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Halloween in Philadelphia

side of building covered in cobwebs

Philadelphia’s haunted streets celebrate Halloween like no other!

Halloween in Philadelphia is sure to please, as residents and visitors get to relish all the spooky October festivities and residential décor throughout our Philadelphia neighborhoods. Rittenhouse realtor Maxwell Realty, LLC resides among some of the most fabulously decorated Philadelphia townhomes and neighborhoods. We take this time to prize our neighbors for their festive efforts and to show potential residential consumers what neighborhood appeal Philly is all about: Philadelphia does not disappoint with its haunted histories, and festive, decorative Halloween charms.

 The Decorated Residential Streets and Homes of Philadelphia

Fall is a beautiful time of year in Philadelphia; charming Philadelphia properties and parks are decorated with pumpkins and whimsical Halloween spirit for all onlookers to appreciate. Old and new residences find a way to play their part in the celebration of fall and all its hauntings.

15th Street, between Spruce and Pine Streets
15th Street, between Spruce and Pine Streets

Philadelphia is where M. Night Shyamalan loves to shoot his haunting movies; our old-world neighborhoods provide a gorgeous backdrop for his most haunting films and TV shows, such as:

  • The Sixth Sense
  • Servant (filming contingent on season that is currently airing)
  • Signs
  • Unbreakable
  • The Visit

Philadelphia has plenty of “haunted house” events for friends, family, or to do solo!

The “haunted houses” and tales of the Old City neighborhood, Society Hill neighborhood, Rittenhouse neighborhood, Fitler Square neighborhood, Art Museum neighborhood, Logan neighborhood, and Fairmount neighborhoods (to highlight a few) offer many old tales and haunts for those thirsting for a holiday scare. There are many to be found on the outskirts of Philadelphia too, but Maxwell Realty has highlighted a few that our residents rave about year after year.

Haunted houses and experiences for the brave of heart (recommended adults only)

  • Eastern State Penitentiary – hosts “Halloween nights,” with 5 different haunted house areas on the old, 10-acre historic site of a former prison (once housing Al Capone!). This is really a classic, and you should put it on your bucket list of Halloween musts.
  • Fright Factory – Basement of a 120-yr old South Philly industrial warehouse haunted house walk-though (or run!). Adult-themed. 3 different rooms.
  • The Bates Motel – In Delco, on site of an old, abandoned hotel, along with a hayride and cornfield maze.
  • Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres – A little over a mile hayride in the woods to a “House in the Hollow” haunting experience.

Ghost Tours of the historic streets of Philadelphia

  • Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tours: 20 historical stops colored with paranormal stories
  • Grim Philly Tours (Adults only): Historians, authors, and professor-lead; off-the beaten path walking tour.
  • Ghost Tours of Philadelphia: Candlelit, ghostly walking tour
  • Candlelight Ghost Tours at Fort Mifflin: this year they are even doing an overnight haunted experience! (Adults only)

Family- Friendly Halloween Events throughout October

There are tons of activities for Philadelphia residents and visitors alike! The Philadelphia architecture, cobblestone streets, and nostalgia offer the perfect environment to host festivities to be remembered at this picturesque time of the year.

Pick Your Pumpkins

sprouts market

  • Sprouts Farmers Market, Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia: Sprouts Farmers Market highlights its pumpkins on the Avenue of the Arts in abundance
  • Greensgrow Farms
  • Iovine Brothers Produce in Philadelphia’s renowned Reading Terminal

Season-long Halloween Festivities for the Family

  • Boo at the Zoo: The Philadelphia Zoo hosts an “extinction graveyard,” an interactive “Habitat Hollow,” hands-on activities! A Philly family favorite.
  • Spooky Mini Golf at Franklin Square, by Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods: golf through replicas of the historic markers of Philadelphia! Fog, lights, a playground, and carousel, too!
  • Franklin Fright at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute: Gourd’n the Giant Pumpkin Robot and “The Lab” promises “eerie-sistable Halloween T.R.E.A.T.S. (Tricks, Robots, Experiments, Activities, Technology, Spooky fun).
  • The Please Touch Museum: Many cool kid events including spooky science, storytelling, parades, and dance parties, to name a few.
  • Scarecrow Walk at Morris Arboretum: View the “Spooky Scarecrow” contest and the fall-themed train display and splendor of the gardens.
  • Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt at Sisters Cities Park, by Logan Square, Fairmount, and Art Museum neighborhoods, upon the grand layout of the Philadelphia Parkway.

Adult-Themed Halloween Events for Halloween Throughout October

We have made mention of the haunted houses and walking tours, but there are so many more festivities celebrated in Philadelphia to make your Philadelphia Halloween and October stand out from any other. Rittenhouse and Fitler Square residents are neighbors to The Rosenbach and the Mütter Museum, two historic gems that color our October like no other. Our Rittenhouse homeowners and Fitler Square owners have front seats to take part in a series of events, should they choose to do so. These museums do an amazing job of bridging the old with the new, and Halloween is the perfect host! Not to be missed.

dance party

The Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians, Rittenhouse Square West

A visit to America’s first museum of medical history on its own can be spooky — with preserved specimens from the turn of the century and its “cabinet settings” — this beautiful historical building is turned into a Halloween extravaganza come October, with all sorts of lectures and events:

  • Drinks with Dracula at The Woodlands Cemetery
  • Fungi Fatale: An Exploration of Toxic Mushrooms and Deadly Plants
  • Mischief at the Mutter – 80s horror dance party

the Rosenbauch Museum

Rosenbach Museum, 2008-2010 Delancey St., Philadelphia

The Rosenbach Museum and Library: Two beautiful brownstones adjoin to make this literary treasure that exists, bordering Philadelphia’s Fitler Square neighborhood. Rare book and manuscript collections are shared here with wonderful events, lectures, and courses —and October is a favorite time of the year here!

  • Dracuthon!: All-night reading of Dracula!
  • The Vampire’s History: Notes on a Monster — immersive and theatrical!

Philadelphia’s Best Halloween Parties…the Obvious and Not-So-Obvious

Everyone who adores Halloween is usually down for a great Halloween party and Philadelphia aims to please! We have been there and done it, so trust us! You will have fun dancing the night away. Meeting Philadelphia’s Halloween-spirited fellow folk is always fun, as you fuss over each other’s renditions of the past and bring a little of your own “new.”

  • Henri David Ball, Center City Sheraton Hotel, Philadelphia, PA: The Henri David Ball – 53 years in and still running!!! – and the best-kept secret. We have let the black cat out of the bag. Go!!! Amazing costumes and atmosphere – a true gem.
  • “Mischief at the Mutter” – The Mutter Museum 80s party (as highlighted above)
  • Moshulu Halloween Party – on a historic boat, with the Ben Franklin Bridge Views, on the Delaware waterfront.
  • The Nightmare Before Tinsel – A great bar decked out for Halloween in its entirety, in the Washington Square West neighborhood.
  • Halloween at Barcade in Northern Liberties neighborhood – retro 80’s arcade/bar

There is a very amazing trick-or-treat scene that exists in Philly neighborhoods…especially Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, and Society Hill. Residents sit on their front steps, drinking wine and delivering candy. Neighbors enjoy each other’s company when adoring the trick-or-treaters’ costumes.

Some streets are blocked off for neighborhood parties and to create an easier passage for the little ones when trying to collect their prized candies.

These are Maxwell Realty’s residents’ top picks. We have been practicing luxury real estate in Philadelphia for 50-plus years. We know the Halloween score. We know the Time Warp Dance. And we know our stuff about the ins and outs, and what’s hot and what’s not. We are the luxury Philadelphia Realtor who has been around the block (perhaps your future block!). Rest assured; your Halloween is in good hands. Happy Halloween and Happy October!