Photograph Courtesy of Village Halloween Parade
It’s not too late to find something fun and exciting to do in New York City for this Halloween! Even though the spooky holiday falls right in the middle of the week, there are plenty of festivities to take part in. From the annual Greenwich Village Parade to an intimate speakeasy poetry event, here are our Untapped Picks for things to do on Halloween:
12. Trolley Tour of Green-Wood Cemetery
Explore the 478 acres of Green-Wood Cemetery with an expert tour guide while learning fascinating stories of the cemetery’s permanent residents on a Discover Green-Wood Trolley Tour. Along with walking the site of the Battle Of Brooklyn, where George Washing fought with his troops, guests will visit the graves of famous New Yorkers like De Witt Clinton, Leonard Bernstein, Elias Howe, who patented the sewing machine and whose dog Fannie has a longer epitaph than Howe’s wife, Boss Tweed, and ASPCA founder Henry Bergh. You will even get to go into the Green-Wood catacombs, see the Theodore Roosevelt Family Lot and so much more.
Tickets cost $15 for members of Green-Wood and $20 for non-members. Seating is limited and the tours routinely sell out, so it is recommended to reserve tickets in advance.
11. 45th Annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade
Photograph Courtesy of Village Halloween Parade
March, watch or tune in to the 45th annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade! You can only march if you are in costume, but if you prefer to just watch, pick a spot along 6th Avenue north of Spring Street to 16th Street where the parade will come through from between 7:00pm to 10:30pm or tune in to the live television coverage on NY 1 from 8:00 pm to 9:30pm. The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade was started in 1974 by Westbeth Artist Housing resident artist and puppeteer Ralph Lee. Since then, the parade has grown to become the largest event of its kind, attracting over two million spectators and 60,000 participants!
10. Tear of the Cloud
Tony Oursler, Tear Cloud (in-process projection of Pearl White), 2018. Multi-channel installation, courtsey of the artist. Photo by Tony Oursler Studio
See Tony Oursler’s phantasmagorical site-specific installation Tear of the Cloud along the Hudson River before it closes on Halloween night! This ephemeral and dynamic exhibition has been described as “a true visual and auditory immersive experience” with a “supernatural aura” that “can only really be experienced in person.”
Tear of the Cloud is free to the public and no tickets are necessary. To experience the work, make your way to Riverside Park South (between 68th and 70th Streets, south of Pier I) Tuesday-Sunday, anytime between 7-10pm through Halloween.
9. Spooky Pumpkin Garden
It is the last day to bring the kinds out to explore The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical Garden in its spooky state. After a Halloween makeover this garden was filled with nearly 1,000 carved and rare pumpkins and gourds and more than 100 silly scarecrows! In the garden, kids can plant their own black coleus to take home, put on a haunting show with insect, owl, and scarecrow puppets, and investigate a mysterious Victorian playhouse to learn all about bats.
8. Haunted History Tour of the Fraunces Tavern Museum
Led by a costumed guide, this free tour through the oldest standing structure in Manhattan will reveal stories of the tragic events that took place in the building and explain 18th century funerary customs. Guests will also learn what George Washington’s last days were like at Mount Vernon and find out what paranormal investigators discovered within the Fraunces Tavern Museum! This tour if free with regular Museum admission. After the tour, check out the other historically haunted spots in the area which you can learn about here!
7. Poetry Brothel: Halloween Party
Experience a unique and immersive poetry event that takes poetry outside classrooms and lecture halls and places it in the lush interiors of a bordello at the Poetry Brothel: Halloween Party at the Back Room, one of New York City’s best hidden bars. Watch a rotating cast of poets, each operating within a carefully crafted character, as they perform public and private poetry readings on beds, chaise lounges and in private rooms. Of course, any true bordello needs a good cover; this evening’s is an immersive cabaret featuring burlesque, live music, vaudeville, aerials, visual art, magic, and mysticism.
Doors open at 6:00p.m. with a happy hour from 6:00p.m. to 7:00p.m. The show runs from 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m. with private readings continuing until around 10:00p.m. Themed costumes and/or vintage formalwear are encouraged but not required. This event is 21+ You can buy tickets here.
6. Cobble Hill Pumpkin Impalement
Join artist Jane Greengold for the annual Cobble Hill Pumpkin Impalement! Everyone is invited to bring their own carved pumpkin to be impaled on one of the 274 spikes of an iron fence of on the corner of Kane Street and Strong Place in Brooklyn. All of the pumpkins must be 4 3⁄4” – 5” inches in diameter and taller than it is round. Each much have a 3/4″ square hole in the middle of the bottom for the spike. Be sure to leave the top on and carve away, all of the impaled pumpkins have a unique face.
Bring your carved pumpkin to the corner of Kane Street and Strong Place between 3:00p.m. and 7:00p.m. on October 31st to be impaled!
5. An Evening of Ghost Stories at WORD
Join author Tori Telfer and Madame Morbid’s Allison Huntington-Chase as they host a night of ghost stories, trivia, and more creepy fun at WORD bookstore. Tori Telfer is the author of Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History, and Allison Huntington-Chase is the CEO of Madame Morbid’s Haunted Trolley Tours of Brooklyn. Will at least one person be there in full Victorian mourning costume? You bet. Are costumes encouraged? Obviously. Will you be able to sleep once you get home? No promises.
There is a $5 entrance voucher for this event which can be purchased online or at the door. The voucher is good toward anything in store at WORD. If you purchase Lady Killers directly from WORD at the event or via pre-order there is no need to purchase a voucher for admission.
4. Reimagine End of Life New York
Look at death from a new perspective at one of the many events in the week-long Reimagine End of Life New York series. The series will feature 322 events including discussion, rituals, comedy shows, performances, tours and exhibits focused on exploring death and celebrating life. On this day, see a free comedy show about death, participate in a silent meditation, or find out what Shakespeare can teach us about death. The series will run through November 3rd.
3. Inferno at the McKittrick Hotel
Inferno is The McKittrick Hotel’s annual Halloween extravaganza, three nights of deviant witchcraft that takes place across the entire building. This devilishly fun party features live performances and an open bar all night long. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in attire inspired by the nighttime’s darkest deviants, be it a witch, sorcerer, enchanter, vampire, other creatures of the night or all in black. The dress code will be strictly enforced.
All guests must be at least 21 to enter. You can purchase tickets for Inferno or Late Night Inferno on October 31st.
2. Free 25th Anniversary Screening of Hocus Pocus
Catch a free 25th anniversary screening of the Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus at the SVA Theatre. This 1993 film starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy follows the happenings of Halloween night when a trio of diabolical witches, that were executed in the 17th century, are brought back from their graves. Tickets are free but seating is first come first serve and RSVPing does not guarantee a seat. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks as concession will not be for sale.
1. Boos in the Borough
The Brooklyn Historical Society opens its doors tonight for an evening of Halloween hijinks! Boos in the Borough will feature tales of Brooklyn’s ghosts as told by Boroughs of the Dead founder Andrea Janes, an exploration of funerary traditions with an illustrated talk by funeral director Amy Cunningham, and more celebrations of all things macabre. Come in costume and participate in a contest for the title of Best Dressed Ghoul in Brooklyn!
This free event on October 31st will take place 6:00p.m. to 9:00p.m. at the Brooklyn Historical Society. You can RSVP here.