What to do for Halloween in New York

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Recently a friend told me that she hated horror movies. Make this horror movie. Turns out she only saw one and failed: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Giving up horror after watching one of his most notoriously ghoulish movies with trembling fingers is like watching “The Sopranos” and swearing to leave New Jersey. Believe it from a horror movie fan: being afraid doesn’t have to be this distressing.

In time for Halloween, here’s a selection of in-person experiences around New York City, as well as movies to watch at home, to get the right dose of scare, whether you’re a curious newbie or a seasoned aficionado.

For families with children.

Until October 31, the Metrograph Theater offers digital streams of a 45 Minute Halloween Themed Cartoons Compilation the collection of archivist Tommy José Stathes, with action and animation shorts starring Felix the cat and Koko the clown. (It is recommended from 8 years old.) On Halloween, go to Cinema Forum for an 11 o’clock screening of the original “Frankenstein” (1931).

On Saturdays, costume contests for all ages are held at the Bronx Halloween Parade, where the entertainment lineup includes the Marching Cobras, a drum line; Mazarte, a Mexican dance company; and actress Sasha Merci, host of the show. The Spooky Cruise for Halloween Kids (October 23, 30 and 31) features panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and – you have been warned – unlimited Halloween-themed candy. Bamboo! at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (October 31) is a free block party with goody bags that kids can collect from decorated car trunks.

For families with kids, skip the “Pumpkinhead” movie and go for the real thing. Pumpkin tip turns Nolan Park on Governors Island into a family pumpkin; for a donation, you can bring home a pumpkin. Decker Farm on Staten Island features pumpkin carvings and a corn maze. Bring your own bag and stock up on pumpkins or explore the incredible corn maze at the Queens County Farm, who will host a trick or treat with farm animals on Halloween.

End your day with “That’s the Big Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” streaming on AppleTV +.

For beginners in horror.

After being canceled last year due to coronavirus, the New York City Village Halloween Parade is back on October 31st. Now in its 48th year, the parade runs Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street, starting at 7 p.m. and ending around 11 p.m. The Grand Marshal is comedian and YouTube star Randy Rainbow. If you can’t attend in person, the parade will be broadcast live on NY1 starting at 8 p.m.

“Universal horror” a new collection of eight films on Criterion Channel, highlights some of the legendary movie monsters, like Frankenstein and the Mummy, which originated at Universal Pictures in the 1930s. Highlights include the longer Spanish version and more racy of the original “Dracula” (1931), and Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in the macabre and Poe-inspired revenge tale “The Raven” (1935).

Ghost stories, real crime – and interior design? It is “Dark house,” a new podcast from House Beautiful magazine and the first podcast in Hearst’s 125-year history. The five-part series is free and explores the architectural elements of spooky homes across the country. One episode is about a house in the Hollywood Hills – where Jean Harlow and Sharon Tate’s boyfriend Jay Sebring once lived – that could be cursed.

The Brooklyn Brainery offers digital and in-person (and affordable!) lessons for adults who want to learn more about the spooky side of the story. Options include a “Murder at the Seaport” walking tour in Manhattan (October 23 for $ 25) and a virtual witch hunts class (October 27 for $ 7).

For a fear that will not prevent you from sleeping at night.

Guide New York ghosts the tour stops at so-called haunted locations across New York City, including the Jefferson Market Library, which once served as a women’s prison, and a revivalist Greek brownstone in the West Village known as the House of Death , where the ghost of Mark Twain, who lived there for a year, would roam.

For those chilly nights, stay home and read “Cruelly yours, Elvira”, the new memories of Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson), the longtime hostess and horror film entrepreneur. In it, she details her rise from a childhood in Kansas to a Las Vegas showgirl to a beloved horror personality. But she also recounts his chance meeting with Elvis and his relationship with a woman. Stream the horror comedy “Elvira, Mistress of Darkness” (1998) on Amazon Prime.

The Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan opened this month under the iconic building at 28 Liberty Street in the Financial District. “Lights of New York,” a film series set in and about the city, will feature the paranoid religious thriller “God Told Me To” (1976) and the gritty vampire film “The Addiction” (1995), running for one week from October 29.

For horror fans on a budget, the new streaming service Kino worship offers a free deep dive into cinematic weirdness. The collection includes bizarre films by Oscar winner Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”) and Italian master Mario Bava (“Black Sabbath”), as well as thematic collections like Flashback from the 70s and 80s (“The Pit”) and Drive -In the favorites (“Attention! The Blob”).

For those who love their horror black.

The black house in the Hudson Valley, inspired by WW Jacobs’ ghost story “The Toll House,” is an immersive theatrical experience that takes place entirely in the dark. Written and directed by Timothy Haskell, the story is told through a helmet you wear as you navigate the dark space, where sounds, tastes and smells emerge around you. The show continues through October 31 at the Philipstown Depot Theater in Garrison, NY

Theater-showBrooklyn’s quirky microcinema has reopened, and its Halloween offerings are still deliciously weird as ever. On Halloween night, the theater shows “Cemetery of Terror” (1985), a Mexican film about teenagers who bring a serial killer back from the dead.

The creative team behind Blood Manor, Lower Manhattan’s ultra-spooky haunted house (through November 6), takes a culinary twist this year with Nightmare on Beech Street, a “haunted dining experience” in Long Beach on Long Island. Costumed actors will interact with diners, who will choose from a menu that includes witch-haired pasta, the Death Wish-key cocktail, and Brain Hemorrhage, a chocolate brain-shaped dessert. The venue is open until 2 a.m. until October 31.


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