Top 5 places to celebrate Halloween 2011 in New York City: Haunted houses, a death tour and the Village Halloween Parade

October 31st is rapidly approaching. Are you still looking for Halloween plans? Find inspiration with our top 5 fun and freaky ways to celebrate our favorite holiday in New York City.

#1. Blood Manor haunted house

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Ghoulish performers at the Blood Manor haunted house, October 2011.

Don’t miss the Blood Manor haunted house, one of the most creative (and gory) Halloween experiences in Manhattan. The popular SoHo attraction boasts an intricate set and actors in elaborate makeup and costumes. Blood Manor’s passionate performers never break character and many have invented their own ghoulish personas. The thrills keep coming at this haunted house; our favorite feature this year is a unique 3D room with zombie go go dancers.  Grab a group of friends and get ready to scream your heart out!

When: October 7 through November 5, 2011
Where: 163 Varick Street, Manhattan, NY
Cost: General admission tickets are $35 at the door, or $25 when purchased in advance
For more details visit the official website.

#2. Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

A New York institution since 1973, the Village Halloween Parade is the place  to see crazy costumes and outrageous people.  It’s a lot like another famous West Village event, the Gay Pride Parade.  Anyone can walk in the parade; just show up at the start of the parade route a few hours before the start time.  This event gets incredibly crowded, so latecomers will have to settle for watching from the sidelines. Every New Yorker should check out this boisterous parade at least once– and make sure to bring your camera!

When: Monday, October 31st from 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Where: Straight up 6th Avenue, from Spring Street to 16th Street
Cost: Free
To Participate: Show up in costume at the parade entrance on 6th Avenue between Spring and Broome Streets.  Make sure to arrive well before 6:30pm.
For more details, check out the official website.
Video credit: The 38th Annual Village Halloween Parade Extravaganza from Kadshah Nagibe on Vimeo.

#3. Dead Apple Tours celebrity death tour

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Downtown Traveler editor Leslie Koch on a Dead Apple tour of Manhattan.

Looking for a unique way to get your spook on? Go on a creepy (and informative) celebrity death tour with Dead Apple Tours. Riding around Manhattan in a customized vintage hearse, you’ll pass the scenes of the city’s most infamous and tragic deaths– from Heath Ledger to Sid and Nancy. Dead Apple Tours owner Drew Raphael leads the tours himself, and offers juicy tidbits about New York City history (in addition to stories of his punk-era youth).

When: Tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 10:00am and 7:30pm. Midnight tours are available during Halloween week on October 28, 29, 30 and 31st, 2011.
Where: The “uptown” tour runs on Halloween night; on other dates, a midtown/downtown tour is also available.
Cost: $50 per person for a 2-hour tour
For more information, read our detailed review of Dead Apple Tours and visit the official website.

#4. Coney Island Freaks Night Out

If you’re willing to make the trek out to Coney Island this Halloween, you shouldn’t miss the ‘Freaks Night Out’ extravaganza. A full night of rides, shows, and events, this massive party offers something for every consenting adult.  A ticket gives you access to a burlesque show, costume contest, freak show, live music and a lot more (including unlimited roller coaster rides).

When: Monday, October 31st from 6:00pm to 12:00am
Where: Luna Park, 1000 Surf Avenue, at West 10th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Cost: $40 (must be 21 or older)
For more details and to order tickets, check out the official website.

#5. Manhattan bar hopping

If you want to skip the pre-booze festivities and just get straight to the drinking, then go bar-hopping. Start at the most festive place to get dressed up and go out– the East Village. Begin around St. Marks Place (party central for NYU students) and work your way west. When you hit the West Village, join the post-parade bar scene and drink until the wee hours!

What’s your favorite way to celebrate Halloween in NYC?

About Jake Semmel

I'm a blogger and round the world traveler. I'm always on the lookout for new places to scuba dive, hike and ski.