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The best Halloween events for 2021 in NYC

Check out the spookiest and coolest Halloween events NYC has ever seen including parties, parades, and haunted houses

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Written by
Shaye Weaver
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We're throwing the spookiness into high gear with events for Halloween in NYC. October is filled with costumed parties, jump scares at haunted houses, corn mazes and parades — and we're ready! Don't bother breaking out your sewing kit, New York's greatest Halloween stores have plenty of options to make you look really spooky. Make sure to check out our NYC events in October too for even more activities to finish off the month in killer spirits. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC

Halloween events 2021

  • Things to do

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is back with surreal creations this year, like a giant pumpkin sea monster and NYC streetscape made of hundreds of pumpkins each. The massive blaze has two locations—Hudson Valley returns to its location at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson for the 17th year and Blaze: Long Island returns to Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Old Bethpage for the second year. This year, the blaze is bigger and better than ever with thousands of hand-carved jack o’lanterns lit up in elaborate displays throughout historic landscapes. The Blaze: Hudson Valley will include a New York City streetscape and an immersive river walk-through experience. Blaze: Long Island will show off an 80-foot circus train, a new sea monster and more creatures from under the ocean. 

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

The Village Halloween Parade—NYC’s creative and spooky procession—is one of the best Halloween events in Greenwich Village and it's coming back this year...if it raises enough funds. Each year, more than 50,000 zombies, ghouls, witches, monsters, robots, Jedis, giant puppets and more things that go bump in the night take to the streets for a night of costumed revelry. And while New York's freaks missed out when it was canceled last year, it has secured its permit for October 31. The only thing left to do is to raise $150,000 by October 5 to put it on, according to The New York Post. It's theme this year is "Let's Play!" to honor the children of NYC (and our inner children).

 

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  • Attractions
  • Arcades and amusements
  • Tribeca

Garish zombies, monsters and other ghoulish creatures await in this 5,000-square-foot labyrinth of horrors, deemed too scary for children under 14 to enter without supervision.

The haunted house warns: "Former survivors of the Blood Manor experience can count on an all-new and extreme level of fear, paralleling 2020 — a year no one could have predicted nor imagined!  For newcomers - be afraid, be very afraid! The residents of Blood Manor are excited to return and are thirsting for the aroma of fear!"

  • Things to do
  • Two Bridges

The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you’ll have to head to the East Village for this annual dog parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual—no surprise given the thousands of dollars worth in prizes up for grabs for Best in Show. FYI: This year's location is not at Tompkins Square Park. The parade has moved to East River Park Amphitheater along the FDR at Grand Street and East River Park. 

RECOMMENDED: All Halloween, NYC coverage

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  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Williamsburg

The trolley tour that's outfitted to look like a Victorian funeral parlor—think chandeliers and velvet curtains—and takes you on a trip through the shadows of historic Brooklyn is back. The tour visits the secret location where Murder, Inc. disposed of bodies, alien abduction sites along the Brooklyn Bridge, a brothel and more spooky sites spanning 400 years of Brooklyn history. 

  • Things to do
  • Fort Greene

Vote for the cutest doggo in the best Halloween costume during this year's virtual 23rd Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest on October 30. Held every year by Fort Green Park Users and Pets Society since 1998, the event is held at the bottom of the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument stairs, where more than a hundred dogs run around in silly and creative costumes from RBG to hot dogs and more.

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  • Things to do
  • West Village

The now-abandoned Jekyll & Hyde Asylum is haunted. No one has entered in decades, but nearby residents have complained to authorities of unexplained sounds and moving shadows coming from within the asylum. Back in 1961, Dr E. Revel, the dean of the asylum, was taken into custody and charged for morbidly experimenting on his patients. The aftermath was gruesome, when the authorities discovered that most of the patients had been lobotomized. You decide to break into the old asylum to see if the rumors are true; but you arrive, you immediately get more than you bargained for. The first thing you see is a woman with long black hair in front of her face and her mouth opening ajar to reveal hundreds of sharp incisors. 

If you want to stay around after that, there's live entertainment at the Jekyll & Hyde Club, where creatures and memorabilia come to life and interact with you while you enjoy your meal and drinks.

  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

Ulster Park's Headless Horseman Haunted Hayrides and Haunted Houses is replacing its hayrides with a haunted walk called "The Haunting of Pumpkin Jack" that'll give New Yorkers an opportunity to slowly pass the creepy crawly things in the darkness and see the headless horseman himself.

"Are you brave enough to walk into the darkness of the Horseman's trail to find Pumpkin Jack and come face to face with the Headless Horseman? It can be done, but can you do it? How fast can you walk? Will the Horseman catch you? Some questions can't be answered until you Walk the dark trail!"

The experience is not kid-friendly, so no one's surprised. There's no doubt that new rules about social distancing are behind the new experience—the park says all guests and staff will be wearing face masks and distancing throughout the event.

Other things to do for Halloween

  • Things to do

Get ready ghouls and girls for an epic Halloween in NYC! The city is bursting with terrifying haunted houses, Halloween parties and more pumpkin-packed events. Whether you enjoy getting seriously spooked while watching the scariest horror films of all time or prefer to celebrate Halloween by leaf peeping while visiting some of the greatest fall getaways from NYC, we’ve got you covered.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in fall

  • 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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  • Bars

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

  • 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

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Don’t miss the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze!

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