With fall foliage peaking in the weeks leading up to Halloween and a host of seasonal activities the whole family can enjoy, there is no better time to visit the Pocono Mountains.
Whether your perfect Northeast autumn includes pumpkins or hayrides, festivals or rich cultural history, spooky ghost tours or ziplining in the dark, you’ll find it in the Poconos. Be sure to add these seven places and activities to your plans.
Hotel of Horror Featuring Altered Nightmares
Weekends, Sept. 22-Nov. 3
Looking for a scare-your-pants-off experience? Horror fans will be delighted and terrified by the truly frightening Hotel of Horror. This award-winning haunted house is filled with monsters, spirits and sights that are the stuff of nightmares.
With incredible set design, sound and lighting, live actors, animatronics and a touch of the paranormal, this is a walkthrough haunting you won’t soon forget. Housed in the “abandoned” and genuinely creepy Lake House Hotel, the site is home to almost 200 years of tragic and gruesome real-life history.
The hotel features three attractions under the same roof – Hotel of Horror, Altered Nightmares and Theatre of the Damned. Tickets can be purchased separately or combined.
Old Jail Ghost Tours
Saturdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20
Historic Jim Thorpe is home to The Old Jail – an imposing stone fortress complete with a dungeon, which was in use as a jail from 1871 until 1995. Today the site is a museum offering guided tours.
You’ll see the mysterious and enduring handprint of a prisoner who claimed his innocence (in the 1870s), and hear the story of the Molly Maguires, seven condemned coal miners.
If you’re feeling bold, test your bravery on the Old Jail Ghost Tours, where you’ll hear spine-chilling true stories about the jail’s real hauntings. Be sure to bring your camera to capture photos of the spirits, if you dare.
Spooktacular Weekends at Woodloch Resort
The award-winning, lakeside Woodloch Resort goes all out with their Spooktacular Weekends. Younger children will enjoy daytime activities including pumpkin painting, hayrides, scavenger hunts, trick-or-treating, a Halloween parade and costume party.
Teens and adult thrill-seekers should check out Woodloch’s terrifying nighttime Haunted Hayride. Winding its way through a frightening forest, riders will be scared stiff with spooky special effects, music and live actors.
Rehash your night’s adventures and survey the vivid colors of the forested mountains as you relax on the lake, at the spa, or on the green of Woodloch’s 18-hole championship golf course.
Spooky Days on the Farm
Weekend of Oct. 26-28
Originally built in the 19th century, Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm is a 114-acre living history museum with the mission of preserving Pennsylvania’s German agricultural heritage.
The farm immerses visitors in the daily farm life of the 1800s through reenactments and demonstrations by interpreters dressed in period clothing. And during the month of October things take a turn for the haunted at this idyllic retreat with Spooky Days on the Farm.
Enjoy games, ghost stories, horse-drawn wagon rides and other fun family-friendly activities during the day. At night, put on your detective cloak as you help solve a mysterious murder mystery at the farm and confront the creatures of the night.
The Settlers Inn Storytelling Dinners
Friday & Saturday, Oct. 26-27
Foodies and storytellers alike will gain nourishment (mind, body, and soul) from the annual Settlers Inn Storytelling Dinners. Live music and glowing pumpkins are just the beginning.
Every autumn, The Settlers Inn hosts storytelling dinners with a seasonal menu and live music. Be inspired by the storytelling and sample interesting wines and craft brews from the extensive beverage menu.
To continue your storytelling celebration, head to Grey Towers National Historic Landmark for a
Dramatic Reading: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe
Saturday, Oct. 27
Hosted by the American Readers Theatre, this annual event commemorates the life and works of the master of the macabre.
Built by the Pinchot family as a summer retreat in the late 1800s, Grey Towers is the perfect setting for a haunted experience. Come early for a tour of the exquisite grounds and learn about the Pinchot family’s role in conservation and the Forest Service.
“Spooky Spectacular” at Steamtown NHS
Saturday, Oct. 27
Don your favorite costume and hop aboard Steamtown’s historic coaches bound for “Ghoulsboro” (Gouldsboro, Pa.) on the Spooky Spectacular. Train-lovers young and old will have a blast on this festive train ride decked out with creepy-crawlies, while enjoying gorgeous views of the passing autumn landscape.
Located in Scranton, Pa., Steamtown National Historic Site is a railroad museum and heritage site open to visitors year-round with fall foliage excursions on select dates.
The Spooky Spectacular is scheduled to depart the station at 11:30am and return at 3:00pm. Arrive early for family-friendly activities starting at 9:00am at the Steamtown station, including arts and crafts and a Spooky Spectacular scavenger hunt.
Click here for more spooky attractions in the Pocono Mountains.