4 Scariest Halloween Celebrations in the Northeast

Headless Horseman at Horseman's Hollow Halloween CelebrationA scary model of the Headless Horseman from the Horseman's Hollow Halloween Celebration
Tom Nycz/Historic Hudson Valley

Zombies, ghosts, and ghouls make these haunted attractions the creepiest out there.

Fair warning: These Halloween celebrations are not for everyone. With screams, (fake) blood, and surprises worthy of a Hollywood thriller, these haunted attractions are perfect for those who like to be scared out of their wits at least once each October. (If being terrified isn’t your thing, you may want to check out a soothing fall festival or indulge in some gorgeous leaf peeping instead.)

1. Horseman’s Hollow/The Unsilent Picture, Sleepy Hollow, NY

The spooky spirit of Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow is alive and well every October in Westchester County, less than an hour’s drive north of New York City. Horseman’s Hollow has terrifying characters and models on the grounds of one of New York’s most historic properties, Philipsburg Manor, maintained by Historic Hudson Valley. And this year a brand-new scary attraction is The Unsilent Picture, a silent movie starring Tony-Award-winning actor/dancer/clown Bill Irwin, presented under a tent on the manor grounds. (hudsonvalley.org)

2. Eastern State Penitentiary Terror Behind the Walls, Philadelphia, PA

A weekend or overnight to Philadelphia this time of year may offer the most terrifying Halloween thrill in America. Eastern State Penitentiary was closed long ago for its horrific treatment of inmates, and the fright fest they put on each fall includes lunatics, mad scientists, and other folks you wouldn’t care to meet in real life. (easternstate.org)

3. 13th Hour Haunted House, Wharton, NJ

This haunted house in New Jersey gets high marks for re-creating the feel of an actual run-down old house. You don’t feel as if you are visiting a theme park attraction, and that makes the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies all the more terrifying. 13th Hour offers a variety of experiences, including one in which you wander in complete darkness. And, 13th hour is also famous for its “escape room” experience. (13thhour.com)

4. Blood Manor, Tribeca, NYC

You don’t have to leave NYC to experience a haunted house. Blood Manor, in TriBeCa, is one of the hottest tickets in town. Some of the ghouls and zombies have a decidedly "downtown" goth vibe and look as if they shop at the iconic Trash & Vaudeville punk/both boutique in the East Village to be honest. New this year is a wake for a character named Baby Face, and a Killer Clown room that I, for one, will not be entering. (bloodmanor.com)

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