It’s almost that time of year again when families search for Pennsylvania haunted houses and kids don their costumes and head out looking for a Halloween adventure. Families who will be in the Philadelphia, Scranton, Pittsburg or Lancaster regions between September and November can start planning now. You’re sure to have a haunting Halloween as well as during the weeks before and after.
Tons of exciting events are occurring throughout the month to celebrate the ghoulish holiday, and we’ve organized them by “freak-out factor” — high for a haunting experience that will make your blood curdle and low for a fun and 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, a true family alternative to more frightening Halloween options. For special October weekends, this old-fashioned amusement park’s most popular rides and attractions are redecorated with a Halloween theme.
Some special additions include trick or treating in the Story Book Forest, mazes and fall-favorite concessions. Characters costumed in Halloween garb entertain throughout the park. Overall, this will be a fun experience with toddlers and pre-teens. End your day with the Hallowboo ball at Fright-tastic Fiasco. Who knew the undead could be such trending dancers? Are you ready to immortalize them 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 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.
While the famous Basement space has been retired thanks to Covid, ScareHouse is promoting social distancing in 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 on how to decorate a house to die for, add music to soothe your bones and a D-I-Y makeup lesson for that ghastly face. Let us know how you make out.
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Freak Out over Covid-19: Houdini House in Scranton, Pennsylvania
We could not bring ourselves to remove this fascinating, educational and otherworldy experience. Among all the Pennsylvania haunted houses and Halloween attractions it’s too awesome. However, we acknowledge that the Houdini Home & Museum is remaining closed until at least January of 2022. Why is it so cool?
The legacy of world famous illusionist Harry Houdini has certainly lived on. While visitors can tour the great magician’s home year round, October is perfect because 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; this show usually sells out. Visit the website at Houdini.org (admission for age 3 and up is discounted if you call ahead). For an even wilder night out, book the Saturday Paranormal Psychic and Seance evening 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 now is a historic site by day, but is tricked up for Halloween and has been 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, succumb to four haunted houses, a walk-through psychedelic experience, interactive shows, a few bars and some lounges to recuperate. Of course, 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, PA
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 among Pennsylvania haunted houses.
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 and 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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