The BNR Guide to Halloween


Carved pumpkins, cobweb-decorated townhouses, and skeletons hanging from windows mark the start of one of the many festive fall holidays– Halloween! The weather is getting chillier, the leaves are turning yellow and red, and people are ready for a night full of fun scares and filled with candy. Here’s our NYC guide to things to do for Halloween, where to view the best decorations, and where you can find the best costumes.

Fun Halloween Facts!

  • Halloween originated in Ireland, where Celtics used to believe that ghosts would come to Earth on the day of Halloween. They dressed up and left treats out, believing this would make the ghosts leave them alone.
  • Around 1.31 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced every year for the fall season.
  • 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced every year for Halloween season.
  • Halloween is even sweeter than Valentine’s Day! In Halloween season, more than twice as much chocolate is sold than the period of time around Valentine’s Day. 90 million pounds of candy are sold just during Halloween week alone.
  • A couple of cities in the United States have banned trick-or-treating for people over a certain age. In Belleville, Illinois, children above 12 years old will be fined for going door-to-door.

Things to do on Halloween:

  • Blood Manor on 163 Varick Street is a famous classic haunted house with pitch black rooms, mazes, and scary creatures popping out from hidden spaces. This year the haunted house will be featuring a room with a killer clown among other horrors like Hannibal’s Hell, based off the infamous Hannibal storyline. Tickets are first come first serve for General Admission here. If you’re a student, you get the whole experience for only $25 ($10 discount). It will be open into the first weeks of November if you’re busy on Halloweekend!
  • If you truly want to be terrified, This is Real is an immersive experience where you can simulate a real-life horror situation where a psychotic murderer attempts to “kill” you. You and seven other victims would be dropped into a warehouse, and it’s your job to try to stay alive in the 70 minute experience! Tickets range from $95 on weekdays to $110 on weekends. See here.
  • Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel is located near Dumbo, Brooklyn at 186 Jay Street. They hold an annual Halloween haunted house that’s full of terror, created from scratch by students from the City Tech’s Theatreworks program. Haunted elements pop out based on sensors that track your body movements! Tickets are a great price at $10, and $5 for students with a student ID. Various times and tickets are listed on their website here.
  • Do something spooky for free! If you go to the Greenwich Village area, you can download a free app called Sidewalk for exciting and terrifying stories and images as you take a self-lead tour. Bring some friends and get spooked while learning about the ominous history of Greenwich Village and some of its buildings.

Best Trick-or-Treat Spots

  • Upper West Side: 69th Street between Broadway and Central Park gets decked out in haunted decorations each year– see pictures here!
  • Upper East Side: Word around town says that 78th between Park and Lexington have the most festive decorations and best candy in the neighborhood. Although, other streets around Park and Lexington Avenues in general are great places to trick or treat also!
  • Brooklyn: Halsey Street, Jefferson and Putnam Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant. There’s also the Clinton Hill Children’s Annual Halloween Walk that’s full of people dressed in extravagant costumes walking through streets that are known for their decorations and variety of candy options!
  • Lower East Side: 21st and 22nd streets between Ninth and Tenth Avenue

Festive Bars

  • Beetle House in East Village, 308 E 6th St, is known for its Tim Burton themed decorations and drinks. One of the most popular drinks is the “Big Fish Bowl,” a deep blue color and poured in a cup that’s almost the size of a person’s head! Check out their menu here, or make a reservation here! Seats fill up quickly so make sure to reserve ahead of time.
  • Sanatorium in Alphabet City (Lower East Side) is haunted hospital-themed bar, decorated with test tubes, x-ray light boxes, and skeletal drawings decorating the walls. Read more about it here.
  • “Sky High Halloween” hosted at the Hudson Terrace NYC is offering a deal for a rooftop dance party with a 1 hour vodka open bar, all for $15. Check it out!

No matter how your plans turn out, everything we recommend here is guaranteed to give you the spooky weekend, filled with fun, that you’ve always dreamed of! Happy Halloween from BNR!