Forget the serene scenery, the nighttime quiet: The Hudson Valley is a haunted place. Whether as a setting for classic ghost stories, a site of UFO and cryptid sightings or home to a good handful of haunted places, we might be one of the most readily ghosted landscapes in the entire US.
Even if you aren’t looking for a paranormal adventure, our area is also home to any number of ways to scare yourself silly – or just have a silly time – this Halloween season. Here are some options for you to enjoy:
Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses
September 20-November 30
Route 9W, Ulster Park
High-quality costumes and immersive effects are the calling card of this extensive complex, which provides brand-new attractions and reimagined experiences every year. 2019’s offerings include haunted takes on diners, greenhouses, motels and more.
Weekends, September 20-October 27
Frank Bannerman built his iconic castle in the Hudson with wealth from an extensive military surplus business: grounds enough for haunting as is, and during the Halloween season it serves as venue for a number of unique events. A theatrical take on the Dracula story, live music picnics and outdoor screenings of classic creepshows like House of Wax and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein are all on the calendar.
Haunted Huguenot Street
Weekends, October 11-26
This special series of interactive tours turns history into a haunting, recasting real-life residents of old New Paltz as spooks and specters. Guides lead guests through the houses and grounds of Historic Huguenot Street, where restless spirits will relate how their lives came to an end – and what came next. Tours begin every hour on the hour between 5 and 9 p.m.
The Barn of Terror
Weekends, October 4-27
24 Thruview Farm Road, Lake Katrine
This long-running haunted farm has been scaring the stuffing out of locals for well over a decade-and-a-half now, beginning in the titular barn and extending to a vast corn maze and haunted forest, peopled by all manner of freaks, mutants, mad scientists and more. Not recommended for children under 13.
Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion
Friday-Sunday, September 27-October 31
85 Sheafe Road, Wappingers Falls
Three different themes converge at this extensive haunted house setup. Frightening fairy tales, off-brand movie slashers and, for its newest addition, bayou voodoo are on offer for those looking for their fair share of frights. A special kids-focused event is held on Columbus Day, October 8, with reduced scares.
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
408 Main Street, Rosendale
Pianist Marta Waterman will accompany this screening of F. W. Murnau’s classic silent 1922 Expressionist take on the Dracula story.
Rocky Horror Halloween Extravaganza
22 Rock City Road, Woodstock
Many local theaters hold Halloween screenings of this campy classic, but Colony’s takes on a different flavor, focusing on the music, including a live band and after-show dance party. Costumes of all types are more than encouraged.
Hurley’s Ghost Walk
11 Main Street, Hurley
Visit the historic Hurley Main Street and Old Burial Ground as part of this special, spooky walking tour. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for students. Not recommended for children under 12.
Pure Terror Scream Park
Weekends, September 27-November 3
Pure Terror touts its sizable grounds and extensive volume of scares, all of them brand-new as of 2019. Haunted houses themed after circuses, cemeteries, abandoned churches and more are all on offer, connected up by a spooky woodland trail. Children under 10 must be accompanied by a parent.
Sleepy Hollow Experience
October 4-November 3
Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, Tarrytown
Brian Clowdus has toured the country with this inventive outdoor show, telling the story of Ichabod Crane with energy and plenty of atmosphere. For the first time, he will be performing it in Crane’s own backyard, inviting attendees to follow him from scene to scene, reaching a climax on the Sleepy Hollow Bridge. Reservations are recommended.
Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours
Clermont State Historic Site
Clermont is one of the Hudson’s loveliest historic manors, with its extensive grounds, beautiful views and 250-year-old mansion. But with all that history, there must be more than a few ghosts roaming the house. Find out during one of these special tours, lit by jack o’ lanterns and followed by roasted marshmallows, Reservations are required.
Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze
September 20-November 30
Van Cortlandt Manor, Croton-on-Hudson
This massive event brings visitors from all over the tri-state area, and for good reason: Where else are you going to see so many jack o’ lanterns without filling your entire house with pumpkin pulp? Lighting displays, the pumpkin carousel, a 25-foot-tall model of the Statue of Liberty and more are joined by 2019’s newest addition: a Museum of Pumpkin Art, where classic paintings are reinterpreted by pumpkin-carving artisans.
October 4-November 3
Philipsburg Manor, Sleepy Hollow
The grounds of historic Philipsburg Manor become an open-air haunted house, grafting catchall horror – zombies, ghosts and more – onto Washington Irving’s classic story. Visit landmarks like the tavern and Old Dutch Church, reimagined as haunts for the Horseman and his many minions.