by Rochelle Riservato
Hudson Valley haunts abound as black cats wander ‘round the ground. And Jack-O’-Lanterns burning bright and goblins causing quite a fright. Some taffy apples, a cup of cider—a scream, a boo!, a leggy spider. It’s everywhere on Hallow’s Eve—a scary, awesome web we weave. The kids awaiting candy thrills—with hayrides causing goose-bump chills. With everyone in strange attire—and ghostly tales by a bonfire. There’s nothing that you could call calming—A Valley Holler-ween’s Alarming!!
Check out the best thrills and chills for a “Horror”bly great Halloween 2012
“On Halloween, witches come true, wild ghosts escape from dreams and each monster dances in the park”
— Nicholas Gordon, Albany-born poet
Haunted Huguenot Hunt for the Entire Family
A thrilling—but not too chilling children’s themed scavenger hunt using clues based on the haunted and interesting history of the Huguenots. The haunted hunt takes place on the grounds of Historic Huguenot Street on Oct. 27 from 2-4pm. Registration is at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, 81 Huguenot Street, where sleuths will receive the first clue. In addition to the Hunt, there will be a historical musical performance by Paula Revere in Deyo Hall at 3pm, a paper craft activity table for young children and special prizes for those who come in costume. Pre-registration is not required. Recommended for children pre-school and up. $8 per child. Adults free. Parking on Broadhead Avenue. More information: 845-255-1660; huguenotstreet.org.
New Paltz Halloween Parade
New Paltz’s version of the famous Greenwich Village march with tons of freaky festive-goers clad in costumes you won’t want to miss. Start off the night with this old and ongoing town tradition and head over to The Bakery after your spooky stride down Main Street and see The Night of 100 Pumpkins. Paraders gather at the New Paltz Middle School parking lot (Main Street and Manheim Blvd., New Paltz on October 31 and the parade begins at 6pm and ends at the New Paltz Fire House for treats. 845-255-0243.
Night of 100 Pumpkins
Craftily carve or paint a pumpkin and bring your creation to The Bakery on October 30 for judging. Write your name, phone, and age on the back. On Halloween Night, October 31, come back between 6 and 8pm to see a most glorious glow when all the pumpkins all lit up in their glory. Free pumpkin bread, cocoa, and hot cider. Lots of prizes! 13A North Front Street, New Paltz. 845-255-8840. ilovethebakery.com.
Haunted House at the Teen Scene
This annual haunting is hosted by The New Paltz Youth Program at its youth center, still referred to by its former name, the “Teen Scene.” The house is transformed into a scary abode by the teens who use the program…and they aim to scare—so come if you dare! Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children 18-years and under. Proceeds go to improve services for the area’s youth. 220 Main Street, New Paltz. Halloween night, October 31, 6-11pm – and possibly an additional day. For more info and to find out if there will be a second day, call 845-255-5140.
Halloween has gone to the dogs as the new owners of the former Rivendell Winery are hosting daytime Pet Party and Parade complete with a costume contest for canines. The nighttime celebration welcomes adults to the winery in all their costume finery as they sachet around in their “dressed-to-the-wines” Halloween fashions waiting to be judged in a special costume contest. Both festivities will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Robibero Winery, 17 Albany Post Road, New Paltz. For times please call 845-255-9463 or go to Rnywine.com
The Harvest MoonWalk is the only time that the Hudson Valley Rail Trail is open to the public after dark and a great opportunity to hear tall tales told along the moonlit trail and around the bonfire. The MoonWalk begins at the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Depot at 101 New Paltz Road and goes westward to Tony Williams Park at Riverside Road on September 28—from 7-9pm. The walk is 2.5 mile round-trip. Bring flashlights, but leave dogs, pets, bikes, scooters, roller blades and skateboards at home. The evening includes a bonfire and a storyteller. Donuts, popcorn and cider will be served. 6-years and under—FREE; 7 years and older $5; $20 maximum for families of 4 or more. 101 New Paltz Road, Highland; 845-691-8842
The Headless Horseman Hayrides
The 45-acres of haunted property include fear-provoking woods with ghoulish décor throughout the forest for truly theatrical terror. The “family-oriented” attractions include a one-mile hayride, a labyrinth style corn maze, three professionally created haunted houses, four food concessions, as well as Ghoulish Gifts, Magic Moon Gifts, Scarewear, Fear Gear, and Witchy Woman gift shops. Also enjoy a walk through the corn maze, haunted gardens, country games, face painting, and entertainment. The perfect outing for families with young children. Opening day on September 22 features reduced price tickets at 29.95. Friday, Sept. 28 T-shirt Giveaway—free tees to first 500 people; Sat. Oct. 13 Children’s Day featuring hayrides with a tiny taste of terror—but nothing too scary! Noon-3:30pm; $11. Other days of operation with hayrides beginning at 7pm or dusk are: Sept. 29, Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, Nov. 2 and 3. Tickets sold only online at 38.95 per person; no refunds. Not for children under age 10. 778 Broadway, Route 9W, Ulster Park. 845-339-2666; ticket orders and more info at headlesshorseman.com.
Mohonk Mountain House
Halloween Haunts and Happenings
Get thrilling shivers from spooky campfire tales, haunted mischief, horror flicks, and a spectacular Costume Ball. Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28; Mohonk Mountain House, 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz. For times, details and reservations call 1-800-772-6646 or 845-255-1000 or visit mohonk.com/Events/Halloween12.
Woodstock Halloween Parade
The Woodstock Halloween Parade offers the same caliber of eye-popping costumes created by the artist community of this region. Tinker Street becomes even more colorful than usual—and that’s saying a lot! Wednesday, October 31 when the entire village transforms in a wild and crazy happening for kids of all ages. Call for times—more info: 845-679-6234; info@Woodstockchamber.com.
The 36th Annual Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion Haunted House
This haunted, deep-woods trail is the best “psycho-path” featuring new attractions and more shocking scenes and sounds than ever before. Sure to trick and treat with terror! Presented by Dutchess County’s Bowdoin Park on Sept 21 and 22; Sept 28 thru Oct 31; Fridays from 7-Midnite; Saturdays 7- Midnite; Sundays 6-9pm. Special Sunday, Oct. 7 open until 10pm; Special Kids Day, Oct.8, offering a nightmare-free time for youngsters with pumpkin painting, shows, and trick-or-treating with friendly monsters. Columbus Day from Noon-4pm; Thursday, Oct. 25 from 7-10pm; Halloween 6:30-9:30pm. 38 Sheafe Rd., Wappingers Falls; Ticket prices and more info call 845-297-2288 or visit thehauntedmansion.com.
Halloween Ghost Train
The annual Halloween Ghost Train roars to life again on Monday, October 29 at 7pm at the Hyde Park Train Station Museum. Ghosts at a train station? Between 1851 and 1958, the building on this property welcomed hundreds of thousands from the wealthy to the working-class between here and New York City. That’s the potential for a lot of ghosts. The Halloween Ghost Train offers stories to make the hair stand up on your neck. Admission is free. 34 River Road, Hyde Park. 845-229-2338; hydeparkstation.com.
This fabulously frightening fortress lines its haunted, twisted trail with imaginative scenarios and improvisational theater. Under the artistic direction of area artist Pete Wing of Wing’s Castle and presented by Stanford Recreation. One of the major features of this Halloween haunt is that 95-percent of the attractions, props and costumes are made from recycled materials giving this haunting a “green” uniqueness. Start September 28, 29, 30 and every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October; Fri. and Sat. 6:30-9:30pm. Sun. 6:30-8:30pm. $15 for adults; $5 children under 10. 86 Creamery Rd. (follow Route 82), Stanfordville. For more info and rain cancellations call 845-868-7782. frankensteinsfortress.com.
Legends by Candlelight
The Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours is a tour through the mansion and a rare “after dark” lamp-lit adventure out onto the grounds along the Hudson River—where you’ll learn of historic ghosts from 200 years of the Livingston family’s past. Elaborate decorations are inspired by the 1920s, the “golden age” of Halloween, and visitors are welcomed into a 1921 Halloween party complete with fortune telling and a reproduction 1916 Ouija board. Along the way, you will meet pirates, soldiers and well-dressed ladies. After the tour, roast marshmallows over a cozy fire surrounded by the flickering specters of Jack-o-Lanterns. Find out if your favorite candy was enjoyed 100 years ago, discover your “Halloween name,” and learn about the unique traditions of historic Halloween. Oct. 19, 20, 26, 27; 6-9pm; $10 adults; $4 for children (12 years and under). Tours fill up fast so reserve as early as October 1. Clermont State Historic Site, 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown; More info: 518-537-4240; friendsofclermont.org.
Annual Halloween Festivities co-hosted by The Stamford Fire Department and The Roxbury Arts Group is a Hallow’s Eve treat for all ages! A gathering of ghosts, goblins and ghouls get to take part in games, and munch on doughnuts and cider. Halloweeners from toddler through grade school-ages are invited to take part in a costume contest. The event takes place at the Stamford Fire Dept. on Main Street in Stamford on October 31 starting at 6pm. For more details contact The Roxbury Arts Group at 607-326-7908.
The Andes Harvest Moon Festival
Typically held the weekend before Halloween, presented by the Andes Merchants Association. This ambitious event offers something for spirits of all ages, including a costume parade. Among the activities in previous years: a contest to guess the weight of a huge pumpkin; a reading of Sleepy Hollow, and, for the strong of heart, haunted hay rides to the local graveyard. A Harvest Moon Ball at the Andes Hotel in the evening gives the parents a chance to strut their stuff, but kids are welcome to partake of finger food, music, dancing, and a costume competition. To learn about this year’s program, call the Andes Hotel at 845-676-4408.
Lower Hudson Valley
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
The tri-state area’s biggest, most exciting, most electrifying Halloween event returns for a whopping 22 nights in 2012! See more than 4,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns in this elaborate walk-through experience. Meander through an historic, 18th-century riverside landscape and discover a breathtaking display – all made of jack o’ lanterns! Stroll through the Tunnel O’ Pumpkin Love and emerge to the incredible sight of gourd-filled Jack-in-the-Box springing up and bouncing around. Flying pumpkin ghosts will soar above the lantern-lit path. Oct 6-8, 12-14, 19-21, 25-31; Nov 2-4, 9-11. Adults, $16; Ages 3-17, $12 (Saturdays $20, $16) Free for under 3-years and members. Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 South Riverside Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson. More info call 914-271-8981 or at hudsonvalley.org/node/484
The tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes the Horseman’s Hollow event returns for a third year where the Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. Visitors begin walking a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. Creatures, human and otherwise, lurk in the shadows, ready to terrify the unsuspecting while incredible special effects disorient and unsettle. The twisted horror-mazes lead visitors in the Horseman’s lair for a party in his honor. NOT suitable for small children or the timid, claustrophobic adults, those with heart or respiratory conditions, those prone to seizures, or have other chronic health conditions. Recommended only for ages over 10. Advance tickets required. Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 19-21, 25-28; $20 (Saturdays $25); 381 N. Broadway, Sleepy Hollow; 914-631-3992; hudsonvalley.org/node/446