October 23rd 2020

Cover photography by Steph Prizhitomsky

Where to spend the Halloween season (that won't give you the plague)

Eastern State Penitentiary: 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia PA 19130

Rating for Getting Arrested: 2/10 That would be ironic

Spookiness Rating: 10/10 It's basic and it's overcrowded in terms of Halloween attractions, but it's for a good reason. This place is genuinely creepy whether you go to Terror Behind the Walls or go during the daytime. There's a great history to it that gives the place a sinister feeling. No ghost sightings though. Every day we descend further into shaniacy.

Social Distancing Rating: 8/10 The space is very open, and though many people visit at once, it's not too difficult to avoid the crowds.

Personal Rating: 10/10 Visit the gay block. There's a cell you can visit with an old fashioned radio playing absolute bops.

Baldwin's Book Barn: 865 Lenape Rd, West Chester, Pa 19382

Rating for Getting Arrested: 3/10 Only if you trash the place or commit arson. General tip: use your common sense.

Spookiness Rating: 7/10 Lots of twists and turns and the floorboards creak all the time, so you won't know what's a person and what's a ghoul. Very much dark academia. Just imagine playing hide and seek in this place.

Social Distancing Rating: 8/10 Lots of free space and not a lot of people to run into when exploring the many floors.

Personal Rating: 10/10 If Dead Poets Society and Harry Potter had a Wattpad crossover, it would be this place.

Devil's Watering Hole: Down the road from Laurel Hill, following the river, there's a small parking right by the side of the big road. Follow the trail a short distance.

Rating for Getting Arrested: 2/10 No one to get a noise complaint from, no houses in the area, literally in the woods, so consider it a free for all location.

Spookiness Rating: 6/10 It very much resembles a pennywise hidey hole but is actually quite beautiful with clear waters flowing from the old dam. It is sort of the place you would find a dead body dumped, which is all fine and cool unless you actually get involved in a crime.

Social Distancing Rating: 10/10 No nasty plague in the middle of the woods.

Personal Rating: 8/10 It's perfectly creepy and perfectly serene; just don't go swimming in the water. There is totally a chance you would get poisoned and die, and then you'll become the dead body people find there, so maybe don't do that.

Medusa's Garden: 3686 Route 202, Mechanicsville PA 189394

Officially called Best of France Antiques

Rating for Getting Arrested: 4/10 I'm still not sure if I was trespassing.

Spookiness Rating: 8/10 There is usually no one there, which gives it a very eerie atmosphere, but mostly, it's a beautiful place to explore and surprisingly huge. Your eyes will definitely play tricks on you. Statues are going to move.

Social Distancing Rating: 10/10 Nothing but free space and no crowds.

Personal Rating: 10/10 They have huge dinosaurs.

Mercer's Museum: 84 S Pine St, Doylestown PA 1890

Rating for Getting Arrested: 3/10 Don't do anything stupid like try to climb into the carriages suspended in mid air; not speaking from personal experience.

Spookiness Rating: 5/10 If there's a lot of people, it's not scary at all, but on your own when the place is empty or with a small group of people, it starts to get really creepy in the best way.

Social Distancing Rating: 7/10 Plenty of free space plus little hidden areas. Then again, if a large group reserves the place then prepare for actual torture.

Personal Rating: 6/10 This place is extremely weird, and the guy who ran the place was a complete wacko. Enough said.

Cossart Road/Devil's Road: Cossart Rd, Chadds Ford PA 19317

Rating for Getting Arrested: 7/10 Look. If you're going to do something stupid like trespass loudly or bring a whole bushful of your ghost hunting gang, then the police are going to get called, and you're going to be zooming at 00 miles per hour on one of the yuckiest and most beat up roads in Pennsylvania, so maybe don't do that. Trespass quietly, and don't get murdered.

Spookiness Rating: 6/10 Go at night, and wait till the leaves start falling. In summer, you won't even notice any of the creepy details, and you'll probably end up missing the road completely. The place has got great lore that I would highly suggest reading up on, but psyching yourself out about the place because of its history will probably be the scariest thing you'll encounter.

Social Distancing Rating: 10/10 Getting out of your car isn't even needed if you don't want to. It's more about the road trip there, so make sure you're not swapping spit with one of your car pals.

Personal Rating: 6/10 Seriously take the time to read up on the history of the road before or as you go there. There's so many layers to allegedly what goes on around there, and you'll know what to look for. Unfortunately, nothing remotely creepy happened to me when I actually arrived. 100% shaniac hours. Sorry.

Bondsville Mill: 1647 Bondsville Road, Downingtown PA 19335

Rating for Getting Arrested: 8/10 It is 100% trespassing if you enter the building, so be forewarned.

Spookiness Rating:

9/10 It's a very creepy place. A lot of the area surrounding the abandoned mill is in deep woods, and if you come at dusk or nighttime, which I highly suggest, it's right out of the beginning of a horror movie.

Social Distancing Rating: 9/10 Trails are pretty narrow, but it's all outside and rather easy to avoid other people.

Personal Rating: 9/10 This place genuinely freaked me out a little when I came there. The mill itself is very creepy, but on the trails surrounding it, especially by the old water tower, there are small abandoned shelters made of branches and dirt scattered around which are always chilling to come by. At least I think they're abandoned.

Laurel Hill: 3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Rating for Getting Arrested: 1/10 It's not a question of whether you'll be arrested but a question of whether you get murdered by a wacko hiding in a graveyard.

Spookiness Rating: 10/10 It's an old graveyard with old statues and old tombs. Bonus points if you find the grave where the stone collapsed, and you can see inside.

Social Distancing Rating: 10/10 81 acres. Knock yourself out.

Personal Rating: 10/10 This is genuinely one of my favorite places to go no matter what season it is. there's just so much to find, and it's so perfectly spooky; I love it a lot. Please come here. Please play hide and seek among the gravestones.