The Poconos is a pleasant place, from its stunning mountain vistas to the friendly people and comfortable lodges. But once a year, Pennsylvania’s most scenic vacation spot transforms into a spooky spectacle.
The walking dead welcome guests at haunted houses. Zip lines stay open for the witching hour. Sunshine and nature hikes are replaced by moonlight and graveyard tours. If you’re in the Pocono Mountains area in October or early November, here are a few of the ghoulish activities you’ll find around town this fall.
Murder with a Twist (of Lime)
In the days of Agatha Christie, murder was a more refined affair. The men wore suits and smoked pipes, while the women fanned themselves in elegant gowns – and perhaps did a little sleuthing on the side. Get a taste of the classic whodunit at Scotch, Steak & Scandal, a murder mystery dinner hosted by Skytop Lodge. The evening’s theme is a traditional masquerade; Venetian masks and costumes are encouraged, and jackets are required for gentlemen. Diners will feast on a gourmet meal, followed by scotch and cocktails with a side of murder. The luxury resort’s 5,500-acre property and majestic historic lodge provide a setting worthy of Poirot or Miss Marple. Try to solve the mystery while enjoying a luxurious sip of whisky or tucking into a tasty dessert. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 855-345-7759.
The Great Escape
Escape rooms are one of the biggest entertainment and teambuilding trends of 2017. The idea is simple: you and your teammates have 60 minutes to get out of a locked room, with clues and puzzles pointing you towards the way out. But be warned, the solution isn’t that easy. Test your riddle solving skills – and your ability to work well in a team setting – at Klues, one of the area’s newest escape facilities. They have four themed rooms perfect for Halloween, including an Alice in Wonderland tea party and a mad science experiment gone wrong. Our top pick for Halloween is The Curse of the Pharaoh, a spooky scene in which a mummy’s sarcophagus has been disturbed. Your team has just one hour to solve the clues and escape before the bandaged body will enact a terrible curse. Book online at klues.com.
Haunted Trails to You
If you’re up for a serious scare, Alvin’s Off-Road Playground will get your blood pumping. Guests can choose from a 20-minute ATV ride or haunted hayride, depending on your comfort level. Your heart will be racing as you zoom (or cruise) across the haunted farm being chased by zombies, ghosts, witches and other ghastly creatures from beyond. Kids and parents can enjoy s’mores by the campfire while awaiting their tour, or take a casual, scream-filled stroll through Katie’s Garage, a haunted house attraction with a gory backstory. Now in its second year, this attraction is one of the area’s scariest rides. Alvin’s Playground is open Fridays and Saturdays through October 28. Note: Alvin doesn’t take reservations, so show up early to be guaranteed a space on the trails.
Whether you’re in the mood for a gentlemanly tale of murder or want to feed your adrenaline rush with a ride, the Poconos has no shortage of Halloween thrills. Visit a haunted house or scare up a zipline ride after dark, then head back to Skytop Lodge to soothe your fears with a good night’s rest. Call 855-345-7759 for information or book your stay online.