Most ghost stories start with something like: “One time, my uncle’s best friend’s roommate’s landlord had this thing happen…” and end with everyone else second-guessing that person’s sanity.
But even the most skeptical, rational people can’t shake the curiosity in the back of their heads entirely—the what ifs that arise when we think about the paranormal.
There’s one way to find out the truth, and that’s to see for yourself.
Philadelphia is an old city, and accounts of otherworldly occurrences are often proportionately associated with rich history. We compiled a list of haunted places in Philadelphia so scary they’ll have you peeing yourself faster than Bill Gates in a headlock.
These are the most haunted places and houses in Philadelphia.
244 S 3rd Street
Room in english style, from the Powel House, Philadelphia The house at 244 South Third Street in Philadelphia from which this room was taken was constructed in 1765–66 by shipmaster and merchant Charles Stedman. #powelhouse #georgianstyle #georgian #englishstyle #english #lifestyle #beautifullife #aristocratical #classicalstyle #philadelphia #unatedstatesofamerica #room #antiques #chandelliers #crystal #painting #style #authentic #classical #carpet #museum #metropolitanartmuseum
Samuel Powel was the mayor of Philadelphia before the American Revolution and the first one after we gained independence. Instilled in history as a “power couple”, he and his wife Elizabeth were the Kimye of their time, and the house was their party haven.
Once a hub for 18th century VIPs, some say the spirits of yesteryear still haunt here to get their ectoplasmic freak on. Tour guests and workers alike report seeing the likes of the Marquis de Lafayette, Benedict Arnold, and other ghosts dressed in era-appropriate garb.
138 S 2nd Street
Bad drunken decisions aren’t the only things that can haunt you at this bar. Between the waiter that was allegedly killed in a bar fight and the bride that died in the tavern’s 1854 fire, there are plenty of firsthand haunted stories from the staff about things getting weird around here – including place settings moving on their own and spectral images of women appearing in pictures.
321 S 4th Street
The Cincinatti Society, whose original members included 'Mad' Anthony Wayne and Gen. Washington himself, still meet in this room, which originally functioned as Dr. Physick's bedroom. This photo is looking into the front bedroom, where Henry Hill fell to the yellow fever that ravaged Philadelphia throughout the 1790's. Come see documents featuring Washington's signature, and Comodore Connors sword collection in this room. #highsociety #preservation #philalandmarks #housemuseum #historicalphiladelphia #georgewashington #historyalive #thisoldhouse #mansion
This property was featured on SyFy’s Ghost Hunter TV show, which means basically nothing, but it also has a scandalous history and other anecdotal stories that lend credence to the mythos. It was originally owned by Philip Syng Physick, regarded as the “father of American surgery”, but became enveloped in controversy after he and his wife separated – something completely taboo at the time. Witnesses insist that the spirit of his wife appears in the yard.
2027 Fairmount Ave
Any list of haunted places in Philadelphia is incomplete without a mention of the Eastern State Penitentiary. When a place is this saturated with history and even gets touted by NPR as being one of the most haunted places in America, maybe there’s something to it.
Reports range from voices and cackling heard in certain cells to spirits gripping a maintenance man, rendering him unable to move. You can take a daytime tour to experience the bare essence of the place, or you can opt for the haunted attraction during the Halloween season.
401 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
The Moshulu waiting for the sun to return. Not really wanting summer to end… #steelsailingship #phillymag #city #ig_philly #moodygrams #philadelphia #citykillerz #cityscape #explore #igers_philly #phillygram #phillymasters #philadelphia_ig #philadelphia_insta #instagram #justgoshoot #summer #phillylovenotes #philadelphiapulse #phillyfocused #philly #phillypulse #capture #streetstyle #streets #photography #215phillyig
Now an upscale restaurant, you won’t find mention of the haunted legends on the business’ official website and yet they persist. Perhaps this further strengthens the legitimacy of the claims. Recurring accounts from the employees and even owner himself describe a “Lantern Ghost”, as well as murmurs and maniacal laughter.
532 N 7th St
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the tortured author that gave us horrifying literature also bequeathed us with one of the most haunted places in Philadelphia. Poe lived in this house for six years and the original structure is still available for you to explore at zero cost.