Halloween Events in Sleepy Hollow and Upstate, New York
Don’t close your eyes in Sleepy Hollow! Plus, Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, Irving’s Legend, Horseman’s Hollow, and cemetery tours
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
Ever since Washington Irving penned his famous tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” in 1820, the Westchester town of Sleepy Hollow (formerly North Tarrytown) has been synonymous with Halloween. The village — which changed its name to Sleepy Hollow in 1996 — capitalizes on its fame every year, most notably with the following events.
Where’s the only place in the world where you can find 5,000 glittering, hand-carved pumpkins? The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor, of course! The pumpkins feature everything from skeletons to scenes from Jurassic Park; the site annually draw tens of thousands of visitors. Making its debut this year is the Art of the Pumpkin, which displays sculptures inspired by, but not made of, jack o’lanterns. Fans of the Blaze can also pick up the 60-minute soundtrack inspired by the pumpkins. $16, $12 children ages 2-17, Saturdays $20/$16. 914-631-8200; www.hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze
Heads will roll: The Headless Horseman at Horseman’s Hollow, above; at right, storyteller Jonathan Kruk
Hear a dramatic retelling of Irving’s Legend in the very church that inspired the story. Local storyteller Jonathan Kruk brings Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, and the Headless Horseman to life in the Old Dutch Church. Try not to get too frightened by the dramatic organ music and adjacent cemetery. $16, $12 children under 18. 914-631-8200; www.hudsonvalley.org/events/irvings-legend
Back for a third year of frightening fun, Horseman’s Hollow takes over Philipsburg Manor, transforming the historic site into a town terrorized by the Headless Horseman. Visitors must survive a twisting maze where creepy creatures eagerly await them — and lure them into the Horseman’s lair. $20, Saturdays $25. 914-631-8200; www.hudsonvalley.org/events/horsemans-hollow
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Walking Tours lead guests by lantern light to Irving’s final resting place — as well as to the graves of other village residents who inspired his fictional characters. You can also pay respects to Carnegies and Rockefellers, or stop by the site of an infamous grave robbery. $25. 914-631-0081; www.sleepyhollowcemetery.org
More spooky fun...
If you’re in Saugerties on October 19, hide your brains. No, really, because the zombies are taking over. During the Village Invasion, participants dressed as monsters — this year with an undead carnival theme — stomp along Main and Partition streets, visit local vendors, and dance to rocking music. Proceeds aid the reconstruction of the town’s Small World Playground. 6 p.m. $2. www.villageinvasion.com
Boscobel House and Gardens brings on the macabre: Paranormal investigator Linda Zimmerman leads a ghost tour of the mansion (Oct. 23-25 at 6 p.m. $45), and Edgar Allen Poe returns from the grave to join the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in reenacting his chilling tales. Oct. 31, Nov. 1-2. 845-265-9575 or www.hvshakespeare.org for times and ticket information
For a kid-friendly activity, Bear Mountain’s Trailside Museums and Zoo hosts Boo at the Zoo on October 26. Children make snacks for black bears, touch some real animal skulls, and learn about creepy-looking creatures like owls and vultures. 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. $8 parking fee; 845-786-2701, ext. 293 or www.trailsidezoo.org
Clermont Estate and Grounds lets guests roam the premises, guided by the light of flickering candles. On October 18, 19, 25, and 26, Legends by Candlelight gives visitors the ghostly side of the mansion’s history. 6-9 p.m. $10, $5 children; 518-537-6622 or www.friendsofclermont.org