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Pennsylvania Haunted Houses can be found here at www.Hauntworld.com. Are you looking for the biggest, best and scariest haunted houses in Pennsylvania? Every haunted attraction in Pennsylvania from haunted houses, haunted attractions, hayrides, corn mazes, Screamparks, to everything between can be found on these pages. If you are looking for the best and scariest haunted houses in Pittsburg, Allentown or Lancaster, Pennsylvania the scariest haunts are found here at HauntWorld. Pennsylvania Haunted Houses are some of the best and scariest haunted houses in the United States. We offer a zip code finder so you can locate these scary haunted houses in Pennsylvania closer to where you live.
 
GHOST TOURS IN PENNSYLVANIA
 
 
 
 
Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania - www.muhlenberg.edu/index.html - 16 Views
Muhlenberg College is one of the most beautifully laid out colleges you will ever visit, with lovely landscaping, big trees, plenty of green grass, handsome buildings from several eras. The buildings on campus are beautiful, whether they are 19th century architecture, found in the glorious brick buildings of Academy Row & the bell tower, or the stone Egner Memorial Chapel, that looks more like a cathedral or more modern buildings, like Tresler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance. But do not be deceived, these beautiful buildings and rich history also has many secrets and has been know to have paranormal activity.

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The Original Ghosts of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - www.ghostsofgettysburg.com/ - 11 Views
In 1994, Mark started the first ghost walk in Gettysburg, The Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours®. Armed with tales from his ghost books - and with a few that aren't in the books -guides dressed in period attire take visitors on evening tours through sections of town that were bloody battlefields 13 decades ago; through night-darkened streets to houses and buildings where it's not as quiet as it should be; to sites on the old Pennsylvania College campus where the slain once lay in rows, and the wounded suffered horribly, waiting to become corpses themselves; to cemeteries where the dead lie. . . sometimes not so peacefully. Gettysburg may very well be, acre for acre, the most haunted place in America.

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Powel House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - www.philalandmarks.org/powel.aspx - 10 Views
This three story grand Georgian Colonial townhouse museum is built along 3rd street known as "Millionaires Row." It is a house museum which has a lovely 18th century garden area as well. The rooms contain old artifacts and authentic reproductions of furnishings which existed during the time which Samuel Powel lived here. The original property was much larger in the 18th and 19th century, as the grounds extended to 4th street. The first floor's dining room and parlor are found on either side of the main paneled and columned entrance hallway, which also features the original glorious colonial, Santo Domingo mahogany staircase. The second floor highlights include the rococo ballroom, with bas-relief plaster work, where George and Martha Washington celebrated their anniversary in 1779. Also, worth admiring is the adjacent withdrawing parlor, which was used then and now as an elegant room for cocktails, conversations, and dining. The beautiful mahogany wainscoting throughout the mansion give the place its reputation as perhaps America's finest existing Georgian Colonial townhouse.

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Easton Area Public Library in Easton, Pennsylvania - www.eastonpl.org/Index.html - 10 Views
The Easton Public Library is described as being "A handsome Carnegie building of blue stone from New Jersey, local bricks, and granite." To enter the original building, you must a stairway "flanked by white marble walls to a landing of tile inlaid with patterns in green, red and yellow. Inside the original building, there are "Faux green marble columns" support the 12 ft high ceilings. Each major room of the library has heavy oak and glass doors, with arched windows on the top of each door. The beautiful grounds are lit up like a park. and everything looks a little odd; seeing things that one normally doesn't see on library grounds. This land once was a graveyard. You will notice the sunken indentations where some graves were removed, and one or two iron railings that still protect what was the resting place of someone's beloved. Welcome to Easton Area Public Library...

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The Logan Inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania - www.loganinn.com/home.php - 6 Views
With a history dating back to before the Revolutionary War, The Logan Inn certainly has history. As well as being on the National Register of Historic Places, this Inn is also regarded as one of the most haunted places in America. No less than eight ghosts haunt the rooms and corridors here...

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Baladerry Inn in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - baladerryinn.com/index.html - 6 Views
Built in 1812 as a farmhouse, the Baladerry Inn served as a field hospital during the Civil War, with many un-anaesthetised amputations being carried out in the Great Room. As well as the ghosts of confederate soldiers, the inn also plays host to the ghost of woman and an amorous gentleman...

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Historic Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - www.hotelbethlehem.com/ - 6 Views
The Hotel Bethlehem in Pennsylvania has beautifully decorated rooms and is very popular for its unique floor to ceiling palladium windows. Stay for a night or two and you might just be visited by the hotel’s spirited guests.

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Haunted Prison – The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - www.easternstate.org/home - 5 Views
The haunted prison known as Eastern State Penitentiary is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This structure is not only known as the country’s first official penitentiary, but also for the true haunting stories that surround it. The structure officially opened in the year of 1829. Given the fact that it was the first structure to offer placement of criminals, it served as a guide for all future penitentiaries and similar holding facilities such as correctional units and jails. Prior to the development of Eastern State Penitentiary, criminals were held in overcrowded pens that were enclosed by heavy fencing and gates. While the structure was considered to be revolutionary in its time, it would eventually gain popularity as being a place where the signs of paranormal activity abounded. Throughout this guide, you will learn why Eastern State Penitentiary is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America.

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Miss Betty's Ghosts in Gettysburg Tour in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - www.missbettysghostsingettysburg.com/index.html - 4 Views
Miss Betty is a professional ghost storyteller, paranormal, and living history interpreter, who has been telling stories in the Gettysburg area for almost a decade. She has hosted tours at the most haunted sites in Gettysburg, including: the Farnsworth House and the Cashtown Inn. Her superb storytelling was used in the paranormal film documentary "THE OTHER SIDE" which has been featured on cable channels. Miss Betty has been acclaimed and recommended by both psychics and paranormals, and encourages those who have equipment to bring them on her tour. There have been hundreds of sightings seen around Miss Betty through the years, including soldiers from the battle and women from the Civil War era. She is well known for her "Unearthly Experiences" and the haunting companions that surround her groups. Please join Miss Betty for a haunted experience you will NEVER FORGET.

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Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm - 4 Views
The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion", Gettysburg was the Civil War's bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal "Gettysburg Address". The Gettysburg National Military Park encompasses over 40 miles of land and has 1,000,000 monuments and cannons. There is a Visitors Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park, which give details of the Battle which lasted several days. Other hauntings not related to the battle also have been reported in the National Park, because its history started long before 1863, and continued until the present. The town has realized the importance of its part in the Battle of Gettysburg by restoring the historical downtown, offering tours which explain what life was like during this time period.

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General Wayne Inn in Merion Station, Pennsylvania - paranormal.about.com/od/hauntedplaces/ig/World-s-Most-Haunted-Place/General-Wayne-Inn.htm - 3 Views
Numerous ghosts have been experienced and apparitions seen in this inn that had been in continuous operation since 1704. Originally called The Wayside Inn, it was renamed in 1797 after the Revolutionary War, and it has been visited by such notables of the time as George Washington and LaFayette. Many other famous guest have stayed there, including Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote part of his famous poem The Raven there. In 1996 owner Guy Sileo murdered co-owner James Webb on the third floor of the building on the day after Christmas in a dispute over finances. But it might have been Silio's mistress, Felicia, who killed Webb because he disapproved of the affair. Felicia later committed suicide. Unfortunately, the inn closed around 2004 and and since been converted into the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, although "General Wayne Inn" is still displayed on the building's side.

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Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville, Pennsylvania - www.blackbasshotel.com/ - 3 Views
The Black Bass Hotel has a colorful and noteworthy past. In fact, it is so steeped in historical lore that it’s often hard to differentiate reality from myth! When the hotel (originally called the Lumberville Hotel) was built in the 1740s, it served as a haven for river travelers, traders and sportsmen.

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Dobbin House Tavern in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - www.dobbinhouse.com/ - 3 Views
The Dobbin House Tavern was built in 1776, the Dobbin house remains the oldest building in Gettysburg and it is apart of the National Registrar of Historical Places and is known to be very haunted. The Dobbin House Inn is located right across the street from where our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, presented the famous Gettysburg Address.

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PENNSYLVANIA GHOST TOURS BLOG

Hauntworld Reviews Pennsylvania Haunted Houses

Welcome to our Pennsylvania Haunted House and Halloween Attraction page where you can find all sorts of haunted houses in Pennsylvania. Some of our favorite haunted houses in pennsylvania are located on this page.  Listed below are some of the best haunts you can find in the state of Pennsylania.  If you know of a haunted house, haunted hayride, ghost tour, real haunted house, haunted attraction, scary attraction, or Halloween attraction in Pennsylvania please refer those attractions to our site so they may create a FREE listing.  If you you would like to review one of the attractions we have listed please create an account.  Once you create a user account you may post your reviews and rate any haunted houses on our system.

One of the best haunted houses in Pennsylvania, and in the country is The Bates Motel in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania has been voted on of America BEST haunted houses for years. With over 75 live actors, a 25 minute hayride with state of the art pyrotechnics you will enter a ghost town, graveyard, and a haunted gold mine where you will be begging for your life. This is one haunted house that you will not want to miss. For tickets and other information visit them online at www.thebatesmotel.com

In Lancaster, Pennsylvania you will stumble upon Jason's Woods Haunted Attraction in Lancaster, Pennsylvania featuring NINE hair raising haunted attractions including a Horrifying Hayride, Pirates Revenge 3-D, Mystery Maze and of course Lost in Jason's Woods for the complete list of all attractions and ticket information click here www.jasonswoods.com

In York County Pennsylvania you have to visit Halloween Park featuring the House of Terror and House of Doom. Once you are inside this haunted house you will have to find clues to help you escape with your life. There are paranormal activites happening all around you . This haunted house will have you looking over your shoulder for days, that is, if you make it out. Click here for more www.halloweenpark.com

Another great haunted house we like is, Field of Screams in Mountville, Pennsylvania featuring  the Frightmare Asylum and two other horrifying attractions like you have never experienced before. There is no time to relax once you enter this haunted house, you will find yourself trapped in small rooms and screaming for your way out. Click here to visit their website www.fieldofscreams.com

Terror Behind the Walls-Eastern State Penitentiary in Philedelphia, Pennsylvania. innside of a former prision where not all of the inmates checked out. Many still wander the halls at night, you can hear their chains as they look for their missing cellmates.  Keep your eye open for the inmates that are still there. For more about Eastern State Penitentiary click here www.terrorbehindthewalls.com

You will want to check out  Fright Nights Haunted House where murders take place that will have you awake for nights in fear that the spirts that haunt this house  followed you home. When the lights go out, the frights come out. You will hear gruesome sounds as you twist and turn your way through the morbid halls of this house. Click here for more www.fright-nights.com

Shocktoberfest Haunted Park near Philedelphia is yet another great Pensylvania haunted house you will want to pay a visit to. Voted as one of the best attractions by Hauntworld the Magazine once you are inside you will experience 6 of the scarest haunted attractions ever made. Are you brave enough to escape The Prison of the Dead, or the Biohazard Hayride? This is just the beginning. Check out their website to see the other spine chill events going on at www.schocktoberfest.com

In Yardley, Pennsylvania is Horrorfest at Shady Brook Farms. One location, FOUR attractions. The Barn of Horror, Hayride of Horror, DEADtime Stories and Alien 3-D encounter. You have never been this scared before-the horror you will face behind these walls are things you dreamed of as a child coming to eat you from under your bed.. Try all four if you dare. Visit them online at www.shadybrookfarm.com

Spook Haven haunted house in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania three attractions under one roof. Spook Haven is the story of what has happened to the workers in the old Clinton Paper Company.  Come see why the warehouse sat empty for so many years. The souls of the men and women who used to work there are still inside where they will remain for eternity. They want you to see the torture they felt. See more here www.spookhaven.com

LuLu Shriners House of Horrors...why simply be scared when you can be HORRIFIED near Reading, Pennsylvania. This haunted house is not for the faint of heart. Once inside you will hear the bloody screams of those who entered before you and are trying to escape. For more details click here www.lulushriners.org/hauntedhouse

House in the Hollow haunted house in Newtown, Pennsylvania a haunted hayride and haunted house on one location. You will travel through a haunted corn maze where monsters and goblins are waiting for the weak to fall off and consume their souls. Inside the haunted house there is terror around every turn. You can run, but you can't hide. See what else they have going on at www.activeacresfarm.com

Haunted Hills Estate in Uniontown, Pennsylvania on a 100 acre farm full of fright. Once owned by the Hill family where the lead a happy life, until Mrs. Hill ws found haning in the barn. The bodies of his 13 children were later discovered spread across the land. The ghost of 14 still wander the farm at night. You will feel the chills from the moment you arrive. See more of the story and how to get tickets at www.hauntedhillsestate.com

The Haunted Mill near Lancaster, Pennsylvania you will be lead to the smell of death through the darkness to the Mad Scientists Lab where he is always looking for new patients to operate on and your remains will be consumed by the wild dog let loose and looking for dinner. You will be lead to The Dark Zone...three doors to choose from which one is the safest?! Click here to see if you can survive www.thehauntedmill.com

Altered Nightmares in Weissport, Pensylvania invites you inside the factory to expereince the paranormal activity for yourself. For 13 hours you can travel with a paranormal investigator to learn the stories of the ghost that lie within these walls. For infotmation on how you can be a part of this click here www.alterednightmares.com

Arnold Scare World in Oaks, Pennsylvania features two intense high action haunted houses in one location. You will be screaming your head of, or maybe it will be chopped of? More than just a haunted house you can stay to be entertained by their family fun center if you can make it out of the haunted house for more visit them here www.arnoldscareworld.com

Gravestone Manor in Plains, Pennsylvania provides 100 percent of their profits to local charities. You won't find any chainsaws, air horns or hockey mask wearing mad men inside here You will experience an interactive story line that tells you the story of a myterious disaperance of a young girl who is lost somewhere in the woods. Can you help find her?! Check them out online www.gravestonemanor.org

There are also several great haunted houses not far from Pennsylvania below are some of our favorites.

In New York House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs is Buffalo's LARGEST AND SCARIEST haunted attraction! Venture your way through the decrepit House Of Horrors, where zombies, demons, vampires, psycho killers, and the living dead hungry for flesh will be creeping around every corner. Check them out online at www.thehouseofhorrors.com

Also in New York you will stumble upon Blood Manor haunted house you can scream, but it won't matter, nobody can hear you, they are all dead just like you soon will be too. The boody scenes inside will make you wish you had never entered this haunted house where knife carrying ghosts who didn't invite you in will having you dying to get out. www.bloodmanor.com for more.

Bedlam in the 'Boro near Balitmore, Maryland where you will be taken on a 4 mile hayride where you will experience some of the most frightful scenes you can imagine. After that you will want to race through The House of Horror don't run because you don't know whats lurking ahead, you will be sorry if you do. For addiional happenings click here www.lineborovfd.com

Near Columbus, Ohio is Dead Acres 50,000 square feet of pure hell. You will be terrifed and tormented until monsters, zombies, murders and ghosts have you begging for your life. This is a haunted house like no other. Professional actors and state of the art technology. Take a peek into hell at www.deadacres.com

Wells Township haunted house in Briliant, Ohio is another great haunted house you should visit. Located in a building that itself is truely haunted and has been standing for 126 year it is full of haunted happening for years. Things happen inside this house and most are unexplainable. Check out their website www.wellstownshiphauntedhouse.com

Pennsylvania loves to scream so please be our guest and click on the profiles for Halloween attractions in Pennsylvania listed above.

To read more about the haunted house industry subscribe to HauntWorld Magazine www.HauntedHouseMagazine.com

To find Corn Mazes and Pumpkin patches in Pennsylvania go to www.HalloweenAttractions.com

 

 



 
 TO FIND MORE HAUNTS IN PENNSYLVANIA CLICK HERE http://www.hauntworld.com/pennsylvania_haunted_houses
 

 
Pennhurst is the scariest place I have ever seen. Period. I have traveled all over the country visiting haunted places and attractions and nothing
compares to this incredible, dilapidated campus. Last October, I was approached by the principles in Pennhurst Acquisitions. Richard Chakajian asked if I would like to participate in a haunted attraction. At first I was skeptical because everyone thinks this industry is easy, with a “get rich quick” attitude, and we all know how much work is involved and how hard it is to be successful. I was really skeptical…until I visited Pennhurst. The day I drove into this huge complex of brick structures, I was hooked. I knew this place had the potential to be the greatest haunted attraction ever. With a ton of money, corporate sponsors, the right build crew, and a great plan, Pennhurst Asylum could come to life and entertain the hard core haunters. Not only does this place have an incredible ambiance, a built in cult following, and a treasure trove of unique props, it has a history; a history riddled with accusations of torture, abuse and neglect. A history of mental patients chained to the walls in dark tunnels, children left for years in cribs, sexual abuse by the staff and even murder. All this happened behind the walls of Pennhurst State School, Spring City, Pennsylvania.
 

 
Pennhurst was constructed and opened in 1908 as a state school for the mentally and physically disabled. Pennhurst's property was vast, covering 120 acres. Created to house over 10,000 patients at a point in time, Pennhurst was one of the largest institutions of its kind in Pennsylvania. Half of Pennhurst's residents were committed by court order and the other half were brought by a parent or other guardian. It was devoted strictly to the care, treatment and education of the disabled. Originally named Pennhurst Home for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic, it finally was just called Pennhurst State School.  Pennhurst employed a large number of staff to help assist in maintaining the facility. This staff included a board of trustees, medical staff, dental staff, and specialists in psychology, social services, accounting, and various fields of education. The grounds of Pennhurst included a 300-bed hospital, which had a full nursing staff and two surgeons on call at all times. Others at Pennhurst included members of the clergy and farming experts who grew most of Pennhurst's food . Pennhurst was an essentially self-sufficient community, its 1,400-acre site containing a firehouse, general store, barber shop, movie theatre, auditorium and even a greenhouse. The buildings of Pennhurst were named after towns in Pennsylvania such as Chester and Devon. The original buildings were designed by architect Phillip H. Johnson. All of Pennhurst's electricity was generated by an on-site power plant. A cemetery lay on the property, as well as baseball and recreational fields for the residents. Many of Pennhurst's buildings were strictly for storage; however, the majority were dormitory and hospital-style living quarters for the residents. Many of the buildings had security screens that were accessed on the inside, to prevent patients from escaping, or jumping to their deaths. Most of the stairwells had security fences to keep patients from jumping over the railings. Many of the buildings are linked by an underground tunnel system designed for transportation of handicapped patients to and from the dormitory, recreational buildings and dietary.
   
Pennhurst was often accused of dehuminazitation and was said to have provided no help to the mentally challenged. The institution had a long history of staff difficulties and negative public image, for example, a 1968 report by NBC called "Suffer the Little Children". Pennhurst State School was closed in 1986 following several allegations of abuse. These allegations led to the first lawsuit of its kind in the United States, Pennhurst State School and Hospital vs. Halderman, which asserted that the mentally retarded have a constitutional right to living quarters and an education. Terry Lee Halderman had been a resident of the school, and upon release she filed suit in the district court on behalf of herself and all other residents of Pennhurst. The complaint alleged that conditions at Pennhurst were unsanitary, inhumane and dangerous, that these living conditions violated the fourteenth amendment, and that Pennhurst used cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the eighth and fourteenth amendments. After a 32-day trial and an immense investigation, prosecutors concluded that the conditions at Pennhurst were not only dangerous, with physical and mental abuse of its patients, but also inadequate for the care and habilitation for the mentally retarded. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also concluded that the physical, mental, and intellectual skills of most patients had deteriorated while in Pennhurst.
   
In 1986, Pennhurst was ordered closed, and began a program of de-institutionalism that lasted several years.  Once the buildings were closed, they began to rapidly deteriorate from lack of heating, moisture invasion and vandalism. Thousands of people began to illegally tour the property spray painting everything in sight and breaking all the glass in the place. Theft was rampant and the destruction of the property was in full swing. Patients were thrown out and a large homeless contingent developed in the area.
   
Pennhurst fell into complete ruin as the complex was shut down. Buildings were abandoned as they were, with patient’s clothes and belonging strewn about. Furniture, cabinets and medical equipment were left to decay as if someone had just got up and walked out the front door. This is the place that will eventually resurrect into one of the most studied properties in the ghost hunter media, and will become an amazing haunted attraction.
   
As I research the history of this place, I begin to realize the potential of Pennhurst as an intriguing location for a haunted attraction. This place is really haunted. Several reputable Ghost Hunter groups have documented audible recordings, temperature changes, and unexplained movement of objects in the buildings of Pennhurst. This is the kind of environment I want to build the next generation of haunted house; a proven haunted location. 
     
My team, headed by John Brady, Shawn Sieger, Jim Souflous, Todd Beringer, Rob Sieger and others search the complex for valuable props. We wander deep into the tunnels that stitch the complex. We move into the basements of maintenance buildings, storage areas, dormitories and dietary in search of unique items that will set this haunt apart from all other. We find a huge electro-mechanical device that has to be the control for the electrotherapy department. It is so old that it used electrical tube circuits developed in the 30’s. Insulators and other unrecognizable devices are strewn about the room. This is a huge find. As we cruise through the old abandoned hospital, we harvest giant 48” surgical lights that are suspended from the rotting ceilings. They are mounted on tracks that allow the lights to be moved to focus on the unsuspecting patients. These will be perfect in the rooms for our haunt. We find medical cabinets, drawers, storage lockers, operating tables are everywhere. This is a veritable treasure trove of props for our attraction. As we move through the dark corridors, with flashlights moving side to side, I can’t keep the feelings of growing anticipation from my mind. I know there is something out there but can’t put my finger on it. I come around the corner and enter a small room to the right, and there it is; the morgue. I recognize it because it has two drawer slides and a refrigeration unit on top. This is what we came here to find. This will be one of the most unique features of our attraction; a real morgue scene. Stainless steel tables with large drains, stainless steel cabinets, lab equipment and a real, 1930’s autopsy table! I am blown away by this scene. I can picture the thousands of customers coming through our attraction knowing that everything in here is REAL. My arms have gooseflesh!
   
Back at the Administration building, construction is moving forward. All the asbestos has been abated, the floors have been repaired, roof repaired, windows replaced, and structural inspections have been completed. The building is safe for use as an amusement building. Now the hard work of turning this into one of the most complex haunted houses is under way. A full electrical upgrade needs to be completed. Smart lighting, imbedded audio systems and fiber optical controls will be installed. Pneumatic infrastructure will be run throughout the building so props can be installed in any room. A lot of work must be completed in a few short months in preparation for the 2010 season.
   
We want this attraction to be a full experience of Pennhurst, but we need to work the audience up slowly so they won’t chicken out right away. This place is so creepy, that we need to get the ticket sales completed before they see the complex. A state of the art POS system will be installed by Interactive Ticketing, and can handle the thousands of expected customers. This system will track every ticket sold, and with the aid of digital scanners that are integrated with the internet, and keep track of each customer. Once the customer has bought their ticket, they will be guided to the walkway that surrounds the complex. This walkway will act as a huge queue line to the main entrance of the haunt, but will take them on a tour around several other buildings before entering the Administration building. As the customers walk the 800’ long walkway, they will experience the vastness of Pennhurst. With over 10 buildings in view, most in bad condition, they will be able to witness the downfall of this once beautiful campus. The once beautiful courtyards are now overgrown and the children’s playground equipment lay rotting all around. As the people approach the Admin building, they will be diverted to the side and then around to the front and into the main entrance. A large stone portico greets the crowd as they are ushered into the attraction. A unique feature of Pennhurst will be the museum. Many local residents have a strong feeling that the memories of the atrocities that occurred here should be preserved in some way so that they will not re-occur in the future. With this in mind, we felt that the construction of a Pennhurst Museum was in order. We have reconstructed four rooms on the first floor that will act as an indoor queue line and, at the same time, teach the public about the history of this magnificent place.  With high tech videos, historical photos and artifacts from the past, the customers will be able to go back in time and witness the rise and fall of Pennhurst, as it happened. As they move slowly through the museum, they will notice that the rooms are beginning to decay. By the time they enter the great corridor the building has fallen into disrepair. This is when they will enter the scariest haunted house imaginable. 
   
With an asylum theme in mind, and real, antique hospital equipment on hand, we began to build our attraction. We painted the entire interior with a special barrier sealant that encapsulates any lead paint and is also 100% flameproof. Rotted flooring has been replaced, and roof leaks have been plugged. We install MDF board as a wainscote and paint it to look like the marble that was part of the original building, but stolen long ago. We want an old time feeling to envelope the customers; a feeling of going back in time. The first room you enter is the intake office, complete with a psychiatrist giving you the Rorschach test, otherwise known as the ink blot test. As the Dr. engages the crowd, slides flip by on a large screen. After the intake, you enter the de-lousing showers, where shower heads spew out a combination of fog, air and CO2, giving it a cold feel. Other rooms include the dietary unit with copious use of existing cafeteria items like tray holders, rolling carts, plastic ware, cups, plates, tables and ovens. Pneumatic and actor scares abound in this haunt as there are a large number of great setups and hiding spots throughout the building. Moving upstairs, we have a large room with the ceiling removed. It shows the expansive architecture of the building, and the roofline looms over 35’ above your head. The focus in this room is the old, female actor in the corner, who is sitting in a vintage wheelchair. She is spot lighted with down lighting that also shows beds, furniture and other belongings. As she distracts the crowd, a switch is flipped and flood lights reveal the height of the ceiling, filled with another animatronic surprise.
   
Another part of the building is an area that has suffered a moderate fire. Door frames and headers are charred, and the smell of burnt wood is still perceptible. The area that was burned housed two sound proof cells; small rooms where patients could be locked away and their screams could be totally muffled. The floors, walls and ceilings are 6” thick with heavy insulation stuffed between the studs. The interiors are lined with sound proof tiles, and the exterior is sheathed in another layer of sound proofing. Even the doors are 8” thick and insulated. As you walk into these rooms, you can feel the air get heavy, the sounds deaden and you can imagine how the patients felt being locked up in the pitch dark with no one hearing your screams.
   
As you can imagine, the really cool rooms are left for last. With tons of great, original props, we build out sets that appear to be real operating rooms. One room is set up to be themed as a lobotomy operating room. Steel tables, medical cabinets and surgical equipment are everywhere. Actors bring off the scare and make this scene believable. The next room is our autopsy chamber. This room is decorated with the original equipment we found in the old hospital. The cabinets mounted to the walls are stainless steel, and look brand new, even after 50 or more years. The large sink structure, with an industrial size in-sinkerator, and long overflow drain, is up against the far wall. On the right is the original two drawer morgue unit, moved here from the hospital basement, and restored to its original form. The drawers roll out as easily as they did when first installed, and the refrigeration unit above the drawers adds to the realism of the scene. To top it off, an antique autopsy table stands in the center of the room. I bought the table at a funeral home auction 15 years ago and it has now found a new home. Overhead is a huge surgical style lamp, measuring over 40” across, and fitted with a friction gear that allows one to direct the light in any direction.
   
Another great room design we are using is the shock therapy room. This room has tile walls and floor, large overhead lights (harvested from the depths of building c) and the original electroconvulsive shock therapy machine retrieved from the hospital. Most modern ECT machines deliver a brief-pulse current, which is thought to cause fewer cognitive effects than the sine-wave currents which were originally used in ECT. Our machine is of the sine wave type, and caused unconsciousness and convulsions for 15 to 30 seconds. It is a large stainless steel console with dials and meters, and long electrode leads still attached. Our shock table is hinged in the center, and can tilt down for easy loading and unloading of the patient. The table has a latch where the actor can drop the foot of the table and attack the audience. This coupled with bang sticks, strobe lights, fog machines and a blistering 400 watt soundtrack make this one of the premier rooms at Pennhurst. In all, Pennhurst Asylum will have 18 complete rooms, not including the 4 room used in the museum. All of these rooms are highly detailed to be realistic in every way.
   
We have really strived to mix fact with fiction, folklore with fear, to come up with some of our unique room designs. There have been accounts of an old dentist chair that was located in the deep recesses of Mayflower, one of the more notorious dorms at Pennhurst. This chair is a little different than the ones you and I are used too; it has restraining straps attached to the arms, legs and headrest. This chair was reportedly used to remove the teeth of patients that were prone to biting the staff here. Imagine yourself being strapped into this device and having all your teeth ripped out without any kind of medication. This is just one more example of how unique this location is.
   
The most intriguing part of Pennhurst is their tunnel complex. All of the buildings on the campus are connected by above ground walkways with tunnels under them. These tunnels are 10 feet high, 8 feet wide and thousands of feet long. Concrete floors, tile walls and concrete ceilings create an incredible echo effect at certain intersections. In fact, I have looked behind myself several times to see if there is someone following me a few feet back. The echoes are so distinct you can hear whispers from hundreds of feet away.
   
As the guests are scared out of the last room in the Asylum, they find themselves in a large foyer with paintings and photographs on the walls. This is the queue line for the tunnels. Once through the lines, the guests are ushered down a long set of stairs and into the basement. Once there, with a temperature drop of at least 20 degrees, they are let through the double doors that lead to the exit…900 feet away. Scenes and actors appear at intersections along the way. Glass jars with cages around them contain the only lighting down here, and they are all connected to commercial lighting controls that are programmed to flicker, dim and occasionally go completely dark. We also added several subsonic bass tubes that cannot be heard, only felt. This will induce an uneasy feeling in all who enter the tunnels. Special chicken exits have been designed into the tunnel system and I’m sure will be used many times. This will be the scariest part of this attraction. The best part of the tunnel system is that it will contain our guests on their way back to the main entrance. People coming into the show along the walkways above will hear the screams emanating from the tunnels below them. They will hear the reactions to our show before they even enter the walkways leading to our haunt. What better way to elevate the anticipation and fear level than to hear, first hand, how scary this place is.
If this place is scary to seasoned haunters, imagine how the general public will feel.
   
Another unique feature of Pennhurst is that it is really haunted. Featured on the Travel Channel, the Ghost Adventures crew have recorded many strange voices, noises and unexplained movement and documented this in their shows. The Pennhurst Ghost Tours, open to professional and amateur ghost hunters, has been a huge success, with recordings, photos and accounts of physical contact throughout the Pennhurst complex. So, if you want to get scared, come to Pennhurst Asylum. You may even witness the supernatural… whether you want to or not.
 

 
 
Pennhurst Asylum will open September 24th, 2010 and run weekends through November 7th
 
Visit http://www.pennhurstasylum.com for more information
Pennhurst Asylum has been designed and constructed by Bates Motel Productions, LLC
 
Randy Bates has been operating professional haunts since 1991, most located in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride has been one of the most successful attractions in the country and attracts customers from almost every state. With his wife Anne, and six grown children, Randy runs several business from their farm in Gradyville, PA      Photos by Frank Giamatteo and Veronica Brown.  Photo enhancement by Brainstorm Studios.

 

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