A preview of Irvington’s 75th annual Halloween Festival

A mural of the Headless Horseman, a woman riding a bike, and an old car

Mural in the Historic Irvington neighborhood | Photo via INDYtoday team

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Country Living named it one of the 30 best Halloween festivals in the country and it just so happens to be on the near east side of Indianapolis.

The 75th annual Historic Irvington Halloween Festival — one of the largest + longest-running Halloween festivals nationwide — is coming back this year after a 2-year hiatus.

Guide to the Irvington Ghost Tours held up with people lined up in the background

Irvington Ghost Tours remains a popular event in the neighborhood | Photo via @irvingtheater

Named after Washington Irving — author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” — it makes sense that Irvington would maintain such terrifying traditions. In fact, they have a special event in honor of the 19th century author, where locals read aloud their spookiest stories in an annual writing contest. Heads up, the Headless Horseman will be there, as well as the Black Hat Society — Irvington’s own coven of witches.

Some festivities have already begun, such as the Irvington Ghost Tour, and you can catch City Editor Anna at the tour next Friday. Spoiler alert — bank robber John Dillinger + serial killer H.H. Holmes are notable mentions.

A house decorated with jagged teeth and dragons in the yard with eyeballs on the roof

An example of neighborhood decoration | Photo via @findalottolove

The neighborhood is infamous for its house decorating + costume contests, as well. While you’re on a Ghost Tour or taking part in the costume parade, be sure to keep an eye out for the delightfully sinister decorations + spine-chilling outfits.

Speaking of costumes, according to Google, the most popular Halloween costumes in Indy are Harley Quinn + the Bride of Chuckie.

The full 2021 events schedule includes:

  • Sun., Oct. 24: Spooky Organ Concert
  • Mon., Oct. 25: Online Art and Silent Auction
  • Tues., Oct. 26: A Night of Spirits Seance
  • Wed., Oct. 27: A Halloween Evening with Madge and Char
  • Thurs., Oct. 28: Night Out in Sleepy Hollow
  • Fri., Oct. 29: Zombie Bike Ride
  • Sat., Oct. 30: Vampire Run, Street Fair, Official After Party

Pro tip: Washington Street will be shut down for several hours on Sat., Oct. 30, so if you’re passing through, make sure to reroute around the festivities.


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