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7 Spooky Halloween Events in New York City

Spooky Halloween in NYC

Gothamites take every holiday seriously, and Halloween in New York City is no different. October 31 is a day when New Yorkers can dress up and escape to their alter-egos, and become a zany or frightening character, if only for a few hours. From parades to haunted New York City tours, and Halloween parties and trick-or-treating, the city offers myriad Halloween activities for all ages in the month of October and on the day itself.

If you’re looking for Halloween events near you to check out, consider these 7 spooky ideas:

1. Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square Park

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A not-to-miss annual event, the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade offers an afternoon of amusement for our four-legged friends in costume. Dress your canine to the nines and let him prance for a prize at this East Village Halloween outdoor party. Hundreds of furry contestants compete while thousands of spectators attend, as the pooch parade always provides a good laugh.

2. Haunted Manhattan Tours

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For the fearless, take a ghostly tour in one of haunted NYC's most historic neighborhoods. Get spooked as you stroll along the streets of Greenwich Village, the East Village, or West Village, and stop at downtown haunted landmarks like the White Horse Tavern, and iconic attractions like the Washington Arch.

3. Halloween Harvest Festival in Socrates Sculpture Park

An annual event put on by the NYC parks, the Halloween Harvest Festival is loaded with family-friendly fun including spooky costume and art making, face painting, and even a dog costume contest. For a few hours, hang out and enjoy some of the cultural performances. The event takes place at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens and is free to attend. A perfect spot if you’re looking for Halloween events for kids.

4. Mentalist – “The Other Side”

Looking to connect with the other side? A brave group of 13 people can join mentalist Jason Suran at a private Williamsburg residence to experience a Victorian-era séance. The experience lasts about 2 hours with no intermission, but cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. The event itself only happens for two weeks, so participation is limited. Talk about spooky.

5. Gravesend Inn – Haunted Hotel

Look no further for the best haunted house in NYC. The Gravesend Inn in Brooklyn returns again this year as a high-tech haunted hotel. This interactive experience takes fright to a new level as visitors walk through the scary space triggering sights, sounds, and special effects. Expect a lot of theatrics, screams, and a bloody good time. General admission is just $10, and $5 for students.

6. Monster Mash Halloween Bash

The Monster Mash at Coney Island’s Luna Park is another family-favorite. Halloween flash mobs and a host of other fun-filled activities for all ages makes this a must-see.

7. The Village Halloween Parade

Of all the things to do during this spooky season, by far, the most popular Halloween event in NYC is the Village Halloween Parade. Droves of New Yorkers will be in rare form as they strut on Sixth Avenue through Greenwich Village, donning their freakiest costumes. Thousands participate one way or another in this spooky shindig, as characters, dancers, puppets, or players of live music, while others observe from the sidelines. Anyone can participate as long as they sport a Halloween costume. And the best part? It's free.

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About the author

Tracy Kaler

Tracy Kaler is a ballet dancer turned interior designer turned lifestyle and travel writer who blogs at tracysnewyorklife.com. A former Atlantan, you can now find her byline in The Telegraph, IN New York Magazine, TravelMag, National Geographic, Mabuhay Magazine, am New York and others. When she's not glued to her laptop, you'll find her wandering the streets of New York City or off discovering another part of the planet.

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