Published: May 3, 2023
By: Adam Burns
If you are interested in a Halloween-themed train ride or simply a trip allowing the kids to pick out their favorite pumpkin, both are offered in Pennsylvania. The very popular Strasburg Railroad even hosts a Halloween theatrical event by train! More information about these trips may be found further below.
The holiday is a time when people love to seek out spooky and thrilling experiences, and Pennsylvania has no shortage of attractions that cater to this demand. From haunted houses to pumpkin patches, Pennsylvania offers a variety of Halloween-themed experiences that are perfect for families, couples, and thrill-seekers.
If you are perhaps interested in some of the most popular Halloween tourist attractions across Pennsylvania, besides just a train, these are some of the best.
Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride
(Glen Mills): Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride in Glen Mills is another popular Halloween attraction in Pennsylvania. The attraction offers several experiences, including a haunted hayride, a haunted corn maze, and a walkthrough haunted house. The haunted hayride takes visitors on a ride through the dark woods, while the haunted house is full of creepy scenes and scares.
(Sinking Spring): Shocktoberfest in Sinking Spring is a Halloween attraction that offers a variety of experiences, including haunted houses, a haunted hayride, and a zombie paintball experience. The haunted houses at Shocktoberfest are designed to be intense and scary, with themes like a prison, a slaughterhouse, and a haunted asylum.
(Spring City): Pennhurst Asylum in Spring City is a former mental institution that has been transformed into a Halloween attraction. Visitors can explore the dark and creepy halls of the asylum, with terrifying characters around every corner. The attraction also offers a haunted hayride and a walkthrough haunted house.
Field of Screams
(Mountville): Field of Screams in Mountville is another popular Halloween attraction in Pennsylvania. The attraction offers four experiences, including a haunted hayride, a haunted house, a haunted trail, and a zombie maze. The haunted hayride takes visitors on a ride through a dark and eerie forest, while the haunted trail is full of creepy characters and scares.
Sleepy Hollow Hayride
(Newtown): The Sleepy Hollow Hayride in Newtown is a Halloween attraction that takes visitors on a ride through the woods, with creepy characters and scary scenes along the way. The ride is based on the classic story of Sleepy Hollow, and visitors will encounter the Headless Horseman and other spooky characters.
Horrorfest at Shady Brook Farm
(Yardley): Horrorfest at Shady Brook Farm in Yardley offers several Halloween experiences, including a haunted hayride, a haunted house, and a zombie safari. The haunted hayride takes visitors through the dark and creepy woods, while the haunted house is full of terrifying scenes and scares.
In conclusion, Pennsylvania offers a wide range of Halloween attractions that cater to different interests and age groups. From intense and scary haunted houses to family-friendly pumpkin patches, there is something for everyone. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or just looking for a fun way to celebrate the season, these attractions are sure to provide a memorable Halloween experience.
(Kutztown): This short line began in 2015 and operates just over 4 miles of a former Reading Railroad branch between Kutztown and an interchange with Norfolk Southern at Topton.
In addition to freight services, the railroad hosts public excursions throughout the warmer months of the year. They host "Pumpkin Trains" on select dates in October where the kids can ride the train to pick out a pumpkin for Halloween.
(Hollidaysburg): The Everett Railroad is another short line freight carrier which also offers public excursions. These trips run from Hollidaysburg to Brookes Mill on a corridor which was originally owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
They even operate a historic steam locomotive, 2-6-0 #11, which often pulls these train rides. It will also pull the "Pumpkin Patch Train" each October where the kids can ride out to the Kladder Pumpkin Patch from Hollidaysburg to pick out their own pumpkin.
The kids can also enjoy Pumpkin Checkers and Tic Tac Toe. The railroad states each ticket includes a pumpkin, cookies, apple cider, and a pumpkin decorating kit.
No yet announced.
(Middletown): Along with freight operations, the Middletown & Hummelstown also offers passenger excursions over 11 miles of its railroad, which runs from May through October. One of their specials is the "Pumpkin Patch Train Rides" hosted during October allowing the kids to the ride the train and pick out a pumpkin for carving before returning.
(Titusville): The Oil Creek & Titusville, based in Titusville, operates train rides on about 14 miles of track using a diesel locomotive for power. One of their special events is the "Halloween Train" hosted each October for the children.
It is a 3-hour round trip where the kids can enjoy the autumn colors and wear their Halloween costumes for the trip. The railroad notes each child under the age of 12 will receive a treat bag. In addition, they point out that this is not a haunted train ride.
(Honesdale): Located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, the Stourbridge Line is named after the Stourbridge Lion, an early 0-4-0 steam locomotive intended to be used by the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company once it had arrived from England in 1829.
The rail line now hosting scenic train rides, running 25 miles from Honesdale to Lackawaxen, later became the Hawley Branch of the Erie Railroad. From a historical perspective the railroad is unique for operating a very rare BL2 diesel locomotive.
Each October they host the 2-hour "Pumpkin Patch Express" where the kids can take the train to pick out their pumpkin to carve for Halloween.
(Strasburg): The Strasburg Railroad, located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish community in Lancaster, is the country’s oldest railroad still in operation dating back to 1832. This is one of the most popular heritage railroads in the nation, witnessing upwards of 400,000 riders annually.
For the Halloween season in 2023 the railroad will present the play "Legacy of Sleepy Hollow: Not Everything Dies" while offering guests the chance to experience this event during a train ride. The experience can be enjoyed in either a standard coach or via the dining car.
(Kempton): The Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern is based in Kempton and operates both steam and diesel locomotives. They host numerous specials throughout the year including many during the fall.
For Halloween the railroad hosts the "Pumpkin Patch Train," which departs the station at Kempton and allows kids the chance to ride the train and pick out a pumpkin for carving. Once back at the station the children can then choose a decorating kit for their pumpkin.
(West Chester): The railroad operates about 8 miles of a historic branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which originally opened in November, 1858 as the West Chester & Philadelphia Railroad. Today, visitors can ride on vintage railcars that have been restored to their original condition and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding countryside.
The West Chester Railroad offers several types of train excursions throughout the year, including special events for holidays like Easter and Christmas. One popular excursion is the "Santa Express," which takes families on a ride with Santa Claus and his elves. Another popular event is the "Fall Foliage Express," which offers stunning views of the fall foliage in the area.
The railroad also offers a "Murder Mystery Dinner Train," where passengers can enjoy a four-course meal while trying to solve a mystery on board the train. This unique experience is perfect for those who enjoy both train travel and mystery-solving.
Overall, the West Chester Railroad is a fun and unique way to explore the area around Philadelphia. Whether you're a train enthusiast or just looking for a fun day trip, a ride on the West Chester Railroad is sure to be a memorable experience.
During one weekend in late October they host their "Halloween Special" for the kids. During the trip everyone is encouraged to dress up in their costumes during the 90-minute train from West Chester to the Glen Mills station before returning.