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English Language Institute Blog

Sleepy Hollow at Halloween

It is true that when you study English at Pace in New York City or  at the English Language Institute in Westchester, there is so much to do and see  for virtually any holiday. 

Did you know that Westchester county, the area just north of New York City, is filled with fascinating history, beautiful natural scenery, and plenty of attractions?

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and plan an autumnal getaway to the town of Sleepy Hollow today!  Whether you like spooky Halloween events or just want to admire the foliage, Sleepy Hollow is the perfect place to visit!

All you need to do is take the train at Grand Central and get off at the Tarrytown station. Then, simply take a walk or call a cab to your destination. It is only a 35-minute train ride, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy your day!

Of course, if you are studying on our Westchester Campus, these attractions are only a very short car ride away!

#1  Sunnyside: Home of the ‘Legend’

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, 89 West Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown NY

Portrait of Washington Irving

Are you the kind of person who likes Halloween but perhaps not its creepy components? Visit the home of one of the most famous writers of American literature! Get to know Washington Irving, who wrote the famous, gothic short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” as you tour his two-story home. The property as we know it has remained the same since 1835, but the history of the estate dates all the way back to 1690! 

In addition to browsing Irving’s original furnishings, explore artworks and various artifacts inspired by his most famous tale. After your tour, be sure to enjoy a stroll along the property. This house sits on ten acres and overlooks the Hudson River. This is the same river that many of you see right along the West Side Highway!

Other activities on this historical property include a literature-themed scavenger hunt, historic games, photo ops, and a shadow puppet performance. You can find information about dates, times, and ticket prices here.   

#2  Horseman’s Hollow

Philipsburg Manor, 382 North Broadway (Route 9), Sleepy Hollow, NY

Philipsburg Manor

If you like horror movies, you are going to love Horseman’s Hollow! During select nights this Halloween season, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor transforms into a frightening fest, ruled by vampires, witches, undead soldiers, ghouls, ghosts, and the Headless Horseman, the legendary character from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!” Your walk through the historical property will last about 25 minutes—but prepare to be terrified. Not only will you see some scary sights, but some creepy figures will pop out of the dark!

Note: If you prefer not to be frightened, you can still visit this fascinating place by purchasing tickets for a classic tour.

#3  Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Walking Tours

540 North Broadway, Sleepy Holly, NY

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Halloween is a holiday that is derived from All Saints’ Eve, which is recognized in the Christian tradition. For centuries, Christians from all over the world have visited the dead on All Saints’ Eve. This is why Halloween is often associated with the dead—and of course, cemeteries!

Whether you enjoy admiring sculptures, expanding your historical knowledge, or simply taking in the beautiful scenery, you are welcome to take a tour in one of New York’s most famous cemeteries. The cemetery offers several different types of tours, including a daytime tour, an evening lantern tour, and a tour highlighting notorious murderers and their victims buried here.

There are plenty of famous people interred here, such as industrialist Andrew Carnegie (yes, the man who founded NYC’s Carnegie Hal), several of Alexander Hamilton’s children, and of course, the famed writer Washington Irving.

These are only three of the many ways you can enjoy the Halloween season in the Sleepy Hollow area.

There are plenty of other attractions in this extraordinary little town, but act quickly! Tickets tend to sell out fast. Also, don’t forget to refuel at one of the many great places to eat in Sleepy Hollow.

Most importantly, have a Happy (and safe) Halloween!

Do you want to come to Westchester, NY to study English?  You can visit the ELI website,  contact the ELI  or apply here.

Word List:

  • virtually (adv.) nearly, almost.
  • spooky (adj.) sinister, causes fear and unease.
  • foliage (n.) the leaves of plants and trees.
  • component (n.) a part of a larger whole.
  • gothic (adj.) in literature, refers to a style or writing characterized by fear, horror, death, and gloom.
  • estate (n.) a large area of land in the countryside, usually with a large house, owned by a person, family, or organization.
  • artifact (n.) an object made by a human, usually an item of cultural or historical importance.
  • pop out (v.) to suddenly appear, to quickly come into sight
  • derived (adj.) traced from a source or origin.
  • notorious (adj.) famous or well known, usually for some bad quality or deed.
  • inter (v.) to place a corpse in a grave or tomb.