When asked to define horror, Stephen King once said, “It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there.” 

In our opinion there is nothing quite as terrifying as a King thriller - but perhaps the next best thing is a good old fashioned house of horror. So for this week’s Diversions, we’ve found a few hair-raising attractions that seem to have taken a page right out of the King of Horror’s book. Enter at your own risk!

The Haunt at Rocky Ledge (White Plains): Not for the faint of heart, this intense haunted house experience has been called “traumatizing fun for teens and adults!” The Haunt includes two haunted houses, a haunted woods and the only haunted cornfield in Westchester. This is arguably the scariest haunted Halloween attraction around. (Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through November. Not recommended for children).

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Why we love it: Because it takes a lot to scare us, but this haunted attraction promises to have us quaking in our boots for days!

Horseman’s Hollow (Sleepy Hollow): For the month of October, Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a deeply disturbing landscape ruled by the undead, the evil and the insane. For 15 days, the bucolic paths of Philipsburg Manor become haunted trails, where visitors encounter a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman; ghoulish figures lurk in the shadows of the trail, which concludes with the ruins of Ichabod’s Schoolhouse, a twisted maze of horror, and the Headless Horseman’s lair. Warning: This isn’t your grandmother’s version of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow! (Open weekends through Nov. 1; recommended for ages 10-plus).

Why we love it: Because we’ve seen and heard the kiddie version of Sleepy Hollow countless times, and we are ready to graduate to this darker version of Sleepy Hollow.

The Forest of Fear (Tuxedo, NY): It’s a forest that’s guaranteed to scare the bejesus out of you! The accolades say it all — named the third scariest haunted house in America by Haunted Attractions Magazine, one of the scariest places in America by the Discovery Channel and one of the 10 best haunted houses in America by The New York Times. Attractions include the Slaughterhouse, the Dexter Tripp Thrill Show and the Coffin Ride (Not suitable for children under 8; open Friday through Sunday every weekend in October).

Why we love it: Because it was rated as one of the 10 best haunted houses by that little paper called The New York Times. And in our opinion it’s not suitable for children under 18 (or scaredy-cats under 99).

Murder & Mayhem Lantern Tours of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (Sleepy Hollow): If you love a good cemetery tour (and we definitely do), then this is the Halloween attraction for you. During this two-hour tour, visitors learn about both victims and perpetrators including the flamboyant businesswoman branded “the wickedest woman in New York,” a debonair counterfeiter, the scene of a grave robbery, victims of “the Mad Murderer of Sleepy Hollow,” a brotherly murder-suicide, and the celebrated opera singer who was alleged to have assaulted, extorted and killed some of her seven husbands. (Runs every Thursday and Saturday night from 8-10 p.m., with an extra 10 p.m. – midnight tour on Halloween night. Not recommended for children).

Why we love it: Because this graveyard tour is perfect for the history buff and horror fanatic alike – and we are both!