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ArtsWestchester’s Halloween Picks

Historic Hudson Valley Adds New Event to Seasonal Lineup

Guests take a selfie at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze (photo credit: Tom Nycz for Historic
Hudson Valley)
Guests take a selfie at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze (photo credit: Tom Nycz for Historic Hudson Valley)

With Sleepy Hollow right in its backyard, Historic Hudson Valley and its surrounding community embrace John Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow novel with a series of annual Halloween-related events. New to this year’s lineup is The Unsilent Picture, an immersive theater experience that features an original commissioned black-and-white film that stars Tony Award-winner Bill Irwin. Other events have become Westchester staples: The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze boasts 7,000 hand-carved jack o’lanterns that are displayed as elaborate sculptures at Van Cortlandt Manor. New sculptures this year include a medieval castle and a functioning windmill. During Horseman’s Hollow, professional actors, special effects and traditional mid-1700s costumes set the stage for an interactive haunted trail. Master storytellers Jonathan Kruk and Jim Keyes tell the tale of Irving’s Legend in Sleepy Hollow’s 1685 Old Dutch Church, accompanied by live organ music. Finally, Irving’s former home, Sunnyside, provides all-ages arts activities, shadow puppet performances and a literary-themed scavenger hunt. For more info, visit hudsonvalley.org.

An Unsolved Mystery and a Display of Outdoor Sculptures at Lyndhurst

Lyndhurst Mansion's entryway decorated for Halloween (photo credit: Mark Liflander)
Lyndhurst Mansion's entryway decorated for Halloween (photo credit: Mark Liflander)

Jay Ghoul’s House of Curiosities brings guests into the mystery as they arrive at Lyndhurst Mansion to solve the cause of a series of deaths. The 1920s story takes place after a group of archeologists unearth an ancient Egyptian tomb before they inexplicably began dying one by one. During this nighttime theater performance, guests will journey through the eerily lit halls of Lyndhurst, which will be decked with Halloween decorations. While this event is recommended for audience members, from schoolchildren through adults, a daytime tour “with a Halloween twist” is also available. This year, Lyndhurst has expanded its seasonal offerings to include an outdoor sculpture exhibition called Futurescape through October 31. The futuristic large-scale metal sculptures by Malcolm MacDougall III will be on view during the day, and will also be dramatically lit at night for visitors to explore along the Mansion’s landscape. In addition to the sculptures, the site’s Scarecrow Invasion installation returns. Two-hundred middle-school students will work with MacDougall to create scarecrows, which will also be on display. For more info, visit lyndhurst.org.

A Spooktacular Spectacle in Valhalla

Performing artists of Cirquetacular’s "Spooktacular" (photo source:
Performing artists of Cirquetacular’s "Spooktacular" (photo source: fromgodanriver.com)

On the evening of October 20, Smart Arts at Westchester Community College will present Cirque-tacular’s Spooktacular. The family-friendly Halloween circus and variety show imagines a cast of spooky creatures as they escape to the circus. Guests will witness aerial stunts by witches, contorting tricks by skeletons and daring maneuvers by vampires. Smart Arts encourages guests to attend the event in costume and participate in the costume parade. The event takes place at the Academic Arts Building on the College’s campus in Valhalla. For more info, visit sunywcc.edu/about/smartarts.

A version of this article first appeared in the October issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

More from As a Matter of Art Blog

More Halloween Events:

October 26:

Halloween Movie Marathon V

Presented by Jacob Burns Film Center. An all-night movie marathon. burnsfilmcenter.org

October 27:


Presented by Hudson River Museum. A weekend of Halloween-related arts crafts for all ages. hrm.org

October 28:

The Real Wicked Witches of Halloween Hills

Presented by Emelin Theatre. A family musical that features witches and goblins. emelin.org

October 30:

Spooky Tales

Presented by Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. A Halloween-themed storytelling performance. caramoor.org