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Hudson Valley's Halloween Kicks Off With Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze

Everyone's eyes are aglow with wonder as they pass under an arch of glowing pumpkins at The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson.
Everyone's eyes are aglow with wonder as they pass under an arch of glowing pumpkins at The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson. Photo Credit: Jennifer Mitchell
Visitors to Historic Hudson Valley's annual Halloween extravaganza in Sleepy Hollow will be spooked by the Headless Horseman himself.
Visitors to Historic Hudson Valley's annual Halloween extravaganza in Sleepy Hollow will be spooked by the Headless Horseman himself. Photo Credit: Jennifer Mitchell

Historic Hudson Valley’s annual Halloween celebrations -- which include everything from a display of glowing jack o’lanterns to a visit from the legendary Headless Horseman – have gotten so big that they had to be moved to September.

The spooky events kick off Friday, Sept. 30, and are expected to draw more than 175,000 visitors to the Hudson Valley.

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, the Hudson Valley’s biggest all-ages Halloween extravaganza, will continue for a record 32 selected evenings through Nov. 13, organizers said.

It is held in historic Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton.

Teams of artists have been busy at work carving 7,000 pumpkins and using them to make sculptures of everything from working jack-o’lanterns-in-the-box, dinosaurs, spiders and trains to zombies, witches and other denizens of the dark.

New additions this year include a plus-sized color-changing star show at the Pumpkin Planetarium, a Pumpkin Promenade, and an 80-foot-long Pumpkin Zee Bridge complete with a sea serpent swimming in the Croton River.

Visitors will walk along a haunted trail where creatures lurk in the shadows on Horseman's Hollow at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow. Professional actors, award-winning feature-film makeup artists, and state-of-the-art special effects will make the Horseman’s Hollow experience all too real for some.

Because some of the displays might be too much for younger kids, the 14-night, interactive haunted attraction is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Storyteller  Jonathan Kruk will bring the timid schoolmaster Icabod Crane and his nemesis, the Headless Horseman, to life with his rendition of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Kruk will use organ music and eerie candlelight to weave his spell at the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow.

This event is also recommended for ages 10 and up.

The Legend Behind the ‘Legend’ is a daytime experience at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside homestead in Tarrytown.

In addition to learning about the author, visitors can enjoy a shadow puppet performance of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and experience one of Irving’s spooky tales on a walk through the woods.

This is an all-ages event. All events are held rain or shine.

Proceeds will go to support Historic Hudson Valley, the Tarrytown-based private, non-profit educational organization that owns and operates the historic sites that host these events.

For tickets and more information about these events, click here.

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