Philadelphia is no longer safe. That’s because Fright Factory, a house of charnel horrors featured as one of America’s scariest Halloween attractions on the Travel Channel, is reopening the portal to its haunted attractions from September 27 to November 2. The sinister site traps unsuspecting guests within four distinct settings, including a lab filled with horrible genetic aberrations, a mausoleum fallen into moldering disrepair, a mutinous asylum, and a physical manifestation of fear itself.
Philadelphia’s historic cobblestone streets, landmarks, and old buildings can take on an eerie aura in the moonlight, the perfect backdrop for the guides of Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tour to tell tales of the city’s dark past. Developed by historical experts at The Constitutional Walking Tour, the Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tour traverses Old City, stopping at more than 20 sites, such as the Physick House, Library Hall, and City Tavern. At these destinations, guides cloaked in black and carrying lanterns share stories that weave together a narrative of both reported hauntings and folklore. They tell tales of ghostly visitors that range from soldiers to historical figures such as John Barry, who constantly tries to explain to people who he was. Strolling past some of the city’s oldest cemeteries and graveyards, tourists may spot out-of-the-ordinary shapes, such as free-floating orbs.
American Sailing Tours, featured on Wheretraveler.com, loads citizens onto the good ship Summer Wind for relaxation and education on the Delaware River. The jolly crew handles all the hatch-battening, jib-cutting, and barnacle frying on each excursion. Meanwhile seafarers learn about the Delaware's contributions to Philadelphia history on the History Sail, which embarks once per day, six mornings a week. Customers on the Tropical Sail tap sea-toes to the beat of beach music from the Caribbean, New Orleans, and New Margaritaville two or three times a day depending on the time of year; check the online schedule for an idea of departure dates and times.
DeTours Touring whisks stationary sightseers on seg-legs through a leisurely perambulation of the magnificent landmarks, charming neighborhoods, and majestic fjords of historic Philadelphia. Over the course of the 4-mile segway blue tour route, riders cruise past the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, and Ben Franklin's helicopter pad. As groups include no more than six, historical inquirers will have ample opportunity to pose questions to their tour captain—questions about the history, architecture, and culture of Philadelphia are vastly preferred over questions about the shape of one's birthmark. Tours are offered at 1:30 p.m. year-round and at 4 p.m. April through September.
Sunlight and moonbeams glimmer on Philadelphia harbor, where The Ben Franklin Yacht glides silently to reveal a new perspective on the cradle of American democracy and replicate the freedom of the open ocean. Recently refurbished, the modern vessel hosts up to 300 guests in long, low decks whose mirrored ceilings flood the space with reflected light and expose pirates who have "Mom" tattoos hidden in their bald spots. A wooden dance floor and bar fuel parties, and knowledgeable guides propel discussion about the city's history from the breezy top deck. The majestic vessel may also be rented out for private parties. The port of departure is within walking distance of other famed sights, such as the Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, and the cherry tree from which George Washington famously crafted his wooden wig. Boarding begins approximately 30 minutes prior to each excursion.