Bear Mountain, the Hudson Valley and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Fall 2012

This set of images was shot at Bear Mountain and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor, both in historic Hudson Valley, in October 2012. A few days after taking these images, Hurricane Sandy hit the entire area. I’m not sure how badly the Hudson Valley was damaged, or if they ended the “Blaze” early last year, but it was the first year New York City cancelled the famous Village Halloween Parade (which I had also photographed for the 1st time the year before).

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze contains more than 5,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns setup in an elaborate walk-through experience. Van Cortlandt Manor is an historic, 18th-century riverside landscape. We strolled through the Tunnel O’ Pumpkin Love and emerged to the incredible sight of gourd-filled Jack-in-the-Box springing up and bouncing around.

The display includes slithering snakes, a giant spider web, an undersea aquarium and super-sized dinosaurs. The Jack O’Lantern Blaze experience also has sound effects, elaborate synchronized lighting and original, atmospheric music. It’s the most innovative Halloween event I’ve ever visited.