With the popularity of all things scary and paranormal, you would think that Halloween is a season and not just the one-day event we all know and love. But to be fair, who doesn’t love a good scare every now and then? There’s something about the paranormal that makes us feel alive. Hence why people enjoy watching horror flicks under the safety of a blanket or trading stories around a campfire. For those hoping to face the paranormal and experience a chill of terror on their next trip, we’ve compiled a haunted Pennsylvania road trip just for you.
Haunted Pennsylvania Road Trip
|Driving Time||8 Hours and 28 Minutes|
There’s no denying that Pennsylvania has a scary reputation. Not only does it sound like Dracula’s birthplace, but its home to a plethora of haunted places. Henceforth, we choose the City of Brotherly Love as the starting point for our haunted Pennsylvania road trip. Once you pick up your car rental in Philadelphia, simply read below and get ready to hit the road.
Stop 1: Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia
Our haunted road trip starts in one of America’s most haunted abandoned prisons, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. It was built in 1829 and was considered one of the most high-tech prisons in its time due to its architectural precedent. It even held the notorious Al Capone for a brief period. Although it closed in 1971, you can sense that inmates never left due to numerous accounts of paranormal activities. The haunted prison holds ghostly tours and special events, such as a nighttime haunted house in October. People claim to hear laughing and strange voices in Cell 12, see shadowy figures in Cell 6, and spot ghostly faces in Cell 4.
Stop 2: Pennhurst Asylum in Spring City
When the Pennhurst Asylum opened in 1908, it was designed to be a haven to the mentally and physically handicapped. However, the hospital was pressured to house immigrants, criminals and orphans, and so quickly became overcrowded. It later became the shame of Pennsylvania after a five-episode exposé in the mid-1960s revealed the horrific tales of abuse. This led to its eventual closure in 1987. Today, it has been turned into a haunted house with walkthrough attractions that feature items and artifacts from its original run. Visitors claim to see apparitions of nurses and children and experience unexplained marks and scratches.
Stop 3: Hex Hollow in Stewartstown
If you’re interested in the occult, our next stop and its story of murder and witchcraft is just for you. Rehmeyer’s Hollow (aka Hex Hollow) was brought to national and international attention due to a legendary incident in 1928. During this time, York County was swept with superstitions and the occult. A local witch named Nellie Noll accused farmer Nelson Rehmeyer of being a witch and of cursing John Blymire. Because of this, Blymire and two of his friends broke into Rehmeyer’s house in search of his spell book. While they were unable to find the book, they did encounter Rehmeyer himself. They killed him in hopes of lifting the curse and set fire to the house to destroy the evidence. This led to a murder trial that drew substantial media attention. Rehmeyer’s house survived the fire and is believed to be haunted.
Stop 4: Devil’s Den in Gettysburg
Our next stop on this Pennsylvania road trip takes us to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania’s most haunted town. During the Civil War, the three-day Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 resulted in the bloodiest battle with over 55,000 casualties. During the second day, soldiers participated in an intense battle at Devil’s Den. This area was full of boulders, hills, and valleys that were used by snipers. The spirits of Union and Confederate soldiers that died here are said to have remained. The most notable ghost is of a friendly man in a floppy hat.
Stop 5: Farnsworth House Inn in Gettysburg
For the brave ones that want to experience a haunted stay in Gettysburg, try out the Farnsworth House Inn, one of the most haunted inns in America. It dates back to 1810 and was particularly popular during the infamous battle of Gettysburg. During this time, it was a makeshift hospital and resting place for soldiers from both sides. In particular, Confederate sharpshooters used the attic to shoot through the window. Because of this, the ghosts of theses soldiers and their victims continue to take residence here. Visitors can choose to stay in a haunted room at the B&B or take a haunted tour of the building.
Stop 6: Mishler Theatre in Altoona
Our next stop on this Pennsylvania ghost hunt brings us to the Mishler Theatre in Altoona. Mr. Isaac Mishler opened it in 1906 and it has undergone multiple renovations after fires and even wrecking balls. The only constant seems to be Mr. Isaac Mishler himself, whose spirit remains. He often roams the theatre during productions, leaving a trail of cigar smoke in his wake.
Stop 7: Night of the Living Dead Graveyard in Evans City
If you’re a fan of the 1968 “The Night of the Living Dead”, then you’re in for a treat. Sure, the Evans City Cemetery is probably about as haunted as any other cemetery. However, the fact that George Romero’s cult classic was exclusively shot in the remote Evans City makes it a must visit for any horror film enthusiast. Though it takes effort to reach this cemetery, fans making the pilgrimage to the location of the film’s opening scene feel it’s appropriate. While we can’t guarantee a zombie sighting, we assume that’s probably for the best.
Stop 8: Living Dead Museum in Evans City
We end our haunted road trip at the Living Dead Museum, which is located in the heart of Evans City. This museum pay tribute to the birth and rise of the zombie genre through the ages. It showcases the history of zombies in pop culture beyond the NOTLD universe. You’ll even see The Walking Dead and the Resident Evil franchise featured on the museum’s timeline. If you’re in the area in mid-October, be sure to participate in the Living Dead Fest, which features a zombie walk that is to die for.
Experience the Haunted History of Pennsylvania with a Haunted Road Trip
As you can see, as one of the first 13 states, Pennsylvania’s history is full of events that can still be witnessed today. A haunted road trip through Pennsylvania can take you on a journey through the paranormal and occult. You not only experience a historic cementaries, haunted prisons, and asylums, but you also get to visit a unique destination in Pennsylvania’s cinematic history. If you’re brave enough to make the trek, Philadelphia is an ideal starting place and Sixt is sure to have a car rental that will make your trip all the more enjoyable.