By Christina Dagnelli

It’s that time of year when the days grow a bit shorter, the air has a chill in it and many love a good scare. October brings Halloween, and even for those who don’t dress up or have children to take trick or treating they still like to enjoy the ambiance of the season, and sometimes scare the bejesus out of themselves. There are a few places in Philly that have a reputation for being haunted, or offer up spooky good times. Here are the Top 5 places that are some of the spookiest place in Philadelphia.

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Eastern State Penitentiary
22nd and Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA. 19130
(215)236-3300
www.easternstate.org

Easter State is known as being haunted. The TAPS (Ghost Hunters) crew has been there, and even has interesting evidence on camera.  You may wish to visit for a regular tour, or for the “Terror Behind the Walls” event. For Halloween the Penitentiary gets a spooky makeover complete with animatronics, lights, props, and offers six main attractions. Eastern State is one of America’s most historic Prisons and considered the world’s first true penitentiary.  Each visit includes a walking tour, audio tour and hands on exhibit. The former prison may possibly be home to some inmates still.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, PA. 19132
(215) 228-8200
www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org

Laurel Hill Cemetery is the country’s first rural cemetery, and is the city’s oldest graveyard. It is a national landmark and it is large with 78 acres of beauty. In the fall there are numerous activities with a spooky tone. Some of the events include outdoor movies, a murder mystery event, and family activities for the kids and the annual Grave Diggers Ball. This year you can see Dracula the Gothic Mystery October 26-28 at 7pm for $25, bring your own chair or blanket and flash light. Parking is free.

Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast
3300 Baring St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19104
(215)387-6065
www.cornerstonebandb.com

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The Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast is a beautifully restored Victorian built in 1865 so it has its fair share of history. The B&B is a family friendly place, but is also interesting to those who are seeking a spooky evening, or those interested in the paranormal. A female apparition has been known to appear in some of the rooms here. It is said she caresses people’s foreheads and also has a perfume scent that accompanies her. The owners who are described as friendly (and offer a delicious breakfast) describe the apparition as “Ethereal” and perhaps wonder if she is some kind of angel. Other guests have reported the smell of cigar smoke and being watched. Either way, the Cornerstone does have private baths, comfortable beds and is just minutes from downtown.

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Washington Square
210 W. Washington Square
Philadelphia, PA 19106
www.nps.gov

Washington square is about 6 acres and one of the original squares designated by William Penn’s surveyor in 1682 (South East Square then).It also was an 18th century burial site, either the knowledge or this (or this fact) is the reason so many think they hear the voices from those once buried there. A few have even seen an apparition of an alleged ghost of a Quaker woman named Leah who is said to protect the graves. Several Ghost tours stop at this location, and if you want to experience the stories you may want to consider taking one.  People seem to enjoy the Spirits of 76 Tour as it covers a lot of ground. The square is currently run by the National Park Service and is located in the Society hill section of Philly.

Fort Mifflin
82 Fort Mifflin Road
Philadelphia, PA. 19153
(215)685-4167
www.fortmifflin.us

Fort Mifflin is a national landmark part of the parks service and was also featured on the TV Show Ghost Hunters.  Grant, one of the founders saw an apparition in one of the buildings of the fort. The fort has seen its fair share of action from the Revolutionary war and the Civil War. So if ghosts are real, whatever they are the history backs it up. The fort has been known for numerous sightings of apparitions, lights and sounds of screaming. In October from the 13th to the 28th the fort throws “A Mud Island Halloween” are a variety of ghost tours of the fort. (Mud Island is another name for the fort).You can do a candlelight tour, or even spend the night. The tours generally begin around 7pm. You can purchase tickets online in advance.

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