LIST: Fun, Frights and Fall Festivities in Northeastern, Central Pennsylvania

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Your one-stop shop for fall-related activities in NEPA

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Fall in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania is a time to be celebrated. As temperatures drop and leaves change across the Pocono Mountains and throughout the Susquehanna Valley, you may be finding yourself wanting to indulge in pumpkin or apple picking and maybe a haunted attraction as Halloween draws nearer.

There are many activities celebrating autumn throughout our region. From Williamsport to Saylorsburg there are fall attractions for young and old.

Lush landscapes throughout the region allow orchards and farms to flourish and offer pumpkin picking, apple picking, vegetable picking, apple cider and more.

Some of those farms and orchards include:

  • Roba Family Farms in North Abington Township
  • Ritter’s Cider Mill in Jefferson Township
  • Klingel’s Farm in Saylorsburg
  • Zembrzycki Dairy Farm & Corn Maze in Herrick Center
  • Whistle Pig Pumpkin Patch in Noxen
  • Maylath Farm And Orchard in Sugarloaf
  • Miller’s Orchards Farm Market in Scott Township
  • Lakeland Orchard & Cidery in Mayfield
  • Heckman Orchards in Effort
  • Old Homestead Tree Farm in Lehighton
  • Carpenters Pumpkin Farm in Linden
  • Brace Orchard in Dallas

Roba Family Farms says they usually start planting pumpkins around June 10 in preparation for picking season. Some attractions at the farm include an animal center, a candy cannon and an inflatable pillow platform — perfect for jumping.

Some farms and orchards on that list also host corn mazes during the fall months, including Mazezilla at Klingel’s Farm which is one of the largest in Pennsylvania.

Mazezilla is an 11-acre corn maze in Saylorsburg and has a new unique design each year. Located in the shadows of the Pocono Mountains, Mazezilla hosts thousands of visitors each year who dare to tackle the complex maze.

A popular fall festival is returning to Carbon County on September 25. Lansford Alive Fall Festival is in its 8th year and will include activities for kids including a bounce house, pumpkin painting and hay rides. Live entertainment will also be featured from the Grace Community Church Band, the Pennsylvania Villagers and more. The festival will be on September 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Lansford.

Jim Thorpe holds a festival for all to take in the beauty of the Pocono Mountains in the fall. The Fall Foliage Festival is a free outdoor concert series each weekend in October. There are also train, bike and trolley rides to really immerse yourself in foliage.

Danville will hold a Halloween parade this year. The date is set for October 28 beginning at 7 p.m. Organizers say it will be a full of ghouls, goblins and a howling good time. If you want to participate in the parade, head to the Danville Halloween Parade page on Facebook.

Fall family festivities will begin at Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun beginning October 1. This year the lodge is creating safe fun ways to get into the Halloween spirit. Some of their events will include a trick-or-treat trail, a monster dance party, Halloween arts and crafts and bingo just to name a few.

But if you are looking for something to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or find delight in discovering your inner fears, the region has many haunted attractions to ring in the Halloween season.

Listed as the “best haunted attraction in NEPA”, Reapers Revenge offers frights of all kinds. With 66 acres of dark trails, Reapers Revenge has a haunted hayride with twists at every turn. The attraction in Scott Township also features multiple haunted houses with demented clowns, a world of other dimensions, a haunted abandoned factory and cannibalistic mutants part of a nuclear attack.

Circle Drive-In in Dickson City also offers haunted festivities. Circle of Screams is the country’s only haunted drive-in theater. The theater offers a haunted walk through the woods called Demons of the Manor. You will be greeted by demonic creatures along your walk and they say the manor doesn’t take kindly to those who choose to explore.

If you aren’t afraid of the dark, Scranton offers haunted walking tours during the Halloween season. The Lackawanna Historical Society provides Scranton After Dark, a downtown walking tour with tales of mayhem and mysterious happenings in the Electric City. Tours will be given on Friday evenings beginning on September 17.

Honesdale will be holding ghost tours in October. Walk by candlelight around Central Park in Honesdale and hear all about the city’s historic — and spooky past. Each tour runs for 45 minutes beginning at 5 p.m. through 9:30 p.m.

Dorney Park in Allentown hosts the valley’s premier Halloween event. Halloween Haunt offers seven haunted mazes, four scare zone where guests are met with ghoulish monsters and rampant scares. New this fall, the park is introducing a new maze called Enigma that brings guests through rooms that will confuse their senses and create mind-bending illusions.

Other haunted attractions in our area include:

  • Massacre Mansion Haunted Attraction in Scranton
  • Gravestone Manor in Wilkes-Barre
  • Fear Hollow Haunted House in Mountain Top
  • Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg
  • Horror Hall in Plymouth Township
  • Altered Nightmares Haunted House in Saylorsburg
  • Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe
  • Haunted Lehman Park in East Stroudsburg
  • Haunt Faire in Matamoras

The video in the player below was taken at Horror Hall in Plymouth Township:

A popular attraction outside of our area that draws Northeastern Pennsylvanians in to witness the horror behind its walls is Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. America’s most notorious lawbreakers, including “Slick Willie” Sutton and “Scarface” Al Capone were housed there. It is also home to one of the nation’s largest and most top-rated haunted attractions.

A photo of Al Capone sold at an auction in August

Outside of the Halloween season, visitors can tour the prison and revel in its history. When the fall hits, the haunt starts. At Terror Behind the Walls, visitors can decide if they want to be fully immersed by marking themselves to be potentially grabbed and taken into hidden passageways.

Terror Behind the Walls includes Hollywood-quality special effects and props. More than 200 performers are needed for six separate attractions in the 10-acre complex.

If you are looking for the “real” thing, there are said to be paranormal haunts right here in our area as well.

46 South Welles Street is said to be home to paranormal activity. Sometimes coined as “Pennsylvania’s Amityville Horror”, the residents of the home in the 1970s say they lived among demons. The Times Leader spoke to the family in 1978 who recalled scratching and knocking on doors in the home, nightly visits from ghosts, blood spots appearing on walls and the smell of decay. The house now remains vacant and listed on several realtor websites.

Another house in our region with an infamous past is the Smurl house. Former residents of the home say a demon was haunting their home for nearly 18 months in 1985 and 1986. As the Times Leader reported, the Smurl’s claimed that their German shepherd was slammed into a wall by the demon, it had bitten the husbands ear and shaken the couple’s mattress.

But many claimed the hauntings were a hoax. In 1988 a woman moved into the home and told the Times Leader she never encountered any supernatural occurrences while living there. A film was made about the family in 1991 titled “The Haunted”.

Whether you are after something to rattle your bones or a family-friendly autumn adventure, the region has attractions that cater to all.

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