Issue #3 – October 10, 2008
Yes, fall is here. The days are getting shorter, the wind is blowing a little more cool, those lazy days in the backyard are at an end. Wherever I go, I see boats driven by cottagers being towed back into storage, storm windows raised, and restaurant patios closing for the year. There is a pause in the air, as if everybody is holding their breath at the same time, waiting for the first winter storm to hit. And those close to me grumble in my direction. Why? Simple. I love autumn!
I could blame it all on being born on the cold evening, but I believe there’s more to it than that. Everything around me feels more intense. The skin is more acute to the sharp chill of autumn’s wind, waking you up. The sky is more vivid, with deep orange and red sunsets, fresh colors mirrored by the trees gently shedding around us. The smells take on a tint of cool spice with the cover of leaves mixed with wood fires. The baking of apple and pumpkin pies saturates the neighborhood, and thick soups and stews fill the dinner table.
Energetic jaunts give way to contemplative wanderings. With a sharper conscious fueled by the changing season, I find myself stopping to appreciate the world with renewed wonder. The bustling of city life slows just a bit, leaving enough room to admire an orange ladybug on a fallen crimson leaf. You are aware that the world is shedding itself, preparing for the cold white chrysalis of rebirth.
It’s no coincidence that Halloween is celebrated in the autumn. Born out of the Celtic Samhain, it is a night of transition between the old year and the new, where the lines between life and afterlife are blurred and permeable. As such, the dead are said to walk the land. With the crisp, bone-chilling air, the howling winds and deep nights, it doesn’t take much to fire the imagination with thoughts of ghosts and otherworldly beings surrounding us. Thoughts turn to mortality, which in turn makes us appreciate being alive.
The transformation autumn brings fully explains the contradictory phrase of “life coming from death”, for as everything dies around you, you know that after a long, sleepy winter, everything is again renewed. It gives you hope that death is never permanent.
That is why I love autumn. I wish everybody a great season (difficult in these troubled times, I know), and take a break to have lots of fun this Halloween night. After all, it’s on a Friday!
Editor, Halloween Alliance
Table of Contents
- How to Make “Shrunken Heads” with Apples
- Outlook For Halloween 2008
- One-of-a-Kind Halloween Pumpkins
- The Halloween Conundrum – Go Trick or Treating or Give Out Candy?
- Elvira Rides Again
- What’s New at Halloween Alliance
Shrunken heads are the stuff of myth, legend and Hollywood voodoo movies. This Halloween, bring an eerie tradition to life by creating apple “shrunken heads” for your diabolical display. Be as simple or as detailed as you’d like; they may look like they take a lot of effort, but making shrunken heads is so easy, it’s almost scary.
by Sarah Briggs
Did you realize that Halloween 2007 was on a Wednesday night but this year it falls on a Friday night in 2008? Outstanding news for those who haven’t looked it up yet, and this date will be a real shot in the arm for retailers worried about the downturn in the economy. Halloween is a big, growing segment of all retail sales. So how will the downturn in the economy effect this year’s retailers? As it turns out–great!
The reason is because Halloween falls on Friday, making it a three day weekend to celebrate. So in a nutshell–people will be doing more things at home like creating a yard haunt and that requires decorations and props. Most people plan on hosting one party for the adults and possibly one for the kids on a different day. Commercial Haunted Houses will keep their dungeon doors open longer helping them make up for possible lagging ticket sales, and guests may be treated to some real discounts. Or it could be a banner year for ticket sales since people will be looking for an escape from the truly frightening real world. All and all, this may turn out to be a great Halloween for everyone in 2008.
by Melanie Henson
Looking for some fresh new ideas on decorating your pumpkins for Halloween? Check out this carving!
Eerie Black-and-Orange Pumpkin
You Will Need:
- One pumpkin (any size)
- Carving tool
- Scooping tool
- Black spray paint
- Halloween stencil, if desired
Spray paint your pumpkin black; allow to dry completely. Turn your pumpkin over and carve a circle into its bottom, slightly smaller than the circumference; remove. (Alternatively, you can cut a top out of your pumpkin; however, cutting the bottom creates a seamless look and prevents the pumpkin top from falling in as it shrinks over time.)
Scoop out seeds and pulp and scrape within carefully.
Turn the pumpkin right-side up and trace, then carve your design. Place your light source securely in the pumpkin’s bottom. Because any added materials can pose a potential fire hazard, we recommend a battery-powered or electric plug-in light rather than a burnable wick candle. Be careful not to nick the spray-painted skin; if you do, just cut a bit farther outward, or touch-up carefully with more paint or a black magic marker.
Your best look for this ghoulish gourd is a traditionally scary carving; try a frightened black cat, sinister tombstone or a witch flying past a crescent moon. Carve freehand, or use a Halloween stencil. When lit, the black will contrast spookily with the pumpkin’s orange insides.
Look for more pumpkin decorating ideas from Melanie on Tuesday, October 14th, at Halloween Alliance!
What parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent doesn’t look forward to watching their little monsters or princesses go trick or treating? After all, their costumes are gladly the focus of our attention for weeks, and we, the adults, have either sewn ourselves silly or tromped all over town for just the right costume. Right?
But then the other side of our brain kicks in. You recall fond memories of getting to tease the kids dressed in their costumes, not to mention your strong desire to stay out of the bad weather that happens every year, no matter where you live. This is the question every year–who delights in watching them trick-or-treat and who stays home to hand out candy and interact with the little cuties who come by? My husband and I took a whole new approach to this yearly dilemma many years ago.
We set a bowl of cheap penny candy out so that early trick-or-treaters could help themselves, and took our daughter around when she was little until her bag was full. This jaunt probably took us about an hour. We returned home and pulled out the good candy so hubby could use his prank candy dish.
Now that our daughter is older, we reverse the plan. We give candy to the little kids, and then we take turns going out. We divide up our subdivision and bingo! We get the best of both worlds and nothing is lost. Try it to see if this solves your age-old conundrum, too.
We’re thrilled to announce (a bit later than the studio) that Fox will air a new, original reality show called The Search for the Next Elvira. They will try to find an apprentice from the throngs (no, not thongs!) of wannabes who auditioned. It will premier on Fox Reality this Monday night, October 13th. This should be a lively show for all Halloweeners and Elvira fans alike, with many kooky contests and competitions with all things Elvira: bugs, graveyards and beehive hair-dos, just to mention a few. You can check out the latest info on her show at http://www.foxreality.com/show.php?storyid=35564.
Here’s some of our latest articles to check out:
- Need a Hand? How to Create Awesome Monster Hands
- Haunted House Mini Room Box
- Haunted Ghost Cake with Real Flaming Eyes
- Catch all new articles in your Reader!