Spooktacular Hudson Valley? Or Hotbed of Beauty and Creativity?


The Hudson Valley is (and perhaps we are being a bit biased here) but we think it is one of the most beautiful regions and one with some of the most unique locations on the East Coast. The film industry apparently agrees. According to the Hudson Valley Film Commission, which began in 2000, over 500 independent films have been made at over 1,500 locations throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley. That’s not even including TV shows!Spooky halloween pumpkins on wooden planks

The Hudson Valley appeals to film crews and writers because it’s a blend of architecture ranging from small-town Norman Rockwell houses to historic mansions, with a mix of small cities, river townships, rural country living to luxury estates it offers a broad appeal. Mix in the secluded spots of abandoned estates and spooky secluded hollows it appeals to all genres of film making.

With Halloween only a week away, we thought we would take a quick look at some of the scary films (only a small portion of the variety of films filmed here in the valley) filmed around the area.

The Dead Don’t Die (2019)
Directed by part-time Ulster County resident Jim Jarmusch and filmed in the Valley. According to the Hudson Valley Film Commission, Amy Hutchings Casting in Rhinebeck cast hundreds of local extras as zombies. “The Dead Don’t Die” was filmed in the Town of Ulster in Ulster County; Margaretville and Fleischmanns in Delaware County; and in Elizaville and Ancram in Columbia County. In The Dead Don’t Die, zombies take over the small town of Centerville. When alarmed calls about missing livestock start coming into the local police station, the town’s three cops (Bill Murray, Adam Driver, and Chloë Sevigny) find themselves mired in a mystery that involves shifting weather patterns, mysterious animal behavior, and the dead coming back to life.

A Quiet Place (2018)
Blockbuster horror film A Quiet Place was filmed at multiple locations in Ulster County including the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and the Spring Town trestle. In this post-apocalyptic thriller, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski must keep their family safe (and quiet) from terrifying creatures who attack at the smallest noise. Filming locations were in Little Falls, Pawling, New Paltz and Beacon, NY

Super Dark Times (2017)
Super Dark Times is a wild psychological thriller. The film won high praise for its nuanced portrayal of high school life. Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of paranoia and violence. It also shows Kingston in beautiful autumn splendor and showcases its unique areas within the township. Primarily filmed in Kingston, NY

If you really want to dig around in how many (and where) locations in the Hudson Valley, filming was done for Movies, Documentaries, and Television Shows, IMDB (The Internet Movie Database) offers a wealth of information.

New Paltz, NY, 41 Movies, Documentaries and Shows
Kingston, NY, 71 Movies, Documentaries and Shows
Rhinebeck, NY, 31 Movies, Documentaries and Shows
Beacon, NY, 71 Movies, Documentaries and Shows
Poughkeepsie, NY, 146 Movies, Documentaries and Shows
Halloween pumpkins with candles and lamps on black background

It’s not just movies that love the Hudson Valley, as we mentioned earlier, it’s a creative hub to not just artists and artisans but to writers as well. Here are a few choice scary novels based in the Hudson Valley (some in fictitious towns) for your Halloween reading pleasure.

HVZA: Hudson Valley Zombie Apocalypse, by Linda Zimmermann
It’s 2012, the year the world is supposed to end, For years there was speculation that on December 21, 2012, the Apocalypse was supposed to happen, but then it didn’t, and then it did! An infection spreads rampantly throughout New York’s Hudson Valley infecting hundreds. The government says its just the flu, but people are turning into ravening killers.

The Fisherman, by John Langan
The novel begins with its narrator recalling a Saturday fishing trip ten years in his past as well as an earlier chapter in his life. Together with a friend, they hear rumors of a haunted creek and solace to be found there from past painful events. Exploring it, they confront terror and new beginnings.

At Van Eyckmann’s Request (Hudson Horror Series), by Robert Stava
Eight men are gathered at a crumbling Brooklyn Gentleman’s Club one stormy October night to hear the last will and testament of their late colleague, Lars Van Eyckmann. On Halloween Eve, they will find themselves pitted against each other at the Van Eyckmann estate (in the Hudson Valley) dealing with a family curse originating from terrible atrocities committed in the Dutch East Indies Spice Trade of the early 1600s.

Building 51, by Jennifer L. Place
Burned and completely abandoned, the Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane stands as a crumbling reminder of the dark, early days of the treatment of the mentally ill. Terrible things were committed there for over 140 years, now a group of seven friends exploring the ruins of the hospital find that it’s not quite as abandoned as advertised……

HEX, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Black Spring, NY a picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Mute and Blind, she walks the streets and enters homes at will, standing next to children’s bed for nights on end. The elders of Black Spring have quarantined the town to prevent their curse from spreading, but the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict rules and broadcast to the media about the haunting with devasting results.

The Abandoned: A Chilling Supernatural Horror Thriller (The Harrow Series Book 4), by Douglas Clegg
In the village of Watch Point, New York, in the historic Hudson Valley, something horrifying has crept out from the old boarded-up mansion called Harrow. Throughout the town, people who are sleep awaken crazed and rampage through the town.

The Hudson Valley Horror House, by James Bennett
US Secret agents, Russian operatives, Skinheads and the Supernatural combine with actual historical settings within the Hudson Valley. Set in Dutchess Country, it combines local legends and ghost sightings with real houses in the Valley. Add in some Time Travel to top it off and you have a whopper of a scary novel with a spy thriller twist. James Bennett, the author is an artist and a writer and lives in Poughkeepsie, NY. This is his 5th novel.

Not in the mood to watch a movie or cozy up in front of the fire with a book and want to experience some real-life scares?

Haunted Mill and Monster’s Ball
October 26, 2019, |
Wassaic Project, Wassaic
From 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM, family-friendly activities, including hayrides, games, a photobooth, and art activities. 11 artists have transformed the seven flights of Maxon Mills into a PG-13 haunted house.
At 9:00 PM, head over to The Lantern for the Monster’s Ball afterparty, featuring music from The Jay Vons. Tickets must be purchased in advance and costumes are mandatory.

The Barn of Terror, Lake Katrine
Haunted by a shadowy figure called the Corn Master and his family, The Barn of Terror features a barn, silo, root cellar, mineshaft, cemetery, corn maze, field house, and shantytown. The barn, silo, root cellar, and field house are haunted houses, and the mineshaft, cemetery, corn maze, and shantytown are haunted trails.
Open weekends through October 27, 2019
Located near Kingston New York, not far from Exit 19 off the NY Thruway.
25 Thru View Farm Road, Old Kingston Highway
Lake Katrine, NY 12449

Pure Terror Scream Park
The world’s longest horror attraction holding the Guinness World Record with 9 Haunted House walk-through attractions, a carnival-style midway, food, games and much more.
Pure Terror Scream Park, Monroe, NY
Through November 2, 2019 – Thurs., Fri., Sat., & Sun.

Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses
Open through November 3, 2019
Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses. over 65 creepy acres on a 250-year-old farm in Historic Haunted Hudson Valley, the immersive experience has been praised by everyone from USA Today to MTV as one of the most impressive and frightening haunted attractions in the world.
Ulster Park, NY

For additional haunted events around the Hudson Valley please visit Halloween 2019: Everything to do in and around the Hudson Valley this season and These Are the Spookiest Halloween Events and Activities in the Hudson Valley.

And don’t forget to make your upcoming Holiday reservations at our Hudson Valley Lodging Association Members soon! (We promise, no scary stays at our B&Bs!) And remember #BookDirect. Booking Directly with our inns assures you the best rates plus access to unadvertised special offers.