Your Fear: Machines
Face It At: Gravesend Inn
Voorhees Theater; 186 Jay St., nr. Tillery St., Downtown Brooklyn; 718-260-5588; 10/20–10/22 and 10/27–10/30; $5
Yes, yes, we get it: One day the machines will rise up. We've seen Terminator! But for now we're still the dominant, uh, species, so we might as well enjoy the animatronics while they're still held captive. Like at this super-high-tech house (built every year since 1999 by New York City College of Technology), where sensor-operated pirate skeletons pop out to interact with visitors. If you get scared, don't hesitate to pummel them with one-line zingers. They might not be able to appreciate your wit, but your companions will.
Your Fear: Glowing Things
Face It At: Blood Manor
163 Varick St., nr. Charlton St.; 212-290-2825; through 11/3; $25
The second floor of an office building never seemed so scary, with this visual feast going heavy on the UV paint and jam-packed with creepy crawlies and butcher-shop gore (including an actual butcher shop!). The impressively high production value means you'll encounter everything from animatronics to a 3-D room, with over 40 actors—some resembling the robots, for added disorientation—fawning over you at every corner. But you can walk through with friends, so if it gets to be too much, just use them as a shield.
Your Fear: Inanimate Objects
Face It At: After Dark: The Haunting
Madame Tussauds; 234 W. 42nd St., nr. Seventh Ave., 866-841-3505; 10/20–10/23 and 10/27–10/30; $22
These lifeless wax figures can't jump out at you from a dark corner, so why would you be scared of them? Sure, they're more imposing in the dark—which it will be at this nighttime-only, limited event—and their eyes are cold, and uncaring, but those things could also be said about your ex. So shake off the emotional hold and suck it up—this one shouldn't be scary for anyone but the kids. Although, you will hear screams coming from the darkness, and mannequins can't scream ...
Your Fear: Clowns
Face It At: Luna Park's Nights of Horror
Luna Park, 1000 Surf Ave., nr. W. 8th St., Coney Island, Brooklyn; 718-373-5862; Weekends through 10/28; $30
Repeat after us: Clowns are just people with makeup on. Sometimes they even do balloon tricks. Yay! Now you'll have no problem hitting up this Coney Island theme park for some nighttime thrill-ride fun, featuring clown and scarecrow-themed mazes and things that bump in the night. Pro tip: Bring your own balloons, and if you encounter a scary clown, hand them one. Free balloon animals for everyone.
Your Fear: Staten Island
Face it at: Trapped in Purgatory
Green Side Up Nursery, 5050 Hylan Blvd., nr. Poillon Ave., Staten Island; through 10/31; $15
If you aren't already a Staten Islander, why bother taking a boat to get to a haunted house? Well, a location in our most suburban borough means more room to be creative. Case in point: This poetically titled house-of-horrors experience starts out with an enclosed, one-person-at-a-time corn maze, forcing you to stew in your thoughts. It eventually opens up to a funeral, which goes heavy on the special effects, fog, and theatrics. Not bad for just a ferry ride away, but let’s hope you don’t get trapped there.