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Things to Do

Halloween events, parties, parades and fun across New York City

Thousands of costumed characters march up Sixth Ave

Thousands of costumed characters march up Sixth Ave in the Village Halloween Parade on Oct. 31, 2018. Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Guys and ghouls, embrace the Halloween spirit with our guide to the best celebrations around New York City.

Whether it's the Village's 46th annual Halloween Parade or a jaunt through the crypts at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, we know just what will spook you.

So scroll down to start planning your descent into madness. Oh sorry, we meant fun.


The Village Halloween Parade

Don your costume and head out to New York's biggest free Halloween tradition. The 46th annual Village Halloween Parade will feature countless floats, wild costumes, dancers and more. There is a VIP Robot Section in keeping with this year's theme, "Wild Thing!" To guarantee a spot at this popular event, plan to get there early. Even better, walk in the parade yourself. (The route is Sixth Avenue between Spring Street and 16th Street on Oct. 31, 7 to 10:30 p.m.,

"Frankenstein" the musical

See the horrifying classic "Frankenstein" done as a two-act musical by composer and physicist Eric B. Sirota and director Clint Hromsco. ($39.50-$59.50; Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and at 11 a.m. on Nov. 20 and Dec. 18; St. Luke's Theatre, 308 W. 46th St.,

"A Cynic's Guide to Ghosts" tour

This Halloween tour takes you through the city to see the sites of some of the grisliest murders, where the CIA used prostitutes to dose unsuspecting men with LSD and where a hippie got cut in half and stuffed in a boiler, according to Hidden New York Tours. ($35; Oct. 12, 19, 26, 29, 30, Nov. 1-3, from 6 to 8 p.m.,

"Death, Mourning, and the Hereafter in Mid-19th Century New York"

As it does each October, the Merchant's House Museum in the East Village is transforming into a house of mourning, with a mock funeral service set up in its parlor, coffin plates and postmortem photographs in the hallways, and even funeral biscuits in the servants' kitchen. The exhibition explains what it was like when the Tredwell family mourned the death of its patriarch and six other family members. New this year, a costumed interpreter will portray Eliza Tredwell, the patriarch Seabury's widow, and will greet guests and answer questions about life and death in the 19th century. ($15; Sept. 26-Nov. 4, Friday to Monday, 12 to 5 p.m.; guided tours, Friday to Monday at 2 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.; 29 E. Fourth St.;

"Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe: Murder at the Merchant's House"

John Kevin Jones, a Poe impersonator, will perform Poe's tales "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Raven," "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Cask of Amontillado" in the parlor, which will be made up with a coffin and mirrors in black crepe. ($40-$55, Sept. 24- Oct. 13 and Oct. 31-Nov. 3; 29 E. Fourth St.,

Edgar Allan Poe in NYC with Boroughs of the Dead

This two-hour discussion with Andrea Janes, the founder of Boroughs of the Dead, will deal with Poe's time in Greenwich Village during the 1840s, where he lived and wrote some of his famous works. Janes also talk about his writings, "Doings of Gotham," which chronicled current events in the city in 1844, "The Balloon-Hoax," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," "The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar," and "The Raven." ($20; Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m.; The Merchant's House Museum, 29 E. Fourth St.;

"Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt"

Rarely performed, creepy songs by Schubert, Liszt, Debussy, Duparc, Loewe, Mussorgsky, Humperdinck and others from the 19th century will be sung by the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. ($30; Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.; the Merchant's House Museum 29 E. Fourth St.;

Candlelight Ghost Tours of "Manhattan's Most Haunted House"

Eight family members died in the Merchant House and their funerals were held in the parlor. Venture through the three-story home by candlelight to hear about people's actual ghostly experiences in the home. The museum is said to be the most haunted place in the city. ($45; Oct. 17-19, 23-26 and 28-30; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; 29 E. Fourth St.;

"At the Stroke of Midnight" paranormal investigation

Join Dan Sturges of Sturges Paranormal, who has been documenting spooky activity at the Merchant's House Museum for more than a decade, for a late-night candlelight tour of the house. He'll discuss his most chilling findings and stories from those who have seen, heard and felt things. ($100; Oct. 19 and 26 at 11:50 p.m.; 29 E. Fourth St.;

"Halloween Extravaganza & Procession of the Ghouls"

A "Grand Procession" will saunter down the aisle at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York as part of this year's Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of Ghouls. The annual event features characters by puppet and mask maker and theater director Ralph Lee, who created New York City's Halloween Parade. There will also be a silent screening of the 1922 "Nosferatu" set to live organ music. ($27.50; Oct. 25 at 7 and 10 p.m.; 1047 Amsterdam Ave., Harlem;

"Crypt Crawls: Spotlight on Halloween"

Hear the stories of the residents of the crypt at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine and see where they are buried. The guide will also discuss the origin of Halloween as a Celtic new year celebration. ($25; Oct. 25-26; at various times; meet at the church's visitor's center; 1047 Amsterdam Ave., Harlem;

Children's Halloween Parade March

Gather at Washington Square Park's fountain for free trick-or-treat bags, performances, games and rides, which will follow the parade on West Third Street, between LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street. (Free; Oct. 31 from 3 to 6 p.m.; Greenwich Village;

Bane Haunted House

One of New Jersey's top-rated haunted houses has moved to Manhattan and will open Sept 20. The five-floor building has more than 30 rooms, each one with different fears represented and actors who kidnap and touch guests. The story? Dr. Michael Bane experimented on animals in the family barn. One day, his daughter got bit by one of the experiments and the next morning, most of the family was found dead, except for Jennifer, Dr. Bane's daughter. All of the props are realistic, including a real metal mortuary cooler. ($35; 7 to 11 p.m.; 618 W. 46th St., Hell's Kitchen;

Trick-or-Treat in East Midtown

Families and children 12 and younger are invited to trick-or-treat at local businesses in East Midtown. Starting at 3 p.m. Oct. 31, ghouls and ghosts can pick up their bags, get their faces painted and more. (Free; 3 to 7 p.m.; 919 Third Ave.;

"Horror Queens" feminist party

Honor the "goddesses of gore" and "scream queens" — women behind the horror genre with storytelling, comedy and more with Anna Cain Bianco, Brittany Carney, Junior Mint, Sarah Hartshorne and Katie and Allie of Herstory on the Rocks. ($15; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 17; Caveat, 21A Clinton St.; East Village;

Elizabeth Street Garden Harvest Festival

Head out to the garden for free fun and magical activities, from pumpkin decorating to face painting and more. (Free; Oct. 26 from noon to 4 p.m. Rain date is Oct. 27; between Prince and Spring streets;

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

The popular dog costume parade is back at the East River Park Amphitheater. Dress your canine companion in their Halloween costume to try for "Best in Show" and enter into raffles for a chance to win a piece of the thousands of dollars in prizes. (Free; Oct. 20 from noon to 3 p.m.; East River Park, Manhattan;

Harbor Frights Halloween Cruise

Get spooked as you sail around New York Harbor. Circle Line will host a costume contest, offer prizes and will have live music by TKO Band. If you upgrade your tickets you get three hours of open bar from 7 to 10 p.m. (From $35; 7:30 p.m.; Pier 83, midtown;

Refinery's Hotel of Horrors

Book a room for a scary stay at the Refinery Hotel, which will transform its entire 12th floor into a haunted hotel. Guests can opt in to be scared throughout their visit with unexpected zombies, ghosts, thrills and creepy creatures. Themed room service dishes include "Devil on Horseback," and "Witch's Curls." (Starting at $499 per night; Oct. 24-31; 63 W. 38th St., midtown;


Spirits of Brooklyn Tour

Madam Morbid Trolley Tours and the Kings County Distillery are doing a joint trolley/distillery tour and whiskey tasting. The trolley, which is Victorian and funeral-inspired, will drive you around as Madame Morbid talks about Brooklyn's sordid past. Then you'll be dropped off at the distillery for a spooky tour and tasting. ($69; Sept. 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8 and 15; 7 p.m.; North Ninth St. and Driggs in Williamsburg;

The Poetry Brothel: Halloween

The House of Yes is back with its interactive literary cabaret series featuring aerialists, burlesque, body painting and music. The place is set up like a bordello, and poets recite their works in private rooms with chaise lounges and beds. This special event will double as the New York release of Thorntree Press' "A Whore’s Manifesto: An Anthology of Writing and Artwork by Sex Workers." ($50-$250; Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; 2 Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick;

Halloween Haunted Walk & Fair at Prospect Park

Little ghosts and ghouls can come to Prospect Park for a fair on the Nethermead, where they can enjoy family-friendly activities, sweets and treats from food trucks. (Free; Oct. 26 from noon to 3 p.m.; Prospect Park, Brooklyn;

The Cityfox Halloween Festival

Avant Gardner is transforming into a Halloween festival grounds with a maze of musical stages, interactive rooms, lounges and surprises. There will be more than 14 DJs and live acts to keep you entertained, too. ($60-$80; Oct. 26, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Oct. 27; 140 Stewart Ave., East Williamsburg;

Children's Halloween Parade in Coney Island

Take your chillingly-costumed children on a jaunt down the Coney Island Boardwalk at its parade and party, which will feature games, bounce houses, face painting, live music and more. (Free; Oct. 19, 11 a.m. start; Coney Island;

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park

Trick-or-treat and pick a pumpkin at Luna Park, which will be transformed into a maze of costumed characters, magic shows and stilt walkers for its annual Halloween Harvest Sept. 28 to Oct. 27. ($42 pass for kids and their families includes unlimited rides and the aforementioned spooktacular fun; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekend; Coney Island;

"Walk of Fear" at The Springs

Ominous lighting, terrifying music, creepy vignettes and Halloween-themed entertainment is coming to Greenpoint's The Springs from Oct. 4-31. During this time, its new fall cocktails will be on the menu. (The cost of entry is one drink per person, $6-$13; 6 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 6 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 224 Franklin St., Greenpoint;

Horror films at Nitehawk Cinema

On Mondays, between Oct. 7 and Oct. 28, you'll find favorite made-for-TV horror films from the 1970s on the big screen at Nitehawk, but the cinema is keeping the titles a secret until the night of the screenings. Otherwise, you can catch "Halloween," "Ghostbusters," "Witchfinder General" and more at both locations. (136 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg and 188 Prospect Park West, South Slope;

"Hot Mama" Halloween drag show

Heartbeat Opera is back with its annual Halloween Drag extravaganza and this time the show is about climate collapse and honoring Mother Earth. (From $30; 8 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 31; Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave.;

Best Dog Day Ever pop-up

Take your pup to this Halloween-themed experience by The Dodo that includes a 1950s-style (Trick or) Treat Shoppe, a canine corn maze and a pumpkin patch with pits full of plush toys, free doggie makeovers, a costume cam photo opp, a Halloween parade and dog adoptions. ($35; Oct. 4-27 ; 25 Kent, Williamsburg;

Hell Halloween Party

Carnage is throwing a Halloween party for nearly 4,000 people with aerialists, headless ghosts, fire performers, a robot and more. ($34-$64; 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Oct. 31; Avant Gardner, 140 Stewart Ave.;


"The Turn of the Screw" operatic ghost story

Head to Wave Hill for a night of terror and opera. This immersive production by On Site Opera and Benjamin Britten takes place at several locations around the estate, both inside and out, with the audience following the characters from place to place. The story is based on the 1898 Gothic thriller by Henry James about a governess who is thrust into life at a possibly haunted estate, where the children she watches are seemingly targeted by the malicious spirits. ($75, which includes admission to Wave Hill's grounds; Oct. 25-26 at 7:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Oct. 27; West 249th Street and Independence Avenue, Bronx;


Halloween Family Fun Day

The Shops at Atlas Park are throwing an afternoon of pumpkin decorating, trunk-or-treating, face painting, music, Fear Manor Haunted House discounts, a photo booth, raffles and more. (Free; Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 8000 Cooper Ave., Glendale;

The Big Quiz Thing: Halloween Edition

Prepare to prove your knowledge of useless information at this live trivia game themed for Halloween with a mid-show costume contest and humorous videos throughout. Winners get "frighteningly excellent" prizes from the game's sponsors. ($10; Oct. 29 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.; QED Astoria, 27-16 23rd Ave., Astoria;

Haunted farmhouse and festival at the Queens County Farm Museum

Try getting out of Queens Farm's maze in the moonlight on select Saturday nights (Oct. 12 & 19, from 4:30 to 9 p.m.). Tickets are $12. If you need more spooks, its Haunted Farmhouse opens on Oct. 26 from 1 to 7 p.m. and tickets are only $4; and it's children's Halloween Festival is slated for Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 on

Governors Island

Free murder mystery

Miss Jane Periwinkle and the Mysterious Medium, a fast-pace, immersive theater show, will be performed four times a day (35 minutes each time) for free at Governors Island. Audience members will follow the murder investigation from room to room after a medium reveals during a seance that one of her friends murdered her husband. (Free; 1, 2, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 5-6 and 12-13; The Dysfunctional Collective House, 410A Colonel's Row;

Pumpkin Point

Bring your family to Governors Island's pumpkin patch with more than 5,000 pumpkins in Nolan Park for a fun photo opp and Halloween-inspired arts and crafts or to buy your own to take home. (Free; Oct. 19-20, and 24-27)


Young visitors and their families can get free treats in their costumes on a first-come-first-served basis. (Free; 1 p.m. on Oct. 26; Nolan Park)

Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns

Gaze upon 1,000 intricately carved and painted pumpkins by experts and watch live carving demonstrations. ($26; Oct. 17-20 and 24-27; Colonels Row)

Check back for more … if you dare.


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