Pennhurst Asylum
Pennhurst Asylum
4

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

See what travellers are saying
  • Michael M
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing night at Pennhurst!!!
    This was my first time visiting Pennhurst asylum and it truly was an amazing experience. I’ve been wanting to visit Pennhurst for the longest time. It definitely did not disappoint. I’ve watched so many shows and documentaries about Pennhurst, and to finally be there in person and actually see all the buildings and locations for myself was surreal. First, I need to mention our host and tour guide Emily, who without a doubt added to the enjoyment of our experience. She was absolutely friendly and professional. Emily was very knowledgeable and passionate about Pennhurst and its history. She was actually more informative than some of the documentaries that I’ve watched. Emily also helped me with some of my ghost hunting equipment. Me being a novice, I barely knew how to work some of the stuff I owned. She took the time to show me how some of the items I had worked and was a huge help. Anybody who visits Pennhurst and has the pleasure of meeting Emily, will surely get a great experience as well. Emily gave us an outside tour of all the buildings first, and then we went to explore the different buildings on our own. Pennhurst has an extremely sad history. Everything Emily explained to us was with extreme respect to people that had passed through here and to the unfortunate ones who didn’t pass through. We explored the Mayflower, Devon, Quaker Hall, and Infirmary buildings, as well as the tunnels. My favorite building was actually the Infirmary, which we sadly learned might be torn down. I hope this changes and the Infirmary is left intact because it is an amazing place to explore. It would be a real shame if the Infirmary wasn’t there for future groups to experience. My Pennhurst visit was one of the best things I’ve done in years, and I absolutely plan on returning. My whole group had a great time and also would like to return. Big thanks to Emily and the staff for keeping things fun and safe for everyone.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 15 July 2023
  • Stefanie M
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Horro campout recommended for haunted house lovers looking for thrill
    My partner and I attended the 2022 Horror Campout and loved it so much that we came back again (3 hour drive) to the 2023 Horror Campout! We’ve been impressed by beauty of the area, the skill of the actors, the creativity of campout activities, friendliness of staff (when they’re not monsters chasing you), and more. It’s doubly impressive how well they took feedback from the year before to make it even better. The campouts themselves are like summer camp meets very scary haunted house. Highly recommend for any haunted house lovers looking for a bit bigger thrill!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 July 2023
  • Greg Yuelling
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Penhurst Asylum takes haunt to another level!
    The PennHurst Asylum is fantastic! We have been doing reviews for a LOT of Halloween attractions for over 35 years or more and most we have been to are completely average haunts (around 7.5 skulls). This attraction, however, is one of the best ones around!!! The grounds themselves are massive and independently eerie. The skilled actors mingle in and out of the lines, scaring all in their path. The parking is free and the price is well worth it for the combo attractions. I will definitely recommend this attraction for the extreme haunt fans, and the special effects are better than some sets that you see in Universal Halloween Nights. The actors are so in-depth that you think you are in a role-playing situation. My staff is giving this haunt a 9.5 Skulls. They did a lot of new upgrades, and this haunt will want you doing it twice a year, so you don't miss anything at all. They also have an awesome walk through at the end, so you can take some awesome pictures. The merchandise of Penhurst Asylum is sweet. PS: Don't forget the food. For the top 5 "Haunts in America" check out Halloween Extreme Haunts 365 follow us on Facebook. 🇺🇲
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled on business
    Written 11 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles119 reviews
Excellent
58
Very good
30
Average
9
Poor
7
Terrible
15

Jacklyn S
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
The worst experience ever. After driving over an hour to get here, we waited over two hours before being route to yet another (1 hour at min) line. We were leading as we’re other couples. Come on pennhurst!!! That’s ridiculous 3 hours it’s 11 pm we wouldn’t have gotten on our first ride until midnight, I assume your workers work all night long bc we would have been here until 3 am at min to get on even 2 rides. Plus 1-1/2 hours to get home. Why take our money if you couldn’t get us on even one attraction?!?! Best part is you’re taking everyone’s money yet it’s suppose to be dedicated lines so this crap didn’t happen, but nope. This place basically stole our money and wanted us to stay all night to see the attractions.. didn’t even say how was your experience how can we make it right. I feel robbed. I waited in long lines before but never ever anything like this where it was just a line with no amusement no fun. Totally awful. Guys be careful here so many people get let in at once meaning you’re not guaranteed anything and they don’t even tell you that! So dissatisfied!!! Of all the places we could have went (so many cool places) and we wouldn’t have been out almost $200 with not even one attraction to see. You couldn’t pay me to see your place ever again.
Written 28 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dawn W
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
The haunt was not scary at all. Was expecting a better experience. Felt like it was a total waste of money. Afterwards had some food at event and ended up eating a meat kabob which was$13 & it was so fatty had to throw away. Would not recommend wasting your money . Definitely not worth the time and money spent especially waiting in long lines
Written 22 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David Tahvildaran
Philadelphia, PA11 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Lines and walking distance were the scariest part of being here. Buying the times tickets entries made zero difference.
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emma G
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
I can't fully describe how incredible the daytour of Pennhurst was. Our guide Caden was extremely knowledgeable and painted a interesting (but sad) picture of the school's history. As a behavioral health nurse, I really appreciated knowing where we were as a community and how far we've come in a relatively short period of time. I greatly enjoyed being able to talk to former staff and hear their stories. I hope the hospital/ infirmary is open next time I come!
Written 14 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Greg Yuelling
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Business
The PennHurst Asylum is fantastic! We have been doing reviews for a LOT of Halloween attractions for over 35 years or more and most we have
been to are completely average haunts (around 7.5 skulls). This attraction, however, is one of the best ones around!!! The grounds themselves are massive and independently eerie. The skilled actors mingle in and out of the lines, scaring all in their path. The parking is free and the price is well worth it for the combo attractions. I will definitely recommend this attraction for the extreme haunt fans, and the special effects are better than some sets that you see in Universal Halloween Nights. The actors are so in-depth that you think you are in a role-playing situation. My staff is giving this haunt a 9.5 Skulls.
They did a lot of new upgrades, and this haunt will want you doing it twice a year, so you don't miss anything at all. They also have an awesome walk through at the end, so you can take some awesome pictures. The merchandise of Penhurst Asylum is sweet.

PS: Don't forget the food.

For the top 5 "Haunts in America" check out
Halloween Extreme Haunts 365 follow us on Facebook. 🇺🇲
Written 11 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly H
Windber, PA2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
We decided to go to Pennhurst as part of our annual "big scale" ghost hunt this year. Although we wouldn't be considered "professional" ghost hunters in particular, we are experienced. We have been to places like Waverly Hills, Ohio State Reformatory, Eastern State, ect, ect. This, was easily the worst experience.

First of all, I want to make it clear that my mother is currently disabled, with a bad knee. We did indeed do research, via the website, to see how much walking would be involved. It indicated one building and a few tunnels. This seamed feasible to us. We assumed, as well, that with one building, the number of hunters would be slim as well. Neither ended up being true in the end.

The tour actually included the entire grounds, and the hunt actually had three buildings. Now this is GOOD, I want to make clear. However it was not what we prepared for. Halfway through walking the tour, my mother began to have trouble, and it began to rain. One of the employees indicated that a golf cart would be coming to pick us up. We thought that's great, how very considerate. It finally arrived and... picked up a younger woman, and rode past both my mother- with a cane, I may add- and another older woman with a cane, who had it even worse than her.

I may also add, that the speaker did not wait for us in the back, hobbling along last, to begin speaking. We ended up missing some crucial information.

When the tour was over, I asked an employee in the QUAKER HALL for a chair so that my mother could sit down. She indicated that there was a couch on the first floor. I was a bit skeptical and asked if the couch was okay to sit on? If it was sitting in the building itself it couldn't be that clean? She got a look on her face like I personally insulted her or something- like god forbid I ask for somewhere clean for my mother to sit? So we just went up to the first floor and yep- as I suspected, a moldy, filthy couch no human being should sit on was there and that was it. We eventually wiped off a folding chair and used that.

The merch shop was a sad state and unable to offer an online equivalent. But still that was the cleanest place, so she ended up spending a lot of time there. We were able to TRY and investigate, but there are far too many people here, constantly wondering and unprofessional in how they conduct themselves. Our EVP equipment was polluted by constant talking and walking of other people moving in and out. DO NOT come for the public ghost hunt if you actually intend to find anything. It's actually a glorified night URBEX session.

Finally, to make things ever better, we were yelled at for walking on the road to get back to the car. Despite this EXACT ROUTE being used for the tour. "You're not supposed to take it for the ghost hunt, just the tour." And how were we supposed to know that, sir? There was no signage anywhere, even finding the place was difficult.

This place likes to wax lyrical about the mistreatment of the disabled, and yet in practice shows they actually care very little for the problems modern-day disabled people encounter. We weren't expecting ramps or anything like that- we were asking for a ghost hunt and a folding chair. We got neither.
Written 13 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stefanie M
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
My partner and I attended the 2022 Horror Campout and loved it so much that we came back again (3 hour drive) to the 2023 Horror Campout! We’ve been impressed by beauty of the area, the skill of the actors, the creativity of campout activities, friendliness of staff (when they’re not monsters chasing you), and more. It’s doubly impressive how well they took feedback from the year before to make it even better. The campouts themselves are like summer camp meets very scary haunted house. Highly recommend for any haunted house lovers looking for a bit bigger thrill!
Written 23 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael M
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Friends
This was my first time visiting Pennhurst asylum and it truly was an amazing experience. I’ve been wanting to visit Pennhurst for the longest time. It definitely did not disappoint. I’ve watched so many shows and documentaries about Pennhurst, and to finally be there in person and actually see all the buildings and locations for myself was surreal. First, I need to mention our host and tour guide Emily, who without a doubt added to the enjoyment of our experience. She was absolutely friendly and professional. Emily was very knowledgeable and passionate about Pennhurst and its history. She was actually more informative than some of the documentaries that I’ve watched. Emily also helped me with some of my ghost hunting equipment. Me being a novice, I barely knew how to work some of the stuff I owned. She took the time to show me how some of the items I had worked and was a huge help. Anybody who visits Pennhurst and has the pleasure of meeting Emily, will surely get a great experience as well. Emily gave us an outside tour of all the buildings first, and then we went to explore the different buildings on our own. Pennhurst has an extremely sad history. Everything Emily explained to us was with extreme respect to people that had passed through here and to the unfortunate ones who didn’t pass through. We explored the Mayflower, Devon, Quaker Hall, and Infirmary buildings, as well as the tunnels. My favorite building was actually the Infirmary, which we sadly learned might be torn down. I hope this changes and the Infirmary is left intact because it is an amazing place to explore. It would be a real shame if the Infirmary wasn’t there for future groups to experience. My Pennhurst visit was one of the best things I’ve done in years, and I absolutely plan on returning. My whole group had a great time and also would like to return. Big thanks to Emily and the staff for keeping things fun and safe for everyone.
Written 15 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AuthorCMelanson
Kitchener, Canada1,870 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
Wow, what a great birthday present to myself. Drove down from Ontario to do the overnight paranormal tour and decided to make a vacation out of it and visit Philly too. Philly was just a ball of stress...no parking and so much traffic. Pennhurst was the highlight and most enjoyable part of my trip. I really want to go back. The rich history of this place and paranormal energy begs more than one visit.
I should have written this review earlier because I cannot for the life of me remember my tour guide's name, and that is a shame because she was phenomenal. I only heard it once, when they told me I would be in her group. There was a lovely person who joined us named Makayla. She was training to be a tour guide and is absolutely the kindest person I have ever met...ever. I have RA and she stuck with me the entire night. Makayla was the biggest empath I've ever met. She would give me space to explore and investigate, but I very much preferred to have her with me. I mean, this girl! I struggled to make it to 3 AM and we walked all around the campus. When I felt the most pain in my back and knees and thought I couldn't make it, she came over and asked, "Are you okay?" I'm not kidding when I say I've never had anyone in my life so concerned about my well-being. It was uncanny...and I have to say leant to the atmosphere...the amazing way she knew when I was feeling my worst. I couldn't have gone the entire night without her. She helped me up when we were sitting on the floor, or anyplace low, where I had a hard time. So many times, she helped me up. When I thought I couldn't continue (like climbing the stairs in the last building...the most important building...Mayflower) she literally cheered me on, saying "I know you can do it!" "You've got this." Taking a tour when you have a disability with someone like this makes it an extra special experience. I know those who lived at Pennhurst with their own difficulties see Makayla and smile down on her. She told me she was going to stay with her boyfriend across the river that night. I told her if he doesn't marry her, he's a fool. You won't find special people like her very often, and I thank her so much for adding to the experience and her wonderful compassion and kind heart. She did also ghost hunt with me and made it much more fun just by accompanying me.
My other guide had short brown hair and she wore glasses. She was wonderful as well. She was so knowledgeable and tried so hard to get responses with the REM pod and spirit boxes.
When you drive in to arrive at the campus, you definitely drive into the woods. I heard Destination Fear comment on how this felt deep in the woods and isolated. This is definitely true and makes the apprehension build. Once you are settled and assigned a wristband, there is a historical tour of the grounds. We all learned so much about how the people who were dumped here were treated. I probably would have been left there by my parents if I had my illness when I was little. In front of the administration building we learned that Stephen Hawking would have failed the IQ tests at Pennhurst as one of the first marks of 'intelligence' is if someone can hold a pencil. These were the 'medical' terms to describe the residents depending on IQ: Idiot, Moron, Imbecile. I'm not kidding. The tour guides were so respectful of the history and made us feel the pain these poor people must have felt when they were abandoned by their families at Pennhurst.
We learned in Quaker, there were two staff members assigned to 75-100 people who could not go to the bathroom unattended or feed themselves. I can't imagine how helpless it felt on both sides. To not be able to provide adequate care must have felt devastating and so defeating, and to not be cared for must have crushed those delicate souls. Learning about this dark history is so necessary so that it is, hopefully, NEVER repeated.
After the history portion, we began the paranormal investigations. This was so cool. I went on my first one in NOLA in Feb, but this was above and beyond anything I've experienced. The staff had REM pods, EMF detectors, spirit boxes, dowsing rods. I brought my own flashlight (you will need one of these when doing this tour) and a digital recorder.
Makayla was with me in Devon when I investigated and we both agreed that we felt a dark presence in there. I got an EVP with a moan and then some crazy whispering. I also got a picture of a dark mist hovering over a chair which I did not see with my naked eye (posted below).
The downside to this was that there was a LARGE number of people in each group. You would want to investigate in a certain room, but people were already there. Or you would be recording and only pick up other people investigating, but it was still a great experience. When Makayla and I got our EVP, there was no one else around on that floor.
We even got to go down in the tunnels and our guide did an extended REM pod session and got some great responses down there. She felt good about our group and so took us around to the hospital which was destroyed during a storm. We got to see what was left and it was creepy. The infirmary was our stop there and I got a crazy video with like hundreds of orbs flying at me. I don't know if it was dust but I did take video in other buildings and got nothing like that.
The gift shop was very cool. I got a long-sleeved Pennhurst tee and they had up all the pictures on the back wall from the brochure which showed how Pennhurst was advertised as a luxury treatment facility to families of the disabled and unwanted who were sadly left there. The staff were always doing their best to show us how the road to hell is truly paved with good intentions.
I love the fact that the new owners are trying so hard to educate visitors and keep the history of Pennhurst alive. As I said, I will definitely visit again. And I hope Makayla is my tour guide!
During the overnight tour, which runs from 7 PM - 3 AM, you will get to explore Devon, Mayflower, Quaker, the Infirmary and one of the tunnels...but sadly I can't remember the name. You will get to explore and use your own or Pennhurst's ghost-hunting equipment on your own. And you get a good amount of time in each space. This tour is definitely worth the price, and the staff are professional and sensitive to the nature of the atrocities which took place here.
Visit Pennhurst. It is humbling and the spirits there are, mostly, playful and friendly. It is important we never forget these dark spots on our history to keep them from being repeated.
Written 9 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Catherine K
New City, NY38 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE HISTORY TOUR NOT HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS - I was quite disappointed in this 3 hour tour. I went expecting history along with seeing the abandoned buildings. But basically we got a lecture about how badly Pennhurst treated the residents of the institution when it was still open. No mention of how Pennhurst was simply a product of its time and treated the residents according to standards of the day or how we can't judge the past through the prism of a woke present. With a (very) little history thrown in and really no buildings included. It was a woke lecture and not a site tour.
Written 8 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 119
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

PENNHURST ASYLUM: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Pennhurst Asylum




All things to do in Spring City
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire