By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
8:07 PM EDT, October 16, 2012
The East Coast offers unique hot spots for Halloween chills:
Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary — What began as a one-night haunted house in the ruins of the Eastern State Penitentiary at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in 1991 has 29 performances this year through Nov. 10. Also open daily for history tours, the world's first penitentiary had flushing toilets before the White House did, and it once housed Al Capone. Rumors of ghosts began 30 years before it closed in 1971.
"Terror Behind the Walls" features Hollywood-style sets, makeup, props, animatronics, digital sound effects and a cast of 200-plus performers. This year a new fright, "Detritus," has been added. It lures visitors through an original 1800s cellblock into an outdoor labyrinth of twisting vines and overgrown plants. Tickets are $40 at the gate, cheaper online. 215-236-2986, easternstate.org/halloween/preview
New York's Hudson Valley — Steeped in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, the Hudson Valley hosts both The Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze and Horseman's Hollow on select evenings through Nov. 11.
The Blaze illuminates more than 5,000 carved pumpkins throughout the wooded walkways, orchards and gardens of Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. Horseman's Hollow is an interactive walk along the trail of the Headless Horseman through Philipsburg Manor, where the undead, the evil and the insane wander in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. 914-631-8200, hudsonvalley.org
Cashtown Inn of Gettysburg, Pa. — From the battlefield to local inns, ghosts are rumored to roam Gettysburg. The Cashtown Inn, about 10 miles outside of Gettysburg, was Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill's headquarters before the Battle of Gettysburg. Today, as a 14-room B&B, it is noted for paranormal sightings, including Civil War hospital scenes. Though only two rooms were left at press time for Halloween ghost hunt, the Cashtown Inn offers ghost hunts from December through March. 717-334-9722, http://www.cashtowninn.com
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