Although often regarded as a children’s holiday, Halloween offers adults the opportunity to indulge their fears and fantasies, become someone else and experience PG-13/R-rated thrills. From haunted houses too intense and frightening for children to adult costume parties with plenty of dancing and drinking, here are the top eight adults-only Halloween events in New York, NYC, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City.
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Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary
(Friday through Sunday from September 16 through October 9 and most days from October 12 through October 31 from 7:00pm to midnight)
Eastern State Facade at Night
Pricing: $19 to $45 depending on the date
Address: 22nd and Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Event Details: Set in a real former prison with a real haunted history, this massive haunted house experience is consistently rated among the top haunted attractions in the United States. The experience encompasses over 200 performers and Hollywood-level lighting and special effects, all aimed at making Terror Behind the Walls’ six attractions as frightening and startling as possible. Aside from family nights on Sundays until 7:30pm, the event is recommended for 18+.
Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses (Friday through Sunday from September 23 through October 30)
Pricing: $40 if purchased in advance / $47 on site
Address: 778 Broadway, Route 9W, Ulster Park, NY 12487
Event Details: Voted “America’s Scariest Haunted House in the Northeast” by MTV and “World’s Best Haunted Hayride” by AOL News, the Headless Horseman offers an immersive, themed Halloween experience featuring 10 attractions, including a theatrical hayride, a corn maze, and seven haunted houses. The Great Room Escape, an immersive and interactive escape room, is also offered for a separate admissions fee. Aside from children’s days on October 9 and 23, the event is recommended for 18+.
Into the Veil (Saturday, October 15 from 8:00pm – 12:00am)
Pricing: $70 for Green-Wood members / $75 for nonmembers / $145-$150 for the VIP experience
Address: 5th Avenue and 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Contact information: 718-210-3080 or visit their website
Event Details: Sponsored by Atlas Obscura, this unique experience takes participants on a nighttime excursion into the Green-Wood Cemetery, a 478-acre graveyard dating back to 1838 and filled with spectacular gravestones and mausoleums. Conducted entirely by flashlight, this rare tour offers a glimpse into the cemetery at night and features musical performances, readings and more for its cocktail-attired participants. A cash bar and VIP experience are also available; this event is 21+.
This is Real (October 20 through 23 from 3:00 to midnight)
Address: 153 Coffey Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231
Event Details: From the creators of the famous Nightmare New York haunted house, This is Real is an immersive horror experience truly designed to terrify. Not a haunted house, This is Real aims to put its participants in the middle of a horror movie by staging their kidnapping and giving them an hour and one shot to escape. As the creators describe is, This is Real is “interactive horror theater, a mind-bending survival game, and extreme hide and seek” rolled into one. This event is 18+.
The Blood Ball (Thursday, October 27 from 8:00pm on)
Pricing: From $500
Address: 235 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10035
Contact information: 212-209-6733 or visit their website
Event Details: For those desiring a truly over-the-top Halloween experience, the Blood Ball offers a night of burlesque, circus acts and the potential for frights and thrills. This costume masquerade will be held at the historic Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe night club, and attendees are invited to don their best dark glamor costumes and indulge in cocktails and dancing. The price tag for the event is steep, but all proceeds go to support bone marrow registration. Admission includes access to the open bar; the event is 21+.
Tropicana’s Ultimate Halloween Celebration (Saturday, October 29 from 7:00pm to 3:00am)
Address: 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Contact information: 800-843-8767 or visit their website
Event Details: Designed to be the ultimate adult Halloween experience in Atlantic City, the Tropicana’s Ultimate Halloween Celebration features extreme costume contests, a themed sound and light show, a Thriller dance-off on the Boardwalk and more. The night is slated to start with the Boardwalk dance-off and first of many costume contests; as the night wears on, live entertainment and go-go dancers help attendees celebrate Fright Night in style. Drink specials are available throughout the night, including Pumpkin-flavored beers and Morgue-a-ritas; the event is 21+.
6th Annual Penthouse of Peril (Saturday, October 29 from 9:00pm to 4:00am)
Pricing: $20 for general admission / $10 after 1:00am / $35 – $45 for VIP access
Address: 420 Park Avenue South,
Contact information: Visit their website
Event Details: Held twenty stories above Manhattan on the rooftop of the iconic Gansevoort Park Avenue, the sixth annual Penthouse of Peril provides the perfect backdrop for spooky, sexy fun. The Gansevoort Park Rooftop has hosted celebrities such as the Kardashians and Rihanna, and the venue has the amenities to match. A live DJ performance will set the party mood, and the VIP packages provide access to additional entertainment. A complimentary open vodka bar will be available from 9:00pm to 10:00pm; the event is 21+.
8th Annual Masquerade Macabre: Stranger Things Halloween (Saturday, October 29 from 9:00pm to 4:00am)
Pricing: $20 / $15 after 1:00am
Address: 600 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Event Details: Taking its inspiration from Netflix’ critically acclaimed Stranger Things, the event planning team of Gemini & Scorpio are converting a 10,000 square foot warehouse into an immersive party experience aimed at recreating the settings of the 1980s throwback horror show. The DJ’s mix of the Stranger Things soundtrack with 1980s classics will help to complete the atmosphere. Costumes are required–the more elaborate, the better. The event is 21+ (25+ suggested).