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.
Just south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Delaware River bustles with activity. On its western shore lies Philadelphia's waterfront, with destinations such as Penn's Landing. To the east is Camden, which holds its own against the Pennsylvania capital with attractions such as Adventure Aquarium, where Aquaman moonlights as a jellyfish. But perhaps the area's biggest draw is the meeting place between these two locales: the Delaware River itself.
RiverLink Ferry's two-story sightseeing vessel, the M/V Freedom, traverses these waters for sightseeing tours of the waterfront's architecture or fall foliage. The ferry serves a practical purpose as well; it regularly travels point-to-point between Philadelphia and Camden, so commuters can move between the two cities with ease.
The Rosenbach Museum, which is built from the rare book, manuscript, antique, and fine art collections of the Rosenbach brothers, preserves cultural treasures such as the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard Almanac, illustrator Maurice Sendak's drawings, and artifacts from the Civil War. In addition to special exhibitions, the museum's diligent docents guide guests through the Rosenbach manse's nineteenth-century crannies, exploring the rare book library and fine-art rooms, a replica of poet Marianne Moore's living space, and the giant roll of quarters signifying entry into the National Register of Historic Places.
Part of the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation—which also operates amusement destinations such as Dollywood and San Francisco's Classic Cable Car Sightseeing—Ride The Ducks ranks among the nation's largest amphibious-tour operators and is Philadelphia's only land and water experience. Captains welcome guests aboard amphibious vessels based on a 1940s General Motors military vehicle called the DUKW that served as an indispensable resource to both General Patton and General Eisenhower during World War II. At Ride The Ducks' six locations—Branson, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Stone Mountain, and Newport—these vessels roam the streets and glide in and out of local waterways to give passengers views of each city's most noteworthy sights, from the Liberty Bell to the Bay Bridge. The captains narrate each tour as well as encourage guests to make calls with Wacky Quackers, provided they say nothing rude in duck language. Every vessel maintains US Coast Guard standards, such as maintaining a plentiful stock of personal flotation devices.
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.