At a Wednesday press conference in Lyndhurst, the famed Tarrytown castle, the tourism department announced its fall lineup of events in the county.
Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow were particularly spotlighted due to their connection with 1820 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving. Visitors flock to the area in October to see where Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman roamed the streets.
Events include the Sleepy Hollow Haunted Hayride, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and Horseman's Hollow at Philipsburg Manor. Historic Hudson Valley is hosting The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton.
Lyndhurst also is getting into the spirit, hosting a fun house called Jay Ghoul's House of Curiosities: A Monster In Every Family.
Attracting visitors and film shoots has become a priority for the county. The same day as the press conference, an episode of the NBC TV series "The Mysteries of Laura" was shooting at Lyndhurst.
"Tourism is a $1.7 billion industry in Westchester with 24,000 employees," said Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett. "It is very important to Westchester. Small businesses really benefit from tourism."
Howard Zar, executive director of Lyndhurst, said the castle gets as many visitors in October as it does the rest of the year.
"It's when this area is at its most beautiful," Zar said. "People want to see the leaves and the historic mansions."
Lyndhurst, which as built in 1838, has a Gothic feel, Zar said.
"It has a romantic aesthetic," he said.
Zar said that during the House of Curiosities tour visitors can expect to see the Bride of Frankenstein, the Phantom of the Opera and the Mummy.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Zar said. "Lyndhurst is such an iconic house."
Wadell Stillman, executive director of Historic Hudson Valley, said its annual fall events give the organization invaluable exposure.
"It gives us a great platform," Stillman said. "We're an educational organization, that's at the heart of what we do."
Stillman said more than 30,000 people visit one of Historic Hudson Valley's properties each year.
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