Looking for top recommendations on the region’s best attractions for the upcoming autumn season and the scares, frights, and treats of Halloween? The Hudson Valley has an array of activities that will ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience.
SCARY PLACES & HAUNTED DESTINATIONS
Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in Irvington, New York offers a glimpse into the history of notable author Washington Irving who has published the great American horror story aka “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Fun fact is that the property is said to be haunted by Mr. Irving himself and the legend of the Headless Horseman continues captivating audiences today at the Old Dutch Reformed Church in Sleepy Hollow. Mr. Irving’s grave site can be visited to this day at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where you can take photographs and have a look at what life was like during his era.
Head to Sparta Cemetery in Ossining, New York, one of the region’s most haunted cemeteries where graves and burial sites date back all the way to the 18th century in 1764 where deceased Revolutionary War soldiers have been buried. Fun fact is that during cloudy and gloomy weather days, a peculiar mist forms over the cemetery setting the backdrop for spooks and scares of Halloween or for those who have a keen interest in the paranormal. Be sure to visit before dark!
If you’re looking for a bite to eat and maybe an encounter with an infamous ghost, visit The Bird & Bottle in Garrison, New York where they serve American comfort food, a traditionall tavern menu of cheeseburgers, sandwiches, and craft beers in an 18th century Revolutionary style building dating back to 1761. The property has been said to be haunted by Emily Warren, a former occupant who has been known to wander the halls and even move objects in the tavern from time to time after closing. Food and a possible ghost encounter, an adventure awaits!
Historic Huguenot Street & Cemetery located in New Paltz, New York is a staple of historical preservation and hauntings. Stroll and wander the grounds of this former French settlement dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Admire colonial, revolutionary, and even Victorian architecture of former homes, markets, and even a former inn. Be sure to make a visit to Haunted Huguenot Street which provides tours of the grounds and you will get the chance to learn about what put this unique town on the map of historical prominence and the emergence of the paranormal. Make sure you book in advance as this event sells out very quickly! You can make your reservation on www.historichuguenotstreet.org
If you’re looking for scares, frights, and chills, head to Pure Terror Scream Park in Monroe, New York for the thrill of a lifetime. This venue is recommended for teens and adults as it is geared towards the scarier horror and terror of Halloween. This haunted favorite is set outdoors and indoors for all the scares you can find!
A rare interesting find can be found at this medieval masterpiece, Wing’s Castle in the charming town of Millbrook, New York. The property itself is an upscale adults-only bed & breakfast and is believed to be haunted on rare occasions. You can take a tour of the property on Saturdays and Sundays during autumn. It’s a true gem of the region!
Another seasonal favorite can be found at the Barn of Terror in Lake Katrine, New York. A large rural sprawl of over 30-acres of farmland from corn mazes to haunted hay rides, to a spooky haunted barn. With all the creepy scares, frights, and terrors, the Barn of Terror is sure to impress when it comes to getting the scares of Halloween this autumn season! Open only from Friday - Sunday from 7 - 10 pm, after sundown!
Bannerman Castle, located on Pollepel Island in Cornwall, New York has always been shrouded in mystery. This unique destination was formerly a military weaponry warehouse and is now left abandoned in the midst of the Hudson River. Fortunately, with historical preservation efforts, you can now get the opportunity to tour this peculiar and quite magnificent property and get a glimpse into its story-filled past!
FAMILY FRIENDLY DESTINATIONS
One of the region’s top attractions during the autumn season is The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortland Manor in Croton-On-Hudson, New York where you can see a phenomenal glow-in-the-dark pumpkin display of gargantuan proportions from the traditional jack o’ lantern to all shapes and sizes of various Halloween themed objects such as ghosts, witches, vampires, and so much more! Be sure to book your tickets in advance as this is a coveted Hudson Valley staple that has been around for decades and tickets go by time slot beginning at 6:30 pm and running until 8:30 pm/9 pm depending on the month. The event runs from the end of September to November. Tickets can be purchased at historichudsonvalley.org.
Looking for haunted houses and hayrides ideal for families of all ages? Visit Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion in Wappingers Falls, New York where you can experience the anticipation of being scared in a fun, enjoyable way and figure out your way to the finish line!
Another great option is the Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, New York where you venture through eerie woods and corn maze pathways and get the thrills of a scare in a family-friendly environment.
BEST SPOTS FOR PUMPKINS
Looking for pumpkins? These are the best spots for this notable fall crop this autumn season in the Hudson Valley.
Head to Barton Orchards in Poughkeepsie, New York for an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and pumpkins in a market-style space. Haunted hayrides, haunted houses, corn mazes and an autumn-themed playground are just a few of what makes Barton Orchards a family favorite! Pumpkins are available starting in late September through October.
Make a visit to Meadowbrook Farm in Wappingers Falls, New York for different varieties of pumpkins and fresh autumn favorites such as apple pie, apple cider donuts, pumpkin pie, and more! Pumpkins are available here from early September through October.
Another great spot is Wonderland Farm in Rhinebeck, New York where you can find over 30-acres of pumpkins and different fall crops from apples to corn. You can find the best pumpkins from mid-September through October.
All of these remarkable destinations have their own unique flavor to offer to make your autumn season a memorable one! Happy Autumn!