Maybe it’s the morbid spirit brought on by living with a global pandemic for the past seven months, or maybe its the need for a last outdoor hurrah when faced with the prospect of spending months more huddled indoors, but Halloween is far from canceled this year.

From spine-chilling stories to haunted museums of curios, trunk-or-treating to a jack-o-lantern patch to drive-in scary movies, community groups from one end of the East End to the other are putting together unique Halloween festivities in the upcoming week.

Here are some highlights:

An Audio Chillfest From America’s Women

This Halloween season, the Neo-Political Cowgirls present truth-telling, coming-out-of-the-deep-stories from the most mocked, disregarded, underestimated, weakest sex of the land: Halloween Story Time from America’s Women.

On Oct. 29 at noon, NPC goes live with writings and readings by: Dipti Bramhandkar, Sarah Bierstock, Kate Mueth, Domenica Feraud, Susan Stout, Mia Funk and more.

Tickets range from $5 to $50 and can be purchased online here. All tickets go to support the NPC’s mission to make theater for and from the perspectives of women and the under-represented in our society.

Guild Hall’s Spine-Chilling Moonlit Tales

Guild Hall in East Hampton presents four spine-chilling tales woven in the moonlight Thursday, Oct. 29 through Saturday, Oct.31

A small company of costumed actors read short tales of the macabre from the stage of the John Drew Backyard Theater, complimented by eerie sound, mystifying lights, haunting projections plus some truly terrifying surprises. The performance is approximately one hour of sheer, socially-distanced dread.

Directed by the John Drew Theater’s Artistic Director Josh Gladstone, who previously created Guild Hall’s Ghouled Hall immersive events as well as The Haunt at Mulford Farm, co-produced with Kate Mueth of the Neo-Political Cowgirls, which ran on Main Street for several Halloweens in recent years.

The program will be held at 7 and 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Oct. 30 and at 6:30, 8 and 9:30 p.m. on Halloween. Tickets are $45 per Lawn Circle (seats 1-2 members of a quarantine pod) and are available online here.

Haunted Hallway: A Collection of Creepy Curiosities

A dark apparition appears in the transportation room, the shuffling sounds of furniture being moved are heard in the grand hallway, the sound of a woman weeping comes out of nowhere…

Haunted Hallway: A Collection of Creepy Curiosities is on display now through Nov. 7 at the Suffolk County Historical Society at 300 West Main Street in Riverhead.

With their creepiest artifacts ranging from coffins, Victorian-era murder weapons, and wreaths of human hair, to stories of undocumented human bones found in the collection, the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum has had no shortage of eccentric artifacts that stir the darker imagination. For over 130 years, ghost stories have swirled around the museum. Now the creepiest curiosities will have you looking over your shoulder as you meander the museum’s historic galleries.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 631.727.2881


Southold Historical Pumpkin Patch

The annual Pumpkin Patch is returning to the Southold Historical Society Museum Complex on the Main Road. From Oct. 29 through Oct. 31, the community is invited to drop off their carved pumpkins to the Museum Complex grounds.  The society will be providing battery-operated tea light candles to illuminate the jack-o-lanterns as well as small, non-food treats for families.

“During difficult times, it is especially important to host programs that contribute to community spirit. We are hoping the Pumpkin Patch will bring a smile to participants and passersby,” says the historical society’s Executive Director, Deanna Witte-Walker.

Everyone is welcome to participate. Pick up a pumpkin at your local farm stand or merchant; bring it home to carve; and drop off your jack-o-lantern at Southold Historical Society’s Museum Complex between 3 and 5 p.m. on Oct. 29, Oct. 30 or Oct. 31.  Then come back in the evening to see the historic complex ablaze with a collection of illuminated pumpkins. Participants are welcomed to pick their jack-o-lanterns up at any time thereafter, or the society will make arrangements for removal.

This is a free community event sponsored by the Southold Historical Society.  Donations are welcomed.

For more information on this or any other society programs or events, please call 631.765.5500 or visit

Stotzky Trunk-Or-Treat

All of downtown Riverhead’s BID-sponsored holiday happenings are cancelled this year, but the Riverhead Recreation Department will host a Halloween “Trunk or Treat” on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Stotzky Park at 55 Columbus Avenue in Riverhead. Call 631.727.3200 ext. 205 or 737 to register to decorate your vehicle and hand out treats. The best vehicle wins a prize.

Monsters for the CFD

Peconic Bay Winery at 31520 Main Road in Cutchogue is hosting a family drive-in screening of “Monsters Inc.” this Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. to benefit the Cutchogue Fire Department.

Tickets are $45 per car, and can be purchased online here. Gates open at 6 p.m. and refreshments will be available.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Spooky Movies at SAC

The Southampton Arts Center at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton is hosting scary movies on the lawn on Fridays now through Halloween, with a double-header on the eve of Halloween. On Friday, Oct. 23 they will present Disney’s Hocus Pocus at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved online here.

On Friday, Oct. 30, SAC presents “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at 6 p.m. and “Pet Cemetery” at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for either film, and if you buy tickets to one film you can see the other for free. The Thyme Truck will be providing tasty treats at both movie nights.

If the thought of taking the kids out in the cold is too scary, SAC has the Zoom bases covered too. “Vampirina Ballerina” author Anne Marie Pace will read her spooky bedtime story live on Zoom at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, just in time to get the kids to bed for another day of really weird school.

Kids Halloween Paint Night at EEA

East End Arts at 133 East Main Street in Riverhead will hold a Halloween Paint Night for kids on Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Carriage House Studio, a large, well ventilated studio space. Limited seats are available to encourage social distancing practice, 11 students per session. A waiting list will be kept for registrations beyond 11.  EEA supplies paint, pallets, canvas, and brushes. The cost is $25 per person. Bring a group of 8 & the organizer attends for free. Face coverings must be worn at all times Registration is online here.
Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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