Halloween in the Hudson Valley is that magical time of year when history, tradition, and fun meld into an annual celebration that charms children and adults alike. It’s that time when, on crisp autumn days, families venture out for trick or treating in the neighborhood or exploring the haunted houses and spooky sites throughout the region. It’s when local farms shine with plentiful pumpkin patches and when candy shops lure visitors with sumptuous sweets. In short, it’s one of the best times of year to be in the Valley.
With so much to do in the area around October 31, it’s a challenge to know where to begin. To help us narrow down our chilling, thrilling bucket list, we touched base with Donna Davies, the official Hudson Valley Halloween Queen. For the past seven years, Davies has been the voice behind Haunted Hudson Valley, now called HallowStyle, a website dedicated to local ghost stories and Halloween traditions. In anticipation of the spooktacular day, she narrowed down the creepiest, crawliest attractions to visit around the Hudson River.
Davies: Hands down, Haunted Huguenot Street is the most haunted street in the Hudson Valley during the Halloween season. You experience total immersion in the harrowed, haunted history of the oldest inhabited street in America. The air is crisp and the brilliantly colored leaves crunch and swish beneath your feet while you wander from house to house…not knowing where your guide will lead you to experience the next twisted tale. The Hudson Valley doesn’t get more frightful.
Davies: There is nothing creepier than this 168-year-old historic cemetery at night. Your mind plays tricks as you venture down every twist and turn of the final resting place of legendary author Washington Irving, who penned The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Davies: Being a fan of the 1960s Gothic vampire series Dark Shadows, I often venture to Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown. The movie, House of Dark Shadows, was filmed at the opulent estate, which needs little decoration to produce a ghoulish Halloween event. However, [during the Halloween season] the first floor is transformed into a Halloween haven that is not to be missed.
Left to right: A sign at Horseman’s Hollow / The Halloween Queen herself. Photos provided by Donna Davies
Davies: This is my new go-to destination for cider donuts, apples, and, of course, the largest pumpkin I can find. It’s a great location for both children and adults to enjoy a fun fall day before the Halloween festivities begin.
Davies: Horseman’s Hollow is an immersive two-hour living nightmare. Each scene is a visual feast for the eyes, while creatures of the night come alive to seal your doom. The reactions of the crowd make for a fun night of laughs and screams as the talented, extravagantly costumed actors recreate many horrific scenes like historic Revolutionary War zombie camps and feasts with Victorian vampires.
291 Main St, Beacon
For three days in October, the Halloween Queen herself hosts a holiday pop-up shop in Beacon. Swing by for make and take crafting sessions and evening readings from Davies’ Halloween-centric children’s books. Space is limited, and reservations are required in advance.