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24 Oct 2019

Guide to Experiencing Halloween in Philadelphia in 2019

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October 24, 2019 Category: Travel Posted by:

Visit Philadelphia

Beware! Some of the country’s best spooky events and biggest fright factories are here…

Philadelphia embraces the spooky spirit each fall with haunted houses, creepy ghost tours and fun fall fests in celebration of Halloween.

For those who dare, some of the top-ranked haunted attractions in the country are in the Philadelphia region. Guests rave about the Hollywood-quality special effects and the seriously scary professional actors that roam around attractions like Terror Behind the Walls, Pennhurst Asylumand The Bates Motel.

Beyond the haunted houses and hayrides, there’s still more spirited events at institutions like the Mütter Museum and the Penn Museum, as well as festive bar crawls in East Passyunk, University City and Chestnut Hill.

And kid-friendly Halloween fun goes down at attractions like Sesame Place, LEGOLAND Discovery Center and the Philadelphia Zoo.

Read on for our top picks for Halloween events and activities in Philadelphia:

Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

Until October 31, 2019 (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 a Haunted Hayride, the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail and — new for 2019! — outdoor Zombie Laser Tag.

Where: Bates Motel, 1835 Middletown Road, Glen Mills

“Terror Behind the Walls” at Eastern State Penitentiary

Until November 9, 2019 (select dates)

Eastern State Penitentiary (Photo: M. Edlow)

Designed to be high-startle, Terror Behind the Walls — six haunted attractions inside a history-rich, abandoned prison — includes more than 200 performers, Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, digital sound and custom props every year, plus new interactive experiences for 2019. Visitors must make a decision before entering: Walk through and watch the spectacle unfold, or opt for interaction with the characters, which might include being pulled from the group into secret areas.

Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue

Pennhurst Asylum

Until November 3, 2019 (select dates)

Pennhurst Asylum (Photo: Pennhurst Asylum)

Some say the dilapidated halls of the historic Pennhurst Asylum are genuinely haunted, making this high-tech haunted house that much more frightening. Visitors can navigate through the asylum’s maximum-security wing, witness harrowing scenes at the Morgue, meet asylum patients in a gauntlet underneath the Pennhurst complex and go on a self-guided tour — sans actors or props — of the Mayflower Building, said to be the site with the most paranormal activity on the campus.

Where: Pennhurst Asylum, 250 Commonwealth Drive, Spring City

Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres

Until October 27, 2019 (select dates)

The 17-room House in the Hollow, one of the three attractions that occupy Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres, is 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. Plus, the Field of Fright haunted-corn-field experience gets a refresh for 2019.

Where: Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres, 881 Highland Road, Newtown

More Haunted Attractions in Philadelphia

In search of 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 at:

Where: Various locations including Scream Mountain, 757 Spring Mount Road, Schwenksville

Halloween Events at Chaddsford Winery

Through October 27, 2019 (select dates)

At this adults-only trick-or-treating event at Chaddsford Winery, guests can walk through the winery grounds and stop at five different Halloween-themed pairing stations to taste locally made bites and sweet treats, like a “dirt” cupcake garnished with a gummy worm paired with an off-dry red blend (Saturdays and Sundays, September 28 – October 27). 

Where: Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford

Horrorfest at Shady Brook Farm

September 28 – October 31, 2019 (select dates)

Four fearsome attractions make up HorrorFest at Shady Brook Farm. Prepare to take on the Barn of Horror, Carnage maze, Hayride of Horror and the Alien Encounter 3D, all filled with plenty of fright.

Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley

Halloween Pop-up Bars in Midtown Village

Until November 3, 2019 (select dates)

Philly’s restaurant scene leaps into Halloween with two new themed pop-up bars in Midtown Village. Haunt (October 3 – November 3) pours cocktails like the Black Cat, made with Tito’s vodka, fino sherry and black olive, and plans to host plenty of spooky events in the decked-out space. Nightmare Before Tinsel (opens Thursday, October 3), set in a 100-year-old jewelry shop, mixes themed drinks amid spider webs and haunted caskets, and encourages guests to dress in costume.

Where: Tinsel, 116 S. 12th Street

2nd Sanctuary: A Multi-Experience Halloween Attraction

Until November 3, 2019 (select dates)

Brian Sanders’ JUNK brings exciting Halloween-inspired performances to Graduate Hospital this spooky season. 2nd Sanctuary: A Multi-Experience Halloween Attraction features five interactive shows — including a virtual experience and a story told through modern dance — designed to encourage audience participation.

Where: 2nd Sanctuary, 2040 Christian Street

Witch’s Hayride Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards

Until October 30, 2019

Part of Linvilla Orchards’ massive harvest festival, this kid-friendly hayride takes guests into the woods to meet a pleasant witch who tells stories and jokes while passing out candy to all the kiddos. The hayride concludes at a campfire, where attendees can sip on apple cider and roast marshmallows.

Where: Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media

Dark Passage Immersive Experience + Bar

October 4 – November 2, 2019 (select dates)

Dark Passage – Immersive Experience + Pop-Up Bar

Visitors enter an unmarked door that opens up to the Strange Spirits Lounge, a pop-up “speakeasy” where Dark Passage, a new interactive Halloween attraction, can be accessed. Dare to venture in through the “portal” and find fantastic visuals, elaborate sets and haunting performers — all coming together to create a truly immersive and mystifying experience.

Where: 1004 Buttonwood Street

Ghost Ship on the Delaware River

November 3, 2019 (select dates)

Ghost Ship (Photo: Delaware River Waterfront)

After stops in Asia and Europe, a 50-foot-tall and 90-foot-wide “ghost ship” from the 18th century arrives in Philadelphia as part of the Waterfront Arts Program, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s latest initiative. The light and water-based installation, complemented by programming at Race Street Pier and Pier 12, explores the impact that migration and forced migration via the Delaware River had on Philadelphia.

Where: Race Street Pier, Race Street at N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Halloween at Fort Mifflin

Until October 31, 2019 (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 and various after-hours candlelight tours among the spirits (October 11-31, select dates).

Where: Fort Mifflin, 1 Fort Mifflin Road

Jack’s Pumpkin Glow in Fairmount Park

October 5 – November 3, 2019

Meticulously carved, illuminated pumpkins fill Fairmount Park for Jack’s Pumpkin Glow. Pumpkin carving demonstrations and seasonal food and drinks accompany the huge display to truly turn the space into a fall wonderland.

Where: Jack’s Pumpkin Glow, 5201 Parkside Avenue

The Rocky Horror Show at Bucks County Playhouse 

Until October 27, 2019 (select dates)

This cult-classic, rock-n-roll musical follows an innocent couple that seeks shelter in the creepy mansion of scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Featuring an entertaining ensemble of kooky characters, the show returns to the stage at Bucks County Playhouse this October.

Where: Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main Street, New Hope

Halloween Events at Penn Treaty Park

Until October 26, 2019

Friends of Penn Treaty Park

Guests can wander through a pumpkin patch, play festive games and more at the park’s 9th Annual Halloween Hoedown (Saturday, October 26).

Where: Penn Treaty Park, 1301 N. Beach Street


Haunted Circus at Philadelphia School of CIrcus Arts

Until October 26, 2019 (select dates)

The Haunted Circus returns!

The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts transforms a 100-year-old church in Mt. Airy into a haunted attraction on four nights in October, featuring thrilling and chilling Halloween-themed routines from students. Adults-only experiences aim to seriously scare, while others are kid-friendly and less frightening. Guests can end their journey through the attraction at the church’s sanctuary, where they can find a Halloween celebration and a “haunted circus showcase.”

Where: Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 6452 Greene Street

Halloween at Laurel Hill Cemetery

Until October 26, 2019 (select dates)

Laurel Hill Cemetery (Photo: Laurel Hill Cemetery)

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 (October 25-26). Pack a flashlight and prepare for an evening of fascinating history regarding the cemetery’s “liveliest spirits.” The brave souls that make it to the end of the tour can sip on seasonal cocktails beside warming fire pits. 

Where: Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue

A Nightmare on Jawn Street: Horror Sketch Comedy Show at Philly Improv Theater

Until October 31, 2019 (select dates)

For a scary good time, head to Philly Improv Theater for a special sketch comedy show inspired by horror films, starring characters like slashers, demons and zombies.

Where: Philly Improv Theater, 2030 Sansom Street

Halloween on the Moshulu

October 25, 26 and November 2, 2019

Celebrate Halloween aboard the world’s oldest and largest four-masted tall ship! The Moshulu hosts a variety of special events for the holiday, including a three-course dinner with complimentary readings from a psychic and three separate Halloween parties featuring DJ tunes and live music.

Where: Moshulu, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Dia de Los Muertos Festival at the Penn Museum

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Dia de Los Muertos Festival (Photo: Penn Museum)

Celebrations of Mexican culture take center stage at the Penn Museum’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival. Traditional storytelling, performances, music, crafts and more make up the daylong event.

Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

Nightmare on the Schuylkill

Saturday, October 26, 2019 

Nightmare on the Schuylkill

Tickets to this epic event include a three-hour open bar at three different bars (Sunset Social, The Post and Walnut Street Cafe), each decorated according to three different themes (Sideshow Carnival, Stranger Things and Jungle Safari). The individual with the best costume gets $500 and the best group costume gets $1,000.

Where: Sunset Social, 129 S. 30th Street

History After Hours: The Gory Details at the Museum of the American Revolution

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

At this after-hours event, guests can learn more about the traumatic head wound that Irish soldier Richard St. George, the focus of the Museum of the American Revolution’s current exhibit, received during the Battle of Germantown and the gory surgical process used to save his life. Also on tap: A cider cocktail competition and a whiskey tasting.

Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street

Mischief at the Mütter

Mutter Museum Mischief (Photo: Mutter Museum)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Mütter Museum’s annual Halloween beer garden and party is back for another year with late-night access, DJ music, a costume contest, two complimentary drink tickets per guest, kegs of beer and unlimited snacks.

Where: Mütter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street

Halloween with Kids

The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place

September 20 – November 3, 2019 (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 a new-for-2019 maze, plus Halloween-themed shows, pumpkin decorating, 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

Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Until October 27, 2019

Brick or Treat at Legoland (Photo: Legoland Discovery Center)

LEGOLAND Discovery Center goes all out for Brick or Treat this year with an all-new, limited-time-only augmented reality experience, where kids attempt to capture ghouls hiding around the Halloween-themed build stations. The event also features meet-and-greets with costumed characters, a scavenger hunt and trick-or-treating for free LEGO bricks to take home and build with.

Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting

Halloween at Franklin Square

Until October 31, 2019 (select dates)

Franklin Square invites visitors to celebrate Halloween with pumpkin decorating, trick or treating — for kiddos and canines! — and spooky mini-golf.

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street

Boo at the Zoo

Until October 27, 2019 (select dates)

Halloween entertainment arrives at the Philadelphia Zoo in the form of its annual Boo at the Zoo celebration. For three weekends in October, the attraction welcomes kids dressed in Halloween attire for trick-or-treating, a hay-bale maze, seasonal treats and a tour through the extinction graveyard.

Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue

Boo at the Zoo at Elmwood Park Zoo

Until October 27, 2019 (select dates)

At Elmwood Park Zoo, costumed kiddos can trick-or-treat throughout the zoo, participate in a costume contest, meet some friendly animals and more. The Norristown attraction’s Boo at the Zoo takes place on three weekends this October.

Where: Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown

Franklin Fright at The Franklin Institute 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Franklin Institute gets super-eerie for the kid-friendly Franklin Fright. Programming includes make-and-take LED trick-or-treat pins, ghostly science experiments, a costume parade and thrilling ball-pit explosion finale.

Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

Halloween in Manayunk

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Manayunk’s day-long Halloween celebration kicks off with a costume parade for kids and pets in Pretzel Park and continues through the afternoon with storefront trick-or-treating along Main Street and more activities for kids and families.

Where: Parade starts at Pretzel Park, 4300 Silverwood Street

East Passyunk Fall Fest & Spooky Saturday

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Free pumpkin decorating, a scavenger hunt, trick-or-treating and more Halloween-themed activities entertain kiddos during this neighborhood fall fest. For the adults, there’s live music, a craft show, and food and drink specials at select restaurants along East Passyunk Avenue.

Where: The Singing Fountain, East Passyunk Avenue & Mifflin Street

South Street Fall PumpkinFest

Saturday, October 26, 2019 

South Street Fall PumpkinFest

Headhouse Square’s fall festival is a day of shopping, live music, seasonal bites and brews, straw bale maze, circus performances, horse and wagon hayrides, face painting, and trick-or-treating for children 12 and under along South Street.

Where: Headhouse Square, 2nd & Lombard Streets

Seaport Spooktacular at Independence Seaport Museum

October 26-27, 2019

Kids and families can trick or treat on the decks of the historic cruiser Olympia, hear scary stories on the schooner Diligence, decorate laser-cut river creatures and more at the Independence Seaport Museum’s weekend-long Seaport Spooktacular.

Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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