Ghost Tours to Get in the Halloween Spirit

You’ll want to leave the lights on after these only-in-Philly tours.

For maximum scares go to Terror Behind the Walls. Photo by Jeff Fusco

For maximum scares go to Terror Behind the Walls. Photo by Jeff Fusco

Grim Philly’s Ghosts and Graveyards
Grim Philly added another offering to its lineup of ghoulish R-rated tours just in time for Halloween. Ghosts and Graveyards skulks through Old City, stopping at graveyards and other sites tied to death — accidental and not — while owner/history professor Joe Wojie shares creepy tales of grave robbers, medical experiments, hanged traitors, a bride burned to death at her wedding, and more. The tour is more focused on spooky history than straight-up scares, with Wojie ready to share an extensively researched tidbit for every inch of the area, but it’s definitely a side of the historic district they didn’t teach in social studies. If kids are in tow, the tour can be tailored. For a sexed-up, adults-only version, book the Vampires, Sex, Ghosts tour. Prices vary; tours are offered year-round and start at 6th and Market in front of the Independence Visitor Center.

Ghost Hunts at Laurel Hill
Grab a few of your most adventurous friends and join the Free Spirit Paranormal Investigators on a tour of the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery. The paranormal experts will train you on how to use their ghost-hunting equipment and guide your group to the most “active” parts of the cemetery. You need at least five people to sign up and kids under 10 aren’t allowed. If you’d rather hear about the ghosts than run into them, head to Laurel Hill on Friday, October 28, for a True Tales From the Tombs candlelit tour led by the Not Ready for After-Life Players, back from the dead to tell their stories. The cemetery is located at 3822 Ridge Avenue; there’s parking.

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary turns into Terror Behind the Walls for Halloween season. The massive haunted house has six different attractions within the cellblocks, each designed for maximum scares. The truly brave can opt for an interactive experience, which means you might be grabbed, separated from your friends and sent down hidden passageways. It’s not a ghost tour like the others listed here, since we’re not talking about “real” ghosts. But the penitentiary, being a towering old stone prison, already has a spooky vibe even in the daylight, and you can’t convince me there aren’t long-dead prisoners lurking about. Prices vary depending on day and time. Eastern State Penitentiary is at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue.

Haunted USS Olympia
All aboard for an eerie tour through a Spanish-American War battleship, commissioned in the 1890s and said to be haunted ever since. Hear tales of the murders and accidents that took place on the high seas as you peek into the creepy corners of the ship’s three decks. Tours are $19 and kids under 12 aren’t allowed. It’s located on the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing.

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