Between the wackos running rampant and pedestrians who resemble
professional rugby players, New York is not for the faint of heart.
That’s why the lines of shock-hardened citizens curl around the block to
attend haunted houses around Halloween. These spooky spots may make
even the most stalwart New Yorkers run away screaming.
Steampunk Haunted House
466 Grand St.
The Third Rail Projects are scare-ifying “Alice in Wonderland” at the Abron Arts Center. The house has a high-fashion, high-concept look mixing Victorian invention with dance, music and a creepy sense of foreboding. You’ll encounter the characters of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, but check Disney fantasy expectations at the door. www.steam punkhauntedhouse.com
Blackout Haunted House
54 W. 39th St.
Walking through this crazy house makes you face a battery of really terrifying situations. If you have any baggage (and we’re not talking credit card debt) be forewarned that actual bad, icky things lurk beyond the opening black plastic entry point, where screams and whistles freak out people in line before they even walk in. The best part is spreading the word after the fact: Nobody will believe you until they see it. www.blackoutnyc.com
163 Varick St.
When a crew of people suspend themselves from hooks to entertain the visitors in line, you know the haunted house is going to be extreme. Blood Manor has more than 40 performers tricked out in all manner of creepware. If you happen to wet your pants — and owner Jim Faro promises it happens all the time — you get a free T-shirt (but, alas, no dry pants). www.blood manor.com
Madame Tussaud’s After Dark: The Haunting
234 W. 42nd St.
If wax versions of celebrities don’t creep you out, this haunted house will up the ante. Wax statues come to life and special effects worthy of Times Square make this haunted walk even scarier than the judgmental glare of a wax Simon Cowell. www. madametussauds.com
Nightmare: Fairy Tales
107 Suffolk St.
There are no Disney princesses in this winding forest of dark and evil fairy tales. Tricks of shadow and creepy monsters lurking in the dark are part of the experience along with plenty of blood and scary surprises. Using the kinds of stories where witches eat little children and ladies are locked in towers, it’s easy to see how the stories can go straight down the evil expressway into death and doomsville.
For the kids (and the cowards):
Haunted Pumpkin Garden at New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
The creepiest thing you may encounter at this haunted walk is a scarecrow, but the ornately carved pumpkins and educational programs (owl pellets! Bugs!) mean that the little ones will surely find their own version of the great pumpkin. (Or just some great pumpkins.)
American Museum of Natural History Halloween
Central Park West at 79th St.
Kids will be relieved to know that the dinosaur skeletons don’t come to life just because it’s Halloween. There will be characters like Curious George and the Cat in the Hat wandering the museum as kids in costume can trick-or-treat and listen to music from children’s entertainers.