With a past that dates back to the early 1600s, Pennsylvania teems with historic sites known for paranormal activity and unexplained happenings. Check out these spooky locales where you’ll discover fascinating history – and possibly a ghostly encounter.
1. Farnsworth House Inn
Used as shelter for Confederate sharpshooters and a makeshift hospital after the Battle of Gettysburg, the Farnsworth House Inn is touted as one of the most haunted places in America. Stay in the historic bed-and-breakfast and choose from a variety of spooky experiences, including ghost hunts and guided walks through cemeteries, hospitals, and battle sites.
2. Old Jail Museum
In 1877, seven members of the Molly Maguires, a secret union of Irish coal miners, were imprisoned and executed at Jim Thorpe’s Old Jail Museum. Wander to cell 17 in the preserved building where a Molly Maguire left a dirty handprint before his hanging as a declaration of innocence (mysteriously visible after the wall was washed, painted, and plastered).
3. Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park
Tour Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park to gain insight into the area’s American Indian and pioneer folklore including the story of Nita-nee, a Seneca Indian maiden who fell in love with a French trapper named Malachi Boyer. Forbidden to marry, the couple ran away and were captured, and Malachi was thrown into Penn’s Cave to perish.
4. Cathedral of Learning
The eerie Early American Room in the Cathedral of Learning, the educational tower that looms over the University of Pittsburgh, is known for mysterious activity, including shifting furniture and objects, cold spots, and randomly flaring candles.
5. Mishler’s Theatre
The uncovered testimony of a teenage girl claims the ghost of Isaac Mishler haunts historic Altoona’s Mishler Theatre. Madeline Letsche befriended the founder of the theater when her mother, Laura, would help with theatre productions. Over the years, many stage crew members, actors, office workers, and visitors have heard, seen, and even felt Isaac Mishler’s presence. So, if you head to the theatre for a showing, you may just get more of a performance than you bargained for.
6. Haunted Hill View Manor
Visitors to Haunted Hill View Manor report hearing voices and footsteps and seeing numerous apparitions, including patients peeking out of rooms, a young boy, and a man who offers to take guests’ photos for $1. The facility, which operated from 1926 to 2004 as a home for the mentally ill, elderly, and financially destitute, is open for tours.
7. Jean Bonnet Tavern
Jean Bonnet Tavern, which has welcomed travelers to Bedford since 1762, is an excellent place to satisfy your appetite for delicious eats and paranormal activity. Guests and staff members report feeling touched when no one is around, seeing a strange man’s apparition at the bar after hours, and hearing doors open and close on their own.
8. Eastern State Penitentiary
Lingering spirits of past prisoners seemingly haunt the cellblocks of Eastern State Penitentiary. The nearly 200-year-old National Historic Landmark offers daytime tours, or brave souls can sign up for night tours through the dark, abandoned cellblocks.
9. Hotel Bethlehem
The 1741 Hotel Bethlehem is the hangout of many friendly ghosts, including a 1800s stage star who sings and dances for guests in the lobby, a welcoming Bethlehem tour guide who greets guests in the boiler room, and a former landlady who appears without shoes or stockings.
10. Ghost Tour of Lancaster
Take the Ghost Tour of Lancaster for shiver-worthy stories of “otherworldly vigils, fatal curses, and star-crossed lovers.”
11. Ghost Tours of New Hope
Follow the lantern light and keep your eyes peeled for a phantom hitchhiker and the ghost of 1700s-era politician Aaron Burr during Ghost Tours of New Hope.
12. Haunted Pittsburgh Ghost Tour
Explore haunted locales such as Allegheny County Jail and William Penn Hotel on the Haunted Pittsburgh Ghost Tour, where the Steel City’s salty past comes to life.
Haunted Road Trips in PA
- Ghost Rides, Eastern PA
- Ghost Rides, Pittsburgh & Its Countryside
- Horror Film Trail, Pittsburgh & Its Countryside
Haunted Houses in PA
- Bates Motel, Glen Mills
- Field of Screams, Mountville
- Reaper’s Revenge, Scranton
- Haunted Hollow, Rockwood
- The Haunted Acres, Sidman
- Ravenwood Manor at the Hegarty Mansion, Beccaria
- Ghosts and Goblins Tours at Lincoln Caverns, Huntingdon
- Jason’s Woods, Lancaster
- Pennhurst Asylum, Spring City
- ScareHouse, Pittsburgh
Not-So-Spooky Family Events & Attractions
- The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place®, Langhorne
- ZooBoo at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Pittsburgh
- Knoebels Hallo-Fun, Elysburg
- Boo! at the Zoo at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, Halifax
- The Pumpkin Walk at Creekside Gardens, Tunkhannock
- Hersheypark HalloweenTM, Hershey
- Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster
To learn more about haunted attractions in PA, check out visitPA.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state.