Boo York

October 26, 2007

Looking for some spooktacular things to do with friends and family this weekend before the eve of Samhain? New York is filled with mysterious facts from historic cemeteries and buildings to annual parades, movies and much more. Whether you are looking to stay in the city or even a short traveling distance away from the city, here are some intrigues I think you might find bone chilling:
The Great Pumpkin Getaway

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! I think even Charlie Brown & Linus would faint over the sights of the Pumpkins at “The Great Jack-O-Lantern Blaze” event at Van Cortlandt Manor. As I was planning out my dates on-line, I had no idea how or why tickets sold out for my original dates in just minutes. I was shocked and not really knowing how popular this event along the Hudson Valley is. Finally, with great curiosity and anticipation, I went to this event last night and pictures don’t do the event justice. To be there in person and observe each artists work displayed on pumpkins is a phenomenon in itself. In just a short 40 minute drive or train ride, you too can enjoy the great illuminated pumpkin patch. From simplistic facial expressions to detailed creatures of the night that glow, along with mysterious lighting and fog for mysterious atmosphere, I now understand why my original date sold out in just minutes. Although, the day I went was a very chilly and rainy evening, but the smell of pumpkins and damp grounds really added to this Halloween spirited event. I honestly didn’t want to leave this place. And neither did my friends. We really were the last people to leave the event with great souvenirs and pictures to last us a lifetime and remind us of the first time we went to “The Great Jack-O-Lantern Blaze”. As a born and raised city girl, was this great pumpkin getaway worth the trip? Absolutely! This is a definitely must go to event. Reminder: This event is very popular and therefore, tickets do sell out fast and can be purchased on-line only. Ticket prices range from $14 – $16 per ticket depending on what day you are going on. So if you are still thinking about where to take your kids for family adventure out of the city, I would highly recommend this event. Please visit for more information on how to get to the events and for ticket availability. If you find tickets, grab them while you can. This final weekend I’m sure tickets will fly faster than the great pumpkin himself.
Great Jack O Lantern Blaze @ Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 South Riverside Avenue, 914-271-8981


Other getaway adventures:

Legend Weekend (day and night)
The headless horseman still rides! That’s right, for “Legend” the famous story of the headless horseman, told by Washington Irving is revived and recreated year after year in the town of Sleepy Hollow, NY. The “Legend Day” events are more kid-friendly complete with picnics, magic shows, pumpkin carvings, ghost stories and much more that is held at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in Tarrytown and Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow. The “Legend Night” events are held at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow only. Not only does the Headless Horseman rises and rides the bonfire and lantern lit grounds of the manor, he brings with him Goblins, Ghouls and other apparitions that are part of the Historic Hudson Valley folklore. Walk the haunted grounds at your own pace and your own risk and experience the dramatic tales of Sleepy Hollow. Be sure that your head is still on you before you leave the haunted manor. Tickets are purchased on the web only and are $14 – $16 depending on the day.
Legend @ Philipsburg Manor, 381 N. Broadway (Rt 9), 914-631-3992

Forest of Fears
Just when you thought the renaissance faire was over, the renaissance faire now takes on a spooky turn and walks over to the dark side of the medieval times. On location in the middle of the woods, brave through slaughterhouses, ghoulish cemeteries, daring fire acts, carnivals and much more to fear if you dare yourself to venture to this event. Located just 35 miles outside of NYC in Tuxedo, NY. For ticket availability, directions, schedule and more visit Forest of Fears

** Forest of Fears has asked me to-
Also mention that this is not for the faint of heart and we are NOT recommended for children under 8 – The Slaughterhouse is 6000 sqaure feet.. 
with a very strong bent on seriously great costumes and FX make-up.

Within the City:

*This week’s Highlight*
Candle Light Ghost Tour at Merchant’s House Museum – In Manhattan’s most haunted house that has restless souls lingering within, the tour will be featuring “Mourning becomes Eliza”, an authentic 19th century funeral based off the real lives and kin of the original owners of the old townhouse. Eerie scenes and historical facts about the spirits of the house come to life by flickering candlelight. You might just walk out with a sense of the paranormal experience. Tour begins every half an hour from 6pm to 10pm. RSVP is required. Space is limited.
Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th Street (between Lafayette & Bowery), 212-777-1089 Merchant house

Other must see tours and attractions:

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! – Are you queezy? Or are you a skeptic? Either way the newly opened attraction that is a cross between museum and a circus has many amazing artifacts that will have all visitors guessing, laughing, shocked or even screaming into the night.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th & 8th Avenue), 212-398-3133, open 365 days from 9am – til the ghost go home at 1am.

Nightmare: Ghost Stories – Definitely not the very young or faint hearted, “Nightmare” now bigger than ever with it’s newest feature “The Maze”, has the goriest of characters coming to life and out to get you, trapping you in a 23-room haunted house filled with moving walls and images of impending doom.
CSV Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk St. (between Delancey & Rivington), 212-868-4444

Blood Manor – Yet another house in NYC screaming with terror as Zombies will come after you for your brains. In a house that is 5,000 sq ft, you will never know what will try to come after you in the dark. Emergency exits are set up for easy access for those that get too scared of what’s lurking behind every corner. When an attraction notes “emergency exits available”, I can only imagine what must really be in there.
Blood Manor, 542 West 27th St. (between 10th & 11th Ave), 212-290-2825

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – All through October, see, hear and feel the awakening of spirits trapped at the historic Madame Tussauds. Legendary ghost stories at Madame Tussauds and Times Square come alive in temporary month long spine tingling exhibit also featuring Haunted Scavenger Hunts and a Chamber of Horrors LIVE. Also, from October 19 – 31st, 7pm, ghost hunters will get a thrill at Spirits ALIVE, a special feature where the lights suddenly turn low and the spirits are high. Don’t get trapped, you don’t want to be our next exhibit.
Madame Tussauds, 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th & 8th Ave), 1-800-246-8872

Halloweekend @ Grand Central terminal – This coming weekend, celebrate Halloween in one of NY’s oldest train stations. From recipes to pumpkin carvings to costume ideas by renowned artist Ralph Lee, the family-oriented festival will be sure to enlighten and give a one-of-a-kind trick or treating experience for the young, the old and those in between.
Grand Central Terminal @ Vanderbilt Hall, 42nd St & Park Avenue, 212-340-2345.

Greenwich Village Halloween Parade – How can anyone miss this spectacular annual event? Every year the parade gets bigger, spectator attendance grows and the costumes are more creative as the theme of the parade changes every year. Enjoy tricks and treats from parade participants, live music and giant puppets as they scare up the streets of Manhattan. Parade route is along 6th Avenue from Spring St. to 23rd St. Avoid popular spots like 14th street and west 4th street to get a better view of the parade.

Written by: Jasmine Bermudez (NYC Pocket & Travel Guides)


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