I love October and am a big fan of “spooky season” in general. All month, my wife and I fill our schedules with haunted houses, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, horror movies, parties etc… And while those events always help us to savor the fun of the season, sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. So, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks.
Get in the Spirit
The best way to change a mood is with music. Unfortunately, many people miss the mark when it comes to the right tunes. A good Halloween song needs to FEEL like a Halloween song, not some top 40 tune that features macabre lyrics. Here are some suggestions to get you going in the right direction:
- London Calling – The Clash
- When All is Quiet – Kaiser Chiefs
- Phantom City – The Interrupters
- No One Lives Forever – Oingo Boingo
- Black is the Night – The Damned
- Fascination Street – The Cure
- Halloween Head – Ryan Adams
- People Are Strange – Echo and the Bunnymen
- Spooky, Scary Skeletons – Andrew Gold (Undead Tombstone Remix)
- Harvest Moon – Kate Smith
- Cannonball – Diamond Youth
- Happy Halloween – Dbone and the Remains
Read Up on Halloween History:
Celts long believed that the boundary between the dead and the living became blurred on October 31st. It was those beliefs, mixed with Christianity and American culture that eventually became what we now know as Halloween. However, late October is often a spooky time of year in many different cultures. For some, it marks the end of Summer Harvest. I find it interesting that songs and celebrations associated with “the harvest” have such a creepy feel to them. Especially considering many of them were established well before Irish immigrants brought “All Hallows Eve” and it’s associated traditions with them to the United States. Perhaps ancient civilizations had it right? Maybe we’ve always felt that otherworldly presence? No matter when or where you lived, one thing seems certain… Spirits may make a visit on late October nights.
Visit Your Local Haunts
If haunted houses aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get your scare on. One of our favorites is to look up local ghost tours and “paranormal” events. In Colorado, we’ve got a number of local landmarks that are known for their haunted origins. The Stanley Hotel, the Highlands Ranch Mansion, old mining towns, downtown buildings and even some local restaurants. Not only will these tours give you a newfound appreciation for the history of your area, but it’s a great way to cultivate some creepy vibes.
Everybody loves Halloween candy. But, let’s be honest. That’s not necessarily a food group that you can depend on throughout October. For me, it’s all about caramel apples, hot cider, pumpkin chili, pumpkin beers, pumpkin spice, pumpkin everything. It’s harvest season after all, so if you’re not partaking in the spoils of the season, you’re not doing it right.
Revisit the Classics
There are a number of different films that take place during Halloween and even more horror movies. When settling in for a movie night, I’ve got certain favorites and I’ll tell you why.
- Hocus Pocus – One of the best Halloween flicks around and not too scary for the kids.
- Trick r’ Treat – More on the scary side, but does a great job of building effective Halloween vibes.
- The Haunting of Hill House – This Netflix TV show is a horror/thriller masterpiece. If you’re looking for a spine-chilling experience, throw on this limited series.
- Insidious – Supernatural horror at its very best. Turn this on, turn off the lights and get ready for some good scares.
Scare Your Trick or Treaters
It’s important to create fun memories for the kids. I used to love trick or treating at houses that put in the extra effort. Good news is, you don’t have to do much work to create a spooky atmosphere. Here’s your Halloween hack… Buy an outdoor speaker and get access to Micheal Andrew’s soundtrack from the movie Donnie Darko. Put that soundtrack on repeat outside the house and you’ll be the creepiest stop on the block. With the eerie piano, ethereal chorus and strange sound effects, this soundtrack is the perfect thing to add frightening fun to every trick or treater’s Halloween experience.
There you have it. Get out there and enjoy. Fall is fleeting, so you might as well make the most of it. I mean, there’s already Christmas decorations being sold in stores and October 31st hasn’t even happened yet. But, don’t worry, I’ll be squeezing every ounce of spooky out of October and I encourage you to do the same. Cheers and happy haunting 👻