A city haunted by Ben Franklin has to be a thrill-seeker’s delight, right? Absolutely. Here are some chilling scenes you should experience in Philly.
Ghostly Candlelight Walking Tour
Some Philly folk say Ben Franklin’s spirit never left the Old City alleys. Philadelphia’s Ghost Tour shows it's true, with a look at some of Ben’s best haunts.
Start where Center City converges with Old City, at 5th and Chestnut Streets. The tour takes off from the courtyard at Signers' Garden. Then, in a 90-minute walk, follow your guide by candlelight. Explore St. Peter’s Cemetery, Independence National Park, and Society Hill. Find out what or who is watching from the gardens and the back streets. Hear why Benedict Arnold still seethes over getting such a bad rap from the founders.
Through November, the Ghost Tour happens nightly. People of all ages (4 and above) rate its scare quotient highly. Save a few bucks by booking online.
Terror Behind the Walls
You've likely heard of the old Eastern State Penitentiary. Once an infamous prison, it now draws professional performers who fit right in with the eerie, empty cell blocks to make Terror Behind the Walls fabulously frightening.
If you make the trip to the site 2027 Fairmount Avenue, you’ll get an interesting choice. Be a spectator to the hair-raising scares: the infamous Blood Yard; the riots, breakouts, and lockdowns, and the prison infirmary — a terrifying taste of prison medicine. Or opt for full immersion in the frights by declaring yourself free to be seized and whisked off to secret passageways and taken right into the scenes.
Terror Behind the Walls has high-tech sound, lighting, and effects, and four-dimensional fantasies led by more than 200 human and zombie performers.
Read More: Philadelphia's Alleys Beckon You
Eat, Drink, and Be Scary
Hang out at an October pop-up bar: Nightmare Before Tinsel. The Craft Concepts Group, with Scott Johnson, a Philly-based artist lovingly designed this thrilling scene. It's complete with autumnal beers and fears, a web-covered alley walk, plus skulls and eyes galore.
Find the Nightmare Before Tinsel at 116 S. 12th Street. Costumes welcome!
Just a block away is Haunt, a Halloween hangout upstairs at the Pearl Tavern, 1123 Walnut Street.
Haunt includes bewitching cocktails and bewildering décor. This collaboration between restaurants and artists, headed by Alison Hangen of Arts in the Industry, lasts from October 3 to November 3.
Eerie Dances and Frantic Escapes
Find your way to the Dark Passage, from October 4 to November 2, behind Union Transfer at 1004 Buttonwood Street. Guests will be threaded through a Halloween maze from the Strange Spirits Lounge into an Inferno that can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. This hellish trip will be worth it. Sarah Elger, who designed it for a University of Pennsylvania master's degree in architecture, has also created immersive settings for Disney and Universal.
At 2nd Sanctuary at 21st and Christian Streets in Center City, the JUNK troupe uses leading-edge cinematography to provide a portfolio of amazing ghastliness.
- Through November 3, enter a Victorian church to witness the Phantom Portal Virtual Reality tour in the Spectral Garden Chapel.
- There’s also Dancing Dead Live, a story of growing old, burying friends, and ultimately digging them up for a dance.
- Then there’s Zoltan’s Zarkade — an escape room based on the eerie mystery of a lost scout troop.
Each phantom-packed attraction needs its own ticket. Each comes with a zombie disco party, too.
No Tricks, Only Treats This Season
Look for your new apartment home in Philly’s sweetest neighborhoods, and take the scary aspects out of apartment shopping.
Just call 215.545.1039 and let Carlyle Property Management guide your tour. When showing you our available luxury spots, we aim to thrill — but we think you’ll find the process pretty chill.