What to do in the Catskills for Halloween

Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Janet in the Shandaken Theatrical Society Playhouse production

Above: Chris Bick and Victoria McCarthy star as Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Janet in the Shandaken Theatrical Society Playhouse production of "The Rocky Horror Show," which plays in Phoenicia this weekend. Photo by Mark Loete.

It may be snowing in parts of the Catskills this morning, but the calendar says that it's Halloween weekend. It’s time to frolic where the goblins go; time to choose a fantasy to embody and dress up for a night. Or maybe two. Or more: With our five-county guide to this weekend’s Halloween highlights, you could spend Friday, Oct. 28 through Monday, Oct. 31 flitting around in your fearsome finery or just watching others frolic. Enjoy!


Come explore the Gideon Frisbee House by a flickering lantern’s light. Twilight lantern guided tours of the 1797 home in Delhi will highlight spooky aspects such as the "coffin door," the "break-neck" rear stairway and the narrow room in which a "presence" is said to lurk. There will be three tours each evening on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 between 5 and 7 p.m.; make your reservations by calling 607-746-3849 or by e-mailing [email protected].

The Castle on the Delaware in Walton will be rockin’ to the spooky beat all weekend long with two costume parties. Friday night it’s Fright Knight with the music of Sundown, and Saturday is the fifth annual Knight in the Castle celebration with Blues Maneuver. Both parties run from 8 p.m. until midnight and feature a buffet and a performance of Gavin Soccorso’s Illusion and Magic Show.

The Andes Hotel will host a Halloween Costume Party with DJ Tito on Friday night starting at 9 p.m. and the annual Harvest Moon Ball on Saturday at 7 p.m. Both events feature costume contests, piñatas and a photo booth; Saturday’s is a potluck.

From 3:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Catskill Recreation Center in Arkville will host a Pumpkin Painting Party. They’’ll have a costume competition, games, pumpkin painting, scary snacks, and a haunted walk through the field all free of charge.

Dance, dance, dance your costumed tail off at O’Neill’s Shire Pub in Delhi on Saturday night at the Halloween Costume Party with DJ Bangkok, starting at 9 p.m. and running until closing time.

In Deposit, a two-part 6th Annual Halloween Party is happening on Saturday at the Masonic Hall. From 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., it’s a Ghoulish Gathering for the younger set; from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. it’s the Monster Mash Teen Party. Both will feature plenty of good eats. Age-appropriate fun includes a hayride for the afternoon crowd; for the teens, they’re having a DJ and a free for all with Silly String, shaving cream, toilet paper and the like.

Film buffs will delight in the doings in Roxbury on Sunday, where Roxbury Wine and Spirits is sponsoring a screening of the 1925 silent film Phantom of the Opera, accompanied live by organist J. David Williams with an improvised score on the historic pipe organ at the Jay Gould Memorial Reformed Church. The fun starts at 7 p.m.; costumes are encouraged.


On Friday night, thrill and chill and eat and drink as you enjoy screenings of classic horror flicks “The Exorcist” and “Halloween” in Tannersville courtesy of Catskill Mountain Thrills and Chills. They’ll have a cash bar by double bill Hudson-Chatham Winery and eats from Manny’s Burgers; the fun starts at 7 p.m.

The Shamrock House in East Durham promises you a “fangtastic” time at their “spooktacular” happening on Friday at 8 p.m. Costumes, fancy dress, karaoke, finger food and “ghoulish games” will abound.

If you’ve ever felt moved at the sight of a faded, moss-grown headstone, the Bronck Museum in Coxsackie has a treat for you on Saturday as they observe A Great Sorrow, a reenacted early American funeral. Enter past the bleached skull, and fall in with the sombre mood of the grieving family as the Sin Eater hovers nearby and the mournful bell tolls. Tours happen at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; seating is limited and arriving early is advised.

The Blue Horse Repertory Company confronts horror head on at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill with a concert reading of two short plays by Bertolt Brecht, "The Jewish Wife" and "The Informer.” Ticket sales start at the door at 1:15 p.m. and curtain time is 2 p.m. on Sunday.


Downtown Cobleskill merchants will pass out the goodies from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m on Monday for Downtown Trick or Treat on the Street. 


Bring the kiddies to SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake for trick-or-treating on Friday afternoon from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Boogie the night away at the Dancing Cat Saloon in Bethel with “NYC Talented Latin Cats” LaMar. The cattin’ around starts at 8:30 Friday night. Costume contest with big prizes, and a signature cocktail comes with the price of admission.

The Haunted Theatre Tours offered by the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop last year were such fun that they’re doing it again. “You’ve never seen the Rivoli like this,” they promise. Come down to South Fallsburg Friday or Saturday, between 6 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., for a tour that promises to frighten and delight.

Callicoon has something for everyone this year. Little ones line up at Lander’s River Cafe at 12:45 for a costume parade down Main Street; bigger ones (21 and over) can come down to the Delaware Youth Center from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. for a rockin’ benefit dance with live band and costume contest.

Sunday afternoon it’s Halloween at the Woods--Bethel Woods, that is. From noon until 3 p.m., come to the arts center in Bethel for witchy art activities and a spooky scavenger hunt.


Witches, a headless spook, an axe murder victim, a hanged British spy...the good folk of Hurley are showcasing the quaint little burg’s lurid history. The Hurley Heritage Society invites you to a Ghost Walk through the ancient stones of its Main Street and Cemetery on Friday at 6:30 p.m., if you dare.

Dammit, Janet! Get your tail to the STS Playhouse in Phoenicia and catch a live performance of the one and only “Rocky Horror Picture Show;” the curtain rises at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sunday for a final matinee.

All aboard the Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch Train, departing from Kingston on Saturday and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Costumes are encouraged; at the destination pumpkin patch (certified by Linus and Charlie Brown as Very Sincere) each child can select a pumpkin.

Get your tickets today for the Peekamoose Halloween Costume Dance Party on Saturday evening in Big Indian. The costume contest starts at 9:30 p.m.; they’ll have a DJ, tarot reader, photo booth, bar vittles and specialty cocktails.

Saturday or Sunday afternoon, join the mischief afoot at Byrdclyffe for Wicked Woodstock, an all-ages shinding happening from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. with costume, apple bobbing and pumpkin carving contests and the Art Bus, plus an artfully scary evening tour of the home of Byrdcliffe’s founders recommended for ages 14 and up.

Saturday evening, the party’s on at the Woodstock Lodge with a live funk, R&B and reggae performance from 8-11, followed by DJs spinning hot platters into the wee hours.

The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center in Kingston is having their annual Adult Halloween Dance and Costume Party on Saturday from 7 p.m until midnight, complete with prizes, dancing and treats.

Run for your life! The Williams Lake property in Rosendale will once again be the scene of an outbreak as the 7th Annual takes off at 11 a.m. on Saturday. (There’s also a non-zombie 5K, a free kids’ fun run and a 1K walk if you prefer.)

At the Rosendale Cafe, kick up your costumed heels Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. at the Halloween Hoedown with Bovine Social Club, a “a grassy, twangy, swinging breed of Americana sounds sure to get your dancing cow on.”

The Rosendale Theatre Collective is screening "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the theatre on Saturday, complete with a shadow cast ratcheting up the insanity. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts soon after with some instructions for virgins (first time film goers) and a costume contest with prizes.

It will be a grandly ghoulish evening at the HealthAlliance Foundation’s fourth annual Vampire Ball, starting Saturday at 6 p.m. at the elegant Diamond Mills in Saugerties. Walk the Haunted Fairway, experience the balloon-twisting wizardry or try your hand at the Severed Head Toss courtesy of Tonner Doll Company.

Party with your pet! The Ulster County SPCA will host its annual Howl-O-Ween on Saturday in Kingston, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. They’ll have a dog Monster Maze, costume contest and parade, pet photos and lots of treats.

History comes to vivid, eerie life at Haunted Huguenot Street in New Paltz on Friday and Saturday, with PG-rated tours departing every hour from 5 p.m. through 9 p.m. This year’s theme is the oppression of women in the 17th through 19th centuries, a rich vein of material to slice into if ever there was.

More haunted history will be showcased in Kingston at the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s two presentations of “Legends of the Hudson River,” from 1 p.m until 6 p.m. on Sunday and from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday. Children’s activities sound creative (eyeball bounce, anyone?) and there will be public sails on the Clearwater and spooky retellings of Hudson River tales, both real and fantastic.

Finally, New Paltz has a long-standing tradition of a wonderful community party on Halloween. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., visit the Haunted House lovingly crafted by the young spirits of the Teen Seen youth center. The parade steps off at 6 p.m. on Monday, followed by apples and candy at the firehouse. Don’t forget to drop by The Bakery between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and check out the Night of 100 Pumpkins to see what a fiercely competitive and creative community can do with a pumpkin and a sharp knife.