Hudson Valley Can Get Pretty Scary at This Time Of The Year

The Hudson Valley is already a prime location for Halloween experiences. There are plenty of tried-and-true haunted houses, haunted hay rides, corn mazes and the like. Here are two that are brand new to the list of creepy and eerie ways to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve.

The Dark House has opened up for some scary business in Putnam County. The house and the accompanying shenanigans awaiting brave souls is located along the Hamlet of Garrison, along the Hudson River, just beyond a quiet country road, and behind the Metro North train tracks. Prepare to have your four senses go on overload as one is led blindfolded, but carefully, through a haunted house using only the other senses doing the work.  

Called a “new, immersive horror experience,” The Dark House is a production of Psycho Clan, and it held a similar event in Manhattan in 2019. The organization was also behind the “Nightmare Haunted House” that ran on the Lower East Side (among other places) for 14 seasons. Member Timothy Haskell, who is also one of the creators, has now brought the scariness about 90 minutes north.  Well, why should New York City have all the screams?

Attendees are given high-tech headphones and listen to an audio story lay out the plot, using actors in various roles. The show’s live helpers, donned in white coats, guide guests along as the story progresses; at one point, there’s a crowded bar scene, then a simulated van ride to the Haunted House – all taking place in our mind as we hear an incredibly realistic story. Once at the door of the haunted house, the creepiness escalates as we begin to wonder how much this the place is haunted, how will the entity show itself to us, and how will we react. The experience itself is a test of inner calm because one must give up a bit of control, not only by wearing a blindfold, but also by not knowing seeing what’s ahead of us in the darkened world. 

Photos by Russ Rowland

Nightmare NYC

Philipstown Depot Theatre, 10 Garrisons Landing, Garrison.

On the other side of the Hudson Valley, delightfully carved pumpkins have been created for a walk-thru experience at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. While you may have thought the infamous site only operates during the outdoor concert season, make note that the place has educational, musical, and holiday events. 

The Peace, Love & Pumpkins is a true family friendly walk through the garden trails of their beautiful grounds, viewing unique, hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and glowing art. Some of the shapes include Woodstock festival icons, dinosaurs, mermaids, and even “Big Foot” makes an appearance. 

The walk is a little over a half a mile, so comfy shoes are recommended. The upcoming Halloween weekend event features seasonal food and beverages, but don’t leave until you check out the live, carving demonstrations and pumpkin patch.

The event runs through October 31.  (This is a rain or shine event.)

Peace, Love & Pumpkins is presented by The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark and supported by Sullivan Catskills.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

About MJ Hanley-Goff (105 Articles)
MJ Hanley-Goff has been contributing to WomanAroundTown since its inception in 2009. She began her career at Newsday and for ten years wrote for the Sunday Real Estate section. A move to the Hudson Valley brought her to the Times Herald-Record where she continued to write for a Sunday Real Estate section, and also joined the writing team at the monthly Orange Magazine. MJ then became editor of Hudson Valley Parent magazine, and contributed articles to Hudson Valley Magazine, AAA’s Car & Travel, and Tri-County Woman. After completing her novel and a self-help book, she created MJWRITES, INC. and conducts writing workshops, and as a self-proclaimed book “whisperer,” works with new writers on their books. Now back on Long Island, she continues to enjoy the opportunity to write for Woman Around Town, and the amazing adventures it offers, including reviewing concerts, events, and tourist attractions in New York, and around the world. “I particularly enjoy drawing attention to the off the beaten path kinds of events and experiences,” she says. “It’s great big world out there, with so many talented and creative artists, doers, and thinkers.”