Hudson Valley Halloween Guide 2012

The Valley is crawling with ghosts and goblins during this spooky season. Our monster map tells you where to go for a screaming good time

Haunted Houses

Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses lures the masses to its 45 acres of horror with six grizzly haunted houses, a labyrinth corn maze, and the signature hayride, in which the Horseman chases down unsuspecting visitors. $38.95. Weekends in Oct. plus Oct. 18, 25, 31 & Nov. 2-3. 778 Broadway (Rte. 9W), Ulster Park. 845-339-2666 or

The Forest of Fear returns for its 20th shocking season. See if you can survive the suffocating coffin ride and keep your dinner down while watching the Slaughterhouse Sideshow, where performers swallow fire and guzzle gasoline. $20. Weekends in Oct. Sterling Forest. 800 Rte. 17A, Tuxedo Park. 845-351-5174 or

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This year, Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion revives its original Fright Trail. A deranged man leads innocents into the dark and petrifying woods; a few of the bravest step forward to eliminate a hostile spirit from a haunted house; and ancient artifacts yearn for the blood of the survivors in the Museum of Unnatural History. $25. Weekends in Oct. plus Oct. 25 & 31. 85 Sheafe Rd., Poughkeepsie. 845-297-2288 or

Pure Terror Scream Park is back with bigger, better, and brand-new attractions: a 3D clown freak show, a House of Terror five times the size of the original, and the über-gory Butcher’s Revenge. Be sure to stop by on Bloodthirsty Thursday, Oct. 18, to participate in a blood drive and receive free admission as a thank you. $25. Weekends in Oct. The Castle Fun Center. 109 Brookside Ave., Chester. 845-391-0071 or

Frankenstein’s Fortress $15. 86 Creamery Rd., Stanfordville. 845-868-7782 or
Terrordome $25. 84 Lakeside Rd. Newburgh. 845-476-8267 or

headless horseman

Sleepy Hollow

Back in the 19th century, Washington Irving made a small Westchester County town practically synonymous with Halloween thanks to his story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Each year, the village capitalizes on its fame with events such as these:

Horseman’s Hollow explores the darkest corners of Irving’s tale. Walk through a town terrorized by the Headless Horseman; the only way out is through the Horseman’s lair, where heads are sure to roll. $20, $25 on Sat. Philipsburg Manor. 381 N. Broadway (Rte. 9). 914-631-8200 or

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Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Walking Tours lead guests by lantern light to the final resting place of Irving himself. You can also pay respects to Carnegies and Rockefellers, and stop by the site of a grim grave-robbery. $25. 540 N. Broadway. 914-631-0081 or

Hear a professional storyteller recount Irving’s Legend. Jonathan Kruk impersonates all of the story’s major characters and adds an extra dose of spooki­ness with creepy organ music. Recommended for ages 10 and up. $16, $12 under 18. Old Dutch Church, Rte. 9. 914-631-4497 or

raven book

Edgar Allan Poe

A master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe’s eerie tales — like “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” — have made readers’ skin crawl for more than 150 years. Here are three places to hear live recitations — some even done by the author himself.

Oct. 15 at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. 7 & 9 p.m. $10
Oct. 20 & 27 at Boscobel. 7 p.m. $40. 1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-9575 or
Oct. 21 at Ruth Keeler Memorial Library. 3 p.m. 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. 914-669-5161 or


Ghostly stuff

Hear spine-chilling stories told by a professional ghost hunter at Boscobel, then follow her on an exploratory search of the house to find lurking spirits. Not recommended for children under 12. Oct. 18-19. 6 p.m. $45

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Clermont Estate holds spooky candlelight tours of the museum and grounds. Oct. 13, 19-20, 26-27. Tours leave on the half hour from 6-9 p.m. 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown. 518-573-6622 or

Follow a member of the Tri-City Paranormal Society to five haunted locales of Lansingburgh. A Halloween party at the Melville House concludes the evening. Children under 12 not admitted. Oct. 31. 6:30 p.m. $20. 2 114th St., Troy. 518-235-4041 or


More frightening fun

Washingtonville author Thomas Winship takes America’s vampire craze to the next level with his young adult book series, Vaempires, the Evolutionary War. In these stories, the world’s fate hangs in the hands of a few brave teens when vaempires (super-vamps bent on eradicating mankind) take over. $9.95. Available at online venues in e-book and paperback format.

Tannersville Great Pumpkin Walk and Lighting Oct. 16. 6 p.m. Main St., Tannersville. 518-858-9094 or

New Paltz Halloween Parade Begins at Main Street and ends at the fire house. Oct. 31. 6 p.m.;


The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Each year, visitors from around the nation flock like moths to the flame to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze held at Croton-on-Hudson’s Van Cortlandt Manor (914-271-8981 or Thousands of intricately carved pumpkins cover the estate’s grounds, depicting everything from standard Halloween icons — like witches on brooms — to ancient Greek and Roman mythological figures. Here’s a breakdown of the Blaze by the numbers:

5 pounds, the weight of the smallest jack o’lantern
50 pounds, the weight of the largest jack o’lantern
21 days to see the Blaze (between Oct. 6 and Nov. 11)
45 minutes to view the whole display
$16 admission charged ($20 on Saturdays)
1,000 volunteers needed to prepare
4,000 live pumpkins carved
24 bins of pumpkins delivered per truck
100,000 total pounds of pumpkins
80,000 visitors in 2010

» View all Hudson Valley Halloween Guides


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