18 Cool Ways to Celebrate Halloween in NYC All Month

Scare yourself silly with haunted houses, horror films, real-life ghosts, and costume parties.

The McKittrick Hotel's Halloween Ball
The McKittrick Hotel's Halloween Ball | Photo by Jane Kratochvil
The McKittrick Hotel's Halloween Ball | Photo by Jane Kratochvil

New York City is best-known for bringing magic to the winter holidays, but locals know that the festive spirit begins long before Thanksgiving. Halloween is all about individual expression—something New Yorkers feed on—so it’s no surprise that the moment October rolls around, an indescribable energy fills the air.

Of course, spooky season comes with its share of wholesome fall activities involving apple picking, and leaf peeping, but it also means adrenaline junkies can get their share of scares at haunted houses, shiver-inducing pop-ups, and more. Here are 18 cool ways to celebrate Halloween all month long in NYC.

Every Monday in October
Astoria Horror Club is bringing chills and thrills to the Heart of Gold bar all season long. Every Monday in October, the neighborhood group will invite anyone who craves a Halloween-time scare to pop in for beer and a show. Each week’s movie will be announced on social media in the days leading up to the screening, and if you’re still craving more as the month winds down, the club will be hosting a Halloween bash in the same space on Saturday, October 29.
Cost: Admission is free

The Green-Wood Cemetery
The Green-Wood Cemetery

Various dates in October
Sunset Park
Cemeteries are by nature a little eerie, so it makes sense that Green-Wood Cemetery, a woodsy 478-acre necropolis featuring Gothic architecture, goes hand in hand with Halloween. The Green-Wood Historic Fund does a great job at making the cemetery’s centuries-old environment accessible to the public, and in October, it’s hosting numerous tours and events that play into the spookiness. Join the Spirited Stroll to hear murderous and supernatural stories while roaming through fall foliage; go on the Spiritualists and Suffragettes Trolley Tour to learn how an obsession with the dead fueled the Women’s Rights Movement; embark on the Crime and Catastrophe Trolley Tour to scratch your true-crime itch; walk the grounds and enter the catacombs after dusk on the Moonlight or After Hours tours; or drink beer to the sound of live music at the Nightfall party.
Cost: Ticket prices vary by event, but expect to pay $30+ for entry

Various dates in October
If you want an authentically metal experience, Saint Vitus Bar is the Satanic music venue hosting plenty of raucous events all month long. Shows aren’t technically Halloween-themed, but they certainly bring the rough edge people crave come October. Scroll their concert lineup to see what suits your fancy; if you need some help, might we suggest the two-day Sortilege of Hell event, or the ‘00s disco punk night?
Cost: Varies by event

Boo at the Zoo
Boo at the Zoo | Photo by Julie Larsen Maher

Weekends in October
Bronx Park
As far as families are concerned, the annual Boo at the Zoo celebration is the Halloween spectacle. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Bronx Zoo turns especially lively with a costume-filled parade, on-site trick-or-treating, crafts, live pumpkin sculpture demonstrations, interactive magic shows, and a Halloweeny puppet musical. It’s educational too: Guests can explore an extinct animal graveyard and learn about species of yore—and how to prevent today’s animals from meeting the same fate.
Cost: Admission is priced by age and membership status, ranging from free to $41.95

Weekends in October
Coney Island
Halloween Harvest celebrations at Luna Park are a reminder that New York City’s beaches enjoy life after Labor Day. The family friendly festival invites guests to participate in all the classic fall activities, with face painting, balloon twisting, pumpkin painting and Halloween-themed caricature drawings. Perhaps the best part, though, is the pumpkin spice–flavored menu, featuring Funnel cake and Fried Oreos. Plus, adults can enjoy specialty cocktails like the Pumpkin Martini and Poison Apple. Stop by on October 22 for a live pumpkin carving by professional artists.
Cost: Halloween Harvest wristbands add $18 to the regular park entry price

Hellraiser cocktail
Hellraiser cocktail | Photo courtesy of Black Lagoon

Until Monday, October 31
East Williamsburg
Popular Halloween pop-up bar The Black Lagoon is taking residency at Our Wicked Lady this October with a combination of flavors and vibes straight out of your (favorite) nightmares. Specialty cocktails on offer include the Screaming Banshee (gin, apricot liqueur, pineapple syrup, Greek yogurt), Lilith’s Cup (rum, Aperol, vermouth, passionfruit syrup, glitter), and Hellraiser (tequila, spiced rum, Cointreau, spiced oat orgeat).
Cost: Admission is free; pay per cocktail

Loreley Beer Garden
Loreley Beer Garden

Until Sunday, November 6
Lower East Side
It’s pumpkin keg season at Loreley, celebrating all things fall in the outdoor beer garden. Order a pumpkin keg filled with pumpkin beer, or try a number of pumpkin spice and cider drinks on the menu. On October 14, the beer garden will transition from a fall wonderland to a spooky paradise as the Halloween decorations roll out. And don’t worry about the changing weather; the outdoor space is heated, so you’ll stay warm while you live your autumnal fantasy.
Cost: Free admission; pay per drink

Madhouse on Mulberry
Photo courtesy of Madhouse on Mulberry

Until Sunday, November 6
Little Italy
Beneath the streets of Little Italy lies the Madhouse on Mulberry, a 5,000-square-foot labyrinth with enemies around every corner. Wander at your own risk, and know that if you’re brave enough to take your time going through the maze, you may find some hidden rooms—including a secret bar for guests over 21 years old. If you’re in it for the quick thrill and unwilling to spend a second longer than necessary down in the abandoned mental asylum, you’ll still be satisfied by the terror you face just hustling on through to the exit.
Cost: Starting at $24

Greenwich Village
The Mark Twain House, more commonly called the “House of Death,” is the former home of author Samuel Clemens. Equally notable, though, is how many spirits the building is said to have housed, dating back to the late-1800s. US Ghost Adventures takes guests to the House of Death and more on the Ghosts of Greenwich Village tour, exploring burial grounds, speakeasies, brothels, and the site of a fatal fire to tell stories about the spookiest locales in Lower Manhattan.
Cost: $26

Sleep No More
Sleep No More | Photo by Robin Roemer

Sleep No More is one of those quintessential NYC activities you just have to experience to understand. The environmental theater event acts as an immersive play, inspired by Macbeth and featuring a touch of Alfred Hitchcock. The idea of the three-hour show is that you’re living inside the performers’ world, roaming The McKittrick Hotel halls and sipping on drinks as actors around you stay in character. It’s fun, it’s thrilling, and while it’s not specific to Halloween, everyone knows October is the best time to lean into the madness.
Cost: Prices vary based on date and availability, but anticipate $100+ per ticket

Blood Manor
Photo courtesy of Blood Manor

Until Saturday, November 5
If you crave fear, take a whirl through Blood Manor, New York City’s preeminent haunted house that even got Jimmy Fallon screaming. This year’s horrific experience includes maggots, beasts, killer clowns, Hannibal Lecter, a crypt, and a wake for Doll Face. Try to make it out alive, and don’t say we didn’t warn you if demons succeed in capturing your soul.
Cost: $40

Historic Richmond Town
Historic Richmond Town | Photo by Marc Hermann

Friday, October 14, and Saturday, October 15
Staten Island has spawned numerous creepy urban legends over the years—but are they all legends? Find out on one of Historic Richmond Town’s Paranormal Investigations tours. Lasting three hours, the tour begins with a brief lesson on the history and modern application of “ghost hunting” before the group sets off with seasoned investigator Vinny Carbone in an attempt to communicate with former residents of the historic neighborhood. The 18+ event will also occur on two dates in November if you’re unable to make it before Halloween.
Cost: $40

Saturday, October 22
A lot will be happening at the Taylor Swift Halloween Party. One day after the pop icon’s new album Midnights debuts, the party will be an ode to all things Swift—her latest work, her earliest hits, and her deep cuts. Since the album coincides with spooky season, the party will incorporate themes of Halloween, including fun decor and a costumes-encouraged mantra (whether you dress as Taylor or go the classically Halloween route is up to you).
Cost: $23

The McKittrick Hotel's Halloween Ball
The McKittrick Hotel's Halloween Ball | Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Friday, October 28, to Monday, October 31
The McKittrick Hotel has established itself as the premier autumn venue, and allegedly, its Halloween Ball will be the biggest celebration to date. On the Friday, Saturday, and Monday of Halloween weekend, you can enter the ball’s Lost Garden where “heavenly and hedonistic delights” intertwine—and turn debaucherous with the help of an open bar and live performances. The McKittrick even created a mood board to help you dress for the part.
Cost: Tickets start at $184

Candlelight in St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church | Photo courtesy of Candlelight Concerts

Friday, October 28, and Sunday, October 30
Brooklyn Heights
Bet you never thought you’d hear a string quartet play the Beetlejuice theme in a Brooklyn church, did ya? Well now you can, at Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics in St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church. The 65-minute service is both entertaining and relaxing, lit only by candles and covering all the great Halloween songs, including tunes from Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Addams Family, Stranger Things, Psycho, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, to name a few.
Cost: Tickets range from $40 to $70

Flying Fox Tavern
Flying Fox Tavern | Photo by Jeanette D. Moses

Feast like a vampire at a year-round horror bar

Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29
Flying Fox Tavern celebrates Halloween 12 months out of the year—and naturally, a self-proclaimed “classic horror bar” wouldn’t let October pass by without planning a celebration nearly every day. Among the tavern’s crowded lineup, one event in particular stands out: The Feast of the Vampires. Spread across two days and four seatings, the immersive dinner experience features a four-course prix fixe menu that will make use of the bar’s full kitchen. If you’re unable to stop in for a meal that weekend, keep an eye on the bar’s socials for other themed events—like a Halloween night party and month-long costume contest awarding its winner with two free drinks every day for a year.
Cost: $66.60, obviously

Friday, October 28
East Harlem
If you’ve never dreamed of dancing to DJs—and ballet performances—at a NYC museum after hours, you clearly haven’t dreamed. Cocktails and Culture: Twilight Zone Halloween Bash is the Museum of the City of New York’s grand event this year, featuring specialty cocktails, food from a pop-up cafe, and opportunities to boogie. Come dressed as your favorite Twilight Zone character and when you need to catch your breath, roam the select museum exhibits that will remain open for guests.
Cost: General admission is $20; senior, student, and member discounts apply

Saturday, October 29
East Williamsburg
It’s the first Halloween since queer icon Vecna entered our lives, and Hot Rabbit is ready to worship him. The Haus of Vecna LGBTQ+ Dance Party will rage from 10pm till 6 am the next morning, led by “head witch” Andrew Barret Cox and featuring sexy performances from House of Oricci, House of Babylon, and Honey Burlesque. Dress to impress, because costume contest prizes include $500 cash and tickets to Hot Rabbit’s New Year’s Eve party, among others.
Cost: Early bird tickets begin at $22; prices will rise to $43 as the event draws near

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Kyler Alvord is a former staff writer at Thrillist who keeps coming back for more. Find him on Twitter and Instagram, or in any Brooklyn coffee shop that serves bagels.