Enter the estate gates and drive down the dark drive. Turn into a field where you are greeted by a lady in a witch hat (on this occasion Interim Director Rena Zurofsky) who will lead you down the windy walk to the house itself.
And what a house! If you haven't seen Lyndhurst yet by candlelight, or rather electric candles (fire codes!), then now is your chance. I won't give away all the tricks and treats that lie inside, but suffice it to say, it's fun, educational and just the right amount of creepy.
No chance of being bored by that "educational" part: Here it's all fascinating facts of how many people died during the Civil War, how black wreaths on doors indicate a death in the house, how the dead are laid out at home for wakes, the origin of that word "wake" and so on.
There are blood-stained shower curtains, fingers poking out of goblets in a dining room Tim Burton would drool over, a very cool crystal ball (authentic, not prop, from the estate collection), puns on homeowner Jay Ghoul and the rest of the clan, Halloweeny organ music, some unnamed lanky man lurking in the hallways (a dead butler?), and some requisite kitsch.
Tour guides, said Zurofsky, were asked to either dress dark or '60s (white go-go boots!) —call it vamp or camp—in honor of the House of Dark Shadows movies inspiring the tours (and filmed here).
Thanks to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery's Jim Logan for this series of photos from Lyndhurst's new "After Dark."
To buy tickets, and get more info on this and other seasonal-specific events, click on the Lyndhurst website here.