Halloween Things: Last Rites

Scary stuff between now and Oct. 31


For more Halloween events, go to www.downtownexpress.com and search for “So much to do, it’s scary.”



The scary freaks from Vortex Theater think they have a surefire way of scaring you — by making you walk, ALONE, through their haunted house (while you’re grabbed and groped by various monsters and psychos). There’s a “safe word” which, when uttered, will result in you being escorted outside — but who wants to live with that mark of shame? Those under 18 will not be admitted, and ALL patrons are required to read the rules and sign the waiver before entering. Sounds pretty ominous, huh? At 115 W. 27th St., Tues. through Sun. For times, prices and more info, visit www.nychalloweenhauntedhouse.com.


What does it take to earn the self-proclaimed title of “New York’s Premiere Haunted Attraction?” They start with gallons and gallons (not just buckets) of blood, then add to the mix theme rooms where you encounter vampires, zombies and other seasonal icons who do a whole lot more than just jump out unexpectedly and yell “Boo.” Legend has it that only the very, very brave exit the house and live to tell without crying, vomiting or wetting themselves. Think you have the goods to emerge mentally unscathed? Think again! At 542 W. 27th St. Thurs. through Sun. For times, prices and more info, visit www.bloodmanor.com.


Immerse yourself in a neo-Victorian experience that’s more about terrifying dreamscapes and elegant horrors than temp workers dressed like blood-soaked zombies. This edition of the Steampunk haunted house has the theme “Beautiful Dreamer.” Audiences will wander the premises until one by one, they find themselves alone. From that point on, you’re on your own. Will you be able to figure out how to navigate the twisting hallways, looming balconies and labyrinthine cellars? We hope so, because every manner of mechanical apparitions, wraithlike sleepwalkers and powered beasts will be trying to prevent your escape. Children under 8 won’t be admitted. It would probably damage them for life. Oct. 29 & 30, 8-11:30 p.m. and Oct. 27, 28 & 31, 6-9:30 p.m. at Abrons Arts Center of Henry Street Settlement (466 Grand St. at Pitt St.). Prices vary according to date (and student status). For info and to purchase tickets, visit www.steampunkhauntedhouse.com.


Find out what it takes to dance with the funk of forty thousand years. How? By getting your ghoulish groove on — as you attend this free class led by teachers from the new donation-based dance organization Liberated Movement. Instructors will break down Michael Jackson’s famous “Thriller” choreography until it’s so simple even zombies with no brains (except the ones they’re eating) will be able to learn! When you’re done, ease on down (or up) the road to the Village Halloween Parade and show off your moves. Free (donations accepted). Oct. 31, 6-7:30 p.m. at Battery Dance Studios (380 Broadway, 5th floor). For more info, visit www.liberatedmovement.com. Open dance classes are held every Tues., Thurs. and Sun. night.


Does the drinking of spirits give one the ability to more effectively channel the spirit world? Keep telling yourself that, buddy. At least nobody at this event will debate that wonderful new excuse for being a little blotto while enjoying the legitimate theater! “Boo(zy)” features stories by five Chicago-based writers as performed by five NYC actors. Each one of their stories will be paired with a drink that “best embodies” the theme. Oct. 28 and 29, 9 p.m. at the DR2 Theatre (103 E. 15th St.). For tickets ($18, $15 for students/seniors), call 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com. Specialty cocktails are $4-$8. No drink minimum. Drinks will be allowed in the theater.


Storyteller Mike Daisey’s ultra-seasonal monologue delves into the reasons why we tell ghost stories — by telling ghost stories! Along the way, the graveyard-fresh ground covered by Daisey includes nuggets from the history of spiritualism, dirt on the tortured life of H.P. Lovecraft as well as more than one Maine ghost story. Nightly at 8 p.m. through Oct. 31, at IRT (154 Christopher St., #3B). For info and tickets ($25), visit www.brownpapertickets.com or purchase at the door one hour before curtain. Also visit www.irttheater.org or www.mikedaisey.com.



It was already a tradition ages ago. But this time around, the annual Greenwich Village Children’s Halloween Parade celebrates its 20th year. As always, costumed children (ages 3-12) and families will march around Washington Square Park — then enjoy candy, face painting and rides. The NYC-based children’s band Jeremy Plays Guitar will perform, followed by entertainment from NYU music groups, cheerleaders and dance teams. Sun., Oct. 31. The parade starts at 1:15 p.m. (marchers start gathering at 1 p.m., and the festivities end at 4 p.m.). The parade assembles along Washington Square North, near the Arch — and ends at LaGuardia between Washington Square South and W. 3rd St. (where various activities await the children).


Manhattan Youth and the Story Pirates present this silly and scary interactive haunted house. The 30-minute show (with special performances for both adults and kids under 5) will frighten and amuse, as you explore a world of secret passages and mind-bending puzzles. The audience will determine such plot points as whether the Wolfman howls at the moon or pours everyone tea and tells a story! Through Oct. 31, at the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center (120 Warren St.). General admission is $40, with special packages available at $60 & $100. For tickets, visit www.hallowhoa.com or call 347-8-STORY-8.


Before there was J.K. Rowling, there was R.L. Stine — whose “Goosebumps” series of books have inspired a generation’s worth of sleepless nights. Meet the author (along with fellow creepy lit authors Jennifer Allison and Ryan Brown) when they appear (out of thin air) to promote the release of “Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror.” Stine edited the anthology, and all three authors contributed a story. Each of them will read their contribution, and all will be available to take questions from the audience and sign copies of their books. This event is appropriately frightening — and appropriate for ages 12 and up. Free. Thurs., Oct. 28, 5-7 p.m. at Books of Wonder (18 W. 18th St.) For more info, call 212-989-3270 or visit www.booksofwonder.com.


The 30-foot high scarecrow, witch and skeleton are your first terrorizing trilogy of clues that the Winter Garden of Oct. 30 is more concerned with frightening icons of autumn than the benign snowflake-type imagery conjured up by its name. It’s still a family-friendly place to be, though, thanks to this eco-centric take on Halloween. Kids will make masks out of funky recycled and repurposed materials, providing them with a valuable lesson in creative reuse — while the costume swap lets you exchange last year’s costume for a gently-used and ready-to-wear one. Winners of games like “Bowling for Ghosts” and “Toss a Spider in the Brew” will get fair trade and organic treats and pumpkins and ghost temporary tattoos (printed on recycled paper!). The busy day will conclude with a Ghosts and Goblins Parade to Poets House — where spines will tingle during a reading of spooky poems (seasonal snacks will take the edge off). The World Financial Center Shops & Restaurants will offer Screamin’ Green Halloween specials and sales throughout the afternoon. Sat., Oct. 30, 12-4 p.m. at the World Financial Center Winter Garden (220 Vesey St.). FREE. For info, call 212-945-0505 or visit www.artsworldfinancialcenter.com.