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September 11, 2023

Get spooked and then calm down with a drink at Eastern State Penitentiary this fall

During Halloween Nights, the historic prison runs haunted houses, themed bars and family-friendly activities

Holiday Halloween
Halloween Eastern State Erin Davis/Eastern State Penitentiary

Halloween Nights, Eastern State Penitentiary's spooky fall attraction, runs from Sept. 22 to Nov. 11. It includes haunted houses, themed bars and family-friendly activities.

Eastern State Penitentiary offers tours year-round, but the historic prison is busiest during the fall, when its abandoned cellblocks are transformed into spooky attractions. 

Halloween Nights returns Friday, Sept. 22, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 11. This year, guests can visit five haunted houses, four themed bars and family-friendly spaces while exploring the prison yard and staring up at the empty guard towers. Tickets cost $39 to $59. 

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Inside Delirium, a three-dimensional haunted house, camouflaged creatures emerge from hiding places in a murky neon jungle. In the Machine Shop, menacing shop workers urge visitors to join their crew. The Crypt takes people through the lair of an ancient vampire clan, with some chosen to serve as human sacrifices. 

The other haunted houses are Big Top Terror, where spooky performers are willing to do anything to stay in the spotlight, and Nightmares, where guests are in danger of becoming forever trapped in their worst nightmares.

After all those frights, guests may want a drink. The Bizarre Bar has acrobats, magicians and balloon artists. The Bloodline Lounge is a vampire-themed cocktail lounge with live performances. Pumpkin Plaza offers dance performances from The Boogie Monsters. There also is an outdoor beer garden from Triple Bottom Brewing and Down North Pizza.

VIP visitors can enjoy cocktails and live music at a speakeasy in Al Capone's former cell. One complimentary drink is included with each ticket. 

Family-friendly activities include s'mores and ghost stories around a campfire and Kaleidoscope Hall, a colorful attraction that highlights the crumbling walls and vaulted ceilings of the prison. 

Halloween Nights

Sept. 22 to Nov. 11 | $39-59Eastern State Penitentiary2027 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19130