It’s almost Halloween, that time of year when families search for Pennsylvania haunted houses. It’s when kids don their costumes and head out looking for thrills and adventure. Families bound for the Philadelphia, Scranton, Pittsburg or Lancaster regions between September and November are sure to have a haunting Halloween.
Tons of exciting Pennsylvania events are occurring throughout the month to celebrate the ghoulish holiday. We’ve organized them by “freak-out factor.” A High Freak Out means a haunting experience that will make your blood curdle. A Low is for a milder event that the whole family can enjoy.
Low Freak Out Factor: Idlewild Park near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Idlewild Park is located in the Laurel Highlands near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Visit them for the annual “Hallowboo!” celebration. It’s a true family alternative to more frightening haunted options. For special weekends from late September to October, this old-fashioned amusement park’s most popular rides are redecorated with a Halloween theme.
Special park additions include trick or treating in the Story Book Forest, mazes and fall-favorite concessions. Characters costumed in Halloween garb entertain toddlers through preteens all around the park. End your day with the Hallowboo ball at Fright-tastic Fiasco. Who knew the undead could be such trending dancers and ready for immortalization on Tik-Tok?
High Freak Out Fun at ScareHouse in Pittsburgh
Planning a weekend in, around or under Pittsburgh? ScareHouse is celebrating 20 years undead as one of the top Pennsylvania haunted houses. Over time, its ruthless style has gathered praise from other terror meisters including The Hobbit’s Elijah Wood and director Guillermo del Toro. Expect terrific makeup, masks, imaginative freaks, wan-looking zombies and stuffed favorite characters like a malevolent bunny as you walk the long corridors.
Once the famous Basement space was retired thanks to Covid, ScareHouse moved to a roomier venue at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum. One of our favorite treats this season is getting Halloween Haunts advice from the ScareHouse pro’s. Learn how to decorate a house to die for. For more flair, add music to soothe your bones. There’s even a D-I-Y makeup lesson for that ghastly face. Let us know how you make out.
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Freak out More at Hundred Acres Manor outside PIttsburgh
Hundred Acres Manor is not only Hauntworld’s pick for Pittsburgh’s best, it’s also a partner of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Maybe because those hockey players go with goalie masks on?) This haunted house brings in a twisted, whole new vision of horror. At its core, Hundred Acres Manor features five haunted houses with their own theme. However, there are add-on attractions as well. Picture The Scream Bar (ages 21+), plus a burial simulator and insanity maze with an $8 upcharge. It’s terrifying that some visitors are just dying to pay more.
Freak Out over Covid-19: Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania
Did you know Harry Houdini survived the 1918 pandemic? Now, the Houdini Home & Museum has reopened to the public again.
The legacy of world famous illusionist Harry Houdini lives on here. Visitors tour the great magician’s home year round but October is the best time to visit. That’s when there are spooky special events. Take a tour of the historic Houdini home, watch a movie and a magic show with animals. The experience is suitable for kids of all ages.
Reservations are required in advance as tours sometimes sell out. Visit the website at Houdini.org (admission for age 3 and up is discounted if you call ahead). For an even wilder time out, book the Halloween night Orginal Houdini Seance at the Houdini House; more info at Scranton’s Psychic Theatre website. A rare treat!
Medium Freak Out & High Fascination Factor: The Pen
If you’re looking for extreme chills and thrills by walking at night through an allegedly haunted 19th-century prison, go straight to jail at the Eastern State Penitentiary. The Pen is not far from Philadelphia’s center city and the ancient haunts of Ben Franklin and his Revolutionary era colleagues. The jailhouse has been prisoner-less for decades. A historic site by day, The Pen is tricked out for Halloween and sectioned off into different haunted attractions.
This Pennsylvania haunted house section has been ranked the “Number 1 Best Haunted Attraction in America”. Among lots of wildness, let yourselves go in four haunted houses. Swoon at the walk-through psychedelic experience and interactive shows. Recuperate in the attraction’s few bars and lounges. You must tour the the penitentiary’s cellblocks and learn their history while there.
The Halloween event runs on select evenings — mostly weekends — from mid-September to early November. Reservations are highly recommended. By the way, all proceeds benefit this National Historic Landmark. The haunted attraction does not affect the operation of the historic site, which remains open for daytime tours Wednesday through Sunday.
Crazy Freak Out: Beyond the Bounds of Philadelphia
If you’re thinking something a little bit less on the nose in terms of Pennsylvania haunted houses, check out The Bates Motel (and Haunted Hayride).
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The escape-room like terror is located at the Arasapha Farm in Glen Mills, about a half hour drive from Philly. Lace up for the half-mile-long Haunted Trail and get ready for all 13 Haunts. The Bates Motel is the real deal and won 7th place winner in the 2017 HauntedHouse.com survey. Among Pennsylvania haunted houses, it’s not the least bit for the faint of heart.
High Freak Out Pennsylvania Haunted Houses: Field of Screams in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster might not be known for its frights, but Field of Screams, once rated #1 Extreme Haunted Attraction by USAToday’s 10Best List, offers more trepidation than you can imagine
With four separate but equally haunting attractions, Field of Screams is sure to please every fright-lover looking for Pennsylvania haunted houses. Begin the meltdown in their haunted cornfields, perfect for those who prefer to remain outdoors.
The Nocturnal Wasteland is one of the most frightening — be prepared to have to find your way through an obstacle course full of evil creatures stalking you in the dark. Then, take a 20-minute Haunted Hayride to witness some gruesome happenings in the Field of Screams cornfields.The Frightmare Asylum is four stories of intense insanity. It features state-of-the-art special effects and plenty of scares. Put it on your list for Pennsylvania haunted houses to give your family a high freak out evening.
Field of Screams in Mountville is typically open select nights — plus Halloween — mid-September through the first week of November. Visit the Field of Screams website for more information.
Looking for more fun haunted houses for kids, spooky thrills, and frights? See what’s going on this Halloween across the country. You can still imagine the terror…
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3 Replies to “Halloween Fun and Frights in Philly, Scranton, Lancaster & Pittsburgh Pennsylvania”
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Not a fan of horror houses and the like, but this could be a fun activity to do with family or friends. At least I’ll have someone with me if I faint. LOL
Thanks for sharing this! 🙂