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Here for the Boos: Where to Get Your Spook on in Philadelphia

By Kirsten Magas | October 18, 2019 | Culture

Boo! Did we scare you? Probably not, but in light of Halloween season, you never know what’s around the corner—especially at these frightful Philly attractions.



Attendees do not come to hear the traditional ghost story told comfortably around a campfire—DARK PASSAGE is a choose-your-own-adventure immersive experience that begins when you step through a portal that connects the city of brotherly love with the afterlife. Rather than your traditional jump-scare haunted house, the creators urge attendees to discover their fears on their own. You will be able to interact with the sets and characters as you uncover as much or little of the story as you wish. Moving room to room, you’ll discover hidden features, wandering ghouls and a speakeasy lounge created in partnership with Philadelphia personality Fergus Carey of Fergie's Pub, where you can snag a spooky cocktail. Times vary, tickets from $40,

Black Powder Tavern Paranormal Investigation Dinner

The name of the Black Powder Tavern in Valley Forge originated from our country’s earliest days. It is rumored that secret black powder munitions were stashed for Continental Army couriers at the location. Many guests who have visited Black Powder Tavern have reported hollowed echoes of footsteps with no trace. Could it be the spirits of our revolutionary heroes? Paranormal investigator Laurie Hull will do just what her title leads us to believe—investigate—before a delicious three-course dinner on Oct. 23 to answer all of our eerie questions. 5:30 PM, tickets $45,

Jack's Pumpkin Glow in Fairmount Park

If you try to stay away from everything that goes bump in the night, visit Jack’s Pumpkin Glow for a fun evening filled with fall festivities without the scare. Over 5,000 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns make up the event in Fairmount Park, and the works of art stretch for nearly half a mile. You’ll be marveling at the attention to detail in the smaller jack-o-lantern carvings and the grandness of pumpkin sculptures. The seasonal masterpieces can take anywhere from two hours to two days to complete, so watch the carvers as they work diligently at the event and bring some of your ghoul friends along with you. Times vary, tickets $22.99,

Nightmare Before Tinsel

The Christmas-themed pop-up bar, Tinsel, recently extended their decorating skills to spooky season. Nightmare Before Tinsel can certainly be described as a nightmare for all the right reasons. The bar features a room of 1,001 eyes and is entirely comprised of disembodied doll heads splattered with blood. Travel toward a skull wall inspired by the catacombs in Paris. There’s even a decor tribute to stories by Edgar Allan Poe, who was once a Philly resident. If the scares get to be too much, take a break with concoctions straight from a witches’ brew. Weekdays 4 PM to 2 AM, Weekends 12 PM to 2 AM, free,

Haunted Circus Mansion

Can you hear the carnival music? Picture colorful flying trapezes, energetic dance performances, and dazzling juggling acts—with a dark twist. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will be bringing the classic circus scare in a performance by students of all ages—sure to send a chill up your spine. Between performances, you can bob for apples, make Halloween crafts, or venture through haunted paths separated by scare-level. The kid-friendly Cellar features a tightrope walk over a spooky snake pit and a few gentle jump scares. Lead upstairs to The Attic where you will find the aftermath of a disastrous seance, a blind-folded walk and plenty of screams. Times vary, tickets from $10,

Ghost Ship at the Delaware Waterfront

Have you seen the Delaware Waterfront’s newest visitor? Underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge, a 90-foot hologrammed 18th-century ship has taken dock out of thin air, courtesy of Biangle Studio. Their mission is to “tear a hole in the fabric of reality.” Snag a picture-perfect angle from Race Street Pier for the ‘Gram and catch a glimpse of the phantom ship before it disappears on Nov. 4 for good. 7-10 PM, free,

Photography by: Photo courtesy of DARK PASSAGE