“Little Halloween” is April 30! Host a Witch Party

 

Image credit: Modern Moments Designs

We know. 364 days is such a loooong time to wait for the next phantasmically fantastic Halloween.

We’re right there with you. That’s why we’re absolutely stoked about Walpurgisnacht.

German for “Walpurgis’ Night,” it’s named after St. Walpurgis and yeah, it’s a thing. Francian abbess Walpurga is said to have cured lung diseases, household pests, and believe it or not, even rabies.

She’s also said to have battled witchcraft.

And that’s where the fun comes in. For centuries, Northern and Eastern Europeans have celebrated the end of April each year with a feast in honor of the sainted abbess Walpurga. And they do it with a bang! Dressed in witch costumes, celebrants light bonfires, feast, and march through town in a sinister parade that’s all in magical good fun.

Here’s how to split up the long, hauntless year with something truly terrifying…and fantastically fun. Read on for your Walpurgisnacht party tips.

Invite Your Coven

There aren’t many (or possibly any…we haven’t dug any up so far) Walpurgisnacht party invitations. However, any of these written in creepy calligraphy will do:

  • Select tarot cards such as the Empress, the Magician, the Heirophant
    The Everyday Witch Tarot makes a deck of perfect party invites.

    and any of the four queens to represent magical, witchy personalities. Write the party information on the back of each card and send them out. Or try anything from a deck like the Everyday Witch Tarot – they’ll make amazing keepsakes.

  • Grab some black stationery and white ink and try your hand at calligraphy. Google for a crash course. Add some witch’s hats and spiderwebs along the border for flair.
  • If you’re able to hand-deliver party invitations to a close-knit group, write them in paint marker on witch’s hat headbands.
  • If you’d like, be a modern witch and send invites out via email or a party invitation service.

Dress the Part

  • Create your own witchy garb using any black, red or green clothing or material. A black or gem-colored dress for women or black shirt and black jeans for men are perfect. Witch things up with your splash of color as a cape.
  • Of course, you’ll want a hat. Hunt local consignment shops, since you’re buying off-season. For ultimate savings, ask a friend if she has an old costume hat, or if her daughter or son has one, and borrow. Your “thank you” is an invitation to the party.
  • Don’t have anything thrilling to wear? Spice up your look with mystery by using face and body glitter. This works for both men and women – go for it!
  • Try some sexy makeup. Here’s an awesome tutorial for some real witchy fun:

Deck the Haunted Halls

Credit: Pinterest, Catch My Party
  • Hang cobwebs. Everywhere. And we mean that.
  • Place candles around the party area and dim the lights. For safety, you may wish to use battery-operated flameless candles.
  • Drape a black or orange tablecloth over the main party table.
  • Place a decorated witch’s hat in the center as a centerpiece; cover it with glitter for extra glam.
  • Serve snacks out of plastic cauldrons from the dollar store; if you can’t find any at this time of year, check online for steals or dig through your garage for serving dishes from Halloweens past.
  • Drape black cloth scrap pieces over windows and mirrors. Pin back for creepy, witchy curtains.

Find Some Freaky Foods

Pinterest is your friend here! We found a freaky few; links are attached.

Crank Up Some Magical Tunes

Whip up your own magical playlist to set the mood. Need some ideas? Here are 40 of them! (We LOVE this playlist.)

*

Now that you have all the ideas, go ahead and make your party magic. Remember: if you have an idea, send it to us. We may feature you in an upcoming article on halloweenalliance.com!

 

Make Your Own (So Easy!) Zombie Costume – PLUS Bonus Vid!

How fast can you pull together a great, authentic-looking zombie costume? Quicker than you can say “one, two, brains!”

Zombie costumes are fun – and they’re SO easy. Why? Because one of the hallmarks of a “realistic” zombie is that it’s very, very imperfect. Everything is falling apart, falling off, torn, rugged, ragged. This means you have plenty of room (and then some!) for creativity with your zombie costume – and it also means you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to get a “realistic” look.

Ready to stagger into that Halloween party and blow the entire room away with your creativity? Here’s how to get zombified!

Step 1: Homework

Catch your favorite back-episodes of Walking Dead...and don't forget to bring snacks!
Catch your favorite back-episodes of Walking Dead…and don’t forget to bring snacks!

Watch the following (or Google or Bing for images) for zombie costume inspiration:

  • The Walking Dead backseasons 
  • Cesar Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series (and the remakes)
  • World War Z
  • 28 Days Later (and 28 Weeks Later)
  • Zombieland
  • Resident Evil
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • I Am Legend
  • Dead Snow
  • Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Video
  • The Crazies
  • Dead Alive
  • Re-Animator
  • Rec

Step 2: The Clothes

  • In most zombie movies, books and TV series, people are pulled from their normal lives into zombiehood as a zombie Prom queen2 complete (very unwanted) surprise. That means you can take any outfit and zombify it. Businessman, cheerleader, mom in her bathrobe, prom dress: get creative and decide how you want to have “turned” and when and base your outfit accordingly.
  • For the ultimate in economy, visit a thrift store or the Goodwill for fantastic finds (or simply use old clothing of your own). Cut and tear holes and jagged pieces into your clothing. The more torn up and stressed, the better. Fray sweaters; cut off a cuff three-quarters of the way; stretch out a boat neck. You want to look as if you were putting up a zombie clothesterrified struggle just before succumbing.
  • Now take paint (paint is better than makeup, which can smear off onto furniture, your car and other places you just don’t want it) and streak and dot “blood” marks onto your clothing. Acrylic paint is perfect, as it will give a stark, bold color and will dry quickly, but fabric paints will work, too.
  • Spatter red paint for blood spots and smears onto the clothing. Add some brownish-red or dark brown spots for dried blood as well.
  • Can’t get enough gore? Paint green and greenish-yellow onto your duds (brains, anyone?).

Step 3: The HairZombie Costume Walking Dead

Muss it, mess it, half-pull it out of a ponytail, pommade it sideways – your hair, like your clothing, should show evidence of a pre-zombification struggle and, afterward, a life on the run…or, well, on the stagger.

Get some wacked-out (and walked-out) texture into the hair by adding mousse or by overusing dry shampoo and finger-arranging it to stand up, out or at angles (or all three!). For a great effect, add little bits of lint, string and even faux leaves to look as if you’ve been sleeping outdoors and charging through the forest in search of prey.

Add some fun to your top. A bloody bridal veil, a hat, or a good old-fashioned hatchet through the head are all perfect touches for your horror look.

Step 4: The Makeup

  • zombie makeupGreasepaint is the typical, and traditional, makeup to use for Halloween. (It’s also the type of makeup used, in the old days, by stage actors.) Greasepaint works well because it covers so heavily. However, it is just what its name implies: greasy. For that reason, you may want to go with standard drugstore or department store makeup. If you don’t have sensitive skin, shop the dollar bin, your local dollar store or the cheapest brands you can find, since this will (presumably) only be a once-a-year occurrence.
  • Make your base very light. You should look semi-bloodless and paler than your normal complexion. A very, very light foundation is what you’re looking for. However, if you’d like to go as bone-white as possible, you can take even the lightest foundation up a shade in color by adding white liquid eyeshadow base and mixing well. Now dab a tiny bit of gray liquid eyeliner into your foundation and blend well for a grayish cast.zombie makeup woman
  • Smear gray or black liquid or gel eyeshadow under your eyes for a sunken look.
  • For a truly AMAZING zombie look, add dark red eyeliner to the waterline (inside “shelf” line around your eyes). This is the ultimate in a bloodshot/burst blood vessel zombie look.
  • Now go for the deepest blood-red lipstick (or red liquid eyeliner or eyeshadow) for blood spots. Add some dark brown as well for dried/crusted blood.
  • You can “pale out” your lips using foundation with a touch of gray, or make them blood-red (and add more makeup dripping down your chin…but you knew we were going to say that).
  • Make sure to paint some “scars” in various strategic areas for a total fear factor!

That’s it! You’ve been zombified – and are sure to horrify. If you’d like to really get into things and don’t mind zombie makeup 2spending a few dollars more, check out zombie makeup kits with ready-made gory prosthetics (artificial skin/blood/flesh pieces). These generally glue on; try out the adhesive on the inside of your arm 24 hours in advance to make sure you don’t have a reaction to it.

Have fun and be creative with this creepy and fab costume!

Bonus! Watch This “Exposed Bone” Hand Makeup Video Tutorial

We LOVED this tutorial. IMPORTANT NOTE: The technique shown in this video includes the use of latex. Latex is a material that some individuals have an allergic and potentially life-threatening reaction to. If you have or suspect a latex allergy, utilize an alternative material. Enjoy – this look is SO cool!

These 7 Freaky Makeup Ideas Will Blow Your Mind

 

Halloween fads come and go, but one we’ve been seeing for the past three years or so has been a serious amping up of unique (and freaky!) makeup. Halloween enthusiasts seek out makeup looks that keep pushing the envelope. And we love it!

Here are the most amazing, mind-boggling and, yes, freakiest trends we dug up just for you. (Click on each image for its source.) Enjoy!

Giant Mouth

Youtube: melissa bernard

Yes, we did just “make” a teensy bit in our pants, thankyouverymuch. Giant mouths (this one goes down to her collarbone!) are, pardon the pun, huge again this year. Youtube has dozens of tutorials, so search for your favorite look.

Creepy Dolls

sophee.co.uk

Let’s face it: dolls are ALWAYS creepy. Make yourself up to be a doll and you’ll be creepier yet. Top on the creeper list? Ventriloquist dummy dolls (when have those ever NOT been scary?). BONUS FEAR POINTS: at the party, carry  a horrifying baby doll, and talk to it…frequently.

“Unzipped” Flesh

denisechavez.com

Zip it! Oh, sorry, that’s right, you can’t. “Unzipped” flesh, especially on the face, delivers double-takes, so if you’re going for max impact (and attention), zip away! (Hint: short on time? Buy “zipper” transfers.)

Doubled Features

dailymail.co.uk

Hey there, four eyes. Okay, so that wasn’t nice…but it WAS accurate. This is one seriously trippy look and when done well, will keep you from trusting your OWN eyes. It’s worthy of note, though, that the above look was created by an actual artist (on herself), so if you’re not already uber-talented, YMMV.

Giant Eyes

girls-makeovers.blogspot.com

Oversize eyes are another cool look and follow the “severely oversized appendage” trend. You’ll only deliver the full effect when your eyes are closed, but trust me, the reactions will be worth it. (Shown here: the Corpse Bride.)

Mouth-Inside-an-Eye

sadtohappyproject.com

Eye-yi-yi! Like the double-eyes makeup above it, this one takes serious artistic talent, so invest in the help of someone who has a way with a makeup brush and a good (wait for it) eye for depth, dimension and realism.

Stitched Mouth

Youtube: Bonnie Corbin SFX

VERY popular this Halloween is a stitched mouth, such as this look, entitled “Silenced.” Click the image for the vid that describes the process. So creepy…and so cool!

 

7 Awesome (and Easy!) Dollar Store Pumpkin Projects

 

We just can’t seem to stay away from Pinterest this year. If you’re Pin-addicted like we are, we know you’re going to LOVE these amazing (and cheap!) pumpkin projects.

Grab a bunch of dollar gourds, a few crafting supplies and it’s ready, set -get your spook on!

#1: Spooky Porch Light

As shown, simply cut out the back of a plastic pumpkin (be careful; cut plastic edges can be sharp) and place over an orange LED lightbulb. Done!  Spooky mood lighting AND cool decor, all in one.

#2: Glow-in-the-Dark Eyeballs

We absolutely LOVE these. Paint using glow-in-the-dark white and green paint. The irises can be cut from either felt or a paper plate. Paint the irises black. Paint or use markers to create the bloodshot-effect capillaries.

Place in your bushes or anywhere you want a freaky effect.

#3: Stacked Planter

Poke holes in the bottom of the top pumpkin for drainage before beginning this craft if you plan on filling with a live plant. Underneath, Krazy Glue a bunched piece of aluminum foil forming a slight pouch under the holes and bottom to catch the drained water.

Once this is done, spray paint each pumpkin. Using a stencil and medium art brush, paint lettering and numbers. Krazy Glue the pumpkins together for stability, allow to dry complexly and place your plants in the top.

#4: Concrete Pumpkin Mold

Concrete is heavy, but the small size makes this semi-perm decor perfect for areas that receive rough autumn weather, including high winds.

This project is simple: mix concrete and pour into a plastic pumpkin; when dry, cut the pumpkin away. Decorate however you’d like. Please note that what is shown here is a dirt mixture; you can create any mixture you’d like – permanent (such as concrete) or semi-permanent.

#5: Bandanna Pumpkins

These are great because you can find bandannas or other fabric scraps at dollar stores, sometimes in multi-packs.

For the stem, use twigs from your yard. Also pick up some crafting glue. Apply glue all over the pumpkin and apply the fabric, pressing firmly. Insert pins to hold in ribs and at the location of the stem. Break off part of a twig for the stem and glue in place.

6. Spider Pumpkin

For this craft you’ll need a foam faux pumpkin rather than the plastic version. Pick up plastic bugs (spiders, roaches) or other creepie-crawlies. Push into or glue onto pumpkin to cover the surface. Done – and spooky!

7. Looking Glass Pumpkins

Buy some Looking Glass spray paint (Krylon is one brand). Spray the entire surface of your pumpkin.

For a really fun effect, create these out of varying sizes and shapes of faux pumpkin and use more than one Looking Glass color.

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Mummy Meatloaf

Meatloaf is delicious no matter how you slice it (see what we did there?). Add bacon and a sweet, tangy glaze and now it’s a monster of a meal!

This super-fun recipe is one the kids can help with and is simple to prepare, yet it makes a perfect, creepy centerpiece for your party table. Here’s how to make your own bacon-wrapped mummy meatloaf for your Halloween party table.

Ingredients:MEATLOAFmonster meatloaf raw

  • 2 lbs. ground beef OR 1 lb. ground beef + 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (reserve several slices for eyes & teeth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 4-6 slices bacon

GLAZE

  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 T. brown sugar barbecue sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together all Meat Loaf ingredients except for bacon. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Place loaf in baking pan and press into the shape of a face (with lower half narrower than upper half).
  4. Mix together Glaze ingredients. Pour over loaf and spread until evenly coated.
  5. Add onion slices for eyes and teeth.
  6. Wrap bacon across and around loaf as shown. If you wish, tuck the ends of the bacon underneath the loaf. We left a piece or two out so it would give a cool “unraveling” effect.
  7. Bake 60-75 minutes, until loaf has reached an internal temperature of 160F.
  8. Cool 20 minutes before serving.

mummy meat loaf

 
 

Meet the Warrens: The Original Ghostbusters

 

Before there were Ghost Brothers and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, there were the Warrens. Here’s what the famous couple had to say on life, love, and demonbusting.

The Warrens visited such reportedly haunted locales as the Amityville “Horror” house.

Long before there were ghost busters (of any description), The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Regan Macneil and televised paranormal investigation crews by the dozens, there were the Warrens, a deeply spiritual couple who spent their lives investigating homes for paranormal activity.

The couple are known today in connection with the blockbuster The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 and are also connected historically with the allegedly possessed doll, Annabelle. They also investigated the infamous  Amityville Horror house on Long Island.

But their roots go back much farther than contemporary movie-making, much-touted urban legend and myth.

The Early Years: A Match Made in Paranormal Research

The famous demon-hunters were official researchers as far back as 1952.

Husband-and-wife team Lorraine and the late Ed Warren married during World War II at just 17 years of age (Ed’s birthday was Sept. 7, 1926 and Lorraine was born Jan 31, 1927).

The couple often said they sensed something in common even before they discussed their then-unconventional experiences with the paranormal during their courtship. But once they opened up, the combination sparked what would become a worldwide career occupation for thousands.

It didn’t take long for the inseparable pair to combine their mutual sensitivity to the supernatural and join forces against potential unearthly evil (something the couple often said may have brought them together): in 1952 the couple formed the New England Society for Psychic Research.

Today, the organization is the oldest ghost-hunting operation in New England and has inspired similar research across the globe.

Spooky Beginnings

The couple, just 17 when they married, felt drawn together over their mutual interest in the paranormal.

But interest in the paranormal went farther back than that for the pair and began before they even met.

According to the late Ed Warren (d. 2006), the Warren family grew up “in a haunted house” where incorporeal footsteps, banging and pounding could regularly be heard.

Admonished by his policeman father that there was “a logical reason” for the sounds, young Ed agreed – but to him, that logical reason was the existence of spirits.

He confirmed this himself with his first early form of amateur ghost hunting: “My family would all go to bed and just around 2 to 3 o’clock in the morning…I would hear the closet door beginning to open up,” Warren later told reporters.

Inside the closet, he would “…start to see a light beginning to form and it would morph into like a ball shape.” The face of an “old woman” would then appear in the ball.

The odd occurrences continued for years inside the house and sparked a firm belief in and fascination with the paranormal, Ed would later reveal.

The First Ghost Hunts

The Warrens were portrayed in “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2.”

Frustrated by his family’s refusal to address the odd issues head-on, Ed took things a step further when, as a teen, he met Lorraine.

The two felt an instant connection and opened up to one another about their mutual interest in – and experiences with – the paranormal.

Lorraine, herself psychically sensitive since childhood, agreed with Ed to pursue their interest, but on an unofficial basis at first – and by going around via the back door, in a manner of speaking.

They began by finding out what houses in the area were reported to be haunted.

The couple were called upon by the desperate Perron family to exorcise evil spirits in 1970.

“(In those early married years) we were just kids [and] nobody was just going to let us in[to their homes],” Ed would later reveal on the couple’s website.  So the two devised a way to broach the subject with tentative homeowners.

Ed, an artist, “would do a really nice sketch of the house with ghosts coming out of it, and I’d give it to Lorraine,” Ed recalled later. “(Lorraine would) go knock on the door and…she’d say, ‘Oh, my husband loves to sketch and paint haunted houses and he made this.’”

This provided the opening for the homeowners to tell their story, if they wished. Many times, according to the couple, it worked.

A Reputation…and An Occupation

The real Annabelle is a Raggedy Ann doll. It now resides at the Warrens’ Occult Museum.

Before long, the couple had built a reputation for sensing the spiritual. Eventually, rather than having to knock on doors, people came to them – by the dozens and, over the years, hundreds.

It all began in 1962, when the couple uncovered the spirit of a little girl who identified herself as “Cynthia” in a reportedly haunted home. The Warrens helped the spirit to move on.

A new mission was born, Lorraine would later recall. It morphed from simply communicating with spirits to helping them cross over to the other side…and then to exorcising demons.

The couple, devoutly Catholic, relied on their faith to protect them during such events, and Lorraine discovered that she was a trance medium through which spirits could communicate.

“Just An Ordinary Couple”

The Warrens quickly gained notoriety, visiting the famous Amityville “Horror” house in New York, heading up the much-publicized Perron home exorcism and even confiscating the Annabelle doll (the movie was entirely fabricated, though the Warrens were asked for input) and spiriting it away to their museum.

But they never lost touch with their earthier side, according to friends and family.

“They (were) essentially ordinary people who happen(ed) to do highly extraordinary work,” their website modestly claims.

A list of the most famous cases the Warrens were involved in can be found here.

Lorraine Warren Today

The couple were inseparable until Ed’s death in 2006 at the age of 79.

In the highly dramatized The Conjuring, Lorraine Warren suffered terribly from her contacts with the darker elements and even fainted, with not-so-subtle references to the toll the work took on her, but the real Lorraine is now 90 years old and said to be in good health.

However, she has retired from ghost hunting to enjoy her twilight years. She has given interviews as late as 2016, still with her understanding yet down-to-earth personality and frank advice.

The legacy of the Warrens can be seen in thousands of ghost hunting and paranormal research societies across the globe today.

 

Reprinted from beyondthesixthsense.wordpress.org