Tag Archives: halloween

Be Like Mike: Halloween 2018 Edition

With Oct. 31 right around the corner, we’re sitting on our bloodstained little hands NOT to include any spoilers in this quick-‘n-dirty Michael Myers costume tutorial. (We’re not THAT mean.)

Instead, we’ll take what you probably already know, even if you haven’t caught the Halloween 2018 release yet. We’ve got you, boo! Here’s how to grab your own killer gear so you can look just like the 2018 version of Mike.

Enjoy…and stay scary!

The Mask

You’re just not Mike without the mask. Buy the officially licensed one if you’re short on time.

Otherwise, get a standard Halloween makeup kit or use makeup you already have (you may not have the palest colors; we recommend Dollar Tree). Here’s an incredibly cool tutorial:

 

The Coveralls

These are iconic too. They’re a bit cooler-looking for the new movie, partially because they’re more weathered and realistic.

Grab any old pair of work coveralls from your local Goodwill or thrift shop; if they don’t have front chest pockets, draw these on with dark-blue magic marker. (Yes, really. In the dark, it makes one cool effect.)

Turn the collar up in the back and you’re done.

Coveralls look TOO good? Here’s How to Weather Them:

Now That’s a Knife!

Make your own quickie knife with the tutorial below, or simply cut out cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. CAREFUL: don’t crinkle the foil too much. You want it smooth and super-shiny.

That’s it, folks – so easy! Now grab a trick-or-treat bag and start collecting body parts…err, candy. But first, here’s the trailer we promised you. Enjoy…and have a killer Halloween!

Visit These Totally Haunted Halloween Destinations

With Halloween only a few weeks away, it’s a great time to take a few days off and go on a thrilling adventure. Here are some of the spookiest travel destinations you can visit for a good scare:

Credit: Don Hollycross Photography

Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg, VA)

This living history museum in Virginia is a popular tourist destination that thousands of holidaymakers and history buffs visit each year.

Here, dedicated actors live and portray daily life as it was during the Colonial period and the American Revolutionary War. And if you doubt the rumors of hauntings at this popular vacation spot, going on a tour with https://colonialghosts.com/ may quickly change your mind.

Credit: history.org

Colonial Ghosts, one of the most popular Williamsburg ghosts tours in the country, says it provides a uniquely authentic experience. Every night, licensed and knowledgeable tour guides lead visitors through the historic streets and buildings of Colonial Williamsburg, sharing intriguing facts and stories about the area. You can learn a lot from these tours—you will also be scared silly.

Colonial Williamsburg played a key role in the American Revolutionary War, and has seen its fair share of battle, tragedy and violence. It’s no wonder that reports of hauntings, ghost sightings and paranormal activity in the area abound. Every story told on the Colonial Ghosts tours is backed by thorough research and credible eyewitness accounts, adding to the spook factor of the tour—ghost stories are so much more terrifying when they’re based on fact.

Credit: wikipedia.org

Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, PA)

This imposing prison in Philadelphia was once one of the most famous and expensive in the world.

Within its castle-like walls, prisoners were subjected to grueling forms of punishment, including solitary confinement.

Inmates were made to eat, sleep, live and work alone, and had to wear hoods over their heads while being escorted by guards from one part of the prison to another.

Credit: atlasobscura.com

This extreme way of living caused many inmates to mentally break down, and numerous prisoners died during their stay at the penitentiary. To this day, the ghosts of these inmates are said to haunt the prison (now a historic site,) with multiple sightings and frightening experiences being reported.

If you want to get the full spooky treatment when you visit, the prison conducts its own Halloween tour called Terror Behind the Walls, guaranteed to send chills up and down your spine.

Dauphine Orleans Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Credit: dauphineorleans.com

This beautiful boutique hotel is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and features quaint buildings that date all the way back to the 19th century.

Considered one of the Big Easy’s finest and most luxurious hotels, what makes it so spooky? Local residents and return visitors will tell you: the hotel is considered to be one of the most haunted sites in the city.

Credit: dauphineorleans.com

Guests and employees of the hotel alike have reported numerous sightings and eerie, unexplainable happenings such as footsteps in the night, bar glasses randomly falling off and shattering, and indistinguishable voices.

The ghost of a man dressed in a dark Confederate uniform has regularly been seen pacing the front courtyard, while the spirit of a young, forlorn bride-to-be whose fiance was killed before their wedding is said to haunt the place in her wedding dress.

Fright Kingdom (Nashua, NH)

Credit: frightkingdom.com

Located in a tiny town in New Hampshire, Fright Kingdom is an unexpectedly effective 65,000-square-foot Halloween attraction.

This uber-creepy destination is one of the most elaborate haunted houses in America, with convincing actors and impressive special effects.

Credit: frightkingdom.com

Attractions include Grim, an almost pitch-black labyrinth where the darkness heightens the terror, Bloodmare Mansion and Psycho Circus.

Fright Kingdom is open from September 28 to November 3 from 7am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7am to 10pm on Sundays.

Lizzie Borden House (Fall River, MA)

Credit: awesomelocations.blogspot.com

The story of Lizzie Borden is one of the most grisly American unsolved mysteries. In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered in their home with an ax.

Lizzie, Andrew’s daughter, was the main suspect in the case. She was eventually acquitted of the murders, but to this day, the case remains unsolved.

Today, Lizzie Borden’s house operates as a bed and breakfast for curious and adventurous tourists.

It is said that almost everyone who spends a night in the B&B experiences some kind of paranormal activity, from hearing voices in the night, objects being mysteriously moved from one room to another, to the covers being ripped right off you while you sleep. A stay at the Lizzie Borden house is definitely not an experience for the faint of heart.

These are just some of the spookiest places you can visit in America. Plan your trip now and enjoy a chilling, thrilling Halloween weekend you’ll likely never forget.

13 Totally Weird Superstitions

 

Broken mirrors, black cats…ceiling fans? You’d be surprised at the absolutely weird and wonderful superstitions that famed cultures have drummed up. Here are 13 of the strangest superstitions ever to span the globe, but don’t laugh – you might be next!

1. Night of the Living Gum

According to legend, superstitious Turks believe that if one chews gum after dark, the chaw will turn into dead flesh. (And as we all know…death lasts an Extra, Extra, Extra long time.)

 

2. Wait! Don’t Turn On That Fan!

Superstitious snoozers in various areas of Asia believe that falling asleep with a fan blowing in the room will result in death. Not cool, guys. Not cool.

 

3. That’s a Hairy Cute Baby

Romanians – famous for vampires, werewolves and all creatures that go slurp in the night – believe if you beat animals, your next child will be very, very hairy. We suspect a wandering wife with an eye for chest fuzz made this one up.

 

4. An Unlucky Dozen

If you give an even number of flowers to a Russian paramour, you’re likely to be unlucky twice: first, even numbers portend fatality – and second, wishing death on your beloved is just NOT a panty-dropper.

 

5. Shear Fear

Japanese believe that if you trim your nails at night, you’ll die prematurely. (Sure, Grandma COULD have lived to 97…but she just had to take care of bidness during Jimmy Kimmel.)

 

6. Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday

Apparently, rather than Friday the Thirteenth, Spaniards have Tuesday the Thirteenth. Let’s skip Taco Tuesday that day. We feel behind the eight ball as it is.

 

 

7. The Lonely Corner

According to an adorable Hungarian tradition, if you sit at a corner of the table, you’ll be an old maid, never to marry. (Oh noes!) We’re left to wonder just what host sits a person on a corner anyway…but yeah. Don’t do that.

 

 

8. Sparkling, Clean, Delicious Disaster

An old German spell calls for toasting someone with water rather than  champagne. Upon your first sip, the intended will drop dead. (Like nobody was going to notice that? It’s a wedding, dude. There are a lot of people watching.)

 

9. Shut It

Celts believed a bird flying through an open window portended death. We feel it’s a fair bet that somebody’s going to die at some point in a pretty big village, but we’re installing locks anyway.

 

10. The Acorn of Power

Similar to the Ring of Power in Lord of the Rings, an old Celtic tradition from the British Isles holds that if you carry an acorn in your (nasty little) pocket(ses), you’ll never grow old. Great, plant one on us!

 

11. No Glove, Get Love

Medieval Europeans believed that giving gloves as a gift meant ill luck. It hearkened to small tokens at a joust or other potentially lethal event. Tip: Want to win a lady’s heart? Don’t give her a death sentence. You’re welcome.

 

12. I WOULD Have Gotten the Job…if Not for that Darned Goat

Another quaint Medieval tradition held that if you passed by a wandering goat on your way to seeking employment, you’d never get the job. Manhattanites, beware!

 

13. Lift Your Skirt Up if You Want THIS

No, really. According to a 1914 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions, turning the hem of your skirt up will mean you magically receive a brand-new dress. Or…well, that’s what that dude told ya, anyway.

Happy Friday the 13th!

 

Dia de los Muertos: Get Your Dead On!

Can’t get enough Halloween? Then celebrate it twice! Here’s the 411 on a famous Spanish-community holiday…and how you can get in on the action, including song, dance, flowers, history, and of course…candy!

What is Dia de los Muertos?

Dia de los Muertos (“day of the dead” or “day of the dead ones”) is actually three days: Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. However, many celebrants combine the traditions into one day.

Dating back hundreds of years as an official celebration and possibly linked to ancient Aztec culture, Dia de los Muertos honors those who have passed through the veil that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead.

Various Spanish-origin cultures celebrate Dia de los Muertos, but in the United States it is most popular among the Mexican population. Parades are held in major Mexican-populations across the U.S., most famously Los Angeles, San Diego and Tuscon.

Behind the Partying: Why It’s Celebrated

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Dia de Los Muertos has a religoius element. Image: Senor Codo

You may not hold to the following beliefs, but taking a bit from tradition can add a fascinating element of honoring one’s past.

  • Oct. 31: All Hallow’s Eve. On this night, altars are erected in the home to honor loved ones who have passed on. Some families officially invite the spirits of their loved ones to the three-day celebration. Children may erect their own mini-altars, inviting the angelitos (dead children) to the household. Grim? Perhaps – but it’s a fascinating and very respectful way to remember one’s own heritage.
  • Nov. 1: All Saint’s Day. On this day, the adult “passed spirits” are believed to enter the celebration.
  • Nov. 2: All Souls’ Day. Families visit the graves of deceased loved ones. They clean the area and decorate it, usually with colorful bouquets of flowers, as well as rosaries, photos and little gifts for the deceased.

These are all Christian calendar dates, but there’s a very pagan element to Dia de los Muertos, and it is believed that some aspects of the three-day celebration tie in to pre-Columbian Central and South America.

Waking the Dead: How to Celebrate

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Mmm! Sugar skulls, or “calaveras,” are (almost) too pretty to eat. Image: Danielle

Wow – get ready for a wild ride! Dia de los Muertos is generally a community affair with colorful décor, music and dancing. Here are a few ways that celebrants honor the three-day festival:

  • A parade. The three-day festival often begins with a procession, complete with music. Individuals carry photos of deceased family members, colorful bouquets of flowers and dress up to the nines for what is basically an opening ceremony to the holiday. Start a tradition by having a parade in your neighborhood or by hosting a Dia de los Muertos party.
  • Las calaveras. Literally “the skulls,” these delicious sugar treats – or “sugar skulls” – are too beautiful to eat. Months may go into crafting these sweet creations, but if you’d like to try a sugar skull yourself, there are online vendors who offer them. (In areas that have a large Mexican population, you may be able to purchase them at markets.)
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Paint yourself calacas-style. Image: Cody Garcia
  • Decorate with flowers. Orange marigolds are the most popular flower for Dia de los Muertos, but there really are no rules – for this holiday it’s flowers, flowers everywhere! Buy flowers or consider making paper flowers yourself.
  • Bake pan de muerto (literally “bread of the dead”). Share it with family and friends, or take loaves to the cemetery to leave as ofrendas (offerings).
  • Decorate with calacas. Calacas are skeletons painted fancifully, often as a spoof: for example, dancing or singing skeletons, or calacas playing musical instruments.
  • Paint your own face calacas-style! Paint your face white with theater paint, then add flowers, patterns and anything beautiful you can dream up.
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Image: mexicansugarskull.com

Whatever you decide to do, make sure there’s plenty of great music – traditional Mexican music is a great pick – and lots of food (and drink, if you’d like).

Though its point seems morbid (and is, in its most literal definition), Dia de los Muertos is actually a celebration of life carrying on, while letting the dead know they’re not forgotten. So get your Spanish on and get partying!

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The spooktacular celebration of death (and life) often starts with a no-holds-barred parade. Image: Larry Lamsa

Unmasking Michael Myers: An Interview With Chris Durand

Image credit: Halloween Wiki

Throughout history, storytellers have been prized by the cultures they live in. A great storyteller captures the imagination and pulls us into the story so that we experience emotions – both good and bad – as if they’re really happening to us.

Promo shot: Halloween H2O.

Halloweenites’ favorite stories are generally suspenseful in nature – especially those that bring us face to face with terror. And what character is more terrifying than Michael Myers, the quintessential bogeyman in Halloween H2O?

Actually, we ask ourselves: who could be more appropriate to play the role than Christopher Durand, a savvy storyteller who just happens to also be an actor and stunt man? Without uttering a single scary word, Durand uses his physical presence and uncanny acting to bring Myers’ chilling demeanor to life.

The Silent Michael Finally Speaks

Mr. Durand in a publicity shot.

In an interview, Durand reveals the origins of the Halloween franchise: “I did not see any of the other [Halloween] films. In speaking with the director, Steve Miner, we wanted the character to be right but didn’t want to mimic [previous portrayals].”

The director wanted Michael not just as a lumbering form, but appear alive and determined. Michael doesn’t run, he doesn’t rush. He’s relentless. The focus was on keeping the performance simple and clean, nothing fancy.

On the Myers character, Durand explains, “It’s your nightmare. He’s the bogeyman. He just keeps coming back and can’t be killed.”

Through expert storytelling, Durand allows us to meet the monster of our nightmares. But who is the man behind the Michael Myers mask? You might be surprised.

The Man Behind the Mask

Like Michael Myers, Durand is relentless is his pursuits. Whether that has meant learning a new hobby, such as woodworking, or living in France for a year at age 13, Durand says he has always been a very determined person.

This trait served him well when he decided to enter the movie industry. While there was, at that time, no school available to him for performing stunts, Durand, a native of Los Angeles, combined his skill in martial arts, gymnastics (which he began at 18) and rock climbing and hustled his way onto studio lots.

When necessary, Durand would sneak in or jump fences to be where the action was. He states, “Once you get your foot in the door, you learn from each other and expand.”

Since landing his first role in Cameron’s Closet in 1986, he appeared in many films, including Armageddon, Forest Gump, Star Trek: Generations, Demolition Man, The Mask, Tango and Cash, The Last Boyscout, Encino Man, The Crow, The Doors, Rapid Fire and many others.

Whatever the challenge, Durand is prepared to do whatever is necessary to succeed.

The Power of Storytelling

Durand uses stunts to provide the physical slant on storytelling. When

Publicity shot with Jamie Lee Curtis.

done properly, stunts are an important part of the overall story. Yet without a good story on which to build, stunts become meaningless, Durand believes.

Besides bringing stories to life through performing, Durand has also been involved in writing screenplays, giving him the chance to tell tales from the other side of the camera.

His love for storytelling, along with history, attracted Durand to archeology while at UCLA. He found in the artifacts the remnants of history that links the story of humanity through the ages. Regardless of the source, the power of storytelling is a strong attractor for Christopher.

A Labor of Love

Without a doubt, Durand loves his work. Working on H2O was a great experience for him for several reasons, he says, including working with the crew.

Michael as we know and love him. Getty Images.

He states, “It was lots and lots of fun. One of the most fun crews and definitely a nice crew. Usually I’m in one day of the whole run and bounce around between jobs. It was nice to stick with one crew the whole time.”

For another, friends and family have been extremely supportive of his work on the film. The high level of fan support has overwhelmed Duran, he says. What’s most surprising is the diversity of the fans who come from every walk of life, from lawyers to policemen.

Halloween, the holiday, is a joyful time for Christopher. He especially loves the trick-or-treaters and “the absolute joy in the eyes of the 3-4 year olds who are so excited and innocent.”

It’s this level of joy that Durand rediscovers daily in his work. “I love my business ’cause I get to play everyday I work. It’s about creating and having fun and being with other nice people and being nice to people. Life’s too short. People have to relax a little bit.”

In unmasking  the sinister Michael Myers, we find a creative, fun-loving individual who brings passion to everything he does.

The question remains: will we see him again as the notorious horror figure? We hope so. After all, there’s no stopping the bogeyman. . . or Christopher Durand.

 

 

This Year, Get Spooky at Salem’s Haunted Happenings

It’s decked out in autumn colors, full of fun and unusual visitors, and it has a very creepy past. Plus, it goes on all over the city for the entire Halloween season. (We know. Squee!)

It’s Salem, Massachusetts’ annual Haunted Happenings, and if you’ve never been to this spooky all-city soiree, it’s definitely time to change that, Halloween fans!

Image: creativesalem.com

While communities around the world claim to play host to the ultimate Halloween celebrations, a few stand out head, shoulders and hung neck above the rest. At the top of that list is the city affectionately called “The Witch City.”

Haunted Happenings is about to open for its annual all-autumn bash, so get your ghost on! Here’s the scary scoop on this phantasmically fantastic festival.

What (and When, and Where) is Haunted Happenings?

Haunted Happenings is a city-wide celebration of all things Halloween, esoteric, and historic in and around Salem, MA.

Full of games, movies, contests, a gigantic Halloween parade, demonstrations and more, Haunted Happenings lasts through September and October and offers something for everyone.

First celebrated in 1982, Haunted Happenings began as the dream of Joan Gormally, former Salem of Commerce Executive Director; Susannah Stuart, former Director of the Salem Witch Museum; and a whole bunch of die-hard (see what we did there?) Halloween and Salem fans.

Image: theguardian.com

This ghoulish group sawHaunted Happenings as a way to bring national and international media attention to Salem. They also envisioned a way to put the frightening history of the Salem Witch Trials in a more modern light, while educating fascinating visitors.

Originally a three-day weekend affair, the popularity of the event grew to a full 11 days in 1992 and last year occurred over 24 days beginning October 10 through November 2. Referred to by Mayor Neil J. Harrington as “The Ultimate Halloween Destination,” Haunted Happenings welcomes tens of thousands of Halloween enthusiasts each year.

Plan Your Own Spooky Tour

Image: hauntedhappenings.org

There’s SO much to do at Haunted Happenings, and more gets added every year; check here for a current itinerary. Meanwhile, enjoy these traditional scares:

 

 

 

  • Autumn Equinox Workshop
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Haunted Dinner Theater
  • Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour
  • House of the Seven Gables
  • New England Pirate Museum
  • Peabody Essex Museum
  • Psychic Fair
  • Salem 1630: Pioneer Village
  • Salem Trolley, Corp.
  • Salem Wax Museum of Witches and Seafarers
  • Salem Witch Museum
  • Salem Witch Village
  • Tarot and Other Readings
  • Terror on the Wharf
  • Wicked Half Marathon
  • Wine & Cheese Stroll
  • Witch Dungeon Museum
  • The Witch House

Get more information and a Free Guide here. Enjoy, Halloween fans!