Spine-Tingling Scares Await at These Haunted Attractions in Southeastern Pa.

Spine-Tingling Scares Await at These Haunted Attractions in Southeastern Pa.

Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary for Visit Philadelphia

By Kalena Thomhave

October 5, 2023

With haunted houses, haunted hayrides, and even a haunted chairlift, a spooky October awaits for those who dare.

It’s officially spooky season, which means it’s time to start planning your spooky season to-do list.

We’ve put together a list of eight attractions not for the faint of heart stretching from Berks County to the shores of the Delaware River. With haunted houses, haunted hayrides, and even a haunted chairlift, a spooky October awaits in the southeastern part of the state for those who dare.

Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia

Eastern State Penitentiary, the infamous prison of yesteryear known for housing such convicts as Al Capone, is open year-round as a museum. But at night during the Halloween season, the old penitentiary and its elaborate architecture transforms into the famous Halloween Nights, with five haunted houses, live performances, and more. If you want an even scarier experience, you can don a glow necklace (available at the entrance) to opt in to being grabbed by performers or even pulled into secret passageways.

As a Halloween Nights guest, in addition to being terrified out of your mind by the penitentiary’s haunted houses, you can also learn about the prison’s history and the history of mass incarceration in the US by taking a free audio tour (narrated by Steve Buscemi) through the complex—all while supporting the museum’s mission to keep the history of the penitentiary alive.

Scream Mountain – Schwenksville

During winter, Spring Mountain Adventures is a destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other snowy fun. Throughout the Halloween season, Spring Mountain Adventures transforms into Scream Mountain, where guests are imperiled by haunted hayrides and something a little different—a haunted chairlift! The haunted lift experience combines a lift ride with a spooky walk down the mountain. When you reach the bottom, you’ll also get to join a hayride. You can then reward yourself for your bravery with food and drinks at the fire pit. Scream Mountain is open Fridays and Saturdays throughout October.

No Hope After Dark – New Hope

Surely you’ve always wanted to combine a spooky experience with rail travel. Good news: this Halloween attraction combines a haunted maze with a train ride. No Hope After Dark takes you aboard the New Hope Railroad, departing from quaint and artsy New Hope, located on the Delaware River. A ride on the restored, historic train takes you to an unknown location where the railroad company has prepared a Halloween festival complete with food, drink, and a haunted maze with live actors ready to scare you stiff. This unique experience includes your round-trip train ride and operates throughout most of October.

Arasapha Farm: Bates Motel and More – Glen Mills

Arasapha Farm, located in Delaware County, is home to the well-known Bates Motel haunted house as well as two other horrifying haunted attractions. The Arasapha Farms Haunted Hayride is a hayride through the dark forest of the farm past scenes of Hollywood-level engineering, including pyrotechnics, animatronics, and special effects. The “high startle, high action” Bates Motel is a more traditional haunted house, with special effects that make the fictional look real. And finally, Arasapha Farms also hosts the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail, a haunted corn maze that’s like a haunted house but outside—and with nowhere to run but further into the maze. Tickets allow you to visit all three attractions.

Lincoln Mill Haunted House – Philadelphia

One of Philadelphia’s newest haunted houses, Lincoln Mill Haunted House opened just last year. After 2021’s Hurricane Ida flooded an old textile mill in Manayunk that used to house a restaurant, the owners concocted a legend to turn the building into a haunted house. According to Lincoln Mill Haunted House, the flooding revealed a dark secret about a chamber in the basement of the building. Now, you can visit the Manayunk haunted house to learn more, following the hallways of the old mill and slowly learning more about the proprietor and his twisted experiments. You can also visit on select days for a trip through the haunted house with the lights on and no actors.

Grim Philly Twilight Tours – Philadelphia

Philadelphia is obviously teeming with history given that the city was central to the nation’s founding. Because the city is so old, ghosts and ghouls have had plenty of time to take up residence in Philly’s historic buildings. You can learn about the spookier side of Philadelphia’s past on a ghost tour with Grim Philly Twilight Tours. These tours are focused on Philadelphia’s historic district and are always led by historians, so you’ll hear true stories alongside dark, entertaining legends. Note that night tours, which start at 8pm, are intended for mature audiences.

Shocktoberfest – Sinking Spring

If you love theme parks and haunted houses, you might want to visit Shocktoberfest near Reading, a self-described “scream park.” Here, you can take part in different rides and attractions like a “zombie safari ride,” a five-minute escape room, and traditional haunted houses. Shocktoberfest also has food truck options, live music and DJs, and a kids’ version of the scream park (called Spooktoberfest) that’s open between 5 and 7 p.m.

Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres – Newtown

Three frightening attractions are located on this family farm in Bucks County. At Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres, you can visit a traditional haunted house, take a ride on a haunted hayride, and walk through scenes of an abandoned village in the cornfield, with eerie haunts around every corner. When you’re tired of screaming, you can take a break at the bonfire and visit the concession stand, where there is live music every weekend.

 

READ MORE: 8 Cool Vacation Rentals in Pennsylvania

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