What to Do for Halloween in NYC

nycgo.com staff

(Updated 10/08/2019)

No matter your age or scare tolerance, the City’s got Halloween fun for you—not just on the day itself, but throughout the month. Read on for our guide to blowout parties, haunted houses, funky costume shops and spooky tours of New York’s many spine-chilling spots.

Village Halloween Parade. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk

The Big One

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

Courtesy, Bane

Haunted Houses

Bane: Can you make it all the way through this nightmarish newcomer in Hell’s Kitchen, which promises to play on fears of clowns and claustrophobia? This one’s best for children over 12—except when the attraction dials down the gore for Happily Haunted on Sundays, recommended for ages 4 and up. Various dates through November 10

Courtesy, Blood Manor

Blood Manor: For the quintessential haunted-house experience—gore, guts, screams and all that other good stuff—head to this hair-raising attraction in Tribeca. Make your way through a labyrinth of rooms where actors pop out to terrify you. Organizers recommend that visitors be at least 14 years old. Various dates through November 9​

Gravesend inn. Photo: Tod Seelie

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel: Experience the most high-tech haunted house in the City, created by New York City College of Technology students in Downtown Brooklyn. Lights, sounds and robots spook participants in this forward-thinking fright fest. Although there might be some scares, this one should be OK for school-age kids. October 25–31​

Haunted House at Queens County Farm: The spookiness is on the tame side in the haunted house at this Queens working farm. Think dark rooms and winding hallways to navigate, plus things that go bump in the night. Organizers recommend it for ages 6 to 12. There are also hayrides, a pumpkin patch and a corn maze at the museum. October 27​

House of Yes. Photo: Kenny Rodriguez


House of Yes: This Bushwick nightclub has a whole lineup of Halloween-themed parties, kicking off October 5 with their Night Cult party (suggested looks include “glitter witch” and “divine demon”). Other events include a Halloween-themed burlesque show, a spooky poetry slam and, on Halloween night, a costume dance party with a ghostly theme. Various dates through October 31

Courtesy, Loreley

Haunted Beer Garden at Loreley: The outdoor patio at this popular Lower East Side beer garden gets a Halloween makeover with twinkling jack-o’-lanterns, but the real draw is the pumpkin kegs filled with pumpkin beer. October 17–31​


Hitchcock Halloween at Mckittrick Hotel. Photo: Jenny Anderson

Hitchcock Halloween at McKittrick Hotel: Let loose at the site of spooky theatrical hit Sleep No More. This costume dance bash requires a Psycho-, Birds- or otherwise Hitchcock-inspired outfit and goes into the wee hours. October 25, 26 and 31​

Webster Hell: Webster Hall transforms into its eerie alter ego to host the official after-party for the Village Halloween Parade. October 31

For even more ragers, raves and reasons to wear sequins, check out our roundup of LGBTQ+ Halloween parties.

The Ride in Masquerade. Courtesy, The Ride

Spooky Tours

The Ride in Masquerade: For the month of October, this immersive trip through Manhattan gets into the Halloween spirit. Performers don elaborate masks while guides tell chilling tales of New York’s past. Multiple tours each day

Madame Morbid's Trolley Tours. Photo: Matt Zaller

Madame Morbid’s Trolley Tours: Board this Victorian-style trolley for a ride through Brooklyn; you’ll hear terrifying tales about everything from vampires to aliens. Multiple tours Wednesday through Sunday

Tour Noir: Search for clues to solve the mystery behind a man’s disappearance as you visit landmarks around Lower Manhattan on this theatrical tour inspired by film noir. Daily at 1pm

New York City Ghosts Tour of Greenwich Village: Is there a neighborhood in New York better suited for a ghost tour than Greenwich Village? Take this 90-minute tour to visit notorious spots such as the so-called “House of Death,” where Mark Twain lived; a house where Edgar Allan Poe wrote some of his creepy tales; and a restaurant supposedly haunted by the ghost of Aaron Burr. Nightly at 8pm

Boroughs of the Dead Tour of Roosevelt Island. Photo: Gemma Solomons

Boroughs of the Dead Tour of Roosevelt Island: Today this island between Manhattan and Queens in the East River is a quiet bedroom community—but back in the 1800s it was where New York City’s authorities sent “undesirables.” This tour tells the terrible tales and urban legends of the smallpox hospital, almshouse and lunatic asylum that once stood on the island. October 19 and November 2, 9


Illuminated Mausoleums Moonlight Tourat Woodlawn Cemetery: This sprawling burial ground in the Bronx has many elaborate monuments to the dead. For three evenings in October, you can take a guided tour to see the resting places for some of those notable New Yorkers—brightened by colorful lights. October 25–26

Bartow Hell Haunted Mansion Tours: The sweeping Bartow-Pell Mansion is suffused with history—and perhaps some ghostly presences—year-round. Take a guided tour in October to see the estate (including its on-site cemetery) in an extra-spooky light. October 26

Def by Temptation. Courtesy, BAM

Cinematic Events

All of Them Witches at Nitehawk: Grab your coven and head to Nitehawk’s Williamsburg outpost to watch witch-centric flicks like Suspiria, The Craft and Practical Magic throughout the month. Various dates through October 29.

Movies Under the Stars at NYC Parks: This free outdoor movie series taking place at parks around the City leans family-friendly, with screenings including Hotel Transylvania 3 and Goosebumps 2. Various dates through October 26.

Halloween Extravaganza at St. John the Divine: This dramatic affair starts with a screening of Nosferatu accompanied by a live organ soundtrack. After the film, master puppeteer Ralph Lee’s ghostly puppet creations—ghouls, demons, witches and the like—parade through the nave. October 25

NYC Horror at the Brooklyn Academy of Music: BAM Rose Cinemas gets movie lovers into the Halloween spirit with a slate of creepy movies set in NYC. The lineup includes cult classics such as American Psycho, Wolfen and Def by Temptation. October 31–November

Bronx Zoo's Boo at the Zoo. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher

Family-Friendly Fun

Bronx Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo: In between visits to Jungle World and the Aquatic Bird House, kids can participate in activities like pumpkin carving, a hay maze and a costume parade. Weekends through November 3

The Great Pupkin at Fort Greene Park: Join the pack at Fort Greene Park’s annual dog costume parade. Dog owners go all out with their creations, which lean heavily on pop culture, and a panel of judges bestows prizes and ribbon rosettes on the canine winners. October 26


Pumpkin Flotilla. Courtesy, Central Park Conservancy

Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park: It’s a stunning sight every year when some 50 jack-o’-lanterns float on the Harlem Meer as twilight falls over Central Park. The event also includes a costume parade and spooky stories. October 28, pumpkin launch at 6:30pm

Spooky City at the Museum of the City of New York: Kids arrive in costume to trick or treat around the museum, which also hosts a scavenger hunt and spooky story times. October 31

Dia de Los Muertos at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum: This event takes place the weekend after Halloween, observing the Mexican tradition of honoring the departed. Families can help decorate the museum’s colorful altar and celebrate with music and stories. November 3

Photo: Matthew Murphy

More Spooky Happenings

Beetlejuice: There’s no better time than October to see a musical about being dead. Plus, the Broadway show has Halloween specials planned all month long—including costume contests at the theater, a Beetlejuice-themed bar crawl and spooky swag giveaways at select performances. Through October 31

Courtesy, Merchant's House Museum

“Spirited” Events at Merchant’s House Museum: Not only does this historic Noho brownstone offer candlelight ghost tours (be on alert for paranormal sights and sounds that others claim they’ve seen and heard over the years)—but the museum also hosts exbihits like Death, Mourning, and the Hereafter in Mid-19th Century New York, plus talks on Halloween icon Edgar Allan Poe and an 1865 funeral reenactment. Various dates through November 3

Nightfall at Green-Wood Cemetery. Photo: Maike Schulz

Nightfall at Green-Wood Cemetery: Follow the light of thousands of candles as you meander through this historic cemetery in Brooklyn. Along the way, you’ll encounter music, storytelling, dance performances and plenty of ghostly vibes. October 26

Abracadabra Superstore. Photo: Kate Glicksberg

Costume Shops

Need a costume idea? We’ve got 25 NYC-themed options to choose from. Once you’ve settled on your favorite, check out one of the classic Halloween emporiums below to put your look together.

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: Sift through garb from different decades at this West Village vintage clothing store, a perfect place to coordinate a throwback costume.

More Halloween

Festivals & Parades
Halloween Parade Guide

Haunted NYC

NYC Urban Legends

Things to Do
NYC Halloween Costumes