Halloween is Tourist Season in the Lower Hudson Valley and Here's Why

Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and surrounding areas offer visitors and residents a multitude of October attractions.

Credit author Washington Irvington for the emergence of Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and neighboring communities as an October tourism destination.

Irving brought readers an enchanted and enduring awareness of a "small market town" and a "sequestered glen" situated along the Hudson River inhabited by descendants of the early Dutch settlers and known respectively as Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. He was responsible for the consciousness of fantasy, ghosts and the supernatural in American literature.

Visitors can enjoy an educational visit to Irving's charming and historic cottage in Tarrytown or take in some of the nearby Halloween-related events planned for the month of October. 

Events of special interest include: 

"Horseman's Hollow" in Sleepy Hollow, introduced in 2010 by Historic Hudson Valley, is the area's newest and scariest attraction. Visitors, as they follow a haunted trail, encounter ghosts, spirits from colonial American days and other terrifying creatures played by professional actors. Children under 14 and the faint-hearted should pass this event by.

"This year, we set out to make Horseman's Hollow even scarier," said Rob Schweitzer, a spokesperson for Historic Hudson Valley. 

"Visitors told us that Claustrophobia, a darkened and extremely narrow passage that you have to fight to get through, was the most frightening part of the walk," Schweitzer said. "So we doubled the size of that element of the trip and added additional scary surprises to further terrorize those who enter. To say more about what we did would give away too much. Visitors can experience Horseman's Hollow for themselves and find out if they can handle it." 

 at Sunnyside is much tamer. Its performers are ghost story tellers, musicians, magicians, puppeteers, and a mime scarecrow. Kids will have opportunities to play old-fashion games and construct their own scarecrows.

is a recital by Jonathan Kruk of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving, and a long standing, story telling local tradition at Halloween time. Live spooky organ music by Jim Keyes accompanies Kruk as he spins his tale.    

Get haunted for a good cause. "The Morgue" is the theme of this year's haunted house exhibit at hauntforhospice.com at Brookside Garden in Tomkins Cove. There are graveyards that come alive, animatronics that look so real they are bound to scare you!  Visit the living shed (or should we say the dead shed) where you will meet the mortician and his zombies! 

The goal is to raise $10,000. It's held in memory of Joan Bender, Oct. 22 and 23, 29 and 30 from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Do you dress your pets up for Halloween? At noon Oct. 23 at the Pet Palace in New City the annual costume contest also comes with fun, food, music, raffles, prizes. Proceeds help the New City Fire Department.

, as it does every year, schedules a Rocky Horror Picture Show night. The admission cost is $10 per person and for an extra $4, moviegoers can purchase a viewer's participation kit. The film will be projected at 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 29.

The is a wild 'n woolly event that draws participants from all over the metropolitan region. More than 20,000 are expected this year. There are prizes for best float and best costume—and the categories include kids, families and groups. It's 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 with a rain date of Oct. 23. Go here to register or just show up; get there early to enjoy live music and sponsored activities.

A two-hour walking tour, conducted by the Historical Society, starts at Patriot's Park and journeys past historic sites and buildings in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. The dates for the tour are Oct. 9, 15 and 23 and the cost is $19.99 per person.

2011 Halloween Event Schedule

  1. Now to Nov. 6. The Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze, Van Cortlandt Manor, Croton on Hudson, selected dates, timed admission by reservation
  2. Oct. 1-31. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, self-guided tours, 8 a.m. (8:30 on Sunday) to 4:30 p.m. 
  3. Oct. 8-30. Horseman's Hollow, Philipsburg Manor, Sleepy Hollow, 12 selected evenings
  4. Oct. 8-9. Irving's 'Legend,' Old Dutch Church, Sleepy Hollow, starts at 5 p.m. 
  5. Oct. 8-30. Legend Celebration, Washington Irving's Sunnyside, selected days, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  6. Oct. 8-9. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, guided tours, 8 a.m. and 2 pm. 
  7. Oct. 9. Scarecrow Autumn Festival, Lyndhurst, Oct. 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  8. Oct. 9. Ghosts of Tarryhollow Tour, The Historical Society, Tarrytown, 1 p.m. 
  9. Oct. 10-31. Scarecrow Invasion, Lyndhurst, estate walk, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  10. Oct. 14. Halloween Masquerade Ball, YMCA, Main Street, Tarrytown, 7:30 p.m. to midnight 
  11. Oct. 15. Scarecrow Making, Patriot's Park, Tarrytown, 10:30 a.m.
  12. Oct. 15. Pumpkin Painting, Kingsland Point Park, Sleepy Hollow, 11:30 a.m. 
  13. Oct. 15. Ghosts of Tarryhollow Tour, The Historical Society, Tarrytown, 11 a.m.
  14. Oct. 15-16. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, guided tours, 8 a.m. and 2 pm. 
  15. Oct. 19. Window Painting, Broadway, Tarrytown, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  16. Oct. 21. Third Friday Halloween, multiple events,Tarrytown, 5 p.m.
  17. Oct. 21. "Rip Van Winkle," play reading at Christ Church, Tarrytown, 7:30 p.m.
  18. Oct. 22. Fun 10K Run, starts at Morse School, Sleepy Hollow, 9 a.m.
  19. Oct. 22. Rag-a-Muffin Parade, starts at Patriot's Park, Tarrytown, 2 p.m.
  20. Oct. 22., 5:30 p.m.
  21. Oct. 22-23. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, guided tours, 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  22. Oct. 23. Pet costume contest, noon, Pet Palace, New City.
  23. Oct. 23. Ghosts of Tarryhollow Tour, The Historical Society, Tarrytown, 1 p.m.
  24. Oct. 22-23, 29-30. "The Morgue" haunted house from hauntforhospice.com Brookside Garden in Tomkins Cove.
  25. Oct. 28-29. Sleepy Hollow Trick or Treat, children’s activities, 3 to 5 p.m.
  26. Oct. 28-29. Sleepy Hollow Block Party, 5 to 11 p.m. 
  27. Oct. 29. Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tarrytown Music Hall, 11:30 p.m. 
  28. Oct. 29. Halloween Parade, starts at Patriot's Park, Tarrytown, 5:30 p.m. 
  29. Oct. 29-30. Sleepy Hollow Halloween Hayride, 7 to 11 p.m.  
  30. Oct. 29-30. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, guided tours, 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. 
  31. Oct. 30. Halloween Parade, Village of Irvington, NY, on Main Street
  32. Oct. 31. Sleepy Hollow Halloween Parade, Morse School, 5:30 p.m. 

The Warner Library in Tarrytown has an extensive Halloween activity schedule that includes story telling by Jonathan Kruk on Oct. 13 at 7:15 p.m. and Oct. 30 at 3:15 p.m., crafts instruction on Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m., a concert by Marlene VerPlanck on Oct. 23 at 2:30 p.m., and a reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum,” by Alan Sklar on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. 

Jerry Eimbinder October 07, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Scarecrow builders get the clothing, straw, accessories and decorative materials needed for construction at a benefit to be held in Scarsdale on Oct. 16. Three sessions: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Team cost for assembling a scarecrow: $40. Proceeds go to White Plains Hospital. Call 914-681-2440 or click on Annual Scarecrow Festival box at www.wphospital.org.
Jerry Eimbinder October 07, 2011 at 08:02 PM
An adult Halloween-costume fundraiser party at Westchester County's Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial in Somers will be held at the main house on Oct. 28 from 7 to 11 p.m. A model train display is planned for Oct. 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Party tickets cost $30 per person. Train show admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12. For more information, go to www.parks.westchestergov.com or call 914-864-7268.
Jerry Eimbinder October 09, 2011 at 01:58 PM
March your pet in the Yonkers annual Halloween Pet Parade on Oct. 30. Outfit it in Halloween-appropriate costume attire. Puppies must be vaccinated. For more information, go to www.yonkersdowntown.com or call 914-969-6660.
J. Cattano October 11, 2011 at 02:36 PM
It would be great if the villages - especially SLEEPY HOLLOW did a little Halloween decorating, Come on folks !!
Jerry Eimbinder October 24, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Tickets can be purchased online for the Sleepy Hollow Haunted Hayride for Friday Oct. 28 and Saturday Oct. 29. Go to www.sleepyhollowny.gov Important details: Tickets are good either night. First come first serve. Parents or guardians of children ages 8 and under should use discretion. Tickets purchased after Tuesday, Oct. 25 at noon must be picked up at the ticket booth in front of Village Hall at 28 Beekman Ave, Sleepy Hollow, NY. Bring email receipt to pick up tickets. Beekman Avenue block parties will be held on both hayride nights starting at 5 p.m. Music, children’s activities, trolley ride and street vendors. Downtown "Trick or Treating" and children’s activities from 3 to 5 pm. on Friday, Oct. 28.


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