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Beetle House
Filip Wolak

The best Halloween bars in NYC

Grab a cauldron of booze at the best Halloween bars in NYC, from a Tim Burtonesque boite to the oldest bar in New York

By Bao Ong and Time Out contributors
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Halloween in 2020 is scary in ways we've never known before. But come October 31st, New Yorkers will more than likely want to include a stop at some of the Halloween bars NYC has to offer. Whether you’re looking for pre-game drinks before one of the city’s best Halloween parties or spooky haunted houses, you can still slap on a costume and check out these festive pubs and bars come Halloween.

RECOMMENDED: All coverage of Halloween in NYC

Halloween bars in NYC

Beetle House
Photograph: Filip Wolak

1. Beetle House

Bars Cocktail bars East Village

The storefront is unassuming enough. That is, until an actor-cum-doorman in Beetlejuice garb lunges out as if you just uttered his name thrice, doing a shoddy Michael Keaton while ushering you inside Beetle House, a boozy homage to all things Tim Burton. Like its fun-loving sibling, the narrow barroom is splashed with Instagram-ready memorabilia, from Sweeney Todd–style surgical instruments to metal-leg wall sculptures to framed Winona Ryder caricatures.

2. The Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern

Bars Beer bars Financial District

This is one of the oldest bars in New York, and it has the antique furnishings, creaky floorboards and ancient wood to prove it. But there are spookier aspects of this downtown watering hole than just cobwebs and dust. Fraunces, a national historic landmark, is frequently included on lists of the most haunted buildings in New York. See if you can summon more than just shots—five different people (and two cats) have died within its walls over the years.

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3. The Cauldron NYC Magical Pub and Experience

Bars Cocktail bars Financial District

Guests can take part in cocktail making session where you're wearing a cloak as you use molecular mixology techniques to create your poison. Currently, there's the "Supper & Spells" series for concocting your own hocus pocus.

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The Auction House
Photograph: Courtesy The Auction House

4. The Auction House

Bars Lounges Upper East Side

Dangling chandeliers, pressed-tin ceilings and a fireplace decorate this Victorian-inspired spot that wouldn't be out of place in a haunted house. Cozy up with a date on the red velvet couches or chat with pals over rounds of draft beers and mixed drinks.

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Duff's Brooklyn
Photograph: Filip Wolak

5. Duff’s

Bars Dive bars Williamsburg

The inside of this subterranean metal dive glows like the burning flames of hell; but don’t worry, it’s just the foreboding din of red twinkle lights. Grab a seat next to one of the resident skeletons, tip back a PBR, put some Cannibal Corpse on the jukebox, and toast the undead.

Barely Disfigured
Photograph: Teddy Wolff

6. Barely Disfigured

Bars Cocktail bars Carroll Gardens

The narrow rooms of this Brooklyn bar are reminiscent of a Sleep No More chamber, adorned with oversize double-starburst mirrors, a collage of yellow-paged open books lining the walls, old-world potion bottles and women’s vanity knickknacks strewn on counters. Slinky nods to its illicit past (the space was a former brothel) include a red light bulb hanging above the doorway and a bona fide canopy bed in a back room.

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Le Boudoir
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

7. Le Boudoir

Bars Cocktail bars Brooklyn Heights

Fans of France’s most detested monarch finally have a liquor-filled hideout to drown their bougie sorrows. Le Boudoir has historical thrills, channeling its audacious queen with silver-plated chalices, neoclassical paintings and even a doorknob lifted from Marie’s actual Versailles bedroom. The entrance to the intimate lounge is disguised by a bookshelf that is a replica of one from the late queen’s library. (Tip: Don’t try to exit the same way you walked in; the owners might threaten you with the guillotine.)

8. The Jekyll & Hyde Club

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants American Midtown West

You've probably heard the tale of Jekyll and Hyde, but did you know the doctor's haunted abode is open to you (at your own risk, of course)? Explore his home and try not to flinch (or spill your drink) as actors reenact the many spooky and mysterious moments of Dr. Jekyll's story.

Need a Halloween playlist?

Where to find NYC's scariest haunts

White Horse Tavern
Photograph: Shutterstock/Brian L

The most haunted places in NYC

Things to do

In the city that never sleeps, there are haunted places in NYC whose inhabitants might keep you up at night or heading home early. From historic haunted houses to long-time taverns, the tenants at these venues might give off an eerie feeling or prompt a sudden urge to change your plans. Fact or fiction, these personas of paranormal activity will put you on high alert if you’re brave enough to pay a visit or take ghost tours. So keep your eyes wide open while reading about some of the spookiest places in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC

Get your freak on at these haunted houses

Blood Manor
Photograph: Courtesy Blood Manor

The scariest haunted houses NYC has to offer

Things to do

It’s the freakiest time of year, and we couldn’t be more excited to scream our guts out at the scariest haunted houses NYC has to offer. Haunted houses may bring plenty of frights, but if you’re looking to get shaken to your core this season, check out these immersive experiences that will bring out your darkest, deepest fears from killer clowns to claustrophobic. To get you in that creepy mood, or if immersing yourself in the world of goblins and ghouls is too much for you, try prepping with one of the best horror movies on Netflix beforehand.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC

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