Pennsylvania Haunted Houses for Halloween

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.

The hallway of a house in ruins looks very spooky.
Haunted houses are among the most frightful of Pennsylvania haunted attractions. Photo c. tamma66 for pixabay.

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 Freakout is 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 autumn dates, this old-fashioned amusement park redecorates its most popular ridesd with a Halloween theme. Hallowboo! is open on Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31, 2023.

Special park additions include trick or treating in the Story Book Forest, a 3-D neon maze, haunted train rides and fall-favorite concessions. Characters costumed in Halloween garb entertain toddlers through preteens all around the park. End your day with the Hallowboo Monster Mash. Who knew the undead could be such trending dancers and ready for immortalization on Tik-Tok?

High Freak Out Fun at ScareHouse in Pittsburgh

The fantastic monsters at ScareHouse are very impressive, er, we mean scary. Photo c.
The fantastic monsters at ScareHouse are very impressive, er, we mean scary. Photo c.

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. The attraction is recommended for ages 13+ and anyone 7 or under is denied entry. Encounter terrific makeup, masks, imaginative freaks, wan-looking zombies and stuffed favorite characters like a malevolent bunny. Prevent the alien apocalypse in a special escape room.

ScareHouse has moved to a roomier venue at the Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum. It’s so popular that their season has expanded from the first weekend after Labor Day to the first weekend after Halloween. 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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High Freak at Hundred Acres Manor outside PIttsburgh

Hundred Acres Manor is not only Hauntworld’s pick for Pittsburgh’s best, it also top this year’s Pittsburgh Magazine list. This haunted house brings in a twisted, whole new vision of horror. At its core, Hundred Acres Manor features five haunted houses in one, each with their own theme.

However, there are add-on attractions as well. There’s a free wagon ride from the parking lot. Picture The Scream Bar (ages 21+). Yes, there’s a burial simulator that recreates the sounds, smells and feel of being buried alive. The Black Wall Insanity Maze is coming back, both with an $10 upcharge. It’s terrifying that some visitors are just dying to pay more.

Crazed creatures terrorize the crowds at Hundred Acres Manor. Photo c. Haunted America

Bizarre Freak Out: Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Did you know Harry Houdini survived the 1918 pandemic? The Houdini Home & Museum survived the recent pandemic and has opened 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. Book ahead because the experience is suitable for kids ages 4+.

Visit the website at 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 and is a protected historic site by day. Halloween nights, The Pen is tricked out and sectioned off into different haunted attractions.

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. Book reservations in advance. 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 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. However, USA Today‘s 10Best List once rated Field of Screams the country’s #1 Extreme Haunted Attraction. Turning 31 years old this year, it generates 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.

Prepare to find your way through an obstacle course full of evil creatures stalking you in the dark at the Nocturnal Wasteland. It’s terrifying. 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 Thursday to Sunday 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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