Image courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy.
Some say Halloween is New York City’s favorite holiday. And while those who indulge in its fright-fraught fun may celebrate in different ways, there’s a scare out there for everyone. We’re all under the spell of the fabulous Village Halloween Parade, from its history to its most avid participants; if that doesn’t satisfy your craving for fright-week fun, peruse our list of Halloween happenings from family-friendly to extra freaky.
Find something to BOO
All photos © 6sqft
There are plenty of neighborhoods throughout the city that get in on the Halloween spirit and make for the best trick-or-treating, but arguably the biggest spectacle exists on the Upper West Side–probably not your first guess for spooky, kooky, and downright insane holiday decor. But thanks to the West 69th Street Block Association, the stretch of the street between Broadway and Central Park West turns into a wonderland of skulls, zombies, bloody scenes, and even a table setting complete with brains and rats. 6sqft took a walk down 69th Street and captured all its Halloween mayhem in the photos ahead.
See all the over-the-top decorations
As one of the highlights of this year’s Archtober celebration of the built environment, Pumpkitecture 2018 saw 20 of NYC’s top architecture firms once again go gourd to gourd to compete for the Pritzkerpumpkin. Find out who squashed the competition, and see some of this year’s most creative entries, ahead.
And the winner is
The New York Public Library is hosting the ultimate costume contest this Halloween, forcing participants to really “make it work.” Not only must costumes be inspired by a book or author, but they will also be judged by Project Runway star and fashion consultant Tim Gunn. The Halloween Masquerade event takes place on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.
Get more details here
Bjarke Ingels Group’s pumpkin tower from 2017; photo by Daniel Cole for Center for Architecture
Don’t expect to see typical Jack-o’-lanterns at the Center for Architecture’s pumpkin-carving event this Halloween. On Oct. 26, 20 New York City-based architecture firms will face off at Pumpkitecture!, the center’s third annual competition, which tests the ability of architects to create amazing designs across any medium (ie: a round, orange gourd). Attendees can watch the architects live-carve inventive structures and vote for the People’s Pumpkin.
More on the gourds
The impending 15-month L train hiatus has lots of people wanting to stand on a chair and go “eek!” to begin with, but some clever hosts have found a way to turn transit terror into a Halloween happening. The L Train Shutdown & Club Transit haunted house and nightclub, which opened yesterday and will run through November 3rd, serves up a chilling six-months post-shutdown Brooklyn where “things did not go as planned” in a 40,000-square-foot Bushwick warehouse.
The full horror, this way
St. Paul’s Chapel via Flickr cc
Tis the season to voluntarily spook oneself out, but if haunted houses and tourist-friendly ghost tours aren’t your thing, New York’s bustling burrows are home to a slew of the more naturally born spirits. You’ll find Dracula’s extended family on 23rd Street, a host of oracles on Orchard Street, and the site of the cruel crime that led to the nation’s first recorded murder trial on Spring Street. If you’re searching for a necropolis in the metropolis, here are ten of the best sites in New York to spot specters.
See all the haunted haunts here!
Via de Blasio’s office
Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray on Friday opened the free ticket giveaway for festivities at Gracie Mansion this Halloween. From Friday, October 26 to Sunday, October 28, guests will be able to tour the historic home decked out in a haunted theme and enjoy activities like face painting, story-telling, a magic show, and arts and crafts. Expect both tricks and treats from the couple at this annual spooky celebration.
Here’s how to get tickets
Photo via MHM
What better way to celebrate Halloween this year than a history lesson in 19th-century death and mourning? The Merchant’s House Museum released its list of “events to die for” happening in October, all of which promise to be a ghostly good time. Spooky events include a walking tour following Edgar Allan Poe’s life in Greenwich Village, a reenactment of an 1865 funeral, candlelight ghost tours of the most haunted house in Manhattan, and much more.
More on the eerie events
Trick-or-treating in Brooklyn, via Flickr cc
Once again this year, in addition to the annual Village Halloween Parade, October 31st promises to bring out a veritable parade of pint-sized, adorably costumed youngsters hell-bent on scoring treats and scaring parents and each other. While urban trick-or-treating is nothing like the suburban version, it has its perks (apartment buildings can be like hitting the jackpot)–and its fair share of friendly neighbors, stores, businesses and neighborhood events. Technology–local-social site Nextdoor has a trick-or-treat map that neighbors can add themselves to if they’re handing out candy–makes things easier and safer. Like so many other topics, New Yorkers love to argue over which neighborhoods offer the best bounty. Below are a few picks among the least tricky with the best treats.
Where the treats are this Halloween