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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 Time Burtonesque boite to the oldest bar in New York

By Emma Orlow and Time Out contributors
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Your October 31st plans will 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, or cocktail cool-down following the rowdy Village Halloween Parade. 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.

House of Wax
Photograph: Courtesy House of Wax

2. House of Wax

Bars Cocktail bars Downtown Brooklyn

Inside the long-anticipated Brooklyn outpost of film-geek haven Alamo Drafthouse, you’ll find a hallway lined with all sorts of grotesque curiosities: death masks, model fetuses and even monkey skeletons. But walk through and you’ll find that the macabre is served with a side of cocktails. The theater’s house bar is modeled after 19th-century panoptica attractions and displays many relics of that era from Berlin wax-house Castans Panopticum.

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The Manderley Bar
Photograph: Courtesy The Manderley Bar

3. The Manderley Bar

Bars Hotel bars Chelsea

Once a rest stop for wayward audience members wandering through Sleep No More, the McKittrick Hotel opened this theatrical cocktail parlor to the public for postshow tippling. The velvet-curtained bar—littered with comedy-tragedy masks and playing cards—is menuless, pouring out made-to-order cocktails while a rotating cast of live entertainers perform for the crowd.

House of Yes
Photograph: Maxine Nienow

4. House of Yes

Nightlife Clubs Bushwick

This wild Bushwick hotspot opened in 2016 and quickly established itself as a reliable way for Brooklyn revelers to wear insane costumes and lose their inhibitions just about every weekend. With exhibitionist parties like “House of Love” and the immersive “Little Cinema” film tributes, along with a panoply of aerialists, magicians and dancers on retainer, House of Yes is constantly inventing new ways to make a night out more than just drinks at the bar. Pro tip: Snag tickets in advance and get there early — the entry line often runs the block.

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Fraunces Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy Fraunces Tavern

5. 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.

Duff's Brooklyn
Photograph: Filip Wolak

6. 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.

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The Auction House
Photograph: Courtesy The Auction House

7. 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.

Madame X
Photograph: Courtesy Madame X

8. Madame X

Bars Lounges Greenwich Village

She to he: “If you’re married, we can try the back room.” Everything is bordello red, including the velvet trim on the bar that would make for a very BDSM Halloween date. Drinks have names like Hot Lips and Good Wood. Smooth R&B beats add fuel to the flame. Just another night at Madame X.

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Headless Horseman
Photograph: Courtesy Headless Horseman

9. The Headless Horseman

Bars Cocktail bars Gramercy

Step back in time to 18th-century England at this gastropub, which features flaming lanterns and exposed-wood beams that elicit all the eerie medieval feels. Try one of their macabre-named versions of classic cocktails with varied tapas dishes.

Barely Disfigured
Photograph: Teddy Wolff

10. 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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