If you fancy yourself as someone not easily scared, be sure to stop by two of the scariest haunted attractions in the area: Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary and The Bates Motel.
Terror Behind the Walls is located in Philadelphia and describes itself as, “A massive haunted house inside a real prison” because, well, it’s a massive haunted house inside a real prison, Eastern State Penitentiary. The prison has been reported to have paranormal occurrences as far back as the 1940s by both officers and inmates according to their website.
Furthermore, paranormal teams frequent the site in order to find out whether this place is actually haunted or people are just paranoid. Thus far, it’s been featured on numerous haunting shows such as Most Haunted Live, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Challenge.
Beyond the paranormal aspect, they still have the actual scary attractions. In the FAQ on their website, when asked if it’s actually scary, their reply is simple: “You bet it’s scary.” Easy enough. They go on to explain that you’re inside an abandoned prison at night, so what’s not scary about that?
What marks this place as truly frightening is that visitors can “be grabbed, held back, sent into hidden passageways, removed from their group and even occasionally incorporated into the show” according to the website. But don’t worry—if you get too scared, you are allowed to opt out and leave; just let one of the actors or staff know.
Ticket prices range based on when you visit and whether you get tickets online beforehand. For those who want to go on the weekend or closer to Halloween, tickets will run a little more from $35 to $50. However, if you go earlier in October or during the week, you can get tickets for as low as $19 online and $25 at the door. In any case, tickets are always cheaper online, so make sure to stock up before your visit!
If you don’t want to travel all the way into Philly just to get scared, try Bates Motel in Glen Mills, Pa. This haunted attraction was actually featured on the Travel Channel’s Scariest Halloween Attractions, so you know it’s good.
Bates Motel contains a few attractions to pick from depending on just how scared you want to get. The first is their Haunted Hayride, “a 25-minute, action packed heart pounding ride through the dark forest of Arasapha Farm.” This route features a variety of things to scare your socks off such as props, visual features and actors.
If you’re looking to get a little more scared, dare to enter The Bates Motel. Though I’ve never personally visited, I’ve heard from many a friend that this is the place to go if you want to get as scared as you possibly can. They even have a warning on their website: “The Bates Motel is a high startle, high action haunted attraction.”
In addition, they have something called Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Trail. The final stage in this “trilogy of terror,” it’s a walk through a corn field and other buildings and sets. Of course you can expect it to be filled with terrifying tricks and turns, so enter at your own risk.
Tickets range based on what you want to get out of the attractions: general admission to all three events is $40 for adults and $35 for kids. If you want to get fancy, try the VIP pass and skip all the lines for $75!
Wherever you go to get your scares in time for Halloween, you really can’t go wrong; the Philadelphia area is home to a slew of great attractions. Beware and good luck.
Lauren Detweiler is a fourth-year student majoring in English writings with minors in web technology & applications and communication studies. She can be reached at LD838069@wcupa.edu.