Travel & Culture

Halloween Adventures of Bergen County 

As October approaches and the countdown to Halloween begins, everything gets a little spooky. This is the time for carving pumpkins and dressing up, but most importantly it’s time to get spooky. It’s fun to give yourself a scare every once in a while, and Halloween is the perfect time to do it! You could just curl up on your sofa and break out a Stephen King novel or an old slasher movie, but wouldn’t you rather get in on the action?

Now, you don’t have to travel to Transylvania for some horror movie fun. There are loads of local legends and scary spots that make Bergen County a great spot for all of those aspiring ghostbusters out there.

A Spooktacular State ~

There are so many events surrounding Bergen County that make it a hotspot for supernatural activity -Tales of the American Revolution, vast graveyards, tragic accidents, and abandoned buildings just to name a few. While many people wouldn’t suspect that this tasteful suburban area in northern Jersey has a dark side, there are actually countless urban legends.

This list explores just a few of the many urban legends that take place in Bergen County. Please make sure to keep in mind that some of these areas are private property and we encourage you to seek out the proper permission before investigating any of these legends for yourself. Having a Halloween adventure is great, but staying safe is more important. 

1. Edgewater Cemetery, Edgewater

Cemeteries are probably the most classic spooky setting for any haunted adventure. They act as the final resting places for billions of individuals all over the world and there is no end to the stories of haunted cemeteries -and the older they are, the better the stories. Now the Edgewater cemetery is expansive and old. This 1.6-acre plot of land has acted as a burial ground since the 15th century. It holds the graves of slaves, war heroes, and even a Native American princess! Many say that their spirits can still be seen late at night wondering among the tombstones.

2. Herman Street, East Rutherford

If you are feeling brave, you take a trip to the abandoned factory on Herman Street. This site is featured on several lists of haunted places, although little is really known about the origin of the spooky tales that surround this eerie place. All that we do know is that the apparition of a man can be seen pacing the empty factory through the windows, and those that are brave enough to get a closer look are chased away by the angry spirit when they try to sneak a peek against the windows.

3. Crayhay Mansion, Midland Park

This old mansion has been said to be one of the most haunted homes in New Jersey. The house is said to be teeming with activity and not surprising beings since 1864, it has seen murders, suicide, and tragic accidents. An elderly woman who was shot by robbers, a boy who died in an accident, and even a feline spirit of yellow and white cat have all been reported to roam through these halls.

4. Spook Bridge, Paramus

The legend of the spook bridge of Paramus dates all the way back to the American Revolution. It was said that four soldiers were sent to guard a small bridge over what is now known as Van Saun Park. One night, they accepted some apple cider that had been offered to them by a local farmer, not knowing it had been laced with poison. The four were later found dead on the bridge and their bodies were buried nearby shortly after. Legend said that for a long time after horses refused to cross the bridge and that and that late at night, an unlucky few may come across these specters who are spending their eternity guarding the bridge.

5. Gravity Road, Franklin Lakes

This next urban legend has much more modern roots. It is said that several years ago, a young woman was killed at the bottom of the Ewing Avenue exit ramp off route 208. Ever since that day, people have reported that an unseen force had pushed their vehicles back up that very hill. Many believe this is the spirit of the woman trying to save others from the dangerous road and an untimely end. Some people even go farther and say that if you sprinkle baby powder on your vehicle before going down the road, you can see handprints made by the spirit touching your car.

6. Devil’s Tower, Alpine

In the early 1900s, Manuel Rionda, a very wealthy individual, commissioned a giant stone clock tower to be constructed on his Rio Vista estate as a tribute to his wife. According to local legend, his wife had been exploring the unfinished tower when she had spotted Rionda with another woman and immediately jumped to her death. Ever since her untimely death, rumors have circulated about a supernatural presence around the tower. Some believe that if you circle the tower three times, you will summon her spirit. Others say that doing so will summon the devil himself, either way a very risky game.

The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear Itself

Those who are a little faint of heart need not worry, you don’t have to go whip out the Ouija board or risk an exorcism to get a thrill. As the popularity of horror genre increases, as does the number and variety of horror attractions. Decorated houses, zombie simulations, haunted hayrides -these events are not only fun but can be found right here in Bergen County hosted. These nighttime activities can make for great family fun during October!

7. Ward’s Pumpkin Patch, Ridgefield

If you are looking for something on the less spooky side, an old fashioned pumpkin patch experience is perfect for small children and the easily spooked alike! Since 1940, the ward family had operated their own pumpkin patch. They have the largest and greatest selection of pumpkins and gourds in northern jersey. Whether you are looking to make your traditional jack-o-lanterns or enjoy the family-friendly Halloween ambiance, the Ward Pumpkin Patch is the perfect Halloween destination for you and your children. 

8. Hollyweird, Montvale

Hollyweird is the traditional haunted trail experience hosted annually by Pantophobia. This experience is 100% outdoors, starting off with a hayride and ending with a walking trail, this event can make for the perfect Halloween adventure for people 10 and over. You will meet tons of spooky monsters and characters along the way, something is bound to make you jump!

9. Zombiescape, Montvale

This exclusive event, also hosted by Pantophobia, is like a very extreme and spooky version combination of flag football and track. To start off, all participants are given a belt with removable flags. These flags represent your life, you lose your flags you “die” and are out of the game. To win the game -and survive this “zombie apocalypse,” you must cross the finish line with at least one of your flags still remaining. Now, who exactly is after your flags? Lots and lots of zombies. Park workers will be all dressed up as zombies and chase after your flags all the way until the end. Do you think you have the speed, strategy, and brains to survive a zombie outbreak? Well, now’s your chance to show off!

Get Ready To Scream

Whether you are looking for a simple pumpkin patch or a daring adventure with real ghosts, you don’t have to leave New Jersey to find it. There are loads of adventures waiting for you right here in Bergen County!

Photo Captions:

A scary look into the Zombie Run

From Pumpkin Patches to Candied Apples—Fall got a little sweeter!

Scare enough to make grown ups feel like a kid again.

Brittni Devlin

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