Halloween Guide

Best Haunted Houses and Scream Parks in the Hudson Valley

In the mood to get spooked? Here are the Valley’s top terror parks and haunted houses


One of the creatures you wouldn’t want to mess with at Tuxedo Park’s Forest of Fear

Photograph by Ron Frary

Think you’ve got what it takes to handle a coffin simulator, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, or an endless corn maze? Leave the kiddies at home and test your tolerance for all things terrifying at one of these scream parks.

Forest of Fear, Tuxedo Park

Tuxedo Park’s Forest of Fear opens its gates to the public on October 9 and features the Slaughterhouse, Blind Panic, and Mourningwood Cemetery. Open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 1. Tickets are $20-$30. 600 Route 17A, Tuxedo Park. www.theforestoffear.com

Fright Nights at Pierson’s Farm, Middletown

This natural beef farm in Middletown hosts a series of five “Fright Nights” — on October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 30. Minors are not to be admitted without the company of an adult as strobe lights, chainsaws and “live corpses” will be a part of the show, which begins at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is $17, with all proceeds donated to local organizations. 1448 Rte. 211 West, Middletown. www.frightnights.wix.com/frightnights2012

Goblin's Hollow, Newburgh

Formerly known as Terrordome, Goblin’s Hollow intends to bring “a new breed of terror” to the Hudson Valley. The site features five haunted attractions, including “Backwoods,” “Barn of Terror,” and “Hospital.” Open October 2 through 31 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets range from $30-$50. www.goblinshollow.com

Haunted Fortress, Standfordville

Formerly Frankenstein’s Fortress at Wing’s Castle, the Haunted Fortress has been scaring locals since 1998. Wander through the trail of eerie scenes and skits, which are different each night, including a fog-filled churchyard, an opera house, and a mad scientist’s laboratory. You won’t encounter any cliché chainsaw-wielding actors; rather, local volunteers provide the improvised frights, with all proceeds benefiting local recreation programs. (According to the organizers, Martha Stewart once called it the best she’s seen.”) The fortress is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from October 2 to October 25; $12 for adults and $5 for kids. 86 Creamery Rd., Stanfordville. www.hauntedfortress.com
Special note: To honor Fortress founder and creator, Pete Wing, who passed away suddenly in September 2014, volunteers have established the Pete Wing Memorial Scholarship for Art to benefit one graduating senior at Stissing Mountain High School who plans to pursue a career in art. Visit www.hauntedfortress.com/scholarship.html for more information.

Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses, Ulster Park

Boasting an extensive calendar of horror, the Headless Horseman — which, year after year, is named one of the best scream parks in the country by Haunt World Magazine, MTV, the Weather Channel, and more — features six different haunted houses, one horrid 45-acre hayride, a cold corn maze, and a wicked walk-through. Tickets range around $40; children younger than 15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. 778 Broadway, Ulster Park. www.headlesshorseman.com

Horseman’s Hollow, Sleepy Hollow

Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. This is Sleepy Hollow’s premier haunted attraction, right in the heart of the village. Tickets: $15-$25, advanced tickets required. Not suitable for small children or the faint of heart. 381 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow. www.hudsonvalley.org/events/horsemans-hollow

Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion, Poughkeepsie

Celebrating its “39th year of fears,” the Haunted Mansion boasts a fright trail, a new attraction dubbed London After Midnight, and, of course, its signature haunted house. Beginning Friday, October 2, the McCurdy Mansion stays open each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout October, with Kids’ Days — in which little tykes can paint pumpkins, enjoy magic shows and arts and crafts, and trick-or-treat alongside friendly monsters — on October 12 and October 25. General admission, which includes access to all three separate attractions, is $25. 38 Sheafe Rd., Poughkeepsie. www.thehauntedmansion.com

Pure Terror Scream Park, Monroe

Monroe’s blood-curdling Pure Terror Scream Park opened up on Friday, September 25 and intends to spread its horror through Sunday, November 1. Tickets can be purchased online or on the premises (booths open up at 7 p.m. each night). Prices range from $40-$60, with various discount deals and VIP offers. 299 Museum Village Rd., Monroe. www.pureterror.com

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