How to Celebrate this Spooky Season: The Top 10 Activities To Do in Philly for Halloween!


Philly’s favorite spooky season is here! Halloween weekend is quickly approaching, which means there is a TON to do, experience, and explore in the Philly area to get you in the scary spirit.

Keep reading to discover the top 10 Halloween activities and attractions in and around Philly this year!

1. Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary

Halloween Nights is a bold new iteration of Eastern State Penitentiary’s famed Halloween celebration. The festival spans Eastern State’s entire ten-acre property, and several sections of the penitentiary complex are open to the public for the very first time this year!

Guests at Halloween Nights will experience a festival-style event consisting of 15 attractions, including two haunted houses (which can be bypassed by those who want a less scary experience!). Also included is a 3D fun house, two immersive walkthrough experiences, three live performances, four themed bars and lounges, and special effects like laser shows and large-scale video projections!

Photo Credit: @halloweenatesp

2. Bates Motel & Haunted Attractions

Check into the Bates Motel for the most incredible display of terror and mayhem. This year, the Motel is filled with high-tech special effects, a digital soundtrack, and lighting—which means the Bates Motel is taking Halloween to a new level of horror! As you creep through the show, beware of levitating spirits, floor boards that come alive, pictures that follow you, and incredible, custom animatronic props that you won’t find anywhere else!

Photo Credit: @batesmotelandhayride

3. Sleepy Hallow Hayride

Head over to Bucks County to venture down into The Hollow through the abandoned gardens and deep into the winding crypts and catacombs. This expansive cemetery and dark woods provide bone-chilling frights at every turn.

The scary hayride invites you to enter the gates of THE FIELD and wander through the ruins of a bewitched village haunted by ghosts of the outlaws and outcasts that lived there in the 1800s. Continue through the deserted section of the farm which is no longer in use after the tragic events of the past. *cues creepy background music*

Photo Credit: @sleepyhollowhauntedacres

4. Fright Factory

Previously featured on the Travel channel as one of the scariest haunted attractions in America, Fright Factory is a high-scare, high-startle, adult-themed haunted house. It’s located in the city at 2200 S. Swanson St inside a 120+ year-old factory basement. The Basement is 25,000 Sq Ft and it’s split into three different themes. Once you’re in, there’s no time to rest until you make it out!

Photo Credit: @frightfactory

5. Spirits of ‘76 Ghost Tours

Travel the cobblestone streets of Old City to hear chilling stories about the Spirits of ’76, featuring more than 20 scary sites!

You’re in for a treat to hear all about the Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, who used to reside in Philadelphia. You’ll even learn about Leo Callahan, the only prisoner to escape from Eastern State Penitentiary and never be captured!

Learn about the legendary ghosts that inhabit Independence Hall, the spirits of Carpenters’ Hall, the dancing statue of Benjamin Franklin at Library Hall and paranormal Pine Street happenings. Also, see famous film locations from big-screen thrillers such as The Sixth Sense, Shooter, National Treasure, and more!

6. Pennhurst Asylum

Gear up for a ghost hunt and search for spirit activity on the grounds of the infamous Pennhurst. After sunset, nightly paranormal investigators will begin their “ghost hunt” and all are welcome to bring their own equipment or use the paranormal equipment provided by Pennhurst. Investigators will have access to all four floors of the notoriously haunted Mayflower Hall. Also included are tours of the underground tunnels that connect Philadelphia, Devon, and Rockwell!

Photo Credit: @pennhurstasylum

7. Franklin Fright at The Franklin Institute

For those searching for lighter fun, head to your favorite science museum! The Franklin Institute has spooky live-science shows, Halloween-inspired décor, and the return of the ever-popular museum-wide indoor trick-or-treating adventure taking place every weekend in October! 

New this year, meet Dr. Franklinstein, joined by her science sidekicks, for one of several all-new live-science shows. Watch as they perform explosive experiments, dastardly demonstrations, and spooky science with frighteningly funny results!

Franklin Fright is free with museum admission.

8. Candlelight Ghost Tours

This tour is all about you, a few candles, and REAL ghosts! Experience Fort Mifflin after-hours on the popular candlelight walking tours through the site. Costumes are encouraged on Halloween weekend! 

A special feature this year: Warehouse on Watts will be hosting a spirited pop-up bar on many nights of the ghost tours during the spooky season!

9. Nightmare Before Tinsel (for those 21+)

Looking for spooky cocktails for Halloween Weekend? Head over to Philadelphia’s Halloween Pop-Up Bar, Nightmare Before Tinsel, which is now open through October 31! Located at 12th and Samson Street, this bar is where the dead and undead come to ‘hang’ around. Halloween Before Tinsel is filled with scary vibes, props, decorations, and photo opps that range from scary and gory, to ironic and funny, to the retro and vintage.

Go try a cocktail and discover all their hidden secrets!

Photo Credit: @tinselphilly

10. Parking Lot Horrors

If you want to catch a good Halloween movie, head over to the haunted drive-in cinema. Each weekend in October, Parking Lot Theaters will be screening a Halloween horror movie at the Exton Square Mall! Enjoy the movie and watch out for possible scares from their spooky staff members in costumes.

We hope this guide leads you to some scary fun! Don’t forget to check out our calendar and #WeeklyPicks on Instagram for more fall and Halloween events and activities. Happy Halloween!


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