This blog post was updated on November 6, 2018.
Being one of the nation’s oldest cities, it comes as no surprise that Philadelphia boasts its fair share of haunted sites. While the city might be known for its role in the founding of the U.S., Philadelphia is also said to harbor a great deal of its past. It is a city where people like Benjamin Franklin and Benedict Arnold are still said to be hanging around town. If you are headed to Philadelphia this October and want to be spooked, these attractions in town are sure to give you the goosebumps.
82 Fort Mifflin Road
Located on the Delaware River at the mouth of the Schuylkill River, Fort Mifflin stands as the oldest Revolutionary War battlefield still in tact in the country. Set on 40 acres, the site is also considered one of the bloodiest battlefields in which many soldiers on both sides lost their lives. Said to be among the most haunted places in America, Fort Mifflin claims ghostly sightings such as a screaming woman and colonial soldiers marching about. In addition to the ghosts, the Fort boasts 8 buildings with signs of bombardment by British forces.
138 South 2nd Street at Walnut Street
If you would prefer to have a ghostly sighting over a full stomach, you can head to Philadelphia’s City Tavern. Originally built in 1773, the tavern once saw Paul Revere ride up to tell news of the closing of the port of Boston and even welcomed John Adams when he arrived in town in 1774. The current structure is a reconstruction of the original, which was destroyed in a fire in the 19th century. It is from that very fire that City Tavern claims one of its ghostly sightings. The fire occurred during preparations for a wedding in which the bride did not survive. Some have reported seeing the bride in between courses at dinner.
2027 Fairmount Avenue
Originally built in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary should be on every ghost hunter’s list while in town. Designed by Benjamin Franklin, the penitentiary once held all inmates in solitary confinement. As a result, many of the inmates experienced mental illnesses. The fortress like building was used as a prison until 1970 and abandoned in 1971. Today, it houses a museum with daytime prison tours and a seasonal nighttime haunted house. Eastern State Penitentiary is frequently the subject of ghost hunts, especially considering it once housed some of the most notorious criminals including Al Capone.
6th & Walnut Streets
Washington Square might seem like a nice place for a stroll while in town, but ghost hunters claim there is much more to this area of the city. The square once acted as the burial ground for fallen soldiers and victims of the yellow fever epidemic during the 18th century. Many claim these souls still haunt Washington Square, namely a Quaker woman named Leah. A stroll through the square just might present a few conversations with no one really there.