Hunt for ghosts at Grumblethorpe this Saturday night

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a ghost hunter for a day? Find out on Saturday when Ghost Tours and the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks host the Third Annual Witches Night Out: Ghost Tour at Grumblethorpe.

The 75-minute candlelight tour, which starts in Germantown at 7 p.m., is a celebration of Walpurgis Night, a piece of German folklore that signifies the halfway point to Halloween.

Walpurgis Night combines two legends: a springtime gathering to drive away evil spirits and an eighth century nun named Saint Walpurga, who was believed to be pursued by evil spirits.

The event in Germantown

With electromagnetic-field meters and dowsing rods in hands, attendees will learn the history of the Wister family and their home while searching for ghosts of Grumblethorpe’s past including Gen. James Agnew and Justinia, the Wister family’s housekeeper.

“Hopefully, they will have a paranormal experience of some sort, but also go away with an appreciation of the people that lived and died in the house crating the history of the area,” said Eileen Reeser, ghost-tour manager. “There is a very rich history there in Germantown.”

Tickets are $19 per person, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. To participate, attendees should be at least 13 years old.

Diana Thompson, Grumblethorpe educational director, said the tours enable them to maintain the nearly 270-year-old house as well as the various programs that Grumblethorpe offers throughout the year.

“Every little bit that we get through our partnership with those tours is helpful,” said Thompson. “It’s just that much more that we don’t have to do, raise ourselves, or look for money elsewhere.”

Grumblethorpe is located at 5267 Germantown Ave. For more information, go to

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal