Halloween in NYC isn't just a time to replenish your candy collection; it's a time to don strategically thought-out costumes, take fright-filled walks in historic cemeteries, go to freaky dance parties…basically, to elevate the occasion as if observing a federal holiday.
Nostalgia Ride to Woodlawn Cemetery
Take a ride on the retro rails as the MTA brings its World War I–era rolling stock out of storage for a trip to the Bronx's historic Woodlawn Cemetery. The event includes a walking tour of some of the cemetery's famous gravesites, including the final resting spots of jazz legend Miles Davis, news magnate Joseph Pulitzer and NYC mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. For tickets, visit mta.info.
The Séance at Highlight Studios
Conjure up spirits with the help of magician Jason Suran. The host will provide guests with a history of séances—and try to make contact with who have passed on.
Cemetery Walk and Tombstone Talk at Bartow-Pell Mansion
The Bartow-Pell estate in the Bronx contains a small family graveyard for the Pells; take a walk there by candlelight, and catch a talk by sculptor-carver Robert Neal Carpenter on funerary monuments.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show at McCarren Park Pool Deck
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a bunch of Rocky fans, who tend to pull out all the stops when it comes to this camp classic. Since this screening takes place the day before Halloween, we recommend coming in costume if you'd like to blend in.
October 30–November 1
David Cronenberg Horror Weekend at Museum of Moving Image
Looking to be thoroughly creeped out all weekend long? Come watch screenings of The Brood, Scanners, Dead Ringers and other nightmarish favorites from Cronenberg's body of “body horror” films.
October 30–November 3
Classic 3-D Films at the Film Forum
Most of the films during this program have some thriller associations—House of Wax, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dial M for Murder—but not all: did you know, for example, that the musical Kiss Me Kate was filmed in 3-D? Better brush up your Shakespeare and your B-movie knowledge.
Halloween at Madame Tussauds with Bianca Del Rio
The eighth annual Halloween bash at the famed house of wax is hosted this year by RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, who will be whipping up the crowd with her sharp brand of comedy and killer-queen looks. Multiple DJs will spin for this celebrity-themed, LGBT masquerade ball, which will take over all six floors of the museum. Advance tickets are available online.
MoMA PS1 Halloween Ball
Long Island City's modern art outpost alters its Sunday Sessions schedule for some Saturday night fun. Expect lots of creatively attired revelers, cool DJ music and plenty of dancing.
Skrillex: Halloween Night at Pier of Fear, Pier 94
Everyone's favorite Bieber-loving EDM artist is having a music-filled Halloween bash. Rave on.
Tales from the Crypt: Horror on Hallowe'en at Merchant House Museum
Listen to readings of 19th-century Gothic literature and firsthand ghost stories from visitors. The event is set in the museum's parlors, which will be decorated for a Victorian funeral.
Village Halloween Parade
The City's most famous Halloween celebration involves outlandish costumes, impromptu concerts, tens of thousands of marchers and a whole mess of giant puppets. Join the fun on Sixth Avenue; parade time is 7pm.
The Official NYC Halloween Parade Afterparty at Webster Hall
This is the official post-parade party, and it's freaky. To wit: the evening's entertainment includes acrobatic flesh-eaters, women with fiery breath, a $5,000 costume contest and sundry other diabolical rituals.
World/Inferno Friendship Society at Warsaw
These energetic Brooklynites play rock music infused with ska, folk, klezmer and cabaret, using a menagerie of keys, horns and strings along with guitars, drums and bass. Their annual Halloween show is always a scene.
New York Haunted Hayride
Venture aboard a hay wagon as it makes its way around Randall's Island, encountering the ghostly demonic beings that haunt the night.
Just like at the Halloween Village Parade, thousands will take to the streets in strange getups while hordes line the sidewalks to cheer them on.
The Phantom of The Opera at United Palace
This 1925 silent classic starring Lon Chaney will be screened with live organ music accompaniment and preceded by a costume parade on the grand stage of the United Palace. After the movie, there will be a mini-concert featuring the cast from Broadway's Phantom.
A Spirited Stroll Through Green-Wood
Roam the centuries-old Brooklyn cemetery with a local historian, who will take you to notable gravesites as well as the catacombs.