Your Halloween Bucket List

Here's a list of Halloween(and horror)-related things you can do.  Many are specific to the Halloween season, but the majority apply year-round.  I think this is an essential list of things any well-rounded Halloween fan must do before (s)he dies!


TRADITIONS

Decorate the house.  This is one of the neglected ones.  Even if you can only do a little, start there.  It lets everyone know you do Halloween.  We were the first to start decorating on our block.  Within a couple years, almost everyone was.

Go Trick or Treating.  This is obvious if you are a kid (or have some).  However, if you don't go Trick or Treating anymore, then give out candy.  Keep the tradition alive!

Have a spooky breakfast.  Get some General Mills' monster cereals for breakfast all October.  The original three cereals (Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry) come out around Halloween every year.  In 2013 they put out all five monster cereals (including Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy) for the first time.

Do the Time Warp!  Go to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  What?  You're still a virgin?!  Time to head to the theater and have your cherry popped.  Rocky Horror is most popular around Halloween, naturally, but it is shown year-round in plenty theaters.  Don't forget your toilet paper.

Visit haunted house attractions.  There are always several around any large town.  I don't think the build-up to Halloween is complete if you don't hit at least one of these every year.  Some haunted houses open for a time outside of Halloween, like in February for "date night" around Valentine's day, for example.

Host a Halloween party.  If none of your friends are throwing one, then host one yourself.  You get to decorate both inside and out!  Additionally, there are plenty of ???ideas specific to Halloween parties, such as haunted house tours, games, etc.

Carve a Jack o'lantern.  Do something original with it or blend it in with your other decorations that year.


TRAVEL

Visit Disney's Haunted Mansion.  There's one at most Disney parks (i.e., World, Land, etc.).  It's still my favorite ride in the whole place.  A technical marvel and a must-see.

Witch way to go.  Spend Halloween in Salem, Mass.  The self-proclaimed world capital of Halloween.  Features a Halloween parade among many other attractions.

Spend the night at a "haunted house."  There are many alleged "haunted houses" around the country.  Look for travel guides for some local to you!


MOVIES

Become a film buff.  Work your way through the classic horror films.  Maybe one movie for each night of the month.  Here's a list of essential horror movies.

Movie night!  Do a themed movie marathon.  Just a few (too many) ideas:

Be their guest!  Search for at least an episode/movie hosted by each of a dozen horror hosts: Elvira, Svengoolie, Zacherley, MST3K, etc.  Many of these can be found on YouTube if you can't find episodes on DVD on airing on TV (e.g., Svengoolie is currently on MeTV, and Elvira recently had new episodes in syndication).


LITERATURE

Subscribe to some horror mags.  Sign up for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine for at least one year.  Maybe Scary Monsters magazine too (because that one's pretty good as well).  And there's also Fangoria if you're into current horror more than the classics.

Read some horror comics.  There are plenty Lovecraft and Clive Barker adaptations out there.  Then there are the classic horror comic magazines like Creepy and Eerie and Vampirella, as well as sci-fi/fantasy titles with horror elements such as Heavy Metal and Epic.  And there are the essential EC Comics titles like Tales from the Crypt and others.

Experience the classics.  Read the titles that qualify as essential Halloween literature: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1823) by Mary Shelley

Delve into the mythos.  Read some H.P. Lovecraft and get into the Cthulhu Mythos.  He straddles the line between "classic" and "modern," but I am also singling him out because these are among my favorite works and are absolutely essential reading.  You probably will read more than this batch, but these are good starting points:

Read the modern masters.  Check out some contemporary authors like any of the following:


MUSIC

Explore horrific new sounds.  Listen to at least one album each (though a complete discography is better) of Halloween bands, everyone from the classics to modern entries: The Misfits, The Cramps, Alice Cooper, The HorrorPops, The Ghastly Ones, Zombie Girl, etc.

Sing 'til you cough up blood.  Go to a karaoke bar and sing Halloween songs.  Some suggestions:

Learn songs.  If you play guitar (or any other instrument), learn classic Halloween songs.  For example:


MAKE/BUILD/CREATE

Make a custom latex mask.  Pick a character or design something original.  You will learn to work with three or more materials you've never worked with before, and you will attempt several techniques as well.  There are loads of YouTube tutorials that make the process easy.

Build an Aurora monster model kit.  This is almost a Halloween/horror tradition itself, dating from the monster craze of the '50s/'60s.  Today reissues of those models (and more!) are produced by Moebius who have taken over the franchise.

Make a costume.  Who have you always wanted to be for Halloween and haven't yet?  Learn to sew!  Start early, and you'll be ready by Halloween night!

Make some decorations.  I have a long list of projects on this website, and there are plenty more ideas around the web.  For example, look for designs to build a crank ghost.

Write your own scary short story.  Maybe fan fiction or a screenplay (adapt a favorite horror or sci-fi novel if you don't have an original idea in mind).

Scare somebody!  Pranks are part of the season.  Get some props or a mask, and scare someone... preferably on video.






Copyright 2013 the Ale[x]orcist.
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