You may have heard terrifying tales of NYC on Halloween, of violence and gang activity, and things that make you want to stay inside. I heard several horrifying first-hand accounts from my native Staten Islander colleague.

In comparison, our first NYC Halloween was quaint. We went to the Village Parade, which was delightful and heavily policed– no mayhem!

And yet… it was truly a hellscape. A claustrophobic nightmare. West 4th, the station I breeze in and out of every work day was overrun. There was no breezing. There were flagrant violations of fire codes and an uncomfortably visceral understanding of how unruly crowds cause stampedes, leading to Death by Trampling.

A real Hell-o-ween:

Every single person in this photo looks possessed.