Philadelphia’s top 5 haunted attractions to visit for halloween

By Layal Srour
October 6, 2019

It is officially spooky season! Here are a few haunted houses and attractions recommended to visit in Philadelphia if you like the thrill.

1. Eastern State Penitentiary: Terror Behind the Walls

What looks to be a tourist attraction in the morning becomes a haunted house by night.
Image via Instagram.

Located in Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary, once a prison, is now open as a haunted house. Standing behind 30-foot-high walls, this prison used to be the most expensive and famous prison in the world. During the day, the prison is seen as a tourist attraction with torn and ruined structures, but at night, the prison transforms as a dark, eerie haunted house. Adult tickets are priced at $29 and both student and children tickets are priced at $14.50 with a $4.75 service fee for all tickets.

Included in this haunted house are six different attractions for people to experience: the Infirmary, Blood Yard, Quarantine 4D, Breakout, Lock Down and Machine Shop.

Luis Reyes, senior criminology major, has been to this attraction before. “I have been there and I thought it was very scary,” Reyes said.

2. Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

This attraction has a haunted house, haunted hayride and a corn maze. For the hayride, the tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for children. The corn maze and house cost $15 for both children and adults.

Travel through this haunted house at Bates Motel.
Image via Instagram.


The Bates Motel includes special effects, digital soundtrack and lighting. Throughout the haunted house visitors will experience levitating spirits, floor boards that come alive, pictures that follow you and incredible, custom animatronic props as described on their website. However, for safety issues, Bates Motel is not recommended for children under 8 and people with heart conditions.

Described as the scariest hayride in the country, visitors are taken on a 25-minute ride through the dark forest of Arasapha Farm.

Lastly, the haunted trail, also known as the corn maze, takes visitors through a frightening walk filled with props and 30 actors dressed in costumes and faces covered in makeup.

3. Fright Factory

This Philadelphia attraction takes place in the basement of a 120-year-old factory. The basement is 25,000 square feet and is split into three different themes. General admission tickets cost $30 and VIP tickets cost $40 and for both tickets, there is a service fee of $2.50. However, prices may change due to the day that people decide to visit.

This attraction takes about 30 to 40 minutes to complete. Before entering the house, there will be security patting down every person who goes through to ensure that visitors do not have anything dangerous on them, such as weapons, lighters or pepper spray. Also, visitors will not be allowed through if they are intoxicated, take any medication, have health problems like asthma or heart conditions or are pregnant.

Security will ask visitors to leave their phones behind to avoid taking pictures or videos and if someone brings their phone in and loses it, they will have to wait until the closing time of the attraction.

4. Escape Rooms

In Philadelphia, there are many escape rooms for people to try with many different themes. However, there are two locations that have scary rooms for people to try during Halloween.

The first location is Gotham Escape Room. This location has six different rooms to try to escape from, but each room has certain age to enter. They charge $25 for each room and each person. People who enter the room have 60 minutes to escape with an average of two to 10 people per room. The one to try for Halloween would be “Sleeping Spirits,” which is about a paranormal skeptic that has gone missing from the hotel. Other rooms to try are “Chamber of Horrors” and “Case: Lust and Lace.” Prices may change depending on the day you go.

“Sleeping Spirits” escape room to visit at Gotham Escape Room in Philadelphia.
Image via Instagram

The second location to visit is Mind Escape, which includes three different rooms to try. Depending on the room, visitors will be charged $29 or $30 for 60 minutes or 75 minutes with an average of two to 12 people per room.  The first room is “Jack the Ripper” and for Halloween, this room would be a fun attraction to take part in with friends, family or coworkers. The second room is called “Trouble in Paradise” and is a prison theme. The last room, which is the newest room, is called “Alice in Wonderland.”

Alexa Spritzler, sophomore marketing major, talked about her opinion on haunted houses and escape rooms. “I do not like haunted houses and I have never been to one. They scare me so much! I would probably go to a scary escape room, though,” Spritzler said.

5. Spirit of ‘76 Ghost Tours

Taking place in Philadelphia, this tour takes visitors on a 75-minute walk outdoors experience all the horror and terrifying stories that make up the various buildings and monuments.

At this attraction, there are more than 20 sites to visit and listen to all the facts and historic stories to learn about.

There are three parts to this attraction. The first part is about the facts of the late poets and the story behind the prisoners at Eastern State Penitentiary. The second part mentions stories about the spirits in the statues and monuments that inhabit those buildings. The third part is visiting the haunted movie sets.

Kevin White, sophomore graphic design major, said, “I think it would be really interesting to go on this tour because I plan on visiting the Eastern State Penitentiary this Halloween so learning about the stories and historical facts behind these buildings would be cool.”

Layal Srour

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