Honestly, we’re a little disappointed at the lack of spirits involved in the city’s ghost tours. We’re not talking about the ones that go “boo,” but rather the ones that are booze. This Halloween — and in a few cases, tours spill over into November or go year round — learn all about Philadelphia’s gory murders and then follow up your spooky history lesson with a stiff drink.
Choose between a candlelit tour or ghoulish haunts in Old City and Society Hill, or make the hair on your neck really stand up with the ghost hunting tour, which includes access to a Society Hill mansion. Groups of 20 or more can reserve a haunted trolley ride.
Thurs., Oct. 31, Candlelit tour meets at 7:30 p.m., ghost hunting tour meets at 8 p.m., Signers Garden, Fifth & Chestnut streets, $8 - $17, 215-413-1997, www.ghosttour.net.
Finish at Sassafras
Luckily for you, this Old City bar is debuting several seasonal cocktails on Halloween evening. We’ll be going straight for The Banshee, made with Jameson, Fireball cinnamon whiskey, bitters and apple cider. We may not see any ghosts tonight, but we’ll certainly being seeing double.
48 S. Second St., 215-925-2317, www.sassafrasbar.com.
Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tour of Philadelphia
This is one of Philly’s most popular and successful walking tours. It’s packed with history and sprinkled with tales of ghosts. On Halloween they’re doubling down and doing two tours.
Thurs., Oct. 31, tour meets at Cosi Restaurant, 325 Chestnut St., 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., $12.50 - $17.50, 215-525-1776, www.spiritsof76.com.
Finish at Continental
Colonials — even the dead ones — seem fancy. Befitting, then, that you should go to Continental and grab a drink after your tour. This is Stephen Starr’s martini bar, so you know what to order.
138 Market St., 215-923-6069, www.continentalmartinibar.com.
Ghost Tours of New Hope
Few things are scarier than a suburban ghost. Head to the scenic setting of New Hope for a proper ghost tour. Learn about the area’s extensive — and sometimes horrifying — history, and keep an eye out for chilling reminders of the past.
Thurs., Oct. 31, 8 p.m., tour meets at Main & Ferry streets, New Hope, $10, 215-343-5564, www.ghosttoursofnewhope.com.
Finish at Marsha Brown
You may notice fellow group members heading to Logan Inn for a beer after the tour, and that’s not a bad idea. But if you want to really treat yourself, go to the bar at Marsha Brown. With its opulent, gold-flaked decor, it may feel like the kind of bar you visit during Christmas time. Have a martini, though, and you’ll see that it’s prime year round.
15 S. Main St., New Hope, 215-862-7044, www.marshabrownrestaurant.com.
Finally, a tour that manages to tell a good ghost story and keep your cup full. Join the Bootlegger’s Ball, dubbed a “historic and haunted pub crawl.” You’ll learn about prohibition-era murders, tavern ghosts and vicious pirates. The best part: Ticket price covers snacks, drinks and cover charges at the bars.
Tour meets Sat., Nov. 2, Mexican Post, 104 Chestnut St., 856-829-3100, www.grimphilly.com.
Finish at Prime Stache
If you have room for one more after all that beer tasting, get your nightcap at Prime Stache. We suggest the Briar Patch: gin with raspberry jam, blackberry and lemon.
110 Chestnut St., 267-886-8354, www.primestache.com.