The Halloween Journey

Get To Know Us

For eight years, hundreds of families throughout the Catskill region and beyond have attended the Halloween Journey.  Back by popular demand, The Halloween Journey will launch its 9th season in  October 2018. Presented by the Catskill Center,  in partnership with The pine hill community center, Café de la Culture and 100,000 poets for change in Mount Tremper, NY. We are assembling a qualified team of artists and  educators to create an extrordinary 2018 season to be remembered!



How It All Started

The Halloween Journey was created by Cara Cruickshank, along with a group of area moms who wanted a fun, safe, affordable way to celebrate Halloween outdoors in the Catskills. They wanted an event that promotes wonder, not fright. The solution was The Halloween Journey, a mysterious and magical celebration of Catskill history, ecology and folklore, because they felt that..

  • Community events that appeal to all generations are hard to find.

  • Safety is an important concern for parents and their children on Halloween.

  • Price is an important concern for locals who want to attend a quality event that celebrates the season.

  • Our first year, 130 community members of all ages attended. Attendance grew exponentially over 7 years with 400 audience members attending by its 7th year. We are excited to bring it back for its 9th season this year, by high demand!



“The Halloween journey was magical and we had a great time! Thanks for what you do for the community here... you are amazing. I am a fan.”

-Maria Todaro, Opera singer and Co-founder of The Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice


“Of all the Halloween activities out there, none have appealed to me and my family as much as The Halloween Journey: The wholesome treasures and the folk tales are enchanting, but it is because of the setting of the event, and the way it appeals to the senses, that I know my children will revisit every Halloween as they get older: the bonfire sending spark threads up into the night and reconnecting with friends we haven't seen in ages.”

- Nancy Oarneire Graham, Freelance Writer/Editor, Kingston, NY



“Thank you, Cara, for an enchanting experience!” 

-Nanci, Panuccio, Assistant Director of Performing Arts at the Catskill Mountain Foundation



“The Halloween Journey is the most magical children’s event that I know of…yet it appeals to each generation so profoundly, that each year more and more grown-ups attend – even the ones without kids!” 

–Wendy H., Shandaken, NY



“WOW! THANK YOU! WOW! THANK YOU! WOWWWWW! I don't know if I was happier for my children's thrill that night or my own. I let myself feel and believe like a child and it will be a night I hope to repeat every year. It was the perfect family night for us. The expense was minimal and magic was everywhere. All of you gave me a precious gift, that I will hold close to my heart and never forget. Thank You.” 

-Brenda Crews, Woodstock Resident, Mother and Artist


“You have created a wonderful enchanting evening for the kids & adults. What an inspiration you are for the Community!”

- Anne-Caroll Michelotti, Big Indian resident, Grandmother


“Thank You! It was just amazing.” 

- Lesley Sawhill, Artistic Director at New Genesis Productions,Youth Theatre Company



“Prior to the Woodstock street rave, Phil and Cally [my husband and daughter] performed in another Halloween tradition here: the Halloween Journey. Cara Cruickshank, local impresario of expressive, earthy, and slightly alien kids puts together this extraordinary show each year. Phil played Rip Van Winkle and Cally a Gnome. Killian [my teenage son] and I did the journey together and I wept the entire time. It was so magical, holding his hand and walking the wetland woods. The first encounter was a lichen-covered woman who appeared to have grown into her chair. She directed us to a path, lit by a trail of tiny lights, jack-o-lanterns -- some with faces, some without -- and paper bag luminaries. The path of low light looked eternal, upward winding as it stepped up into the star-pierced sky from the grounded smell of moist earth and bonfire nearby. We happened on some small people (gnomes, sprites and such), a maple nymph, an excited fairy, old Rip Van Winkle himself (whose snoring, I can attest, was extremely realistic), Johnny Appleseed (who showed us the stars in apples), the esteemed John Burroughs…a woman who kept fireflies as a girl but reformed from sadness of loss, a wood piper, a singer with what sounded a little like a hurdy-gurdy....all minding the senses of our connectedness to nature. Killian asked why on earth I was crying…’Because it's just so damn beautiful out here.’ ”

- Blog Post by Barbara Mansfield, Woodstock resident, Mother, Secretary for Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health, Inc.



“I loved it.  What a great way to honor Halloween and the time of year.” 

-Miranda Haydn, Founder of Catskill Mountain Music Together



“I want to thank you and your wonderful staff for the magical and beautiful Halloween journey last night. My daughter, my wife, my mother-in-law and myself thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast members were wonderful, their sincerity and immersion in their characters were impressive and really made you feel the magic of the journey. We are so glad that you offered an alternative to the "traditional" Halloween. It made me reflect on what I see as three distinct currents in our society. The first is doing nothing. No celebration of any of the milestones and seasons etc. The second is the dominant culture’s celebration of the profane…which celebrates the lowest common denominator and violence. And the third, is the real traditional celebrations based in spirituality and ancient cultures and wisdom. This is what you brought to us and we thank you for it.” 

- James Mongan, Woodstock resident and former professor at Bard



“I must say that it is magical... and the surrounding area was beautiful...and, where or who created all the poetry of words??? It was indeed impressive...I also work with children...I am a  Cranial sacral therapist.  Looking forward to seeing more of your work.” 

-Susan Moran, Woodstock Resident and Cranial sacral Therapist at the Woodstock therapy Center



“I loved being in the woods in darkness and hearing the rushing water of the river near the campfire and watching the children's faces as they accepted their sacred feathers [from Dennis Yerry as a Lenape elder]. It is sacred to have the time to experience nature and stories with a group of people. I noticed that even my 21 year old and his friend were enjoying…” 

-Jill Olesker, Woodstock resident and Storyteller/Arts Educator



“Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful event!!!! It was such a beautiful combination of Theatre and nature for children and adults. I really enjoyed it. My mother came with us and I do not think she has ever walked in the woods. My son Emmet really liked it too…It is so sweet to see him enjoy it year after year. It was the best ever this year and was lovely to see all your hard work and effort in perfecting this Journey. I look forward to another one next year!!! 

-Dina Palin, Resident of Hudson, Mother and Antique Store Owner



“I still am smiling, my heart warmed by the great beauty manifested in so many ways in the magical celebration of the spirit of Halloween. Your commitment to nurturing the creative spirit of young people is very inspiring to me.” 

-Ilfra Halley, Woodstock resident and Musician at The Halloween Journey



“I can't tell how much I enjoyed…You're doing a great thing. I never get to work with kids, but what a joy it was to see the wonder in their eyes (instead of the hunger for things material).I became a grandfather a year ago, so I'm rediscovering my own childhood... 

-Richard Scofield, Resident of Olivebridge, Actor and Volunteer in the Halloween Journey

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“The Halloween Journey was the best way to celebrate Halloween this year.  My three children talked about it for days and loved every station that you had set up.  We look forward to coming again next year.” 

-Jennifer Mangione, Saugerties Resident and Mom of 3



“It was about the most creative and beautifully performed event imaginable, and it is a great highlight of the year. My Mom really loved it…Thank you again for such an enchanted evening. That was some turnout and everything ran so smoothly. Lily & Luke (my children) put the stardust they received from the Star Maiden under their pillows.” 

-King Sacket, Resident of New Paltz and father of 2



“What a wonderful event! So delighted to see it growing so steadily every year! In sum, an amazing experience, made possible only by Cara’s incredible creativity, dedication, passion and vision – and her ability to inspire others to share it and help accomplish it – combined with extraordinary teamwork on the part of the cast and crew. Congratulations all!” 

-Calandra Cruickshank, Big Indian Resident and Mother of 3



“Cheers to you for a wonderful event!  As always!! Looking forward to your next event!” 

-Jean Druffner, Phoenicia Resident, Retired 5th grade School Teacher and Annual Volunteer Storyteller at the Halloween Journey



“My wife, our friend and three children came along and had a great time. It was genuinely one of the highlights of the holiday.” 

-Tim Fortune, Artist and owner of Fortune Studio, Saranac Lake, NY



“Thank you and your crew for putting on a wonderful Halloween Journey.  My daughter Victoria loved it.  Thank you for all that you do.” 

-James Kopp, Phoenicia Resident and President of James Kopp & Associates, Inc.


"Thank you for the incredible work you put into such a delightful event. I was totally charmed by it.  Beautifully done.”

-Christina Gardner, Chichester resident and Mother



“Thank you for a FABULOUS evening of magical enchantment:)  Already looking forward to experiencing it all over again next year!!!!!!!!!” 

-Kim, Community Member and Mother



“Cara’s work is clearly driven by a vision of unity  and understanding among people. I have been amazed by how many lives she touches in meaningful ways by bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths…Her work not only encourages but celebrates diversity and compassion.”

-Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, NYC, Kuwaiti American Sufi Imam, Author, and Activist



“Thank YOU! As always it was a great time for all.”

-Sean Lathrop, Big Indian resident and Father of 5

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Our History

Our first year, 130 community members of all ages attended. Attendance grew exponentially over 7 years with 400 audience members attending by its 7th season. We are bringing the Halloween Journey back by high demand, for its 9th season in October 2018This year The Halloween Journey is sponsored by The Catskill Center, in partnership with the Pine Hill Community Center,  Café de la Culture and 1000 poets for change.


cast of performers 2017

Thank you to our wonderful cast of performers 2017! Stayed tuned for our 2018 cast.

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birdie feehan

Our favorite Fairie Queen!

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aidan Ferris

Aidan Ferris is a ‘Solutionary’ from Phoenicia, New York. She graduated from SUNY Ulster County Community College as an Environmental Science major where she revived the school’s Environmental Club. While club president, she worked with the school to adopt environmentally sustainable practices through forest conservation projects, as well as campus initiatives. she was also highly involved in her community’s fight against water privatization when they successfully stopped the Niagara Bottling Company from building a bottling facility and using water from a local lake in 2015. For the last 2 years, Aidan has worked with Earth Guardians as the Global Crew Director and  Project Coordinator, collaborating with youth globally to create impactful solution based projects. Aidan is also a former member of the Earth Guardians National RYSE youth council and has led several workshops locally and internationally that focus on climate justice solutions youth can bring into their communities. She is currently leading workshops on how to build healthy soil as a major tool to mitigate climate change as well as working on a local farm to bring soil building into action. With the better part of a decade’s experience working with young people, Aidan is enthusiastic in her mission to teach the future generations how to be the caretakers of the earth,

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nancy o graham

Nancy Oarneire Graham is a local actor, writer, and educator. This summer she appeared in Voice Theatre's production of The Skin of Our Teeth in Woodstock. You can see her in Peter Ferland's Pirate Birthday Party on Vimeo. She has been on many Halloween Journeys with her children and was delighted to be one of the performers this year. She lives in Kingston with her kids, Ray and Ada, and their cat, Pat Lavender Will.

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richard jordan

Richard has been in the business since he was 9. He started out doing professional theater in Dallas, was the entertainment director at Club Med in Ixtapa Mexico and then continued to develop his career in New York as an actor doing film, theater, and commercial work. With a focus on mostly comedy acting he's been seen on Comedy Central, MTV, ABC, NBC and online with College Humor. His latest network television role was "Barry" in HBO's VINYL. He splits his time acting and casting with his company Richard Jordan Casting. He cast on both coasts independant films, Columbia University MFA films, music videos, commercials, voice over and print. Music video wise he's worked with artists like All American Rejects, Norah Jones, and DRAM. His casting and producing of Bombe Estero's "Soy yo" picked up an award at Cannes lions this year. He also recruits directors & produces shoots for branded content agency MOFILM,  teaches the business of acting, and has been a judge or guest speaker for New Orleans Film Fest, Santa Fe Independent Film Fest, Buskwick Film Fest, and several others.

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Kymara lacrimosa

Kymara is a designer, curator , musician and performance artist. She has produced and created several Happenings featuring underground cultural icons in NYC at The Chelsea Hotel and The Leslie Lohman Museum. Kymara has designed museum installations at The Walters, Baltimore, Victoria Mansion, Portland, Maine and The Hudson River Museum and set design for the BBC's Andy Warhol Modern Masters. She is currently producing, curating and designing the set and music for Prairie Prince's "Heal, Magic Music" opening in The Hudson Valley, NY in the Fall of 2018.

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moe lemire

Moe Lemire is the Executive Director of the Pine Hill Community Center located in Pine Hill, NY. A native of Massachusetts who moved to the Catskills full time in 2016. He is an avid lover of the outdoors. He is a New York State licensed guide for camping and hiking. In the Spring/Summer of 2016 he successfully thru hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. He has a bachelors degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Meteorology from Lyndon State College. He volunteers with many outdoor organizations including the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the 3500 Club. He spends as much time as possible outside hiking these beautiful Catskill Mountains.

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phillip levine

Phillip X Levine's favorite stage roles include Teach in American Buffalo, JB in JB, Charlie Baker in The Foreigner, Austin in True West, Edgar in King Lear, Ebeneezer Scrooge, and "himself'" in his one-person show approx. poet falls in love & can't get up. Phillip is also a poet, a math teacher/tutor, a computer consultant, poetry editor for Chronogram Magazine, and more than anything else, a dad.

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john michelotti

John Michelotti is the owner of Catskill Fungi whose mission is to empower people through Fungi via outdoor guided mushroom classes, cultivation courses, educational talks, private consultations, mushroom art, and mushroom health supplements which he makes from mushrooms he grows on his family farm in Big Indian NY. His goal is to educate and inspire people to pair with fungi to improve health, environment and communities. 

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susan o'doherty

Susan O'Doherty is an actor, improviser,storyteller, clinicalpsychologist, and hypnotherapist. You can see her in numerous films and videos, most recently in comedy shorts for The Huffington Post, Hyperbolic Media, and Upright Citizens Brigade; music videos for the singers Giselle and Roxiny and the rapper King J, and various films and videos. She is a founding member of Redshirts, the only all-women, Star Trek inspired musical improv team in the known universe. Sue is the author of Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity (Perseus/Seal Press).

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michael resnick

Michael is a poet who, like John Burroughs, often writes about the beauty and wonder of the Catskills. he is also a New York attorney who specializes in residential and commercial real estate, bankruptcy, foreclosure, estate planning and administration, corporate transactions and contract drafting, civil and commercial litigation, and nonprofit law. Michael has advised nonprofit organizations operating in the US, Africa and the Middle East furthering access to civil rights, food security, education, and health care. He can be contacted at

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dennis yerry

Dennis Yerry is a musician, composer, arranger and musical director whose career has encompassed a myriad of musical genres. He composed and musical directed the theatrical production of "Black Elk Speaks" in Denver, CO and L.A., in which he also performed. His film and TV credits include performances for the Ken Burn's documentaries, "Lewis and Clark" and "The West". He is currently the musical director and composer for "Unto These Hills", the outdoor drama in Cherokee, NC. As a pianist he has played such well-known venues in NYC as the Knickerbocker, the Waldorf-Astoria, Tavern on the Green and Sign of the Dove. He is proud to have collaborated and worked with some of the finest musicians, actors and choreographers in the world today, including Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Burrell, Jason Marsalis, Pete Seeger, David Amram, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, R. Carlos Nakai, James Earl Jones, Joseph Fire Crow, Valerie Naranjo, Sloan Wainwright, Dorothy Papadakos, Dan Brubeck, Perry Robinson, Roswell Rudd, Ann Osmond, Michael Greyeyes, Joan Henry, Laura Dean and Marla Bingham to name a few.

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jim davis, harp

2 poems: I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think. ~ Rumi let us live among the white clouds and scarlet woodlands / singing together / songs of the great peace ~ ancient Chinese contact: (518) 943-6559


Musically, Davida has performed for over 22 yrs nationally and abroad in recording studios and on stages; known for doing her own original material, vocal and song arrangements, custom vocals, and shamanic vocalese. She has recorded and performed with and for numerous globally renowned and diversified songwriters and musicians, for example from Winston Grennon (reggae) to Karl Berger (jazz, Creative Music Studios), to Bhagavan Das (kirtan). One of her own bands was named 'Davida and the Eclectics', a group of jazz musicians playing Art Rock; later called Worldbeat.

Locally these days she also is part of the Red Feather Singers with the Thundercloud Drum, and the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) Monastery Choir, both for spiritual ceremonies.


pamela martin, set design, props, costume design

In addition to set design for film and theatre events such as the Halloween Journey, Pamela Martin is also a certified yoga teacher based in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. She completed her 200 hour teacher training with Integral Yoga in Laguna Bacalar, Mexico in 2009. In addition to teaching traditional yoga classes at her beautiful restored church studio in the hamlet of Pine Hill, she also teaches power yoga, gentle yoga, strength training and water aerobics at the nearby Pine Hill Community Center and the Catskill Recreation Center. As a teacher as well as in her own practice, Pamela's goal is to continue to strengthen the practice of yoga with ease, grace and compassion. Pine Hill Studio is available for events, retreats, photo shoots and happenings of all kinds.


claudia flores, set design, props, costume design

Claudia is a freelance set designer and prop stylist based in NYC and Ulster County NY. She was born in Mexico City and raised in NY, spending her formative years in two very colorful and energetic cities. While attending Fashion Institute of Technology and studying Fine Art, she decided that creativity and its expression would be an essential part of her journey. Some of her other artistic endeavors include painting, drawing and photography. 


geneva turner, assistant producer

Geneva Turner is an actor, director, producer and writer living in ther Hudson Valley. She graduated SUNY Ulster with an A.A. in Theatre Arts, and later SUNY New Paltz with one B.A. in Theatre and another in Anthropology. During her New Paltz years she assistant directed mainstage shows, wrote and directed for student showcases, and traveled in the U.K. while studying Shakespeare in London. She taught and directed for three years with New Genesis Productions' Shakespeare intensives, and most recently helped produce the re-launch of The Halloween Journey. This December she will perform and sing in the Phoenicia Playhouse's production of "World War II Radio Christmas."

meet the Director


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