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Lancaster's Top

Halloween Attractions

Lancaster's Top Halloween Attractions

Spooky season has arrived, and the typically serene Lancaster is suddenly bursting with witches, zombies, goblins, and ghosts. Throughout the month of October, there are plenty of unique attractions that appeal to scaredy-cats and thrill-seekers alike. No matter where you fall on the spooky spectrum, you should have no trouble finding a thematic experience that will keep you and your loved ones entertained.

Not sure where to start? With so many Lancaster Halloween events available, you could dedicate your entire trip to spooks and still not see or experience it all. Still, it's worth your while to hit up at least a few destinations and make the creepiest memories imaginable. Add these Lancaster Halloween attractions to your itinerary and get ready for a frighteningly good time.

Happy Hauntings: Dutch Wonderland

While many Halloween activities in Lancaster are not ideal for families with young children, Dutch Wonderland offers a notable exception. For Halloween, this beloved amusement park does it up with eye-catching seasonal decor, plus re-theming for the park's best rides. Character dining takes a step up at the onsite buffet, where guests are encouraged to wear their costumes.

The scavenger hunt and the mystery maze are sure to delight visitors of all ages, while youngsters will adore the costume parade. Puppet shows, dancing, and story time ensure that there really is something for everyone. The Halloween version of Dutch Wonderland's popular dive show brings a mystery to the forefront, capping off the perfect day of October fun.

Legacy of Sleepy Hallow: Strasburg Railroad

A ride on the Strasburg Railroad is always a must when visiting Lancaster, but the experience can look a lot different depending on when you board and which type of expedition you select. If you book tickets for the Legacy of Sleepy Hollow, you can expect to build on the iconic ghost story as you join Ichabod Crane's great-great-granddaughter.

A professional cast makes this production truly compelling, beginning with a pre-boarding show that sets the scene. Strobe lights, spooky music, and fog all contribute to the ambiance, with the full ride lasting one hour. It's an amazing journey no matter which train car you select. While the coach experience is delightful, nothing compares to the dining car, where you get your spooks with a meal on the side.

Field of Screams


A local hit for over three decades, this horrifying haunt has attracted over one million visitors through the years and received all kinds of awards and praise. Located near Lancaster in the town of Mountville, this famed attraction will appeal to the most ambitious thrill-seekers. Any visit should include the following:

  • Hayride. Check out Field of Screams' original attraction, which remains just as compelling to this day. Featuring a sizable wagon that navigates a horrifying cornfield, this experience feels wonderfully immersive, thanks to the exceptional makeup, set design, and general artistry.

  • Den of Darkness. This is widely regarded as the attraction that put Field of Screams on the map. Highly interactive, this blood-curdling haunted house gets you up close and personal with the most frightening characters imaginable. Even if you're typically unphased by haunted houses, you'll want to give this one a try: you just might be surprised how quickly it can captivate you with its immersive set design.

  • Nocturnal Wasteland. This walkthrough experience is a genuine trail of terror. Truly innovative, the expedition will either frighten you or gross you out — or, in all likelihood, accomplish both goals. You'll be relieved once the trek is over, but also, proud you were brave enough to tackle it and oddly compelled to try it again.

If all this isn't terrifying enough, you can take part in the extra-intense Extreme Blackout experience, which comes to Field of Screams for just one night. The average visitor probably won't be able to stomach this special event, which incorporates extreme scare tactics going beyond anything you'll find in the ordinary Field of Screams or the region's other haunted attractions.


Jason's Woods


While it promises "unparalleled horror and excitement," Jason's Woods is far from the most terrifying attraction in the Lancaster area. That's exactly what makes it appealing, however: it's home to manageable thrills that self-proclaimed scaredy-cats can still handle.

Food and live music are to be expected, plus hayrides that take you through memorable haunted scenes and an outdoor walking experience that brings you into the deep, dark woods. The carnival attraction is the spookiest of all, using custom-designed clown scenes to disorient and disturb visitors.

If nothing else, Jason's Woods is worth checking out due to its historical significance. This was an early leader in the screampark business and paved the way for the larger and fancier attractions that would quickly steal its thunder. It's been around for over three decades but interestingly, was first created in hopes of preserving a family farm. If you want an introduction to the local screampark scene or to simply take part in a long-beloved tradition, this is a great place to start.

Shocktoberfest


On the hunt for even more spooks? As the final component of Lancaster's haunted trifecta, Shocktoberfest can be found on a parcel of land near Reading that is said to have a disturbing past.

The experience always feels fresh, as many attractions are decked out with brand-new themes on a regular basis. Any visit to Shocktoberfest should include these essentials:

  • Prison of the Dead. As the main haunted house at Shocktoberfest, this tour spans over 50,000 square feet of the Willow Glen State Penitentiary. An inmate bus brings brave souls to the entrance, followed by an extended adventure that involves half an hour of walking, crawling, and screaming

  • Monster Midway. Chock full of food, games, and other activities, the Monster Midway could easily keep you entertained for your entire Shocktoberfest experience, although you will eventually want to explore beyond its festively spooky confines. There are plenty of food trucks onsite and often live music as well

  • Ground Assault. Bringing the concept of the first-person shooter to life, this laser tag experience turns Shocktoberfest attendees into active horror participants. Each game is truly exhilarating, and best enjoyed alongside close friends or family members.


Guided Ghost Tour of Lititz


Take a haunted journey down Main Street in the charming town of Lititz, which might not seem so innocent by the time your guided tour comes to an end. This walking tour may be family-friendly, but you'll make some unsettling discoveries along the way. From haunted taverns to historic corpse houses, there's a lot of paranormal activity in this town and you'll get the insider scoop as you pass by the most noteworthy spots.

Don't worry if you can't make it during the fall — Lititz also offers tours throughout the rest of the year, although the standard expedition is a bit less spooky. You can also explore tour stops such as Moravian House Antiques on your own, although these visits are a lot more satisfying when your guide can clue you in on their haunted underpinnings.

Ghost Tours of Lancaster & Strasburg

Ghost Tours of Lancaster & Strasburg

Lancaster has a thorny past, as you will quickly learn while taking one of the city's popular ghost tours. Head to the downtown district for a candlelit tour, which will provide a thorough overview of the city and its creepiest spots. You'll discover all the details about Lancaster's most iconic mysteries.

Similar tours are offered nearby in Strasburg and, if you're really intrigued by the haunted lore, you will sign up for both experiences. Both tours are based on the book Ghost Stories of Lancaster, PA, so you'll definitely want to grab a copy to learn more.

Hersheypark Halloween: Dark Nights

Hersheypark Halloween: Dark Nights

Hersheypark is always a must-visit for thrill seekers, but it takes on a whole new level of excitement during the spooky season. This is when, in addition to the usual roller coaster thrills, you get access to several scare zones and haunted houses. All this is included with admission, so your experience can be as terrifying or as delightful as you desire. Hits among Halloween enthusiasts include:

  • Twisted Carnevil. Creepy circus theming dominates this immersive experience, which will horrify anybody who is naturally inclined to avoid clowns. As Hersheypark's official description explains, this experience is sure to "hypnotize some and paralyze others."

  • Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir. The story behind this maze is arguably more terrifying than the attraction itself: it's all about the cleverly named Mass Acres Farm, where meat processor Ethel Mortem (also known as Auntie) brings a gruesome new element to the farm-to-table concept.

  • Haunted Coal Mine. A dark and disturbing coal mine forms the backdrop for this unforgettable attraction, which is grounded, to some extent in reality: it was inspired by Pennsylvania's long history of coal mining and also by a previous plan to incorporate a Minetown area within Hersheypark. A variety of evocative details set this unique take on the coal mine experience apart.

When you aren't busy navigating the haunted houses or waiting in line for top rides, you'll definitely want to fill up on limited-time treats, which are nearly too frightening to eat. A tasting pass is available, so you can fill up on Toxic Mac & Cheese, Terror Tots, or Fried Oreo Eyeballs. Don't forget a nightcap from Spirit's Rooftop Bar; concoctions such as Toxic Mary and Death in the Evening are not to be missed.

Your Home Base for the Ultimate Halloween in Lancaster PA

Following a terrifying night out, you will want somewhere relaxing to recharge. You'll love the serene atmosphere at The Eden Resort, where you can kick back in style. Grab a bite at one of the onsite restaurants or unwind at the pool. After a low-key evening, you'll be ready to once again head out and tackle the spookiest Lancaster Halloween events. Book your accommodations and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

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