The Scariest Haunted Locations in Philadelphia

Medical Wing Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA

Thomas/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Philadelphia is a historic city, and it can also be a rather creepy one. It's a city where Edgar Allan Poe saw fit to pen some of his scariest works and where M. Night Shyamalan filmed movies such as The Sixth Sense. If you're looking for a ghost, the haunted Philadelphia locations listed below might be where to find one. Make sure you bring a flashlight.

01 of 05

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary - Philadelphia - Pennsylvania - 07
Adam Jones, Ph.D./Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0
2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA
Phone +1 215-236-3300

When Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829, it was hailed as a new type of prison, utilizing solitary confinement not just as an occasional punishment, but as the primary state for prisoners. But that doesn't mean solitary confinement was the only punishment prisoners received.

Unsurprisingly, today Eastern State is supposedly one of the most haunted Philadelphia locations. People have reported hearing laughter, seeing shadowy figures and even the feeling of being grabbed by an invisible force. Every October, Eastern State Penitentiary hosts a haunted house known as Terror Behind the Walls. It is, understandably, very scary.

02 of 05

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, PA

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

239 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1915, USA
Phone +1 215-629-4026

The Betsy Ross House isn't just a monument to the former flag-maker, it's also where a security guard was shot in 1980 and left to die. Since then, people have reported hearing voices in the house. The TV show Ghost Hunters visited this site for their season five premiere.

03 of 05

City Tavern

One of the oldest restaurants in Philadelphia features authentic colonial fare served by period-costumed waitstaff.
Lisa Andres/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
138 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
Phone +1 215-413-1443

Opened in 1773 and demolished in 1854 because of a fire, the City Tavern's building is a reconstruction, not the original. But that hasn't stopped ghost sightings from occurring at this historic restaurant. There are rumors of two ghosts here:

  • A former waiter who died in a bar fight
  • A young bride who was burned in the aforementioned fire
04 of 05

Fort Mifflin

Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images
6400 Hog Island Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19153, USA
Phone +1 215-685-4167

This Delaware River fort, built in 1771, is the "only Revolutionary War battlefield completely intact." But, some say that with that intact battlefield comes intact ghosts. There are two specific ghosts that are said to haunt Fort Mifflin.

The first is Elizabeth Pratt, also known as "The Screaming Woman." Married to an officer stationed at the Fort, Elizabeth hanged herself after her daughter died from typhoid fever. People have reported hearing screams from the Officer's Quarters building, where she supposedly died.

The second is William Howe, sometimes called "The Man Without a Face" or "The Faceless Man." Howe supposedly appears as a faceless figure in the casements where prisoners were kept.

Several people and groups have explored Fort Mifflin's hauntings, including Rodney Anonymous, formerly of the band The Dead Milkmen. When he stayed overnight at Fort Mifflin, folks reported several strange occurrences, including batteries dying, objects being moved and his dog refusing to enter certain rooms.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church
Eli Pousson/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Third and, Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
Phone +1 215-925-5968

Opened in 1761, St. Peter's Church has years of history in its walls and in its graveyard. According to an article in the Daily Pennsylvanian, that graveyard is where a "supposed phantom, who many say can be seen every night at 9 p.m., protects the spirits of the five Indian chiefs buried there."

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Philadelphia's Most Haunted Spots