Phreaky things to do in Philly

While living in the heart of north Philadelphia often provides its own unique opportunity for scares (try walking down Susquehanna Ave around 11:00 p.m.), those who prefer more traditional spooking will find that Philly offers

While living in the heart of north Philadelphia often provides its own unique opportunity for scares (try walking down Susquehanna Ave around 11:00 p.m.), those who prefer more traditional spooking will find that Philly offers a unique array of Halloween events.

If you’re up for an evening of chilling tales, make a reservation for the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia and find out for yourself if the spirit of Ben Franklin still inhabitants his earthly dwelling.

Guides dressed in period costume lead candlelight walks through haunted hangouts such as St. Peter’s cemetery and Library Hall, and at only $12 a ticket, the tour is affordable as well.

Tours last approximately 75 minutes and tickets can be purchased at Duffy’s Philly Grill on Sixth and Chestnut Streets.

Reservations are required, and tours run every evening through November.

If tales of the undead aren’t enough to give you goosebumps, visit South Philly’s Fright Factory for an in-your-face scary time.

For one price, you are led through three separate attractions: Pitch Black, CarnEvil, and The Forgotten Insane Asylum.

Despite the slightly corny names, the attractions are genuinely frightening.

“The dark room was so scary, you can’t see anything!” said Monica Hackett, a student a Delaware County Community College.

“It was the best haunted house I’ve been to in a very long time; its well worth every penny,” she said.

Other area college students seemed to have the same reaction.

“I’ve never been so scared in my entire life, things were popping out everywhere and clowns, oh my god I hate clowns!” said T.J. Board, a film major at the University of the Arts.

Though this is only the second year the Fright Factory has been open, the event has been very popular, drawing over 20,000 visitors during the month of October.

Operated by Haunted Industries, an organization that designs and runs haunted attractions, Fright Factory is one of the nation’s few professional haunted houses.

“There are a ton of fire halls that do them and stuff like that, but this is a job for us,” noted Robert Dudzieck, Fright Factory’s art director.

Haunted Industries spent over three years converting the building, which used to be Kindee’s Christmas Factory Warehouse, into a realistic haunted house.

Fright Factory is open only during the month of October, and runs from 7 to 11 p.m each night.

Admission is $17 for all three attractions and includes a coupon for one free hour at Gameworks.

On the big night itself, those who are too old for trick-or-treating but still love to get dressed up, will find a number of costumed events for grown-ups only.

Egypt is host to the Twentieth Anniversary Dracula’s Ball on Oct. 31.

Sponsored by Dancing Ferret Entertainment Group, the event typically draws 2,000 guests from as far away as Canada, Virginia, and D.C.

The ball features live bands, DJs, vendors, and outstanding door prizes such as an all-inclusive trip for two to Transylvania.

Patrick Rodgers, President of DF explained, “Nobody wants to go to the same bar or club they always hang out in and stare at a cardboard ghost stuck on the wall.

They want something different … and they know that’s what they’ll get at the Ball.”

The ball begins at 9 p.m. and is open to all ages, with proper ID required to drink.

Tickets are on sale for $13 and may be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Those seeking to bask in the true madness of the holiday may also be interested in the annual Henri David Halloween Ball.

Since 1968, David has hosted what has come to be known as the most outrageous event in the region.

More than 3,000 guests are expected to attend the annual masquerade, which is part drag-show and part Mardi Gras.

“This is the most spooktacular event I have ever attended,” said Milton Delgado, who has been attending the event for the past decade.

“If you never have gone you must, it’s wild and wonderful music, dance, and spectacle,” he said.

“The costumes are truly spectacular,” said Michael Romero, who attended for the first time last year.

“People go all out for this one… you definitely don’t want to forget your camera,” he said.

This year’s ball will be held at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, and doors open at 9 PM.

Tickets are available at Halloween, David’s Pine Street jewelry shop, and cost $20 with costume; $50 without.

If you are seeking culture of a more traditional nature this Halloween, the Philadelphia Orchestra is hosting its annual Halloween concert and masquerade ball in the Kimmel Center.

Costumed orchestra members will present a “symphony of chills” led by conductor Rossen Milanov, and the two hour program will include sinister renditions of works by Saint-Saens, Berlioz, and other dark composers.

A Halloween party will follow and guests are encouraged to come in costume.

The concert will begin promptly at 7 pm on Oct. 31.

Ticket prices start from $10 and may be purchased at the Kimmel Center box office either in person or by phone.

Kristine Povilaitis can be reached at

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