The Great Jack O’ Lantern BlazeThe Historic Hudson Valley is expanding its portfolio of fall and Halloween events this year, plus adding additional nights for the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton, the tri-state area’s biggest ticketed Halloween celebration, which kicks off Saturday, Oct. 2.

New this year is Horseman’s Hollow, an interactive haunted attraction at Philipsburg Manor recommended for ages 14 and up. Stocked with professional actors and state-of-the-art special effects, Horseman’s Hollow is rumored to have a very high fear factor and is not recommended for the faint of heart.

Jonathan KrukAlso new is Jonathan Kruk’s ‘Legend’ at the nearby Old Dutch Church. Kruk is a master storyteller. For this event he offers a dramatic re-telling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow accompanied by live organ music at the historic, candlelit interior of the circa-1685 church.

Of course, their popular Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is returning, and will be expanding to 20 evenings, including the first weekend in November. An Egyptian scene with mummies and giant pyramid, shrunken heads, and a pumpkin “cornfield” with crows are some of the new jack o’lantern installations included in this massive display of Halloween-inspired creativity. A team of artists come together to carve more than 4,000 jacks, many of them fused together in enormous and elaborate constructions, all lit up throughout the wooded walkways, orchards, and gardens of historic Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

There will also be a YouTube video contest. Video-savvy visitors may enter the Blaze YouTube Video Contest by filming the event, editing their work, and uploading their video (three minutes or less) to YouTube. Historic Hudson Valley will award an Apple iPad prize provided by 100.7 WHUD for the video that best achieves the contest goal of capturing the creativity and excitement of Blaze. Full contest details and requirements are online at www.hudsonvalley.org.

Also returning is their little-kid friendly Legend Celebration in Tarrytown. This is a daytime event held at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside that is perennially popular with young children, and where visitors are encouraged to come in costume.

For more information about any or all these events, visit www.hudsonvalley.org.