Queens, where the departed outnumber the living more than two to one, is well known for its cemeteries. More than 5 million bodies, including the famous and the infamous, from Mae West to Johnny Thunders and Lucky Luciano are buried in one of its 29 cemeteries – four Catholic, three Protestant, fourteen Jewish and eight nondenominational.
A sprawling belt of graveyards was established in Queens after the State Rural Cemeteries Act of 1847 forbade the creation of any new cemeteries in Manhattan. What better time to explore them than Halloween month.
Visit Houdini’s Grave in Ridgewood
Harry Houdini died on the afternoon of Halloween, 1926. Machpelah Cemetery in Queens is his final resting place. It has been said, that before his death, the famous escape artist left behind a code with which friends could contact him on future Halloween eves. For years following his death a séance was conducted by his grave on October 31st. Unfortunately, due to recent vandalisms the cemetery will be closed this year but it is open most other days and what better way to conjure up the spooky season than to visit the grave of Harry Houdini. Many of his family share the same plot and the cemetery itself is overgrown and atmospheric. A gothic gem.
Machpelah Cemetery, 82-30 Cypress Hills St, Ridgewood
Maple Grove’s Great Halloween Festival & Carved Pumpkin Contest
October 20, 2012, 2pm-6:30pm
All ages; suggested donation is $5 per person, children under 12 are free
Maple Grove’s Great Halloween Festival & Carved Pumpkin Contest opens with The Strange and Unusual with a Touch of the Paranormal Walking Tour. A Maple Grove historian will lead the tour (tour is not for those under 12 years of age). A 15-minute Children’s Costume Parade is scheduled for 3:45pm. At 4pm, there will be storytelling, face painting, holiday crafts, and lots of carved pumpkins to admire. Please bring along your pre-carved pumpkin with a candle inside if you would like to participate in the Carved Pumpkin Contest. Pumpkin drop off is between 2pm-5pm with viewing from 5pm-6pm, almost sundown at the cemetery! Judging and prizes will be awarded. For more information, call (917) 881-3358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
83-15 Kew Gardens Road, Kew Gardens