Going Places Near & Far… Best Places for Halloween: Spooks, Spirits, Ghouls & Witches Take Over October in Salem and Sleepy Hollow

Going Places Near & Far…  Best Places for Halloween: Spooks, Spirits, Ghouls & Witches Take Over October in Salem and Sleepy Hollow

Cry Innocent at The Old Town Hall: Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and you are on the Puritan jury, just one of the Haunted Happenings events in Salem © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com





No need to wait for October 31 for Halloween, and why should such a spirited festival be confined to just one eerie night anyway? Halloween festivities are under way in Salem, the epicenter for witchcraft and spooky stuff throughout October, with an official kickoff on Oct. 5 with the 22nd Annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, as well as weekends in Historic Hudson Valley where the Headless Horseman will again ride through Sleepy Hollow and pumpkins will be ablaze at Philips Manor.

And, October 31 will feature the 44th annual Halloween Parade, in New York City, the biggest public Halloween parade in the world (you have to be in costume to march in the parade), this year themed, “Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie,” but there are many opportunities to participate, like taking part in the puppet-making workshops, during the month.

22nd Annual Haunted Happenings in Salem

Salem’s 22nd Annual Haunted Happenings kicks off at 6:30 pm on Oct. 5 with its Grand Parade through downtown Salem. This year’s event is themed “Movie Monsters”. This time honored kick off of the Halloween season is full of color, pageantry, music and the enthusiasm of thousands of Salem’s students from kindergarten to college and our local business owners. Salem Chamber Of Commerce

Ongoing events throughout the month include:

Daemonologie at Pioneer Village, West Ave. Forest River Park  Sept. ​29, ​​Oct. 6, ​​13, ​20 ​ ​and ​ 27. Daemonologie is a game theater experience that places the audience at a witch hunt in a 1680 village where magic is real and the threat is imminent. The audience is responsible (or complicit) in the outcome of the story. “We encourage the audience to be curious, use information wisely, and be brave.” Only the audience can bring the real guilty party to justice, and only the audience can change a tragic outcome. No one under the age of 18 permitted.  Daemonologie

Salem Horror Fest, Sept. 21-Oct. 15: Screenings, parties, exhibits, concerts, panels, discussions, and celebrity appearances in the Halloween capital of the world! Film schedule and tickets: Salem Horror Fest

Wicked Wednesdays Family Events, an ongoing series of family-friendly Halloween-themed entertainment and creative activities at various venues.
Faint of Art-Salem Arts Association Exhibit, Salem Arts Gallery and Shop, 211 Bridge St. Saturdays and Sundays, Noon until 6:00 PM. Salem Arts Association Presents “Faint of Art” –  Our annual PEM inspirational that allows local artists to interpret concepts of fear, suspense, and horror. Faint Of Art

Live Music at the Fountain Stage, weekends in October. Museum Place Mall, Essex St. Purgatorium 2 presents live concerts by local musicians – Schedule of performances

“It’s Alive!” Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Poster Art Exhibit, Peabody Essex Museum – 161 Essex St. August 12 – November 26. Featuring 135 works of classic movie poster art from the collection of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett that provide insight into the evolution of horror and sci-fi films and how they have played upon contemporary societal fears.  Horror And Sci-Fi Art Exhibition

The Witches Three, The Witchery, 37 Turner St. 339-203-1307 Saturdays, October @ 3:33 pm (Additional shows based on demand): Live music and theatrical performance centered around The Witch in her many aspects. Tickets / $13  Running time about 45 minutes.  The Witches Three

Salem Open Market: Juried arts market along Essex Street and Derby Square brings together the area’s most talented indie craftspeople and designers in an open air market setting. Weekends. Salem Open Market

The Whoop Di “Boo” Revue, Oct. 28, 29, 30, Bolles Hall at 211 Bridge St. Neverland Theatre presents a ghoulishly-fun Halloween-themed one-hour musical comedy show geared to family audiences. Neverland Theatre

Kids Carnival, Salem Common, Washington Sq. 11am-5pm. Saturdays and Sundays through October. Small rides, inflatables, entertainers, face painting, balloons, and more. A portion of proceeds to benefit non-profit partners Salem Main Streets and Salem Common Neighborhood Association. There is no admission fee to enter the carnival. Tickets for rides are $3/ticket or $15 for an unlimited daily wristband. Each ride costs 1 ticket. Kids Carnival On The Common

Dark of Night at Pioneer Village, West Ave. – Forest River Park  Oct. 14, 21, 28. In candle-lit cottages at the dark forest’s edge, ghostly tales are told. Seating is limited! Parking at Forest River Park is free. Schedule and ticket purchase: Dark Of Night

The Salem Haunted Magic Show-Hysteria; Phobias! St. Peter’s Church Hall Theater, 24 Saint Peter’s St. October 1-31 New LIVE 75 minute show featuring Mentalist & Mind Reader Christopher Grace, filled with magic, bizarre demonstrations of mind reading, wild comedy and audience participation. Salem Haunted Magic Show

Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop, Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, daily thru October. The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and YOU are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. Is Bridget Bishop capable of witchcraft? The outdoor arrest scene begins approximately 15 minutes before show time. During the show, the audience may step into role as Puritan jurors. Tickets and schedule: Cry Innocent

The House of 7 Gables, the inspiration for Hawthorne’s famous novel, presents Spirits of the Gables and Legacy of the Hanging Judge during the Haunted happenings events in Salem © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

OCTOBER NIGHTS AT THE GABLES  House Of 7 Gables – 115 Derby St. 978-744-0991
Spirits of the Gables: Get swept into Hawthorne’s tale of guilt, greed and revenge as the characters from The House of the Seven Gables (1851), come to life and recount their stories while you walk through the very house that inspired Hawthorne’s timeless novel.
Legacy of the Hanging Judge takes visitors back through Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth home to the events of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, through the eyes of the author, whose own ancestor, Judge John Hathorne had a hand to play in the tragic events of 1692.
October 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 from 8 – 10:30PM. 35-minute performances begin every 10 minutes in The Nathaniel Hawthorne birth house. Combination tickets available. Reservations highly recommended. October Nights At The Gables

Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, Museum Place Mall – 176 Essex St. 10am-10pm Oct. 1- Oct. 31
Hosted by Christian Day, Brian Cain, and the Witches of Salem, features the Witch City’s most gifted Psychics. Wander an emporium of magical gifts, meet real practicing Witches.  Psychic Fair

Festival of the Dead Event Series: Various events from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31. Locations include: 184 Essex St, Museum Place Mall, Hawthorne Hotel, Salem Common. Halloween is the time of year when the shades of the dead whisper from forgotten places and spirits walk among us. The Witches of Salem honor this time with Festival of the Dead, an annual event series that explores death’s macabre customs, heretical histories, and strange rituals. Presented by Salem Warlock Christian Day and hosted by the foremost authorities on the spirit world, Listing of events: Festival Of The Dead

Haunted Dinner Theater-Be Witched! Weekends from Sept. 29th through Nov. 4th. Locations at Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Sq. W, and Finz Seafood & Grill at Pickering Wharf (10/20, 10/27 and 10/28). One of the most famous witches of all time, Samantha Stevenson, comes to town to host a party for her husband’s co-workers and chaos ensues! Before the evening gets underway, you’ll feast on our legendary buffets and work with your table mates to solve clues AND interrogate suspects! Audience members will be playing minor roles, telling their own tales as well as giving necessary clues to discovering the mystery of who’s behind the mayhem. Haunted Dinner Theater

In addition, there are many individual events throughout the month including costume parties, like the DARQ Zombie Prom 2017 (Oct. 7, Koto, 90 Washington St.); Heaven & Hell Party at Sea Level (Oct. 26, Sea Level Oyster Bar, 94 Wharf St. Pickering Wharf,); Super Heroes Ball at Colonial Hall, (Oct. 27, Rockafellas Restaurant – Colonial Hall); Wicked Night on the Wharf (Oct. 28, Salem Waterfront Hotel); 9th Annual Zombie Prom at Victoria Station (Oct. 28, Victoria Station, 86 Wharf St.); Rockafellas Heaven & Hell Ball (Oct. 28, Rockafellas Restaurant  231 Essex St.); and Gulu-Gulu Halloween Party (Oct. 31, Gulu-Gulu Cafe, 247 Essex St.)


Official Salem Witches Halloween Ball, Friday, Oct. 27 at the Hawthorne Hotel – 18 Washington Sq. W 978.744.4080/800.SAY.STAY  7:30pm  18+  Join Christian Day, Brian Cain, and the Witches of Salem with guests Dragon Ritual Drummers for a night of magic, music, and powerful rituals at Salem’s most magical Halloween party! Join us as in days of old when fires burned on every hilltop and Witches gathered to feast, rejoice, and cast spells for the new year! Salem Witches Halloween Ball

Hawthorne Hotel Costume Ball (Oct. 28) Hawthorne Hotel – 18 Washington Sq. W  978.744.4080 / 800.SAY.STAY  21+  The hotel transforms into an unrivaled see-and-be-seen spectacle that takes place across 3 floors. This year’s theme is “Hollywood Horror.” Winners in categories such as best individual, best group, best themed costume are awarded cash prizes. With Live band, 2 DJ’s and food stations, this is a party that cannot be missed!  Hawthorne Hotel

There are also scores of haunted houses, psychics and witch shops and tours. Take time to visit Salem’s many important historic sites that go back to colonial times, including:

House of the Seven Gables: Discover 330 years of Salem’s history as you experience the museum and collection of historic buildings. Built in 1668, this is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England. The House of the Seven Gables inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his legendary novel of the same name. 115 Derby St.  (978) 744-0991 The House Of The Seven Gables

The Witch House, home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Corwin was called upon to investigate the claims of diabolical activity when a surge of witchcraft accusations arose. He served on the court which ultimately sent nineteen to the gallows. 310 1/2 Essex St.  (978) 744-8815

The Witch House

Witch Dungeon Museum. You are there – in Salem Village in 1692, and you are guaranteed a unique educational experience with a chill or two. You’ll experience the acclaimed performance of a Witch trial adapted from the 1692 historical transcripts. Most chilling is that it is real. 16 Lynde St.  (978) 741-3570 Witch Dungeon Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum, the nation’s oldest continuously operating museum. The PEM’s collections of contemporary and historic American, Asian, Maritime, Oceanic, Native American, and African art and culture, as well as its archival library and historic American and Chinese houses, are among the finest of their kind. 161 Essex St  978-745-9500, Peabody Essex Museum

Salem Maritime National Historic Site – National Park Service: The Custom House was built in 1819 and housed offices of the U.S. Customs Service, as well as an attached warehouse used for the storage of bonded and impounded cargo. 176 Derby St.  (978) 740-1650  The Custom House

See calendar and get information at http://salemhalloweencity.com/halloween-events-activities-salem/.

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley: Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manner and Horseman’s Hollow at Philipsburg.

Fanciful figures made of jack o’lanterns are just a few of the 7,000 illuminated jacks on The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, a hugely popular family-friendly walk-through experience at Van Cortlandt Manor. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ ‘Blaze’ Halloween Events Return to Historic Hudson Valley

Washington Irving’s macabre tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” is the inspiration for Horseman’s Hollow, a spectacularly produced interactive Halloween haunted attraction at the colonial-era Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

It is one of a series of Historic Hudson Valley’s Halloween season spectacular events, the largest Halloween events in the tri-state area, which draw more than 150,000 visitors to Sleepy Hollow Country. They take place in several Historic Hudson Valley venues, each one an important attraction.

The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze®, Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 South Riverside Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson, (Sept. 29-30, Oct. 1, 5-9, 12-31 and Nov. 2-5, 9-12, 17-18, 24-25)

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying Halloween event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a breathtaking display — all made of jack o’ lanterns. In this elaborate, hugely popular walk-through experience, see more than 7,000 illuminated jacks, all designed and individually hand-carved on site by a team of artisans. Wander along the main street Pumpkin Promenade and stroll across the Pumpkin Zee Bridge. You will discover an awe-inspiring jack o’lantern Statue of Liberty.

See a fully functioning, 20-foot diameter Pumpkin Carousel with a variety of pumpkin creatures along for the ride. (Gourds only, no humans on this one!)

Feel the earth shake as you approach Jurassic Park, where a herd of pint-sized dinosaurs mingles with an enormous T-Rex, brontosaurus, triceratops, and flying pterodactyl. And don’t miss Sleepy Hollow Country’s most iconic inhabitant, the Headless Horseman…yes, all made entirely of jack o’lanterns!

Complete with sound effects, elaborate synchronized lighting and an all-original soundtrack by recording artist Richard Christy, this not-to-be-missed spectacle is the area’s most innovative fall-inspired happening.

All admissions are by timed ticket only, which MUST be purchased in advance. Buy tickets online at www.hudsonvalley.org or call 914-631-8200. Online admission is: Adults $20 ($25 Friday and Saturday); Children $16 ($20 Friday and Saturday); and free for members and children under 3.

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley: Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manner and Horseman’s Hollow at Philipsburg.

Look closely and you will see The Headless Horseman himself in jack o’lanterns at The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Horseman’s Hollow, Philipsburg Manor, 381 N Broadway (Route 9), Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. (Oct. 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 26-31)
Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow transforms Philipsburg Manor into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. Visitors begin walking a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. Creatures, human and otherwise, lurk in the shadows, ready to terrify the unsuspecting while incredible special effects disorient and unsettle. Those who survive the trail enter the ruins of Ichabod’s Schoolhouse, where they must endure a twisted maze of horrors, only to end up in the lair of the Horseman.

This is Sleepy Hollow’s premier haunted attraction, right in the heart of the village. Not suitable for small children or the faint of heart (and they mean it). Enter at your own risk!

All admissions are by timed ticket only, which MUST be purchased in advance. Buy tickets online at www.hudsonvalley.org or call 914-631-8200. Online admission is $20 ($25 Saturday); $5 discount for members.

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley: Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manner and Horseman’s Hollow at Philipsburg.

At Horseman’s Hollow, Philipsburg Manor, you may well encounter the Headless Horseman in the shadows. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Irving’s ‘Legend’, Old Dutch Church, 430 N. Broadway (Route 9), Sleepy Hollow, (Oct 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 26-31)
Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers a dramatic reading of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, featuring the Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, and Katrina Van Tassel. Flavored with live spooky organ music by Jim Keyes, Kruk’s storytelling captivates all audiences.

Admissions for this 45-minute performance are by timed ticket only, which MUST be purchased in advance. Performances are at 6:15, 7:30, and 8:45pm on Fridays and 1:30, 5, 6:15, and 7:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Buy tickets online at www.hudsonvalley.org. Online admission is: Adults $25; Children $20; $5 discount for members.

Sunnyside: Home of the ‘Legend’, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, 3 W Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown, (October 6-9, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28)

What better way to spend a haunt-filled weekend than at the homestead of Washington Irving, creator of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Irving’s fascinating home — a colorful blend of architectural styles — showcases numerous, previously unseen objects from HHV’s collection related to Irving’s famous story. Visitors can enjoy a shadow puppet performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and create Headless Horseman-themed art.

Timed tours every half hour starting at 10am. Last tour is at 3pm. Buy tickets online at www.hudsonvalley.org. Online admission is: Adults $16; Seniors $12; Children $8; and free for members and children under 3.

All events are held rain or shine. Proceeds support Historic Hudson Valley, the Tarrytown-based private, non-profit educational organization that owns and operates the historic sites that host these events.

Because of the popularity of these events, it is essential to purchase tickets in advance.

Buy tickets online at www.hudsonvalley.org or by calling 914-366-6900 ($2 per ticket surcharge for phone orders and for tickets purchased onsite, if available).

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley: Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manner and Horseman’s Hollow at Philipsburg.

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow transforms Philipsburg Manor into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

44th Annual Village Halloween Parade: ‘Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie’

New York City’s Sixth Avenue becomes a bestiary of fantastic hybrids, culled from the hallowed halls of Cryptozoology for the 44th Annual Village Halloween Parade, Oct. 31.

Hailed as the “Greatest Event on Earth” by Festival International for October 31 and a top event in NYC by Events International, Citysearch and Biz Bash, that nation’s largest public Halloween celebration features tens of thousands of costumed marchers, hundreds Halloween characters, giant masks and puppets, dozens of marching bands playing music from around the world stilt walkers, jugglers, break dancers and other street performers that turn the avenue into a mile-long stage.

The theme of the parade this year is “Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie” inspired by the likes of PT Barnum’s carnival-esque museum which featured “The Fiji Mermaid,” created with the head of a monkey on a taxidermied fish, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – the real and imagined curiosities, made all the more plausible by leading edge technology like CRISPR gene-splicing technology promises to unleash “a host of unholy hybrids into our midst,” writes Jeanne Fleming, long-time
Artistic and Producing Director of the Village Halloween Parade.

“Halloween, of course, revels in hybrids, mash-ups and the frisson of crossed identities. So, as we approach Frankenstein’s bicentennial, we are building our own Cabinet of Wonders, the Parade itself!

43rd Annual New York City Halloween Parade

New York City’s Village Halloween Parade is the largest in the world © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

“Official Parade Puppeteers will lead the way with a bestiary of fantastic hybrids, culled from the hallowed halls of Cryptozoology, inviting our volunteers to build and animate our imaginary menagerie in our annual puppet raisings.

“We call on everyone else to fill the route with creations of your own, bringing forth new life from old to create our own Imaginary Menagerie on Halloween Night!”

The NYC Village Halloween Parade, which has always encouraged young and upcoming artists, this year has selected one as grand marshal: Angelica Vox will be riding on a float designed by Alexei Kazantsev, its first ever done in a New Orleans style.

Here are tips to join the parade

  1. Be Creative – Wear Your Costume!ONLY costumed marchers are allowed in the Parade.
  2. Show Up on Sixth Ave at CANAL Street. Map

You can only enter this area from the EAST and SOUTH (from Sullivan, East Broome and Canal Streets). If you come from the West, enter ONLY from Canal Street.  This can get confusing and frustrating so follow these directions carefully! Here are the GPS Coordinates for the Entry Point: 40.7218599,-74.0053841 (Participant Entry Point)

  1. Arrive between 6:30pm and 9pmor you might miss the Parade! The subway is the best way to get there, parking is always difficult and the Parade makes it even worse.
  2. Find your friends, good music or a group to march with.Arrange to meet a block or two from the Parade route and come over together to the line-up. Even with cell phones, it is hard to hook up with people at the start. Nowadays the bands line-up apart from the general public, but there is so much good music in the Parade you are bound to hook up with some fun vibes to dance with.
  3. Follow the crowd up Sixth Avenue(please do not go down Sixth Avenue, the police will stop you!)
  4. Find a hotelbefore for the parade night. Most, if not all, hotels near the parade will be fully booked the night of, so make sure you book early! On trivago.comyou can easily find hotels by the parade, compare prices to suite any budget, and read reviews to find the perfect hotel.

(Note: The Halloween Parade is a 0% tolerance for alcohol event.)

43rd Annual New York City Halloween Parade

Giant Puppets are a famous feature of the Village Halloween Parade in NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

There is actually a Costume Contest (just show up and you are entered), and you can win prizes such as tickets to shows.

For spectators, the streets are most crowded between Bleecker and 14th Street, so you might consider getting there early or try another place along the route, which extends to 16th Street.

Come by subway:

Sixth Avenue (B,D,F,Q) to 23rd, 14th or West 4th Street Stations

Seventh Avenue (1,2,3,9) to 23rd, 18th, 14th, Sheridan Square or Houston Street

Eighth Avenue (A,C,E) to West 4th Street, Spring (this station is closest to the Line Up area) or Canal Street Stations

Puppet Workshops Invite Volunteers

Every year, the procession through Greenwich Village has been headed by an ever-changing menagerie of Giant Puppets and Special Costumed Performances. This entourage provides the kernel of inspiration around which the creative energies of the other 50,000 Parade participants. The artists and technicians responsible for these puppets work throughout the Summer and Fall in many locations around the Greater New York City area, Upstate New York, New Jersey, Boston, Cleveland and the North East.

These workshops are busy designing and fabricating new creations to fulfill the changing themes of each new Parade. Some 600 volunteers from the local communities and from New York City assist in the various stages of building, assembling and operating the puppets and costumes.

43rd Annual New York City Halloween Parade

The Village Halloween Parade is a showcase of creativity and art, turning Sixth Avenue into a mile-long stage © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Every weekend in October prior to the Parade, Village Halloween Parade Puppet Building workshops will be hosted by the Official Puppeteers of the Parade, Superior Concept Monsters, at its Puppetry Workshop in the Hudson Valley near Rhinebeck, NY.

“In return for your help, you get lunch and dinner, a spectacular walk to the Hudson River and a bonfire. Spend the day or the weekend out of the City and in our Puppet Barn…there is always a big pot of soup, some hot cider, tea, coffee and cookies to fill out a day of good company while learning techniques and actually constructing the puppets that will appear at the head of the Parade on Halloween night.”

The workshops are free and open to the public, but spaces are limited, so you must pre-register and provide your own transportation and housing if you plan to stay the weekend.

2017 Workshop Dates:  October 7, 14, 15 and 21; Rehearsal: October 21.

To register to take part in the Workshop, click here.

© 2017 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com,  www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin , and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to [email protected]. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures



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