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'Spooky' Pennsylvania attractions to visit before Halloween

From Gettysburg to Philadelphia, here are some must-see Pennsylvania "haunted" attractions to visit this October.
Credit: David Arment - stock.adobe.com

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — As Halloween continues to creep closer, here are some spooky inns and attractions to visit. 

From unnerving history to paranormal fright nights these Pa. places are sure to send a chill down your spine. 

Historic Farnsworth House Inn 

Located at 401 Baltimore Street in Gettysburg, the Historic Farnsworth House Inn is named in honor of Civil War Brigadier General Elon John Farnsworth. 

Farnsworth led an ill-fated charge following the failure of Pickett's charge, which killed Farnsworth and 65 of his men. 

Additionally, the house sheltered Confederate sharpshooters during the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. One of these sheltered shooters is believed to be responsible for the accidental shooting of 20-year-old Mary Virginia "Jenny" Wade.

Following the battle, the house served as a hospital. The Lincoln procession passed by the house on Nov. 19, 1863 while on the way to the National Cemetary where Lincoln would deliver his famous Gettysburg Address. 

Nowadays, the Inn hosts a dining experience reminiscent of the Civil War-era with Victorian accommodations. 

In October, the Farnsworth House Inn is hosting two Paranormal Nights. The first night will be held on Oct. 14 from 8 p.m. to midnight. The second night will be held Saturday, Oct. 29 during the same timeframe. 

Tickets are $75 per person with a limited amount available. Tickets for those interested in the event can be found here

The Old Jail Museum 

Located at 128 West Broadway in Jim Thorpe, The Old Jail Museum was an execution spot in 1877. 

Seven members of the Molly Maguires, a secret union of Irish coal miners, were imprisoned and hanged inside the building. Before their hanging, the accused men maintained their innocence. Today's historians believe the men were falsely accused of murder.

Before his hanging, one man allegedly put his hand on the dirty floor of his cell and placed it firmly on the wall, saying, "This handprint will remain as proof of my innocence." 

Despite reports that past wardens tried to erase the handprint by washing, painting, and even re-plastering the wall, the handprint, believed to be Thomas Fisher's, is visible to visitors today in cell 17.

The museum is open Monday through Thursday until Nov. 4. from 1 to 4:30 p.m. 

Visitors can experience a guided 30-minute tour of the museum. More information on pricing and ticket availability can be found here

Haunted Hill View Manor

Previously known as the Lawrence County Home for the Aged, this building housed the county's mentally ill, severely destitute, and elderly residents with no known family. The facility first opened its doors on Oct. 19, 1926, and officially closed its doors in 2004. 

Today, standing at 2801 Hill View Manor Drive in New Castle, the manor is referred to as one of the most haunted houses in western Pa. The website has several videos of evidence detailing reported hauntings.

The manor is for the more hard-core thrill seekers. Participants must sign a waiver of liability to enter the house, but there are multiple ways to explore the long-standing building. 

Guests can visit the haunted house and field maze or experience day tours. Additionally, customers can experience six hours of public investigations or eight hours of private investigations

There are also multiple special events for guests to attend, including a Halloween Psychic Tour and a Spooky Movie Night. More information on special events can be found here

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. Opened in 1829, the prison was known for its grand architecture and strict discipline. This was the first prison designed to inspire true regret in the heart of its prisoners. 

America's most notorious lawbreakers, such as Al Capone and bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton have been incarcerated at this building. 

Harsh punishments have also been described in the prison. Such punishments include a water bath where inmates were dunked and then hung out on a wall in winter until ice formed on their skin. 

Additionally, "the mad chair" was a known punishment method that bound an inmate so tightly their circulation was cut off, sometimes necessitating amputation. 

After 142 years, the prison closed its doors in 1971 and has since been deemed a historical landmark. 

Located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, the penitentiary offers day and nighttime tours for those brave enough to tour the abandoned cellblocks. Tickets are available online and at the door. 

"Halloween Nights" is also offered. The event is described as an immersive experience that features five haunted houses along with historic tours and live entertainment. 

The prison is considered one of the most haunted places in America, but guests can determine if the jail lives up to that title themselves. 

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