By Jessica Allen
The last weekend before Halloween means, of course, lots of Halloween-related events around town. We’ve selected our favorites below, including a crypt crawl and celebration of one of early masters of horror fiction, but we’ve also listed a few activities not related to October 31, just in case you need a change of pace.
H.P. Lovecraft Festival
St. John’s Lutheran Church
81 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10014
Nearly penniless when he died, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft has had a far more successful afterlife. The ninth annual H.P. Lovecraft Festival takes place in a candlelit church and features the talented performers of Radiotheatre, reading and re-enacting Halloween-appropriate tales on stage. They’ll be accompanied by original orchestral scores and sound effects, natch. You might be shocked and appalled by the content, but you’ll totally applaud the performances. Thursday, October 19, through Sunday, November 5, see schedule for details, $24, tickets required.
Cider Week NYC
New York, NY
Here’s a fact of which you might not be aware: New York State boasts more varieties of apples than other state, growing enough apples each year to make 500 million pies. The city’s annual Cider Week seeks to celebrate them all through an array of events, including happy hours, pairings, talks, lectures, and tons and tons (and tons) of tastings. Participating restaurants, shops, and bars include Murray’s Cheese Bar, Fools Gold, and the Union Square Greenmarket. Friday, October 20, through Sunday, October 29, see schedule for details and ticket info.
NYC Horror Film Festival
260 West 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
There’s no better time for a horror festival than the end of October, when the mind turns to death and darkness and the dreariness of winter. One of the largest genre-focused film festivals in the world, the NYC Horror Film Festival focuses on horror and sci-fi, screening movie after movie designed to get your heart pumping and your teeth rattling. You can catch new releases as well as cult classics, and just about everything’s up for prizes like Best Sound Design, Best Actor, and Audience Choice. Thursday, October 26, through Sunday, October 29, see schedule for details, tickets required.
Crypt Crawl: Spotlight on Halloween
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10025
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine goes all out for Halloween, literally. We recommend starting with the Crypt Crawl, in which you’ll be led beneath the beautiful church and into the basement. Along with true stories of those who lay buried nearby (including Madeleine L’Engle), you’ll learn more about the origins of Halloween. Then you’ll want to head back upstairs for the Halloween Extravaganza, including the procession of the ghouls. Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28, see schedule for details, $25, tickets required.
Phantasmagorey: The Underworld Circus
60 Pine St.
New York, NY, 10005
If you like your creepy doused with a bit of sexy (or vice versa), check out Phantasmagorey: The Underworld Circle. Created by Dances of Vice, an entertainment company dedicated to putting on subversive, surreal, and immersive performances, this circus promises to be utterly unlike anything you’ve ever seen under the big top. Indeed, it combines elements of opera, dance, burlesque, and sideshow, and attempts “to celebrate the beauty of the abyss as the veil between the worlds is lifted.” Saturday, October 28, show starts at 9 pm, tickets and costumes required.