Philadelphia

The Most Horrifying Haunted Houses Near Philadelphia in the US

Beware of these spooky spaces.

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride
Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride
Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride

It’s officially spooky season. Those who love a good jump scare will be delighted to know Philadelphia has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the haunted house department. From an actual former functioning penitentiary to dark and dank cornfields, the Philly area is home to some of the most terrifying haunts around. Whether you’re up for a road trip or prefer to stay within city limits, here are nearly a dozen horror-filled Halloween attractions in Philadelphia to get your scream on.

Fright Factory Haunted Attraction
Fright Factory Haunted Attraction
Fright Factory Haunted Attraction

Fright Factory

Whitman
Housed in the basement of a century-old factory in South Philly, Fright Factory is consistently touted as one of the scariest haunted houses in the country. Split into three sections, you’ll be greeted with fog, strobe lights, creepy clowns, sinister butchers, and plenty of other monsters waiting for you around every corner. The factory is open Fridays through Sundays in October, plus Thursday, October 20 and 27, and Halloween.
Cost: $30-35, extra $15 VIP upgrade

Halloween Nights at ESP
Halloween Nights at ESP
Halloween Nights at ESP

Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary

Fairmount
Perhaps the best-known (and with good reason) spook in the city, Halloween Nights takes place within the walls of the world’s first penitentiary. Make your way through the cell blocks to the five attractions which include a 3D haunted house, an evil machine shop, an ancient vampire crypt, a brand new horror circus, and an also-new perpetual nightmare-themed theme. Chill out afterward with a drink at the vampire-themed cocktail lounge or the Fair Chance Beer Garden. For 2022, visit on Fridays and Saturdays through November 12 and during the week starting Thursday, October 6.
Cost: $34-49 general admission, $64 VIP pass

Lincoln Mill Haunted House
Lincoln Mill Haunted House
Lincoln Mill Haunted House

Lincoln Mill Haunted House

Manayunk
This brand-new haunted house is located in the former Mad River Bar & Grille in Manayunk, and, as legend has it, the flooding from Hurricane Ida revealed a chamber of bodies in the basement of the building. Haunted scenes include dismembered limbs, a freaky nursery, and the ghost of the mill’s former owner. Don’t miss the inaugural season, which runs Thursdays through Saturdays until November 5.
Cost: $29 general admission, $55 VIP, 99 Platinum VIP

Creamy Acres Night of Terror

Mullica Hill, New Jersey
With five different attractions all in one place, there are plenty of potential frights at Night of Terror. The centerpiece is a 25-minute hayride through the cornfields where chainsaw-brandishing killers and a massive haunted house await. Take to the farm’s grounds on foot for more frights. Plus, a 3D haunted house and another attraction dedicated to common phobias like creepy dolls, dentist drills, and rats. Check it out Fridays and Saturdays through October 29 (plus on Thursdays, October 13, 20, and 27).
Distance from Philly: 35 minutes
Cost: $40-50 general admission, $70 VIP pass

Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres
Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres
Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres

Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres

Newtown, Pennsylvania
The mile-long haunted hayride will take you through burning mines, a gothic graveyard, lawless backlands, and a sideshow of the bizarre. If that wasn’t enough, try to escape the 17-room haunted manor, full of secret passageways, a crypt, and a graveyard. If that wasn’t enough, tread lightly through the field where you’ll meet witches, creepy marionette dolls, and more. The 2022 season operates Friday through Sunday until October 30.
Distance from Philly: 40 minutes
Cost: $36-41 general admission, $52-57 VIP pass

Valley of Fear

Feasterville, Pennsylvania
Three attractions make up the Valley of Fear: a pirate-themed shipwreck, a haunted house with a terrifying schoolhouse and church scenes, and, of course, a hayride with new scenes including a Halloween-themed vignette and a freaky doll show. Valley of Fear is open Thursday through Sunday until October 30.
Distance from Philly: 40 minutes
Cost: $24-47 general admission, $49-72 VIP pass

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride
Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride
Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride

Bates Motel

Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Bates Motel features an intricately designed motel featuring rattling floorboards, ax-wielding actors, and tons of creepy animatronics. Other attractions worth the fright include a 25-minute haunted hayride and Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Trail, a terrifying walk through a cornfield to a number of spooky sets. The season runs until October 31 with daily admission beginning on October 7 (it’s open weekends only before that).
Distance from Philly: 45 minutes
Cost: $40 weeknights, $45 Friday nights, $50 Saturday nights, $85-125 VIP passes

Pennhurst Asylum
Pennhurst Asylum
Pennhurst Asylum

Pennhurst Asylum

Spring City, Pennsylvania
The site of real life paranormal investigations, Pennhurst Asylum has a sordid history of violence and patient abuse. The former patients now get their revenge on visitors as they make their way through the asylum, the morgue, and the tunnels that lay beneath the buildings. The asylum is open Friday through Sunday until November 5.
Distance from Philly: 50 minutes
Cost: $50 general admission, $85 VIP pass

Scream Mountain

Spring Mount, Pennsylvania
By day, Spring Mountain is a ski resort. By night, the slopes provide plenty of hiding places for the ghosts of murdered quarrymen. Hop on nighttime ride up the ski lift to a path filled with spooks. Then travel the rest of the way down the mountain on a haunted hayride. The mountain is open on Fridays and Saturdays until October 29.
Distance from Philly: 50 minutes
Cost: $22-30 general admission

Field of Screams
Field of Screams
Field of Screams

Field of Screams

Mountville, Pennsylvania
Out in Lancaster County, get the fright of your life on a hayride through a slaughterhouse/murderous hillbilly property/toxic wasteland/cemetery/gore shop. Then, venture through a three-story, 19th-century barn where tortuous murders occurred, a terrifying asylum, and haunted woods. Field of Screams is open weekends until November 5, plus Thursdays, October 13, 20, and 27 and Halloween.
Distance from Philly: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cost: $35-50 general admission, extra $15-30 VIP upgrade

Jason’s Woods

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Get chased by zombies, crazed clowns, and demonic animals at the five attractions at Jason’s Woods. This year, the haunted hayride features upgrades like fiery explosions, gory bone-grinding scenes, and technology that allows the wagon to rock side to side. Check it out Fridays through Sundays until November 5.
Distance from Philly: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Cost: $25-40 general admission, extra $15 VIP upgradeWant more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Allie Volpe is a writer based in Philadelphia. She hasn’t slept in days. Follow her on Twitter:@allieevolpe.

Philadelphia

Museum Exhibits in Philly to Check Out Before They Disappear

Get in some culture (and selfies) at the best art exhibits in Philadelphia.

Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

From the historical to the artistic, Philadelphia is jam packed with museums. Art aficionados of all ages can get lost inside the likes of tourist-friendly museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of the American Revolution or feast their eyes on unique exhibitions at institutions like the Fabric Workshop and Museum and the Museum for Art In Wood.

Between big-ticket exhibitions honouring the House of Mouse to collections showcasing the legacy of a prominent Black family in early America, there’s plenty of material to dig into. After you’ve planned a date night and rounded up friends to explore the city, here are the most exciting museum exhibits in Philly right now-before they’re gone for good.

Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

The Franklin Institute

Exhibition: Disney 100: The Exhibition
Mickey Mouse, you look good for your age. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Disney is a retrospective exhibition, which got its world premiere right here in Philly. Between rarely-seen artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and interactive installations where you can listen to hit Disney songs, the exhibit is a Disney lover’s wish-upon-a-star-come-true.
Dates: Until August 27, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Monday through Sunday. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS
Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS
Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS

Academy of Natural Sciences

Exhibition: Conversations With Birds
No, not an allusion to the Eagles, this exhibition is dedicated to actual birds, their migration patterns, and humans’ relationship with avian creatures. Expect avian photography and video by local birders and wildlife photographers along with an interactive exhibit showing five migratory birds that pass through the Philadelphia region on their seasonal passage between North and South America.
Dates: Until May 21, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are available online or at the door.

The Barnes Foundation

Exhibition: Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember
The work of two contemporary South African artists-Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye-are shown side by side, offering a cross-generational dialogue. Both artists utilize video installations, photographs, sculptural installations, and textiles “to consider how the stories our elders tell us shape family narratives and personal identities.”
Dates: Until May 21, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday through Monday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

Photo by Jonathan Horowitz
Photo by Jonathan Horowitz
Photo by Jonathan Horowitz

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

Exhibition: The Future Will Follow the Past: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz
Exploring the rapid change of societal issues in America since 2020-antisemitism, racial violence, immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights-Jonathan Horowitz designed installations inspired by recent occurrences. His works explore specific events like the infamous far-right rally from white supremacists in Charlottesville as well as recent themes in American history, like attacks on those within the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.
Dates: Until July 4, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Friday through Sunday. Admission is available online and at the door.

Photo by Hoda Tawakol
Photo by Hoda Tawakol
Photo by Hoda Tawakol

The Museum for Art In Wood

Exhibition: The Mashrabiya Project
The newly renamed Museum for Art in Wood (formerly The Center for Art In Wood) celebrates the rebrand with a brand new project. Focusing on mashrabiya, the traditional Islamic architectural design, The Mashrabiya Project is a first of its kind effort in the U.S. to examine this aesthetic. As a part of the larger mission, a new exhibition Seeing Through Space features newly-commissioned, never-before-seen works by six female-identifying artists.
Dates: Until July 23, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are not required.

Photo by Carlos Avenda├▒o
Photo by Carlos Avenda├▒o
Photo by Carlos Avenda├▒o

Fabric Workshop and Museum

Exhibition: Henry Taylor: Nothing Change, Nothing Strange
Combining painting and sculpture, Henry Taylor utilized recycled objects in this exhibition, the product of an 18-month residency. The entire second floor of the museum houses the large scale assemblages, tapestries, and textiles. Think: 30-foot billowing canvases and towering totems created from compressed blocks of paint buckets, vinyl home siding, and black plastic planters.
Dates: Until July 23, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Walk up admission is available but advanced registration is encouraged.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Exhibition: Judith Joy Ross
More than 200 photographs from renowned portrait photographer Judith Joy Ross will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, chronicling her career from the 1980s to today. Her black-and-white portraits are intimate reflections of everyday Americans, and this show features work from all her major projects, plus, never-before-seen images.
Dates: April 24 to August 6, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday through Monday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

American Swedish Historical Museum

Exhibition: Radically Marimekko
Famous for their bright and bold fabrics, Finnish textiles, clothing, and home furnishings, the company Marimekko is showcased at this special exhibit. Drawing attention to Finnish design, the collection traces the brand’s path from industrial art house to fashion icon.
Dates: March 30 to September 24, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Walk up admission is available.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and African American Museum in Philadelphia

Exhibition: Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America
A collaboration between the African American Museum in Philadelphia and PAFA, Rising Sun showcases new work from 20 artists examining the question of Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy? With pieces shown in both museums, visitors can reflect on, challenge, and expand their view of democracy through art.
Dates: March 23 to October 8, 2023
How to visit: The African American Museum in Philadelphia is open Thursday through Sunday; admission is available online and at the door. PAFA is open Thursday through Sunday; admission can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Museum of the American Revolution
Museum of the American Revolution
Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution

Exhibition: Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia
James Forten may not be a familiar name within early American history, but this new exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution is looking to change that. Telling the story of Forten and his family through 100 historical artifacts, Black Founders explores the Forten family’s roles in the Revolutionary War, business in Philadelphia, and the abolitionist movement.
Dates: Until November 26, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open daily. Admission is available online and at the door.

National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center

National Constitution Center

Exhibition: The 19th Amendment: How Women Won The Vote
That lofty document known as the Constitution and its values, interpretations, and amendments are explored in great detail at the National Constitution Center, naturally. This semi-permanent exhibit examines the 19th Amendment-the one which granted women the right to vote-and the road to its ratification. Out of the near 100 artifacts, expect to see a rare printing of the Declaration of Sentiments from the first women’s convention at Seneca Falls, a ballot box used to collect women’s votes in the late 1800s, Pennsylvania’s ratification copy of the 19th Amendment, and various “Votes for Women” ephemera.
Dates: Semi-permanent, no end date announced
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

M├╝tter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
M├╝tter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
M├╝tter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

M├╝tter Museum

Exhibition: Spit Spreads Death
Eerily topical, the M├╝tter’s latest special exhibit, Spit Spreads Death, an exhibit about the 1918 flu pandemic, opened in the fall of 2019, less than six months before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The exhibit traces the disease’s spread throughout Philadelphia neighbourhoods a century ago and how the pandemic impacted the city with artifacts like photos, newspaper clippings, and more.
Dates: Now through 2024
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Monday. Advanced tickets are required.

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Allie Volpe┬áis a writer based in Philadelphia. She hasn’t slept in days. Follow her on Twitter:┬á@allieevolpe.

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