Life on Long Island

The Dark Mansion of Shelter Island

La Maison Blanche Hotel and Restaurant on Shelter

La Maison Blanche Hotel and Restaurant on Shelter Island Heights near Crescent Beach has indoor and outdoor seating. (July 9, 2011) (Credit: Randee Daddona)

In many ways the name Shelter Island is very appropriate. Just ask all the Long Islanders who’ve never been there.

There is definitely some distance between the water-locked Suffolk town and much of both its own county and Nassau County – not to mention that it takes a ferry to get and leave there. But as “sheltered” as it is, the phones all operate on the same 631 area code that works from Montauk to Melville. Yet, if you are not from there, and you ask around within your circle of local friends and family, it is likely you’ll find a significant portion of people who have never made the trip (possibly including yourself).

Perhaps that is why -- even during the summer, Shelter Island’s busiest season -- there is a minimum of media mention concerning its many events that take place throughout the year. In fact, look around for Halloween happenings online or in magazines, and it is probable that there aren’t any Shelter Island entries listed at all. But no worries if this tract of land floating between Greenport and North Haven is either your year-round home or just a spot you’ll be visiting during the last two weekends of October, as there absolutely is a “haunted house” waiting for you.

It’s “The Dark Mansion,” and it’s located at La Maison Blanche Hotel and Restaurant (11 Stearns Point Rd., Shelter Island Heights, 631-749-1633, Ordinarily known as a beach-oriented, garden hotel, from Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 26-28 (from 7 p.m.-10 p.m.) there will be a unique, interactive Halloween romp set to go, equipped with its own special style.

The Dark Mansion bills itself as “Long Island’s Artistic Haunted House” – an assertion supported by its use of handmade décor and props, a devised dark maze and lots of bloody depictions, coffins, torture devices, optical illusions and other creepy enactments served with a creative twist. Admission is $15, with a portion of the proceeds going to breast cancer research. Furthermore, anyone who’d like to get into the act themselves can attend on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 27, at 9 p.m., when the Mansion will host a costume party. For more information, call 631-749-1633, email, check the house’s Facebook page ( or its website (

Tags: Dark Mansion , Halloween , haunted house , hotel , La Maison Blanche , scary , art , maze , Shelter Island , costume

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