A ghost tour in Philly’s Old City

One of the perfect ways to celebrate an October evening is with a ghost tour. I went with the Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tour and had a great time. Unlike some of the other Halloween attractions that involve a lot of people jumping out at you to scare you, this is not one of those things. In fact, our tour guide told us prior to departing that if anything does jump at you and grab you, RUN.

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While those attractions can be fun, a ghost tour like this is more mellow and better for the old people faint of heart. Sometimes, it’s good to take a break from some of those traditional Halloween haunted houses, corn mazes, fields, and so on. My mom came along with us this time, and it was right up her alley.


With its cobblestone streets, old sites, creepy history and abundance of cemeteries, Old City has to be one of the best places for a ghost tour. Not only do you get to hear a lot of entertaining ghost stories, but you learn a lot of history, too. We visited some graveyards, one of which happened to be opened at night (a rare treat, apparently), so we had the opportunity to hear a story while huddled closely together inside.

One of my favorite stories was one that I had briefly heard about before, but it still sends a chill down your spine. City Tavern, which was initially built in 1773, was hosting a wedding reception when the building caught fire and the bride, amongst others, died. And they say, of course, that the tavern is haunted and ghosts have been spotted.

When it comes to tour guides, it usually boils down to two different types: the chipper talker, or the one who really gets into character and tries to scare people. A lot of people will usually prefer one much more over the other. Our tour guide, Emma, was definitely the bubbly type, but still a great storyteller. The crowd was large, so if you’re hoping for something a bit more intimate, I recommend either going on a weeknight, booking a VIP tour, or not going in October. Spirits of ’76 actually does ghost tours in the evening from April through November, and their tours are 75 minutes. To learn more and buy tickets, visit them on the web.

Visitor Information

Hotels in Philadelphia: Stay in the middle of all the action by booking your hotel in Center City. Our top picks for hotels in Philly include The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, The Rittenhouse, and Rittenhouse 1715.

Flights to the Philadelphia International Airport: Tons of routes from around the country (and the world) go directly to the Philadelphia International Airport every day. To find a flight that’s best for you, check out OneTravel to compare your options.


  1. I am her mom and she was absolutely right! It was up my alley! I loved the ghost stories behind the history as it was explained. A great tour and great time!

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