Halloween tours: The walking living, the talking dead
THE GRIM PHILLY Twilight Tour is hardly the only way to get your fright fix this Halloween season. The city has numerous attractions where blood flows and ghouls cavort. Here's a sampling:
* "Terror Behind the Walls"
The historic Eastern State Penitentiary, which ghost hunters insist is haunted by the tormented spirits of inmates, has established itself as the Taj Mahal of fright-atoriums. For this season of the witch, those in charge of the 190-year-old landmark have hired 250 actors and installed a Broadway-worthy series of high-tech props designed to scare the bejabbers out of us thrill-seekers. Eastern State Penitentiary, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, through Nov. 9, dates and times vary, $30-$13, 215-236-2985, easternstate.org.
* Ghost Tour
According to its website, this traditional candlelight tour "stops at a number of historic sites that have reports of haunted sightings and other strange legacies." Tour starts at Signers Garden, 5th and Chestnut streets, 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 21; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Oct. 11-12, 18, 25-26. $15 and $8 (ages 4-12), 888-811-1399, ghosttour.com/philadelphia.
* Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour - Philly by Night
Billed as "one part history, two part haunts," the tour focuses on Colonial-era apparitions, but also includes a segment on the grandfather of the horror genre, Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote "The Raven" when he lived at 532 N. 7th St. Tour starts at Cosi restaurant, 4th and Chestnut streets, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 30; additional times in October. 215-525-1776, spiritsof76.com.
Philly's Figment Theater serves up this spoof of slice-'em-and-dice-'em B movies by combining plenty of (phony) gore with improvisational comedy. Given the carnage - and the nudity - better to leave the kids at home. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., Oct. 17-27, showtimes vary, $25-$15, figmenttheater.org.
* "Evil Dead - The Musical"
While the show experienced some audio problems during a recent performance, there was nothing wrong with the Grand Guignol special effects of this musical send-up of the "Evil Dead" film franchise: Blood cascades regularly from severed body parts. Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St., through Oct. 20, showtimes vary, $60-$42.50, 215-972-1000. princemusictheater.org.