The air is turning crisper and the nights are getting longer, surefire signs that the spookiest night of the year is upon us. Put away the fun-size candy bars and put on your best costume to celebrate Halloween, which is just two weeks away. From impaled pumpkins, to a murder mystery and a Jack o’Lantern carousel, there are plenty of Halloween events throughout New York City to keep you from watching Hocus Pocus on a loop all October long.
13. Pumpkin Flotilla
Head to Central Park to watch New York’s largest Pumpkin Flotilla sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight. The event will include other Halloween-themed events including pumpkin carving, Halloween crafts and a costume parade.
If you want to participate more actively during the festivities, make sure to bring your own carved pumpkin. Tickets are not required for the free event, but you can RSVP here.
12. Inferno: A Halloween Masquerade
Inspired by the legendary McKittrick Hotel and the world of Sleep No More comes Inferno: A Halloween Masquerade you’re looking for if you’re looking for some immersive New York theater with a Halloween twist.
This annual party at the McKittrick will be the hotel’s biggest with more macabre rooms and floors to get into the holiday spirit. Guests will have access to an open bar, along with live music and special performances. The dress code: come in costume inspired by the occult. Party nights are October 27, 28, and 31.
11. Halloween Freak Show
The 2nd annual at Halloween Freak Show at Westlight will feature a night of music and performances with contortionists, magicians, human blockheads, burlesque, sword swallowing, and more for a full Halloween experience.
Costumes are required for this not-to-miss event on October 31 starting at 7 pm.
10. South Street Seaport Walking Tours: Halloween Addition
The South Street Seaport Museum has many interesting tours and exhibitions to offer its visitors year-round, but to get into the Halloween spirit, the Museum is offering a special themed-tour. On Friday, October 27 at 6:30 pm, head to the South Street Seaport for one of its Halloween Edition: Sex, Liquor, and Murder walking tours.
Join the Museum to explore 19th century New York’s most notorious district of vice and depravity, the Fourth Ward. This adults-only tour (18 and older) will tell stories about sordid murders to dangerous criminals. Space is limited so sign up now!
9. Halloween Night Market
The Queens Night Market is in its fall season, and while weekends always include fun activities and delicious food, stop by on Saturday, October 28 beginning at 6 pm for a special Halloween themed-event.
The evening includes a costume contest, trick or treating throughout the market, and special musical performances. This will be the last night for the 2017 season so if you haven’t been by yet, this would be the perfect time!
8. Candlelight Ghost Tours
Take an eerie tour of Manhattan’s most haunted house: the Merchant House Museum, located on 29 East Fourth Street, between Lafayette Street and the Bowery. Said to be built in 1832 by hatter Joseph Brewster, it is the only nineteenth-century family home in New York City preserved intact.
Several people once occupied the building before it was converted into a museum in 1936. In the spirit of Halloween, 50-minute candlelit ghost tours, which reveal the dark, haunted past of the house, will be held on October 20, 21 and 26-30. For more information, click here.
7. Madame Morbid’s Trolley Tours
Photo courtesy Madame Morbid’s Trolley Tours.
Take a ride back in time in a turn of the century trolley with Madame Morbid’s Trolley Tours and tour the most haunted neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Aboard the 22-seat trolley, equipped with chandeliers and “Gone With the Wind”-inspired curtains, Morbidologists will guide you back nearly 400 years in the past, through sites of an alien abduction, Revolutionary war battles, and notorious murders.
6. Truffles: Jazz, Murder, and Dinner Theater
Starting on October 14th, Truffles is an original murder mystery musical comedy complete with a three-course dinner. The show is entering its third run in New York City, and can be seen at Swing 46 on Restaurant Row with a special Halloween night performance at Joe’s Pub with the Public Theater on October 31.
Here’s what to expect from the show: “In Italy’s world-renowned dining establishment, Ciacco’s, the Donati family prepares to auction their legendary two-pound truffle- and YOU are cordially invited to the Gala. But watch out! Shortly after the festivities begin, the evening suddenly grinds to a halt when the truffle goes missing and the someone turns up dead, and you are now locked in the restaurant to figure out who stole the truffle and who the murderer is!”
5. 38th Annual Halloween Walk and Fair in Prospect Park
The Prospect Park Alliance is hosting the 38th edition of its beloved Halloween Walk and Fair in Prospect Park on Saturday, October 28. Perfect for kids and families, this free event will begin with a haunted walk through Lookout Hill followed by a festive Halloween Fair on the Nethermead. The fair will feature fun activities and delicious treats from a lineup of the city’s top food trucks.
4. BKLYN BOO!
An after party for the Prospect Park event, BKLYN BOO! brings the Halloween festivities to City Point in Downtown Brooklyn. BKLYN BOO! will feature a disco costume contest, a pumpkin patch, spooky face painting, live DJs and, of course, tricks and treats. Put on your Halloween best and keep the ghostly fun going all day long.
3. Cobble Hill Pumpkin Impaling
Pumpkins will once again be skewered on the iron fences of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn after a three-year hiatus thanks to artist Jane Greengold. The tradition began in 1998, when Greengold impaled carved pumpkins on her front lawn fence and, as they rotted, they became that much more spooky– a delight for passersby.
When Greengold moved to Fort Greene in 2013, the tradition stopped, but is now back due to popular demand. Come October 31, more than 100 pumpkins will be impaled on the fence of Greengold’s former home on Kane Street, many of which are added by Brooklyn families looking to get in on the fun.
2. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
At the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, take a stroll through the beautiful historic riverside landscape and admire the elaborate display of jack o’lanterns. From the Pumpkin Promenade to the Pumpkin Zee Bridge, enjoy the Statue of Liberty, Pumpkin Carousel, Headless Horseman, and a hoard of dinosaurs, all made of everyone’s favorite Halloween gourd. Visited by more than 10,000 visitors last year, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is a spooky spectacle you can’t miss.
1. ODDtober at Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
If there was ever a reason to venture into the hectic streets of Times Square, it is to visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum during ODDtober. Perfect for fans of the odd and unusual, this museum is home to more than 500 artifacts from 200 countries around the world. Of particular interest for those looking in search of a fright this Halloween are a Vampire Kill Kit sold by Sotheby’s for $20,000 and a still-functioning electric chair from Eddyville Prison that put 21 murderers to death. It all culminates on Halloweekend, when the museum offers free candy with admission and face painting to all guests, as well as a discount on the 30th and 31st if you arrive in costume.
NY Adventure Club & doNYC’s are also coming together to host their 2nd Annual Halloween Bash inside Ripley’s Odditorium. Once doors close to the general public at 8pm, you’ll have the opportunity to roam over 20 themed rooms, compete in a judged costume contest, dance to Halloween themed music and much, much more. Purchase tickets here.
To keep the frights going, check out 10 Abandoned Hospitals and Asylums Around NYC and Inside Brooklyn’s Mysterious, Abandoned Jumping Jack Power Plant.