The Top Haunted Places in Philadelphia


Being one of the oldest and most historic cities in the country, Philadelphia and its countryside are also one of the most haunted. It's almost impossible to go anywhere in or around the city without at least hearing about some type of paranormal activity, so why not experience it first hand?

City Tavern - Old City

City Tavern, Lisa Andres/Flickr


First opened in 1773, City Tavern has created quite a history over the centuries. After a fire in 1834, the tavern was torn down, but was reproduced on national historic park land for the 1976 bicentennial. The reproduction is said to be so true to the original, that the spirits of the former spot are said to haunt the tavern. Ask to dine in the "haunted section" and maybe you'll see an apparition of the young bride who is said to have been killed in the fire. Another spirit, a waiter killed in a duel, is said to move table settings and rattle silverware.


Eastern State Penitentiary - Fairmount

Eastern State Penitentiary Barber Shop Chair via Wikipedia

Considered to be one of the most haunted locations in the world, Eastern State Penitentiary first opened its doors in 1829. The prison was designed to hold 253 prisoners, each occupying a solitary confinement cell for their entire sentence, including the infamous, Al Capone. Eastern State Penitentiary has been featured on Ghost Hunters, due to ghost sitings being reported since the 1940s that have increased since it was abandoned in the 70s.

Fort Mifflin

Fort Mifflin Quartermasters, Jim Bowen/Flickr

Fort Mifflin is the oldest Revolutionary War battlefield still intact. It's considered one of the most haunted places in America, and is reportedly frequented by the spirits of colonial soldiers. Ghost tours and other paranormal events are held on site, but be warned, visitors have been, touched, pushed, pulled and sometimes restrained by unearthly hands.

Philadelphia Zoo - Fairmount Park

Not even the kids are safe from haunting spirits in this city. The zoo's Treehouse building, Pennrose building, and John Penn House have all been credited with paranormal activity, which landed them as a subject on the show, Ghost Hunters.


Academy of Music - Center City-Avenue of The Arts

Beware of the upstairs balcony at the Academy of Music, where women have reported incidents of invisible figures sitting next to them, often pinching and pulling their hair. There was one report of a figure disappearing into thin air.

Laurel Hill Cemetery - East Falls

Mother and Twins Monument In Laurel Hill Cemetery south section, via Wikimedia Commons

Laurel Hill Cemetary hosts events all year long, and as one of the country's oldest cemeteries, it is a favorite among paranormal investigators. With 78 acres to explore in this National Historic Landmark, the cemetery marks the burial ground of several Philadelphia elite including Rittenhouse, Widener, Elkins and Strawbridge. General George Meade and 39 other Civil War-era generals and six Titanic passengers are also buried on the site.

Van Sant Covered Bridge - Bucks County, PA

via Wikimedia Commons

Rumored to be one of the most haunted locations in all of Pennsylvania, the 86 foot long Van Sant bridge was built in 1875, and is rumored to be filled with spirits of the colonial times. Located near Washington's Crossing Historic Park, this spooky spot is at least worth a drive through its grounds, even if you're too chicken to get out and take a walk.

Washington Square

Washington Square served as a burial ground for fallen soldiers and victims of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia during the 18th century. The square is said to be patrolled by the spirit of a woman named Leah, who protected the site from grave robbers centuries ago. Today, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is lit by an eternal flame in honor of the of soldiers of the American Revolutionary War buried beneath the square.

Pennsylvania Hospital - Center City

via Wikipedia

Visit the over 200-year-old Pennsylvania Hospital, where William Penn is said to emerge from his statue on the estate lawn, under the light of a full moon.

Betsy Ross House - Old City

via Wikipedia

The creator of the American flag was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she constantly mourned throughout her life over the death of her husband and several children. Some visitors of the Betsy Ross House have claimed to hear her crying around the home.

Elisa Domenick is a writer and documentary filmmaker with a passion for adventure and exploring places off the beaten path.