Get in the Halloween spirit the old fashioned way - not by picking pumpkins or trick-or-treating, but with hearty frights and scares. Lucky for you, New York City has several haunted houses where you can get your thrills and chills.
Open now through November 7, Blood Manor can get your heart racing all month long, and even after Halloween for those still in the spirit. With over 15 themed rooms, including the new "Disgraceland" and "Zombie Cabaret," in its haunted labyrinth - a pitch black maze crowded with bloodcurdling demons and monsters - there's a scare at every turn. Add their 3-D glasses to the mix and those ghouls will literally be in your face.
Vampires are all the rage, from the unholy success of the "Twilight" series and movie to TV's "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries." This Halloween, they're not as pretty as Hollywood makes out to be. Odds are by now you've seen the pale, bloodied vampire boy on the subway for Nightmare Vampires. Now through November 1, see his likeness on stage in a unique haunted house in Noho that unfolds as a horror story, with the audience pulled in to the bloodthirsty action.
During the day, Madame Tussauds is a relatively harmless tourist attraction (unless you're spooked by lifelike wax likenesses of celebrities). But for six nights this month, it becomes a haunted house after dark. Learn the wax museum's darkest secrets and test your will as you're guided on a nearly pitch-black tour through Scream, their Chamber of Horrors, and hear the bloody past of Madame Tussaud, who was forced to dig through piles of executed nobles' bodies during the French Revolution, creating death masks and collecting artifacts like the guillotine blade that led to the demise of Marie Antoinette (true story). Life is creepier than fiction sometimes.) For six nights October 22-24 and October 29-31.
It might not be fair to call Staten Island purgatory on any given day, but this month, it is. Now through November 1, Trapped In Purgatory provides two locations to get you haunted by your choice - a creepy corn maze or a haunted house full of blood and gore. At Sinister Swamp, start off at a deserted house and begin your jittery journey as you try to make it out of said swamp without too many screams. It's definitely not the cheery corn maize mazes of your youth. For a mix of indoor and outdoor terrors, Flesh Feast is sure to get your pulse at unhealthy levels with its haunted house and trail. As long as the borough doesn't get its own "The Real Housewives of..." series, Staten Island's never been scarier.
Where:Blood Manor - 542 W 27th Street, Nightmare Vampires - 623 Broadway, After Dark at Madame Tussauds - 234 W. 42nd Street, Trapped in Purgatory: Sinister Swamp - 5050 Hylan Boulevard, Flesh Feast - 2449 Veterans Road West
Cost:Blood Manor - $25 (plus online service charge), Nightmare Vampires - $30 in advance/$35 at box office, After Dark at Madame Tussauds - $28 in advance/$35 plus tax, Trapped in Purgatory - $15 each location, $25 for both