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Historic Ghost Walks and Haunts
Trick or treat yourself to one of Pennsylvania’s haunted attractions and historic ghost tours this October. Whether you genuinely enjoy being scared out of your wits or you just like learning about an area’s history, Pennsylvania’s storied past is the perfect setting for a supernatural experience that will send a chill up your spine. From the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg to the menacing specters of Philadelphia’s most dangerous inmates, visit one of these Pennsylvania haunts this fall season to dig deep into the graveyards (literally) of one of the country’s oldest states.
Lancaster City is of America’s oldest cities and offers a candlelight walking tour to explore the long-forgotten mysteries of the Red Rose City’s thorny past. Based on the book, Ghost Stories of Lancaster, PA, you’ll hear about the haunting tales of an American president and forbidden love, phantoms of the opera house, family fortunes lost and more! Open year round, the tour lasts 75-90 minutes and schedules vary by season. Tour departs from the Lancaster Visitor Center located at 38 Penn Square, Lancaster, PA. Or experience the quaint and historic town of Strasburg on the Ghost Tour of Strasburg. You’ll hear spinning tales of haunted mansions, eerie graveyards, and spirits that roam the night. The Ghost Tour of Strasburg last 70 minutes and is offered in Spring, Summer & Fall. Tour departs from the corner of Main and Decatur Streets in front of the bank located at 1 E. Main Street, Strasburg, PA. Tickets are $18 per person and are sold in advance by calling or booking online. For information and to purchase tickets, visit the Ghost Tours of Lancaster website.
Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) is infamous for its foreboding, castle-like exterior that was designed to intimidate the inmates, who first walked through the doors in 1829, with feelings of fear and despair. The intimidating prison closed in the 1970s but legends say that the location is still haunted by the specters of perished inmates. Today, ESP is a National Historic Landmark that offers guided tours seven days a week from 10AM-5PM. This fall, visit the historic halls of Eastern State for one of the nation’s largest and most ambitious haunted attractions, Terror Behind the Walls. Visitors can also purchase tickets for the After Dark VIP Tour. The hour-long guided tour allows you to explore the cell blocks at night with nothing but a flashlight, then skip to the front of the line for Terror Behind the Walls. For more information on Philadelphia’s most haunted location and the Terror Behind the Walls attraction, visit the Eastern State Penitentiary website.
Gettysburg Battlefield is well known as the turning point of the Civil War and the bloodiest battle in American history. When Union and Confederate armies met here in early July, 1863, there were over 50,000 casualties by the time Lee withdrew his decimated army south to Virginia three days later. Today, the battlefield is a favorite for ghost hunters and paranormal investigators and there are plenty of tours that offer visitors a way to experience the afterlife at the hallowed ground of Gettysburg. Walk the streets of town on a candlelight tour to learn about Gettysburg’s most haunted buildings and locations, explore the 7,000-acre battlefield after dark with professional equipment and real paranormal investigators, or visit the Jennie Wade House where you’ll get a first-hand look at the kitchen door peppered full of bullet holes where the only civilian casualty occurred during the Battle. Visit the Destination Gettysburg website for more information on paranormal experiences at Gettysburg.
Pennhurst Asylum was opened in the early years of the 20th century as a school and hospital intended to treat mentally disabled children, most of them orphans, but it instead became one of the most horrific asylums in the country. The 1,400-acre site included thirty buildings and a self-sufficient community made up of its own power plant, farm, morgue, barber shop, and fire house. After decades of horrific abuse, Pennhurst was finally shut down and today carries the reputation of being one of the most haunted locations in the world. The legendary hospital, after twenty-five years of being abandoned, has opened its doors again as one of Pennsylvania’s scariest haunted houses. If the history itself doesn’t send a chill up your spine, the actors, high-tech special effects, animatronics, and attention to gruesome detail surely will. Choose from one (or more, if you’re brave enough) of four haunted attractions or stay overnight to explore all four floors of the notoriously haunted Mayflower Hall and its underground tunnels. Visit the Pennhurst Asylum website for tickets and more information on the haunted attractions this fall.