What to Do for Halloween in NYC

Alyson Penn

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Halloween ushers in the NYC holiday season with a colorful, jubilant bang. No matter your age or spookiness tolerance, the City’s got Halloween fun for you—and not just on the day itself but throughout the month. Read on for our guide to the dazzling Village parade, plus blowout parties, haunted houses, spooky tours and funky costume shops in the five boroughs. 

Halloween Parade. Photo: Joe Buglewicz

The Big One

We’ve got a full guide to the Village Halloween Parade, a spectacle you absolutely need to see. October 31

Haunted Houses

Blood Manor: For the quintessential haunted-house experience—gore, guts, screams and all that other good stuff—head to this hair-raising attraction in Hudson Square. Make your way through a labyrinth of rooms where actors pop out to terrify you. Organizers recommend visitors to be at least 14 years old. Through November 5

Doomocracy: Doomocracy zeroes in on the current state of America’s political affairs in an immersive performance. The specifics of this haunted house—created by artist Pedro Reyes and set in Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal—are still under wraps, all the better to offer surprises once you’re there. October 7–November 6

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel. Photo: John Huntington

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel: Experience the most high-tech haunted house in the City, created by New York City College of Technology students. Lights, sounds and robots will spook you in this forward-thinking fright fest. Although there might be some scares, this one should be OK for the whole family. October 20–31

Merchant’s House Museum: Want to go to a real haunted house? This historic Noho brownstone hosts candlelight ghost tours in late October, with guides narrating true stories of the Tredwell family, who occupied the house from 1835 through 1933 (during which time eight members of the clan passed away). Are they still hanging around? Be on alert for paranormal sights and sounds that others claim they’ve seen and heard over the years. Ghost tours October 21–22 & 27–30; lectures, house tours and other events throughout the month 

Parties

Inferno at McKittrick Hotel: Enter a wicked wonderland and really let loose at the site of spooky theatrical hit Sleep No More. This costume dance bash goes into the wee small hours; get information and tickets at supercinemannyc.com. October 28–31

Phantasmagorey: The Haunted Ballroom: The Grand Prospect Hall hosts a formal (“haunt couture” is the dress code), unearthly communing with spirits from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. There’s music, dancing and absinthe too. Buy tickets at dancesofvice.com. October 29–30

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Webster Hell. Courtesy, Webster Hall

Webster Hell: Webster Hall hosts the official after-party of the Village Halloween Parade with four levels of blaring music, a costume contest and a “virgin sacrifice” (to the Demon Queen, of course). You can buy tickets to the wild fete here. October 31

Bonus for NetFlix Fans: So you binge-watched Stranger Things this summer. Join the club. Brooklyn is celebrating the weirdly wonderful Netflix show with three Halloween bashes: Stranger Things at Lot 45 in Bushwick; The Skint Presents: Stranger Things (with candy) Halloween Party in Gowanus; and Stranger Things Halloween, also in Gowanus. October 21–29

Costume Shops

Abracadabra: Magic is only half the fun at this zany superstore, which sells costumes all year round. Abracadabra also has its own makeup line, plus specialists to help with application and effects. 

Halloween Adventure: This crowded costume store is always ready for Halloween. It’s packed to the gills with all sorts of getups, wigs, props and decorations.

Screaming Mimi's. Photo: Kate Glicksberg

Screaming Mimi’s: Sift through garb from different decades at this Noho vintage clothing store, a perfect place to coordinate a throwback costume. 

Halloween Events

Halloween Haunted Walk

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Enchanted Wave Hill

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Halloween Harvest Festival

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Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

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Haunted Lantern Tour

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Halloween at Luna Park

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Pumpkin Picking at Decker Farm
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More Halloween

Halloween Parade Guide

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Learn the tricks and treats of NYC’s Village Halloween Parade.

Haunted NYC

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NYC Urban Legends

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Meet sewer alligators, a ghost ship, killer pennies and other menaces that allegedly lurk in the City.


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