Haunted hills: Our guide to a Catskills Halloween

Above: Pumpkins at Sunfrost Farms in Woodstock. Photo by Flickr user Kat Stan; published under Creative Commons license.

Halloween may not formally arrive until next Thursday, but celebrations of ghoulies and ghosties and all manner of beasties are in full swing this weekend. Gear up as your craziest fantasy (well, maybe your second craziest fantasy) and prepare to pierce the Veil Between The Worlds at any of these shindigs, ranging from rock-on-out to bring-the-toddlers.

DELAWARE COUNTY

The Shire Pub in Delhi is throwing a Halloween costume bash Saturday night, with a wide variety of costume prize categories and dancing to the music of DJ Weazel.

In Andes, Saturday brings the return of the Harvest Moon Ball to the Andes Hotel. The family-friendly “haunted hoedown” offers music, dancing and a costume contest, plus finger food and a piñata.

Come to Walton Saturday night to enjoy A Knight in the Castle, a 21-and-over bash in the newly-renovated Walton Armory -- aka Castle On The Delaware -- a location guaranteed to invite thoughts of magic, mystery and hauntings. Featuring rock-n-roll by Rochester band Ruby Shooz.

The Roxbury Arts Group and the Stamford Fire Department have applied their considerable creative energies to brewing up the family-friendly Haunted House at 76 Main! in Stamford, which will be open Friday and Saturday for all who dare to enter. 

Maple Shade Farm in Delhi will host its sixth annual Jack O’Lantern Jamboree on Saturday. Highlights include kids’ music, a dance party, pumpkin education and judging, and a mass Jack O’Lantern Lighting in the evening.

Deposit is having its third annual Halloween Party and Penny Social on Saturday at the Masonic Hall. Dress up and come have a bite to eat and discover things you never knew you needed. Hayrides just $2.00.

SCHOHARIE COUNTY

It's Halloween all weekend long at the Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center in North Blenheim. Saturday is all about the kids, with games, a haunted house and a costume contest making up the “Annual Scary Halloween Event.” On Sunday things take a more literary turn, as all are invited to enjoy the “Haunted History Tour at Lansing Manor.” The BGVC website isn’t the most informative -- you may need to call 1-800-724-0309 for all the details -- but they do love their celebrations.

No Catskills Halloween would be complete without a trip to the Night Terrors Haunted Farm in Schoharie, featuring not a mere haunted house, but a whole landscape teeming with ghouls, including a Haunted Corn Maze. If you've got what it takes to face The Harvester, come on down to the farm. Open Friday and Saturday the weekend before Halloween, and Thursday through Saturday on Halloween week itself.

GREENE COUNTY

All are invited to bear witness to “A Great Sorrow” on Saturday afternoon at the Bronck Museum in Coxsackie, as the Greene County Historical Society recreates an early American funeral in the Hudson Valley’s oldest home.

"A Haunting In Catskill" takes over the village's Main Street on Saturday afternoon, with a petting zoo, pony rides, a haunted house, and pics with Penny the Pig. Best costume wins a bike.

The Prattsville Art Center will be holding the opening reception for their Trick or Treat Show on Saturday afternoon. The show, which continues through November, offers multimedia interpretations on a “magically eerie” theme by NYC artists who’ve been in residence in Prattsville. 

Tannersville will be taken over by a Scarecrow Contest and Halloween Parade on Sunday afternoon at 1pm. All are welcome. Bring scarecrows.

The Blackthorne Resort in East Durham will have live music, a costume party, and generally Halloween-themed fun on Saturday night. Call 518-634-2541 for details.

SULLIVAN COUNTY

Come to the Bethel Woods Arts Center Friday evening and enjoy “Scream of Fear,” said to be the creepiest of all the creepy Hammer films. Ever.

The Town of Fallsburg is hosting Fright Weekend at Morningside Park in Hurleyville. Festivities geared to older kids include scarecrow building, a House of Horrors, and a bonfire on Friday and Saturday evenings. On Saturday afternoon, things will be toned down to please the under-5 crew and their parents.

Cool ghouls will gather at WJFF Radio Catskill’s Halloween Dance Party for costumed festivities including eats, drinks, contests and dancing their ghoulish tails off to “funk, Motown, disco, pop, hip hop and more.” It’s happening in Eldred at Henning’s Local Restaurant.

Saturday night brings Peter Florance and the New Kings to the Dancing Cat Saloon in Bethel, for a Halloween party promised to be “crazy good.” Cat costumes are a separate, uh, cat-egory in the judging.

Head to Wurtsboro’s Veterans Park on Saturday afternoon for a whimsical “Howl-o-Ween” fest organized by the Board of Trade on behalf of the Sullivan County SPCA. Between the free clown show and the kidz-n-petz in costume on parade, it sounds like a couple of hours of hilarity and timeless photo opportunities.

ULSTER COUNTY

Kingston will be Halloween City this weekend. “Guitar-Gnashing Ghouls, Gals, and Metalheads” are hereby summoned to Clublight Steelhouse down by the Rondout on Friday night for the Halloween Headbangers Ball. Costumes are mandatory for this one. And on Saturday, the Steelhouse kicks it even farther out with Horror On the Hudson. Dress to Impress, gang, there are $5,000 in prizes at stake.

Uptown in the Stockade District, Saturday will be an amazing evening at the BSP Lounge. From 7 till 11 it’s the LGBTQ Center’s benefit Hallowe’en Bash for Pride 2014, with “music that could make the Headless Horseman dance.” That occasion of “fearful revelry” will blur into the Nightmare on Wall Street costume dance party that begins at 10 at the same venue.

Saturday in Rosendale, the UlsterCorps Service Sprint 5K at Williams Lake will take the seasonally appropriate form of a Zombie Escape game. Costumes are encouraged and will be judged. Make it through the woods with your brains intact and you’re a winner; get devoured and your favorite Ulster County volunteer organization will still reap the benefits of your demise.

On Sunday afternoon and evening, the Rosendale Theatre is showing National Theatre Live's 2011 broadcast of Frankenstein, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Monster. A grand excuse to sit down for a bit after all that zombie chasing.

Also on Saturday, there will be a nature-mask-making workshop and scavenger hunt at Minnewaska State Park in New Paltz. Choose and create your fanciful natural alter ego, then get in on a scavenger hunt. Call 845-255-0752 to register.

A Haunted Scavenger Hunt will comb Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz on Saturday afternoon. Billed as “thrilling but not too chilling,” the proceedings will include Halloween paper crafts, snacks, and prizes.

Got an event to add to our Catskills Halloween roundup? Let us know with a comment below.

Correction: The Roxbury Arts Group's venue 76 Main! is in Stamford, not Roxbury, as a previous draft of this post stated. Apologies for the boneheaded error.

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