From zombie parades and costume contests to haunted houses and hayrides (to haunted anything!), the Halloween season casts its spell and awakens our inner ghouls and goblins. As part of FrightQuest -- a MapQuest series on spooky destinations and activities -- here are three options to celebrate Halloween in New York State that are sure to be a scream.
— David Webb
State Capitol Halloween
Albany is a hotbed of activity for Halloween celebrations. The New York State Museum turns itself into the Haunted Museum of Unnatural History, complete with crafts, face painting and carefree fun in late October. Guides at the Capitol get in the spirit of the month by giving Capitol Hauntings tours, featuring ghost stories about spooky events in Albany. Albany Aqua Ducks & Trolleys offers ghost-hunting tours in late October for those brave enough to venture where spirits roam.
Empire State Plaza, State Street, Albany, NY 12210 | Get Directions
Fright Nights At The State Fair
With five terrifying houses and a haunted hayride, the New York State Fair in Syracuse gets frightening every weekend during October. Fright Nights at the Fair includes Through the Dark Territory with mirrors and nightmares; Insane Asylum, which takes guests on a journey into frightening madness; Skull Kingdom, with the remains of the dead; a trip through a graveyard known as The Crypt and Frankenstein's Mansion, featuring the mad doctor and his creations. None of these attractions are recommended for children, though there is a non-scary area for little ones, with children's rides and food vendors.
581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY 13209 | Get Directions
Final Fear Haunted Attraction
The Final Fear Haunted Attraction transforms the Erie County Fairgrounds near Buffalo into a haunted adventureland every weekend during the month of October. Dark Raven Manor features ghosts and zombies and a dark staircase to the dungeon; Big Top Terror showcases ghoulish clowns; Raven Hill Asylum takes visitors on a ride to the basement on a scary elevator and Slaughter Haus is filled with chilling apparitions. Not recommended for children, who will prefer the much friendlier Kid's Lights On Tour, which is offered only on the final two weekends. Discount tickets are available at Mighty Taco in the Buffalo area.
5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, NY 14075 | Get Directions
Fright Nights at the New York State Fair in Syracuse features five haunted houses.
Did we miss a Halloween event in New York State? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
FrightQuest Special: Syracuse native Tom Kenny -- yes, the voice of Spongebob -- gives his take on Halloween, the holiday in which little kids ring his doorbell...dressed as him.
Interested in more stories about New York State? Go to Patch and scroll the list of states to get great local coverage of your neighborhood.