantern exhibit and fall treats — like apple cider donuts and caramel apples — round out the autumn fun.
Where: Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media
September 15 – October 31, 2018 (select dates)
Shady Brook Farm’s FallFest ramps up in October with its popular PumpkinFest (October 8-31). Activities include wagon rides to the apple orchard and a pumpkin patch for pick-your-own adventures; pig races; a corn maze; and local craft beer and wine from Rose Bank Winery. Visitors can even stay late on select evenings (between October 11-28) for moonlit pumpkin picking and corn-maze wandering at PumpkinFest After Dark or test their nerves at HorrorFest (select evenings between October 5-28).
Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley
September 29 – October 28, 2018 (weekends only)
Every Saturday and Sunday through October 28, Chaddsford Winery invites adults to do some trick-or-treating of their own around its grounds, where five Halloween-themed stations are set up with seasonal pairings like pumpkin cheesecake with warm spiced apple wine; rosemary sea salt popcorn and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews with Chaddsford White; and mozzarella, genoa and grilled-grape kabobs with pinot grigio.
Where: Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford
After a successful first event last year, The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience returns to West Fairmount Park with more than 5,000 hand-carved pumpkins that illuminate a trail throughout the public space. Visitors will find everything from iconic Philly attractions to Disney princesses carved on the pumpkins. Also keep an eye out for huge displays completely made up of illuminated pumpkins.
Where: West Fairmount Park, 5201 Parkside Avenue
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A post shared by ABPPNPS (@abppnps) on Oct 24, 2016 at 11:38am 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 the popular Candlelight Ghost Tours (October 12, 13, 19, 20 & 31) and an after-hours event, where guests can get their fortunes read by an occultist, go on a paranormal investigation around the grounds and more (October 26).
Where: Fort Mifflin, 1 Fort Mifflin Road
The Friends of the Wissahickon neighborhood association throws this fall celebration for all ages to enjoy at the Wissahickon Environmental Center within Wissahickon Valley Park. Tickets include dinner, drinks (beer from Love City Brewing Company and wine) and access to the many fun fall activities like hayrides and face painting. Live music rounds out the event’s entertainment.
Where: Wissahickon Environmental Center, 300 W. Northwestern Avenue
October 13-28, 2018 (select dates)
As if a cemetery at night isn’t already creepy enough, Laurel Hill Cemetery ups the scare level with Halloween events throughout October, like True Tales from the Tombs (October 12) and Soul Crawl: Haunted Halloween History Tours (October 19-20). For a less-freaky and more family-fun event, the cemetery’s Halloween picnic and parade offers fall festivities for all ages (October 28).
Where: Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue
Philadelphia’s charming Chestnut Hill neighborhood transforms into a magical world of spells and spooky thrills for all ages during the Witches and Wizards festival. Formerly the Harry Potter Festival, the whimsical event attracts thousands eager to take part in spellbinding activities. Highlights include the Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament, the Brews & Broomsticks Pub Crawl and the Woodmere Art Museum Straw Maze.
Where: Various locations including Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 8400 Germantown Avenue
Guests can wander through a pumpkin patch, play festive games and win prizes for standout costumes at Penn Treaty Park’s 8th Annual Halloween Hoedown. The event and its activities are completely free.
Where: Penn Treaty Park, 1301 N. Beach Street
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A post shared by Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion (@emaxwellmansion) on Feb 23, 2018 at 4:34pm PST
October 20-28, 2018 (weekends only)
Guests wander from room to room, listening to “suspects” tell their stories with hopes of cracking the case during this murder mystery event at Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Germantown. Performances run every 20 minutes during the last two weekends in October.
Where: Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 W. Tulpehocken Street
The Museum of the American Revolution hosts a special Halloween-themed History After Hours event that explores costumes, spy tactics and trickery during the Revolutionary War. Also on tap: a cider tasting and a discussion with special guest Jay Duckworth. Duckworth, who is the props designer for The Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park NYC, speaks about the challenges he and his team experienced while working on the set for Hamilton: An American Musical when it premiered at The Public Theater in 2015.
Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
The Philadelphia Museum of Art throws a Halloween-themed Final Friday eventto send off October, complete with a zombie apocalypse preparedness consultation, an immersive ghost story tour and a live DJ set from Brooklyn synth-pop duo Holy Ghost! (very apropos!) in the Great Stair Hall.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Back for another year, the Mütter Museum’s annual Halloween beer garden and party adds a costume contest in the mix. Museum memberships, $50 Mütter store gift cards and tickets to Clüb 13 — the museum’s VIP dinner-and-entertainment experience based on a real 19th-century supper club! — are just some of the prizes up for grabs for guests who dress to impress. Every ticket includes two complimentary alcoholic drinks and unlimited snacks, plus full access to the museum.
Where: Mutter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street
The spotlight is on yokai — Japanese mythological creatures, monsters and ghosts — at this family weekend event at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, which celebrates its 60th anniversary throughout October. In addition to listening to ghost stories by candlelight, guests can take part in carnival games, crafts and a scavenger hunt around the property. All Yokai Family Weekend activities are free with regular admission.
Where: Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Lansdowne Drive & Horticultural Drive
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A post shared by Independence Seaport Museum (@phillyseaport) on Oct 1, 2018 at 1:24pm PDT
The Independence Seaport Museum celebrates Halloween with a day full of fun for the whole family. Activities include trick-or-treating on the Cruiser Olympia, pumpkin scrimshaw decorating and ghost stories told on Schooner Diligence. A Phantoms of the River! haunted river cruise also departs from the museum’s dock on select days in October, including the day of the event.
Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard
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A post shared by Penn Museum (@pennmuseum) on Oct 28, 2016 at 1:44pm PDT
The Penn Museum fetes Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday honoring the souls of the loved ones who have passed, with family activities during the day and a festival in the evening on Saturday, October 27. A traditional ofrenda (altar) is created for the celebration, which also features music, dancing, art and a cash bar in the evening.
Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
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A post shared by Woodmere Art Museum (@woodmereart) on Sep 6, 2018 at 2:56pm PDT
September 8 – October 28 (select dates)
In Chestnut Hill, the new-for-2018 Witches & Wizards takes over the charming town for spellbinding events on both Friday, October 19 (bar crawl!) and Saturday, October 20 (street fest!). Also on Saturday, October 20, Woodmere Art Museum gets into the Halloween spirit with a family festival, featuring art activities and mesmerizing circus performances from The Little Circus. The museum’s fantastic straw maze, open on Saturdays and Sundays through October 28, is another seasonal must-do.
Where: Various locations including Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue
September 22 – October 28, 2018 (select dates)
Kids and families can dress up and come to celebrate Halloween with Big Bird, Elmo and more of the “Sesame Street” gang at Sesame Place for The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular. Occurring on select days throughout the Halloween season, this not-too-spooky event features three Halloween-themed shows, three Count von Count-themed mechanical rides and special Halloween editions of everyone’s favorite Neighborhood Street Party Parade.
Where: Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne
September 29 – October 28, 2018 (select dates)
Brick-or-Treat weekends at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center are packed with creative and collaborative Halloween activities. Visitors can play pin the nose on the witch, build an original LEGO pumpkin and add it to the center’s pumpkin patch, participate in Halloween-themed build activities and collect treats in the “brick-or-treat” scavenger hunt around the center.
Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 500 West Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting
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A post shared by Moshulu (@moshuluphilly) on Oct 8, 2018 at 12:31pm PDT
October 5-28, 2018 (select dates)
The iconic Moshulu, a restaurant on the world’s oldest and largest four-masted tall ship, transforms into an exciting Halloween attraction that caters to young children on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings in October. A costumed guide leads guests around the decorated ship for deck tours — with pirates, princesses and superheroes! — that conclude at a pumpkin patch, where they can color pumpkins and dine at a buffet. To remember all the fun, attendees get photos taken with the city’s skyline and Benjamin Franklin Bridge in the background.
Where: Moshulu, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
For the Halloween season, Franklin Square invites the whole family — especially kiddos 10 and under — to participate in a handful of fun activities. Children can pick out and paint a pumpkin at a pop-up pumpkin patch (Saturday, October 20), decorate a trick-or-treat bag and go on a scavenger hunt for candy around the park (Saturday, October 27) and play spooky mini-golf (Friday-Sunday through Sunday, October 28).
Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
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A post shared by Philadelphia Zoo (@philadelphiazoo) on Oct 10, 2018 at 4:10am PDT
October 13-28 (weekends only)
Admission for kids at the Philadelphia Zoo is just $10 for Boo at the Zoo, the attraction’s Halloween extravaganza taking place for three weekends in October. Kids can embark on a trick-or-treat safari all around the zoo, learn more about extinct species, explore a hay-bale maze and more.
Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue
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A post shared by Elmwood Park Zoo (@elmwoodparkzoo) on Oct 13, 2018 at 7:01am PDT
October 13-28, 2018 (weekends only)
The Elmwood Park Zoo invites kids to break in their Halloween costumes ahead of the holiday at Boo at the Zoo. Visitors can roam around and collect treats at candy stations set up throughout the zoo and even enter a costume contest.
Where: Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown
The Halloween Spooktacular at Peddler’s Village promises store-to-store trick-or-treating at the Village shops, a guided kid-friendly “ghost” walk, make-and-take Halloween creature craft activities, a “Thriller”-inspired performance from the Fitzpatrick School of Irish Dance and free snacks (!) on the Main Green throughout the evening.
Where: Peddler's Village, 2400 Street Road, New Hope
Headhouse Square’s fall festival is a day of shopping, live music, seasonal bites and brews, a straw-bale maze, circus performances, horse and wagon hayrides, and face painting. Children 12 and under can also trick or treat along South Street.
Where: 2nd and Lombard streets
Manayunk’s day-long Halloween celebration kicks off with a costume parade for kids and pets in Pretzel Park and continues through the morning and afternoon with storefront trick-or-treating along Main Street, a complimentary photo session for families with costumed kiddos at Pineapple on Main and a party for pups at Pet Friendly Dog Bakery. The Main Street businesses handing out candy during trick-or-treat hours (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) are marked with a pumpkin doorknob hanger.
Where: Main Street, Manayunk
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A post shared by Stenton Museum (@stentonmuseum) on Nov 9, 2017 at 11:51am PST
The Halloween Harvest Festival at Stenton is loaded with activities for families to enjoy. Visitors can spend the afternoon painting pumpkins, playing games, petting animals at the petting zoo, touring a spooky cellar and more. Light refreshments include samples from local hard cider makers Young American Cider.
Where: Stenton, 4601 N. 18th Street
The Franklin Institute gets super-eerie for the kid-friendly Franklin Fright. Programming includes spooky live science demos, tours through the haunted Giant Heart exhibit, glow-in-the-dark blacklight karaoke and a costume parade.
Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Activities like pumpkin decorating, costume contests for kids and dogs, and trick-or-treating at local businesses make this neighborhood fall fest fun for the whole family. Guests can also find live music, arts-and-craft vendors, and fall food and drink as they stroll the festival footprint along East Passyunk Avenue.
Where: East Passyunk Avenue
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for a fall or winter getaway and get overnight accommodations as well as FREE hotel parking and awesome seasonal perks worth up to $198.
The historic region is full of restless spirits and ghostly encounters