Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Sep 16 2009

10 Not-To-Miss Halloween Treats In Historic Philadelphia

Edgar Allan Poe Show, Ghost Tours And Pumpkin Painting Make Authentic Treats—And That’s No Trick

It’s the time of year when visitors wander the cobblestone streets of Historic Philadelphia and ask the question, are they or aren’t they…haunted. Halloween offers lots of “Poe-tential” for literary encounters with spooky characters, as well as family-friendly ghosts and goblins who some think still inhabit the centuries-old neighborhood.

Halloween enthusiasts who book one of the 80 featured hotel packages on gophila.com/withlove will receive a special treat at check-in. The giveaway includes a Philadelphia Privileges coupon book, a five-pack of With Love postcards, a With Love pin and Philly Fill-Ins word games, along with other brochures, coupons and maps. After shopping on gophila.com/withlove, visitors can book their package online or by calling the hotel directly.

Here’s a look at Historic Philadelphia’s Halloween adventures:

Haunted Happenings:

  • October brings out more giggles than ghouls with a month of family-friendly events at Franklin Square. Come twilight, Philly Mini Golf’s scale-models of numerous local landmarks take on a mildly haunted atmosphere with fog effects, special lighting and spooky music (Saturdays and Sundays in October). Families can don costumes and spend the afternoon decorating pumpkins, hearing spooky stories and cruising the park on the Lightning Bolt Express at the Pumpkin Patch event (October 10 and 17). Later in the month, pint-sized ghosts and goblins can adorn their do-it-yourself trick-or-treat bags, snag candy from furry puppet friends along the Trick-or-Treat Trail and then hop aboard the Lightning Bolt Express for a cruise around Franklin Square (October 24 and 31). 200 N. 6th Street, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Wannabe princes and princesses can dress in their most regal costumes for the National Constitution Center’s An Enchanted Masquerade, a day of crafts, etiquette classes, ballroom dance lessons, a costume contest, games and handfuls of Halloween candy, inspired by the Diana: A Celebration exhibition on view beginning October 2 and featuring Princess Diana’s famed wedding dress. October 24. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
  • The historic Headhouse Square shambles is transformed into Pumpkinland, a kid’s fantasyland packed with face painters, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, pony rides, live music and paint-your-own pumpkins. October 24. S. 2nd Street between Pine & Lombard Streets, (215) 625-7988, southstreet.com
  • In the Betsy Ross House courtyard where the TV show Ghost Hunters searched for Betsy’s ghost, Autumn Craft Fair attendees can nosh on pumpkin ice cream, paint pumpkins and sip cider while shopping for crafts. October 24-25. 239 Arch Street, (215) 686-1252, betsyrosshouse.org
  • During Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado re-enactment at the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, the villainous Montresor and his victim Fortunato lead an eerie tour of the author’s former home. October 29. 532 N. 7th Street, (215) 861-4971, nps.gov/edal

Ghostly, Ghastly Tours:

  • Tour participants see spooky sites and hear scary stories galore during the Spirits of ‘76 Ghost Tours, a one-part-history, two-parts-haunt walking tour that winds past 20 landmarks throughout Historic Philadelphia’s cobblestone streets. Daily in October. 325 Chestnut Street, (215) 525-1776, spiritsof76.com
  • The 90-minute Haunted Trolley Tour covers 20 creepy locations in Independence National Historical Park and Society Hill, including Franklin’s grave, historic cemeteries and centuries-old landmarks. Thursdays through Sundays in October. 11 S. 5th Street, (215) 413-7000, ghosttour.com
  • Trained performers and storytellers lead intrepid visitors on an eerie 90-minute Ghost Tour of Philadelphia. The jaunt winds through church graveyards and landmarks in Historic Philadelphia. Every night in October. Signers' Garden, 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 413-7000, ghosttour.com
  • The dreaded Yellow Fever of 1793 filled up Philadelphia graveyards. Hear the story of some of its victims during a guided walking tour of Christ Church Burial Ground. Saturdays and Sundays in October. Arch Street between 4th & 5th Streets, (215) 922-1695, christchurchphila.org
  • During the Day of the Dead Ghost Hunt, tour organizers provide electromagnetic field meters to participants to detect paranormal beings lurking about various historic landmarks and attractions. November 2. Signers' Garden, 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 413-7000, ghosttour.com

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit gophila.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to Hear Philly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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