Halloween in New York in 50 Pictures

– Compiled by Victoria Philpott

Halloween in New York City – where better to celebrate the 31 October? On the New York Streets you’ll find the best Halloween costumes, the craziest Halloween decorations and the most uniquely carved pumpkins.

New York’s famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is a must. Anyone with a costume is invited to join the hundreds of puppets, musicians, dancers and artists to walk along 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street from 6:30pm. The Halloween theme for 2013 is: REVIVAL in the spirit of moving on after Hurricane Sandy.

 Costumes | Doggies | Decorations | Pumpkins | Food

Check out this incredible video an epic New York Halloween Parade from the past…

Fancy it? I do. Book your cheap hotel in New York with us early for the best choice and value.


1. Green hair and a missing tooth can transform any ‘normal’ looking person into a Halloween delight. A huge studded collar and crazy make up also helps.  Thanks Bob Jagendorf.

2. In 1962 Dr. Donald A. Reed founded the Count Dracula Society. To this day there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires and with all these True Blood and Twilight stories things have got terribly confusing. But they’re not real. Are they? Thanks_PaulS_.

3. Wacky man in Central Park. Just pull on your maddest clothes and go as a crazy man. Job done. Thanks LoneWalkerNYC.

4. Ooo scary. I think this is Little Red Riding Hood – in the other version of the story where the wolf ripped her apart. Thanks _PaulS_.

5. In the Bible’s Book of Revelations, Death is personified as one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He’s the third to ride, and his mount is a pale horse. Thanks Bob Jagendorf.

6. Star Wars aka Stop Wars in the NYC Halloween Parade. Thanks dantegeek.

7. In 2009 Halloween costume sales were more than SIX BILLION DOLLARS! Around 62% of this was for costumes for adults. Haha. Thanks istolethetv.

8. I’ve just learnt that in some countries they think that fairies are fallen angels – I like that. They’re  like the bad ass angels. Thanks LonewalkerNYC.

9. Another Little Red Riding Hood, this time channelling the famous Marilyn Monroe pose above an air vent. Thanks Chris Gampat.

10. According to legend all you have to do to meet a witch is put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night. Well, I’ll try anything once. If I’m not on Facebook on 1 November you’ll know what’s happened. Thanks Bob Jagendorf.

11. Brilliant costume – a bird and a dog egg. Keep reading for more amazingly random and incredible dog fancy dress outfits… Thanks istolethetv.

12. The Grim Reaper from Guitar Hero just jammin on the New York subway. I HAVE to go next year! Thanks Rob Boudon.

13. Christmas is number one of course, but Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday in the world. Thanks _PaulS_.

14. The original Halloween film directed by John Carpenter in 1978 cost just $320,000 to make. It ended up making over $50m worldwide. Thanks Bob Jagendorf.

15. Haunted House attractions bring in about half a billion dollars annually. Thanks star5112.

16. Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honouring the dead. Thanks Bob Jagendorf.

17. In 1964 Helen Pfeil from Greenlawn in New York was arrested for handing out arsenic laced treat to teenagers she thought were too old to be trick or treating. I wonder if this girl had had one? Thanks Bob Jagendorf.

18. The best face make up ever!


This year will be the 21st annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. On Saturday 22 October, from noon till 3pm, more than 3,000 people will come to watch the dogs in costumes – you won’t believe the trouble their owners go to. All money raised goes to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

All these dog photos come courtesy of istolethetv – the best dog halloween costume photographer I’ve ever seen! 


In the United States, 86% of Americans decorate their homes for Halloween, so says the BBC. Decorating your home for Halloween can in fact become very competitive, with home owners trying to keep up with their neighbours. Thanks to all this rivalry us minions can be entertained for free as we walk on by.

1. The traditional Halloween colours are black because of death and darkness and orange because of the late summer and autumn harvest.

2. The correct spelling of Halloween is Hallowe’en. Everyone’s to busy to put in that extra apostrophe nowadays, even spell checker is telling me it’s wrong now. Thanks Barbara L Hansen.

3. Historically the Celts wore masks to scare off evil spirits. This is where the custom of dressing up in costumes originated. Thanks digitizedchaos.

4. The Catholic Church wanted a new Christian festival and deemed the 1 November as All Saint’s or All Hallow’s Day. The night before was the Eve of All Hallows. This soon became Hallow Evening or Hallow Even which became Hallow e’en. Thanks ikrichter.

5. ‘All Hallows’ comes from the Old English word ‘Halig’ which means ‘Holy’. Thanks digitizedchaos.

6. Some people believe that Halloween night is when the spiritual world makes contact with the physical world. I’m scared. Thanks harryalverson.

7. At this year’s Halloween Parade in New York you can share a close-up video image of your eye to be projected onto the Great Eyeball high in the sky over the Parade. Thanks Aoife city womanchile.

8. Graveyards are the number one place NOT to go on Halloween. Not only to avoid the dead ghouls and ghosts, but also to avoid the young scallywags who hang out with nothing better to do than throw eggs and flour in your face. Thanks Harry Alverson.

9. The parade in New York draws more than 50,000 costumed participants and approximately 2 million spectators each year. Thanks holycalamity.

10. Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.


According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man called Jack. He managed to trick the devil several times and so was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. Instead he was forced to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths instead. These lanterns are now one of the most fun aspects of the lead up to Halloween. For me anyway.

1. The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb pumpkin. Thanks cwbuecheler.

2. In 2010, 46.3% of those surveyed by the National Retail Federation will  carve a pumpkin. Thanks istolethetv.

3. Stephen Clarke holds the record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time: 24.03 seconds. The rules state that the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and must have at least eyes, nose, ears and a mouth. Thanks Rodrigo Accurcio.

4. Boston, Massachusetts, holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once (30,128). Thanks schatz.

5. Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 BC,  meaning Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years. Thanks istolethetv.

6. Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday. Thanks krosstok.

7. What is a pumpkin’s favourite sport? Squash. Thanks Krosstok


1. Trick or treating developed from an ancient English custom of children knocking at doors to beg for a “soul cake” (shortbread) in return for promising to pray for the dead of the household. Thanks g.p.macklin.

2. This is a horrific fact, don’t read if you’re sensitive: In 1974 Timothy O’Bryan (8) died of cyanide poisoning after eating Halloween candy. His father had taken out a $20,000 life insurance policy on each of his children and poisoned his own son and attempted to poison his daughter. Thanks avlxyz.

3. Of all the candy sold annually, one quarter is sold around Halloween time – making it the sweetest holiday of the year.  Thanks ThatsSoMichelleO.

4. What I’ve learned today: ‘If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved on watching over you.’  Thanks theogeo.

5. Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States. Thanks jamieann.

6. Joke for you: What is Dracula’s favourite holiday? Fangsgiving. Tee hee. Why couldn’t Dracula’s wife get to sleep? Because of his coffin. Ha hee. Thanks little blue hen.

Thanks to everyone for the excellent pictures from Flickr! Please note all images were used under the Creative Commons  License at the time of posting. 

Remember our cheap hostels in New York – I hope to see you there!

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