The Hudson Valley is home to a wide variety of haunted houses and spooky places, but it also offers a vast array of activities for people who want to have some Halloween fun without getting the living daylights scared out of them.
This year, perennial favorites like the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze are returning with new additions while several new events will make their mark in the region that is rich with Halloween history.
From haunted tours to hayrides, costume parties to festivals, below are some of the most noteworthy in the region, organized by county and date.
Oct. 5-Nov. 24: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Tours: Graveyards are often part of Halloween displays, but why settle for a fake one when you can see the real thing? The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is offering a variety of afternoon and evening tours to get you in the Halloween spirit. Guided tours, which are $19.99 to $24.99 per person, visit the resting places of some of Sleepy Hollow's most famous former residents. There are also themed events, including the "Murder and Mayhem" tour, which uncovers buried locals who were victims or perpetrators of crimes. All tours involve walking about a mile, so visitors should come prepared. Advance reservations are required. Info: 540 N. Broadway, Sleepy Hollow; 914-631-0081; sleepyhollowcemetery.org; tours are offered at various dates and times between Oct. 5 and Nov. 24.
Oct. 4-31: Lyndhurst After Dark: For the first time ever, Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown will open for nighttime tours. While the tour will feature atmospheric music and light decorations, the real scare comes from wandering alone around the former (fictional) home of Barnabas Collins from "Dark Shadows." To enhance the Halloween experience, visitors are encouraged to arrive in costume. Tickets are $25 per person and must be purchased in advance. The event is not recommended for children under age 6, and all minors must be accompanied by an adult. Info: 635 S. Broadway Tarrytown; 914-631-4481; lyndhurst.org/upcoming-events/ halloween; tours are offered at various dates and times between Oct. 4 and Oct. 31.
Oct. 6-Nov. 11: The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze: The eighth annual Jack O'Lantern Blaze returns to Westchester for 22 nights. Featuring more than 5,000 hand-carved pumpkins, the spectacle includes several themed areas, such as the Undersea Aquarium and Jurassic Park. For the first time, the Blaze will also feature original music and sound effects created by radio personality Richard Christy. The Blaze takes about 45 minutes to walk through and hours vary, depending on the day you visit. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $16 for adults ($20 on Saturdays), $12 for children ($16 on Saturdays) and free for Historic Hudson Valley members and children under 3. Info: Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 S. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson; www.hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze.
Oct. 6-Nov. 3: The Spirits Come Alive at St. James Churchyard: This guided lantern cemetery tour through the graveyard at St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park will do more than just show you where some of upstate New York's famous inhabitants now rest in peace. Famous residents, such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's mother, Sara, return to life before visitors' eyes through actor portrayals. One-hour tours run Saturday nights throughout the fall and leave every 15 minutes beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children under 17 and free for children under 12. Info: 4526 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park; www.stjameshistoricgraveyardtours.com.