East Village Haunts

Historically, the East Village has been home to some of the city’s hippest happenings and spookiest spots. Of course, the neighborhood has undergone dramatic changes over the last few decades, and now offers residents a host of creature comforts. But for those looking for East Village rentals — and wanting to indulge in the most haunting time of year — you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for at the luxury apartments at EVGB.

Nothing sets the mood for the October fright fest quite like the films of Alfred Hitchcock. The famed auteur was known as the master of suspense, and rightfully so, with an astonishingly long list of film credits devoted to exploring the darker side of our cinematic indulgences. In his honor, and to honor the season, Village East Cinema has devoted the entire month of October to a few of the master’s greatest in the form of Hitchcocktober. Get in the mood for all that’s wonderfully ghoulish about Halloween with “Shadow of a Doubt.” Follow this classic tale of a deadly game of cat and mouse as Young Charlie tries to determine whether Uncle Charlie is the Merry Widow Murderer. You also can catch “Strangers on a Train” and bask in its exploration of fate and misery, or “The 39 Steps,” a classic murder mystery that helped define the genre for a generation. But whatever you do, do not miss the screening of “Psycho” on Halloween. Considered by many to be Hitchcock’s finest work of horror, enter the world of Norman, everyman to those around him, but sinister to the core, as we unlock the secrets of his home, his motel, and ultimately his mind.

Between films, find your way to Obscura Antiques & Oddities. Billed as “NYC’s oldest oddities imporium,” Obscura specializes in the odd (they “carry medical, scientific, natural history, fraternal, circus/sideshow, and all things unusual”) and the bizarre. Real bone dice, pocket watch faces, landmine flags, and skull and bones letter openers sit alongside an assortment of taxidermy animal heads, an array of eerily enticing sculptures and dolls, and a large collection of mirrors that will make you glance warily over your shoulder as you pass. While at Obscura we’ve never seen a ventriloquist, dummy roll its eyes at us or noticed an old oil painting smile in our direction, but we always look twice, just in case.

Do you celebrate black as its own fashion motif? What’s your view on leather spiked collars? Answer these questions and more with a trip to Gothic Renaissance. More than just your local Goth shop, the store takes the concept to a whole new level. Billing itself as “an alternative fashion boutique, proudly catering to interesting people since the dawn of the 21st century,” Gothic Renaissance is simply loaded with cool stuff. And despite the name, you don’t have to be Goth to find a part of yourself in there. Yes, the place is full of offerings tilted toward the vampiric and industrial gothic culture that many envision, but the shop also has equal parts of steam- and dieselpunk oddities, Venetian carnival masks, and even an assortment of burlesque fashion to add just the right amount of edge to that club ensemble you’re putting together. For Halloween ideas and clever “costuming” that can be worn at any time of year in NYC, this may be your first and last stop of the season.

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