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The 13 Best Scary Things to Do in NYC

Autumn in New York is nothing if not abundant with scary things to do in NYC.

Good evening, my lovely scream queens (and kings). Are you prepared to venture into the dark and mysterious depths of the concrete jungle? Every year New York City meticulously curates experiences for those who want to embrace the eerie. So clutch onto your pearls as we share with you the most spine-tingling, heart-pounding, and deliciously frightening experiences that NYC has to offer.

lady in black standing in Jefferson Market Garden
Photo Courtesy of Boroughs of the Dead

21117 Hollis Avenue, Queens Village, NY, map

Prepare for an unforgettable fright at A Haunting in Hollis, where you'll face two chilling 40-foot pitch-black mazes and navigate a 4-floor haunted house filled with heart-stopping horrors. Dive into the fear with the NEW hair-raising Satan's Slope slide, armed with laser guns to battle the ghouls, a secret safe word, and you can even capture your group's terrifying journey on video. From pulse-pounding chainsaw chases to immersive live actors and bone-chilling escape rooms, this is your chance to experience pure terror like never before.

2. Bayville Scream Park (Long Island)

8 Bayville Avenue, Bayville, NY, map

Bayville Scream Park emerges each Halloween season to send shivers down the bravest of spines. At its sinister heart lies 6 meticulously crafted attractions, where nightmarish creatures and bone-chilling surprises lurk in every corner. The park also offers zombie axe throwing, zombie pirate miniature golf, and more.

359 Broadway New York, NY, map

This spine-chilling haunted attraction immerses you in a world of nightmarish terror. Prepare to navigate through macabre corridors, encounter ghastly creatures, and confront your deepest fears as you journey through the terrifying depths of Blood Manor.

Various Locations

Boroughs of the Dead tours aim to leave a lasting impact by sharing profoundly unsettling, yet historically rooted stories, rather than fleeting scares (TL;DR: Humans can be way scarier than ghosts). Delve into the unseen corners of New York City through meticulously crafted, one-of-a-kind tours. Led by expert guides, authors, and artists, Boroughs of the Dead unveils the city's dark history.

500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY, map

Venture into the shadows of the night on an eerie after-hours walking tour, delving into Green-Wood Cemetery's hauntingly historic grounds. Admist the resting places of iconic New York and American figures, your journey reaches its unsettling climax with an exclusive descent into the forbidden Catacombs, where the echoes of the departed beckon from the shadows.

B62 Bus Stop (Driggs Ave & N 9th Street), Brooklyn, NY, map

Embark on a spooky Brooklyn trolley tour through popular neighborhoods, hearing 400 years of eerie stories, discovering hidden burial sites, mobster locations, and more, with trivia and prizes.

7. Merchant's House Museum: Candlelight Ghost Tours

29 East Fourth Street, New York, NY, map

The Candlelight Ghost Tours at the 1832 Merchant's House Museum offer a haunting journey through three floors of "Manhattan's Most Haunted House." The museum is transformed into a 19th-century mourning setting, complete with a funeral setup in the Front Parlor and a deathbed scene upstairs, reflecting its history of eight deaths from 1839 to 1933. Guests are treated to chilling true ghost stories specific to each room, along with audiovisual evidence from paranormal investigations conducted since 2007, including disembodied voices and scientific findings.

Teatro SEA at The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, New York, NY, map

Step into the twisted world of Nightmare, where fear takes on a new form every year. This year’s blood-curdling theme delves into the eerie realms of pediophobia, with dolls and clowns that will haunt your nightmares. Prepare to be immersed in genuine, shiver-inducing experiences, from group separation to physical discomfort and disorientation, that will leave even the most skeptical souls questioning their reality. Are you ready to confront your deepest fears at Nightmare?

Washington Square Park at the Arch, New York, NY, map

Join guided tours that unravel the haunted secrets of historic neighborhoods, where hair-raising tales of ghosts and mysteries come to life. Want to sip and scare instead? Try their Haunted Pub Crawl.

94 Bogart St, Brooklyn NY, map

The Ridgewood Asylum uniquely combines the elements of a haunted house and an escape room experience. The asylum combines classic scares, psychological thrills from skilled actors, and collaborative escape room challenges for the ultimate scare. This season, they've expanded to an enormous 8000 sqft location, enhancing the haunted house and introducing exciting outdoor features like Jack O Lantern's Disco Lounge and an Urban Pumpkin Patch. The new features provide a complete Halloween experience for visitors to unwind with hot cider, apple cider donuts, and photo-worthy rural farm aesthetics.

11. Scary Escape Rooms

Various Locations

Most escape room centers in NYC usually have that one really creepy-themed room that is more panic-inducing than some haunted houses. We recently tried the Haunted mini-escape room at Shipwrecked and for something that was only 15 minutes, our hearts were doing somersaults.

👻 Other Suggestions: The Haunted Hotel by BrainXcape, The City of Ashes by Komnata Quest

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W 46th St, New York, NY, map

You might not think this is the scariest activity on the list, but a musical about killing people and turning them into pies seemed quite appropriate to make the cut. The masterful storytelling and hauntingly atmospheric production will send shivers down your spine.

300 W 43rd St, New York, NY, map

At TerrorVision you become the unsuspecting star of a B-Horror film. The experience unfolds with the surprise death of the lead character, and as the director turns his attention to you, the audience, you'll embark on a petrifying journey through three distinct haunted houses, each filled with jump scares, terrifying creatures, and remarkable set design and costumes. For those seeking an extra dose of terror, the "Ultimate Terror Ticket" makes the monsters target you specifically, while the "Chicken Ticket" offers a less intense experience. Whether you choose to brave it or play chicken, you're in for a terrifying experience.

From nightmarish haunted houses to nerve-wracking explorations, these 13 scary things to do in NYC will have you trembling with anticipation. Gather your courage, and dive headfirst into a world where fear and excitement intertwine. After all, in the city that never sleeps, even the shadows have stories to tell. 👻

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If you visit any of these places don't forget to tag @popupgirlsnyc for a chance to be featured on our feed!


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