By popular demand, Historic Hudson Valley is expanding its Halloween-themed portfolio of special events, which drew more than 100,000 visitors last year, to cover the entirety of October plus a bit of November, too.
Kicking off Oct. 1 and continuing on 21 selected evenings through Nov. 6, The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is the tri-state area’s biggest all-ages Halloween extravaganza. An ancient Greece scene with mythological creatures, a pasture with ‘roaming’ skeletal sheep, and King Kong perched high on a building are some of the new jack o’lantern installations included in this massive display of Halloween-inspired creativity. A small team of artists will come together to carve more than 4,000 jacks, many fused together in enormous and elaborate constructions, all lit up throughout the wooded walkways, orchards, and gardens of historic Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.
All new professional lighting by designer Jay Woods will help bring movement to certain installations and a spooky aural soundscape of original music and noises help create a complete all-senses immersion.
Scores of Blaze videos uploaded by fans can be found on YouTube.
Describing the event as an art installation, Creative Director Michael Natiello, who also coordinates the music, said Van Cortlandt Manor itself is the ultimate inspiration for Blaze. The jack o’lantern arrangements are meant to complement and draw attention to the site’s architecture, Revolutionary-era history, and landscape.
Blaze Title Sponsor is Entergy; Blaze Media Sponsor is 100.7 WHUD.
Washington Irving’s macabre tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, inspires Horseman’s Hollow, an interactive haunted attraction at Philipsburg Manor recommended for ages 12 and up. Stocked with professional actors and state-of-the-art special effects, Horseman’s Hollow has a high fear factor and is not for the faint of heart.
For 12 October evenings, historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane, all serving the Headless Horseman himself.
Haunted house professional Lance Hallowell leads a crew of award-winning makeup and costume designers and a 40-member-strong cast of experienced actors to create an immersive, interactive, pleasantly terrifying experience, with state-of-the-spooky-art special effects. Visitors walk a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. The Hollow’s unfortunate inhabitants are all too ready to keep visitors from ever leaving. Lighting is by Emmy award-winning designer Deke Hazirjian of New York City Lites.
Custom built set pieces and period-correct costumes help orient the experience in Philipsburg Manor’s traditional time period of the mid-1700s. This event drew national media attention in 2010, its debut year.
Irving’s “Legend,” recommended for ages 10 and up, brings the master storyteller Jonathan Kruk into the historic, candlelit interior of the circa-1685 Old Dutch Church, where he offers a dramatic re-telling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow accompanied by live organ music.
Legend Celebration is a daytime prelude to these evening events. Storytellers and magicians are just some of the colorful characters that perform for all ages, and visitors are encouraged to come in costume. Perennially popular with children, this event takes place at Sunnyside, the Romantic-era homestead of Washington Irving, who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Sunnyside is at 89 West Sunnyside Lane, off Route 9 in Tarrytown.
All events are held rain or shine. Proceeds support Historic Hudson Valley, the Tarrytown-based private non-profit educational organization which owns and operates the historic sites that host these events.
Ticket and date information
For Blaze, Horseman’s Hollow, and Irving’s “Legend,” all admissions are by advance purchase timed ticket.
Blaze dates are Oct. 1-2, 7-10, 14-16, 20-23, 27-31, and Nov. 4-6. The first reservation is 7 pm on Oct. 1-2 and 7-10, and 6:30 pm for the other dates. Tickets are $16 for adults ($20 on Saturdays), $12 for children 5-17 ($16 on Saturdays), and free for children under 5.
Horseman’s Hollow dates are Oct. 8-9, 14-16, 21-23, and 27-30, with the first reservation at 7 pm. Tickets are $20 ($25 on Saturdays).
Irving’s “Legend” dates are Oct. 8-9, 14-16, 21-23, and 27-30. Seating is very limited, and there are three performances each evening on the hour (four on Saturday), beginning at either 5pm or 6pm, depending on the evening. Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for children under 18.
Legend Celebration dates are Oct. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and 29-30, from 10-4 pm. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children 5-17, and free for those under 5.
Buy tickets online at www.hudsonvalley.org or by calling 914-631-8200 ($2 per ticket surcharge for phone orders). ©