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Howe Caverns, The Underworld

Howe Caverns, Titan's Temple

What is Howe Caverns?

Naturally developed approximately six million years ago, Howe Caverns is a magnificent feat of New York State’s nature. Formed by two separate types of limestone, Coeymans and Manlius, the walls of the cave are embedded with the fossils of creatures of the past and prior inhabitants of the land. Howe Caverns was discovered in the early 1800’s by none other than Lester Howe himself after hearing the tales from various Native American tribes.

The most popular activity is the cave tours, in which Howe led the first in 1842. Upon commodifying the caverns with tours, Howe Caverns quickly became the second most visited natural attraction in New York.

Today, the caverns and property are home to a multitude of fun events and activities, including glassblowing, an escape room, different types of cave tours and various enjoyable packages.

The Underworld at Howe Caverns

In addition to Howe Caverns’ already exhilarating cave tours, a new, unique tour is being implemented just in time for spooky season. The Underworld at Howe Caverns is a haunting, immersive tour through the caverns via boat ride. This may not be the first Halloween event hosted at the caverns, but it’s certainly the spookiest.

“It is going to be not your typical haunted house. It’s going to be more like a show – it’s really immersive,” said April Islip, General Manager of Howe Caverns. “You’ll be able to walk through and interact with these creatures of The Underworld that our founder has kept at bay throughout history.”

Being six million years old, and home to countless fossils and bats, many have roamed this underground environment. It’s unclear whether the cave is truly haunted, but The Underworld tours will be sure to make you believe so.

Lasting around 45 minutes this haunted cave experience transcends the traditional local haunted house, as it takes full advantage of the already daunting natural caverns. You can forget about haunted hay rides and the usual walkthrough once you enter the cave. One of The Underworld’s most unique qualities is the boat ride that transports the brave participants throughout the caverns.

Preparing for the Ultimate Haunted Adventure

If the incredibly detailed, terrifying creatures and Keepers of the Cave aren’t enough to give you a fright, the depths of Howe Caverns and The Underworld will. This haunted tour takes visitors 16 stories underground. You’ll truly believe you’re in The Underworld considering the low visibility and damp conditions.

If you’re feeling chills, it may not be just from the terrors of the haunted tour, but from the temperature of the caverns itself. Howe Caverns has a stable temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit. You might want to layer up before you journey into The Underworld to ensure your physical comfort, especially due to the discomfort you’ll already be feeling on the frightening boat ride.

Rain or shine, the tours will be ongoing as they won’t impact the conditions or natural temperature of the caverns. You’ll want to dress comfortably, and please note, costume wearing for visitors is not permitted.

Photography isn’t allowed on this haunted experience until the very end of the tour in the Purgatory Lounge. The Underworld leaves you with long lasting, unforgettable memories as it is.

Nervous about how close these creatures of the night will get to you? This is one fear you can let dissipate as the monsters will not grab or touch any of the brave passengers on this haunted boat ride into The Underworld. Guests are not allowed to touch any of the actors either.

You won’t want to face this terrifying tour on an empty stomach. Howe Caverns has a café that offers plenty of delicious meal options to enjoy before or after your tour. Make sure you plan accordingly with food as any food or drink, including water, are not allowed in the caves to ensure safety and maintain the best possible quality of the caverns.

The tour guide on this boat, known as one of the Keepers of the Cave, bears a resemblance to the Grim Reaper, but they definitely won’t be the only thing to send a shiver down your spine. Aside from this terrifying tour guide, there are several other creatures creeping about the caverns. Guests are sure to see the unimaginable, such as werewolves, demons, minions and many others that go bump in the night.

The boat ride won’t be the only attraction that makes this haunted tour an exclusive experience. Utilizing the fantastic skillset of artists Michael Santos and Kyle Thompson of Midnight Studios FX, this haunted cave tour is one you simply can’t pass up. Thompson in particular is a well renowned, award winning artist, focusing predominantly in special effects. If you’re a Netflix viewer or you enjoy the likes of October at Six Flags and Universal Studios you likely have already experienced his horrifically impressive talent.

“If you do nothing else this year for excitement, don’t miss this all new event at Howe Caverns THE UNDERWORLD! This will shake the haunted world to its core,” said Michael Santos from Midnight Studios.

This haunting cave tour is the ultimate fear inducing experience for horror lovers and those who enjoy the fun in being scared. The Underworld does not disappoint and makes even the bravest of participants jump out of their seats. If you scare too easily or feel uneasy towards the typical haunted attraction, you may want to rethink your visit to The Underworld.


Maintaining Safety in The Underworld

Howe Caverns prioritizes safety for all of their guests. With a haunted boat tour and horrifying creatures that seem too real for comfort, The Underworld is definitely not for the faint of heart. The phrase “haunted” should not be taken lightly here as it is sure to leave you with an unforgettably scary experience.

This haunted cave tour is not meant for children under the age of 10, and those in their early teens should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Those who suffer with heart conditions, epilepsy or seizures should refrain from this haunting tour as it may trigger these issues. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the caverns, The Underworld is not wheelchair accessible. If your physical movement is impeded or handicapped in any way, The Underworld may not be the right tour for you.

How Has the Coronavirus Affected
Howe Caverns?

What to know before visiting:

Tours are by prepaid, non-refundable reservation only. Walk-ins are not accommodated at this time.

Tour capacity is limited. Private tours available upon request.

Tours are running Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All guests are required to wear a mask for the duration of their visit. Masks are available for purchase at the gift shop.

Other protective items, such as gloves, are not available at the gift shop. Please bring your own if it makes you more comfortable.

Follow suggested hand washing methods, use hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face and maintain safe physical distance from other parties.

By attending, you are agreeing that you and your party do not currently have a cough or shortness of breath, do not have a history of chronic illness, do not have a compromised immune system, are not considered high-risk, have not been asked to self-quarantine or self-isolate and have not had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Take Amtrak to Howe Caverns

Experience the mystique of Howe Caverns via Amtrak to Albany-Rensselaer Station (ALB) or Schenectady Station (SDY). Don’t forget to use the New York By Rail 15% discount!

From ALB: Pick up your reserved #NYTRAIN Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the Albany-Rensselaer Station. Click here to reserve your car, or call Enterprise at Albany-Rensselaer station, Tel. 518-427-3893.

From SDY: Enterprise picks you up at the station and takes you to your reserved #NYTRAIN Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Click here to reserve your car, or call Enterprise’s Schenectady office, Tel. 518-374-7890.

Howe Caverns provides ground transportation from ALB or SDY if you stay at the Howe Caverns Motel.

Further Information Regarding Travel
Amtrak has taken several initiatives to ensure the safety of its passengers. They have committed to requiring face masks for all passengers, converting the cafe car to takeout only, adding social distance signage, and much more.
Learn More Information Here