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Every New Yorker should experience the standard Halloween parades in Greenwich Village and Central Park at least once (we supposed), but for those looking for something a little different this October, here are our top picks. And while we’re still awaiting news on whether our favorite event, the Cobble Hill pumpkin impalement by artist Jane Greengold is happening this year, there’s still a lot of alternative, off-the-beaten path activities to choose from.

1. Blackout Haunted House


Untapped Cities contributor Luke Kingma passed through the Blackout Haunted House in 2012, and came out completely petrified. At the beginning of the tour , he was asked to sign a waiver allowing “the actors to do (almost) everything short of killing, maiming or abusing you.” He was separated from his friends and went through the house alone, placed in a variety of “traumatizing” scenarios that he states will “make you question why it is you came, and what it is you have (or haven’t) actually done during your stay.” Read his full article here, and get tickets for this year’s house located on 442 East Houston Street.

2. 2014 HallowMEME Costume Party

On Thursday, October 30th at 8:30 pm, the HallowMEME Costume Party will kick off at the Brooklyn Bell House venue. Those attending will dress as their favorite internet memes, with last year’s participants showing up in their interpretations of “Hot Dogs or Legs?,” “Texts from Hillary,” and “Shiba Confessions.” RSVP your spot here.

3. Halloween in the Crypt

The historic crypt underneath the Church of the Intercession has hosted everything from movie shoots to jazz nights, including an exclusive fan concert for the 2012 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. The New York Adventure Club will be returning to the space with a Halloween costume dance party featuring a Roaring ’20s live brass band, unlimited beer and wine, and a costume competition hosted by Reverend Jen of the Troll Museum. Win 2 tickets through our giveaway and buy tickets here.

4. Tompkins Square Park Village Dog Parade

Hundreds of dogs and their owners came to this event last year to see and be seen in the largest dog costume parade in the world. This year, the fun begins on October 25th at 12:00 pm in Tompkins Square Park. Dress Fido up to compete with other dogs for thousands of dollars in prizes!

5. Fort Totten Park Haunted Lantern Tours

Located in Bayside, Queens, the Fort Totten Park is the site of a Civil War era fortress constructed in 1862 for a wide variety of military purposes. By 1974 the military no longer used the space, and beginning in 2005 it opened as a park for the public.  On Friday, October 24th at 6:30 pm, Urban Park Rangers will give lantern-lit tours of the water battery located along the park’s edge. Civil War Captain Robert E. Lee proposed the battery’s construction in 1957 to defend the New York Harbor, and visitors can still see inscriptions soldiers carved in the walls while stationed there. For more historic buildings, check out our articles on The Forts of NYC and 20 Abandoned Places in NYC.

6. Crest Arts 5th Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

On Saturday, October 18th, Crest Hardware on 558 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn is hosting a pumpkin carving contest to raise money for its annual art show. Participants enter their best works of pumpkin art between 6:30 and 7 pm for a chance at the prestigious winning title.

7. Dark Disco at 88 Palace

An electro party in a dim sum place in ChinatownWe can assure you that this is where you’ll find us this Halloween. Enter after-hours through the bizarro mini mall under the Manhattan Bridge. In “Tiki Disco, a special Halloween edition, the usual eclectic, top-notch set of dance tunes are promised from DJs Eli Escobar, Andy Pry and Lloydski, with a few spooky jams thrown in for good measure. Tickets here.

8. Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Critical Halloween Costume Contest

Each year the non-profit Storefront for Art and Architecture hosts a costume contest that addresses critical concepts, or
“the most feared ghosts,” in art and architectural production today. This year’s theme will be “I-Relevance,” which according to the Storefront’s website, will ask “artists, architects, writers, and citizens to address the concept of Irrelevance within contemporary culture and contemporary digital platforms.Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young wrote about last year’s competition here. Get your tickets for this year’s competition on the Storefront’s website.

9. Boroughs of the Dead Tours

Boroughs of the Dead is a tour company that specializes in New York City’s most occult spaces. For the month of October, tours offered will include Edgar Allen Poe’s West Village, haunted Brooklyn Heights, Ghosts of Broadway and Hells Kitchen, and the secrets of Central Park. Visit the website for the full calendar, and check out our Top 7 Most Haunted Spots of Lower Manhattan. Following our successful joint tours with Boroughs of the Dead this year, we’ll be hosting more events together in 2014. Stay tuned!

10. A Spirited Stroll Through Green-Wood Cemetery

On Sunday, October 26th at 1 pm, historian Jeff Richmond will be giving a “spirited stroll” of the Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which serves as the resting place of 560,000 deceased who include Civil War veterans, Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Samuel Morse. The walk will include a tour of the Catacombs, which are normally closed to the public. More photos of the beautiful grounds can be seen here, and check out our article on a map of the cemetery’s vast 478 acres.

Any events that we missed? Contact Anna Brown via her Twitter handle @brooklynbonanza.