Spooked under the stars: Outdoor screenings at the Betsy Ross house

Enjoy the outdoors with a flick during Movies Under the Stars & Stripes. (Photo courtesy of Historic Philadelphia)

With the nice weather in full effect, besides the dreaded thunderstorms happening once a week it seems, outdoor movie screenings have popped up all throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, bringing the “drive-in” feel back into our lives, just without vehicles. Starting on Friday, Aug. 1 at dusk, the Betsy Ross House is playing the part with outdoor viewings during their Stars & Stripes movie viewing series with films produced as early as 1959. People with soft stomachs, beware: All the movies shown in Betsy Ross’ Old City courtyard are horror films, and classic ones at that. What makes watching horror films outside more terrifying than they already are inside? Well, for one thing, you’re not protected outdoors, so a zombie could always come up from the bushes and snatch you up.

Kicking off the series of spook on Friday, Aug. 1, at dusk is the 1962 film, "The Brain That Wouldn’t Die," directed by Joseph Green, involving a mad scientist who is crushed when he finds out his girlfriend is decapitated during a car accident, resulting in bringing her back to life — her head, that is.

Did you ever have a conversation with a plant? Well, at least a conversation where it talks back to you? Probably not, and if so, that’s weird, but in the 1960s comedy/horror film "Little Shop of Horrors," you’ll get to watch a clumsy floral-shop worker interact with a giant plant whose favorite saying is, “Feed Me!” and the plant is hungry — for blood. The viewing of Roger Corman's classic will be on Friday, Sept. 5 at dusk.

On Friday, Oct. 3, summer is officially over at this point, but in the courtyard of Betsy Ross’ house, the horror screenings are still oozing at dusk. In honor of the month of Halloween, a double feature will be offered, as well as special “spooky house tours.” Living up to its title, the 1959 film, "A Bucket of Blood," directed by Roger Corman, is a gory tale involving sculptures of… you’ll just have to wait and see.

Couldn’t get enough chills throughout your body from the first screening of the night? Ending the Movies Under the Stars & Stripes series is the 1968 film, "Night of the Living Dead," which begins after "A Bucket of Blood." Viewers can watch this George Romero classic that inspired the zombie craze that has infected our world with planning ahead ... for the zombie apocalypse.

All films screenings are $5 and are BYOB. House tours are offered with purchase of each ticket. Scared of rain canceling the screenings? Follow @historicphilly on Twitter for updates.