There is so much to do to celebrate Halloween in Philadelphia.
From haunted houses and hayrides to boozy events where the only spirits are alcoholic, Philadelphia has something for everyone. Philly Views rounded up the top 25 haunted attractions, one-off events, and food and drink specials through the spookiest of seasons.
Haunted Houses & Hayrides
Every October, historic heavyweight Eastern State Penitentiary turns to the dark side, transforming into one of Philly’s mega-haunts. This season has Fairmount Avenue crawling with live actors and chilling attractions, including the newly christened “Blood Yard” to serve up fresh carnage all season long. It’s open through the beginning of November.
Originally an “Institute for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic,” the Pennhurst Asylum reimagines its past to be the main act: a hellish, high-tech hospital. Don’t leave before taking a self-guided tour of the Mayflower Building. Word on the street is its haunted. The asylum is open through November 4.
Staged on Arasapha Farms in Glen Mills, the Bates Motel experience is actually two separate experiences. Start with the motel. Creep from room to room, clutch your friends for support or use them for shields. You don’t know what’s behind door number four. Then, leave your creature-comforts for a haunted hayride into the abyss. Just keep your ears open for chainsaws, and fire. Bates Motel is open through October 31.
Fright Factory, wrapped up in a South Philly warehouse, is all new for 2017 with inmates, butchers, and giant spiders. It’s up through November 4.
October 20, 7 pm | Stotesbury Mansion
Feel like sipping a Maker’s Manhattan, mansion-side, dressed to the nines? Yeah you do. You’re a total Miss Scarlet. It’ll be murderous fun.
October 20, 7 to 10 pm | Magic Gardens
If you have not been to Magic Gardens, October is a fine time. For the final Twilight in the Gardens installation of the season, Not-So-Silent Cinema will be on the scene performing an original score accompaniment of the actually silent-film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”. You can make your own monster mask, courtesy of teaching artist Sam Heimer, or just lounge out and enjoy the night. Bring your own booze, blanket, and snacks.
October 25, 5:30 to 9:30 pm | East Passyunk Avenue
For $6.66 (heh) you can prowl Passyunk for $4 beer specials at 17 bars, sporting your own witch hat.
October 26, 7 to 11 pm | FringeArts
#thegrimmwandering is all smiles for October! Although that could be due to the no skin thing… . . . #Halloween #allhallowseve #dance #dancer #harvestmoon #armor #cosplay #deadsouls #darksoulscosplay #stilts #october #spooktober #thisishalloween #dream #dreamer #fairy #labyrinthofjarethmasquerade #labyrinthofjareth #labyrinthmasquerade #loj #loj2017 #lojxx #labyrinthmasqueradeball #labyrinthofjarethmasqueradeball #masquerade #fantasy #masqueradeball #mask #fashion
A highly exclusive party set to the tune of a Venetian Masquerade promises drinks, music, dining, and more, beneath the mask. Gather ye tickets while ye may.
October 26 to 28, 7 pm | Laurel Hill Cemetary
The souls of Laurel Hill invite you to contemplate the veil between life and the afterlife during our #IntoTheVeil event with @atlasobscura on 9/23. Hidden art, music and cocktails will await under the cover of night as you choose your own path of discovery through our enchanting hallowed grounds. #laurelhillcemetery #nationalhistoriclandmark #victoriancemetery #whyilovephilly
As part of its Halloween programming, Laurel Hill presents three evening performances of Bram Stoker’s Dracula on hollowed ground. Settle in for the night on BYO blankets, chairs, and seasonal sweaters. Nothing like a ghost story to put a chill in the air.
October 27, 8 pm to midnight | Evil Genius Beer Company
The caption on this kind of says it all, but in case you were curious: get out your ghoul paint, shimmy into some red pleather, and rock that “Thriller” choreography like it’s 1982.
October 28, 9:30 am | Reading Terminal Market
Cool, so after you zombie boogie your brains out at EG’s death dance, rectify and rise for Reading Terminal’s Halloween Market. If you’ve got kiddies, bring ’em, ’cause there’s pumpkin-carving, story time, and trick or treating for all.
October 28, 11 am to 5 pm | Selma Mansion
This one’s a bit of a day trip, but we predict it’ll be worth the ride. Head to Norristown to meet readers, healers, and metaphysical vendors at this historic (supposedly haunted) mansion. Plus, there are psychic workshops for the practitioner in training.
October 28, 2 to 5 pm | Victoria Freehouse
Just the scavenger hunt of your Harry Potter dreams. Yes, dress up, and do bring your mates, because vanquishing Voldemort bit by bit is best done with friends.
October 28 and 31 | Yakitori Boy
Two Halloween parties with drink specials and costume contests. Five top costumes will win $25 gift cards during Saturday’s event, and will be invited back Tuesday for an opportunity to win bigger prizes.
October 29, 1 to 3 pm | Laurel Hill Cemetary
Whether you’re going for the kids or yourself, Laurel Hill offers some prime views of PA foliage at peak palette. Take a pre-mischief afternoon to picnic hillside with loved ones, present and past.
October 29, noon to 6 pm | The Rotunda
Kid-friendly, free, and full of vegan delights, make it over to West Philly to snag samples of the first annual.
October 29, 4 to 9:30 pm | South Philly
This year’s celebration is themed for the Mayan Afterworld. Expect workshops focused on the Mexican holiday, to-die-for costumes, and performances wrapping up at the historic sanctuary space.
October 31, 7 to 10 pm | Franklin Institute
“Don't throw stones at your neighbours, if your own windows are glass.” -Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1736 • #FranklinFriday #BenjaminFranklin #Quotes #History #FranklinInstitute • James Earle Fraser (American, 1876-1953) | Benjamin Franklin Memorial | 1938 | The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
Looking to learn while you party? Don a wig, let loose, and lecture up. Featured programming includes Insect Sex, or how to navigate a friend’s exoskeleton, and The Science of Seance: how Victorian-era mediums manifested the more-or-less dead. Sounds wicked fun.
October 31, 8 to 11 pm | World Cafe Live
Last year’s rager was so rad they’re doing it again. World Cafe wants you, Zombie Kurt, you, Jagged Little Alanis, to wow in their costume competition. Re-do the nineties right, or for the first time, whatever’s cool.
October 31, 8 to 9 pm | The Trocadero
The true-horror podcast is coming to Philly this Halloween for a live rendition of its scary story telling. Held in The Troc’s historic auditorium, the twisted tales should feel right at home.
Ongoing Seasonal Events
Weekends through October 29 | Chaddsford Winery
Nope, you’re definitely not too old. Chaddsford Winery, located just west of Philly, will be pairing five wines with treats from now through the 29th.
October 21 to 29 | Philadelphia Zoo
Come out before things turn cold for costumes, cider, and trick or treating for the whole family. Or, book a daring Overnight Experience where you come early, stay late, and hike the zoo by night. Make sure to catch up with your nocturnal animal buds.
Through October 29 | Manayunk
It's officially Fall.🍁🍃 Celebrate with a Haunted Food Tour, $36 per person with promo code HAUNT15. Link in profile, all tours will sell out so we recommend reserving your space now.🎟 Pumpkin, apple, and all of autumn's flavors will be deliciously represented alongside tales of Northwest Philadelphia's haunted history. Only available for 3 weeks in October, (& several tours already sold out)- we hope to see you! 🎃🍎☕
Halloween screams the start of eating season. Lap up those fall flavors, cinnamon, pumpkin, spice, and a grab a helping of haunted history from your costumed guide. All for just $36 while this spooky-good promo lasts.
Through November 18 | Independence Visitors Center
This creepy crawl airs out Old City’s dirty laundry, from the sites of real witch hangings to colonial cottages secretly holding high body counts. Plus, the second round is on Paranormal pub visits, with a beer and snack on the house, while you hear more spooky tales of our haunted hometown
Fridays Through October 27 | Ritz at the Bourse
The Halloween line-up is bringing Rocky Horror to the screen with on October 20. So, Dammit! Janet! Do not forget the rice. Then, bring it back Hallo-weekend for a Halloween screening that’d make Jaime Lee scream with John Carpenter’s Halloween on October 27.