All posts by Melvira

The Creepy Tradition of Krampus, the Child-Stealer

Krampus has crept out of its origins and into the American popular imagination.

Lump of coal, move over: Krampus Day is one punishment you’ll grow to love.

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Missing Halloween? Don’t fret (and DEFINITELY don’t be bad): December 5 is the day Germany expects the demonic Krampus to visit hell on mischievous children everywhere.

Fun, Family, Food, Fear: Hurrah!

Give your child a cute toy and a kiss this Dec. 6. (Or chase her all over the place – it’s up to you.)

You heard that right. It’s not just a creepy movie or nouveau tale – the myth of Krampus goes back centuries.

And yes, kids do believe the beast-man is coming this December to either set kids straight, or take them back with him to the place of eternal nightmares.

Believe it or not, this is all celebrated in good fun. Costumes, games and as special winter carnival are all part of the Krampus tradition in parts of Europe.

Who Is Krampus?

Krampus was made popular by the 2015 movie, but the legend has

Horrific costumes and fab food are all part of the festival of krampuslauf.

been around for centuries. Central European tradition says that this beast is half-man, half-goat – and it comes every December 6 to stuff misbehaving children into his hideous hell-sack and spirit them away.

Once almost certainly used to keep kids in line, the myth of Krampus is big fun for young and old today. There are holiday cards, toys and even a Krampuslauf (or “Krampus Run”) with adults in costume chasing frightened kids through Alpine towns.

Ho, ho, ho….ly hell, we say. But for its eager annual participants, the day is big fun, with food, dancing, laughter, and of course, screams. (We’re all in for that last part!)

Coming to America

Krampus cards are ho-ho-horrific.

Though the Krampus movies didn’t earn much in the way of green, they did open this ages-old belief to a more Western imagination.

Looking to celebrate? Dress up in something scary (horns are a must), cook fun Bavarian foods, have some beer, and chase the kids everywhere while they shriek like crazy. (Don’t worry – you can pay for their therapy later.)

De-traumatize the little monsters just a bit with a light-hearted children’s Christmas movie afterward and hand out yummy treats.

And remember: be good! We don’t want to hear about how you got stolen away in the dead of night. That would mean you couldn’t come back to have frightening fun with us in October 2019!

 

 

15 LAST-MINUTE Halloween Finds – Each for UNDER $15!

Halloween may be a multi-million dollar industry in the U.S., but this year, you don’t have to break the bank – or rush around in stores. Our sinister scouts dug up these 15 fantastic Amazon finds for under $15 each…just for you.

Please note: we are not the supplier of these items. Always do your research on any item you buy online. Prices do not include shipping costs. If you are an Amazon Prime member, the item may include free shipping.

Click the pics for more information…and stay scary!

1. Zombie Hand Wall Decals * $11.99

Creep party guests and trick-or-treaters out with these reaching hands. Includes 5 haunting pieces that peel off the wall without damaging paint or wallpaper.

2. Pretty Kitty Ears Headband (Pack of 2; Black/White) * $6.99

Be one cool cat and turn heads with these lacy, sexy cat ears. They sit on a comfy headband. Comes in a pack of two (Black; White).

3. Skeleton Gloves * $11.69

Warm up – you look chilled to the bone! You’ll want to wear these unisex skelly gloves even when it isn’t Halloween…’cause they’re just that cool. One size fits most.

4. Vampire Bat Wall Stickers * $9.99

Decorate your home-sweet-cave with these 28 cool pieces. Bats are made of PVC (vinyl) for easy-stick, easy-removal (no damage to walls or glass).

5. FX Bullet Wound Kit * $6.80

Okay, we’re not going to lie: that looks bad. But it’s supposed to! Realistic wounds apply with adhesive, come off with enclosed solvent. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

6. Mini Poseable Skeletons (Pack of 2) * $12.99

These 16″ skellies are two (see what we did there?) cute! Pose them in a variety of scenes to spook up your decor.

7. Bloody Handprints/Footprints * $7.99

Point party guests in the direction of the freakish fun with these spooky prints. 40 pieces with handprints, footprints and faux blood splashes.

8. Vampire Fangs * $10.79

That Halloween party doesn’t have to bite. But it’ll be a lot more fun if it does. Choose from three sizes.

9. Glitter Skull Tattoo Kit * $13.03

Have your Halloween with a side of gorgeous with this uber-glittery kit. Includes stencil, makeup and application brush. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

10. Cosplay Elf Ears * $5.98

Play up your Medieval side with these elf ears. Two sizes (M and L); simply clip over ears and you’re ready for some fantasy Halloween fun. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

11. Skeleton Restroom Door Cover * $5.50

Would it be crossing a line to say his meal REALLY went through him? Probably – but we’ll say it anyway. Hangs on the door to tell party guests where to park their bones after too much party punch.

12. Body Parts Necklace * $7.96

Have a heart! Or in this case, have a finger and a couple ears. This zombie is proud of his job and shows it with a trophy necklace. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

13. Bloody Treat Bags * $11.49

Thirsty? Fill these 12 bags with juice, soda, liquid candy or whatever your grim little heart desires. Note: bags do NOT come pre-filled. Your order includes 12 fillable party bags.

14. Creepy Baby Mask * $12.99

We just can’t look at this…thing without crab-walking backward. That’s why we knew we HAD to include it. Make party guests cry like toddlers with this creepy mask that pairs with any outfit for a hairless scare.

15. Bat Kitty Costume * $10.99

Why should humans have all the fun? Humiliate your favorite cat or small dog with these devilish little wings. Comfortable (at least, we haven’t heard any wearers officially complain).

 

Get Wiggy With it: Our 8 FAVORITE Halloween Wigs

Halloween wigs aren’t generally built for the long haul. They’re supposed to stand up to dancing, candy-binging and following tots around the ‘hood for just one night.

But we have a real treat for you today. If you’ve been considering a Halloween wig, these little babies have come a LONG way. Click each pic for details.

(Psst: See our tips at the end of the article for wig-wearing if you’ve never donned something spookysexyscarycool.)

She’s Got it All

This rainbow wig comes with matching socks and gloves for the look that has it all. So cute!

Killer (in a Weirdly Hot Way) Clown

This wig is truly killer! (And you knew we were going to include it…who doesn’t love Harley Quinn?) Check out the reviews to see it on real customers.

Frank-ly Hot

This is such a COOL take on the Bride of Frankenstein. Add some hot to your night with this fun pick.

Go Get ‘Em, Guy!

Nobody can hold THIS guy down (unless he wants that). Uber-blonde, long, and fun…female party guests will be asking for a li’l tug all party night long.

Red Bombshell

They’ll fall in love with you…and you’ll fall in love with this super-cool look. It’s on-trend and will look hot on your vamp-est outfits. Go for it!

80s Megaheat

Ouch! You’re too hot to handle in this totally 80s throwback. Go retro bleach blonde or dark-‘n-mysterious.

Fairy Fun

Don this whimsical piece and you’ll enchant one and all. In fantasy ombre.

This Wig Trumps All

Don’t worry, the real thing looks pretty fake too. You’ll get laughs and plenty of attention from this little piece.

Wig-Wearing Tips

  1. Wigs aren’t for everyone. The above wigs are all synthetic. They may feel itchy to some sensitive individuals. Make sure you buy from a supplier who offers a returns policy, just in case.
  2. Make sure the wig you purchase comes with a built-in wig cap. If not, you can purchase wig caps cheaply on Amazon or at your local beauty supply store.
  3. Wig too shiny? Dust it with cornstarch if it’s light-colored, or with cocoa powder if it’s dark.
  4. Most costume-style wigs are tell-tale by the front hairline. To soften it, try tinting the front of your hair with a temporary (rinse-out) color that blends with the wig. Then pull a few pieces of your own hair out at the front.
  5. While extremely long, lush wigs may look cool, they’re more prone to tangling. You may want to test out your wig with one wear before putting it on for the party night.

The 10 Creepiest Vintage Halloween Pics…Ever

 

At Halloween Alliance, we LOVE creepy. But when we researched vintage Halloween images, we got a little more than we bargained for. Come along with us on a spooky journey into a much darker past than you may have imagined. But beware: when it came to preying on fears, kids weren’t spared anything in the good ol’ days. (Anything.)

Yeah…we’re going to go ahead and consider this an overprotective parenting fail. It doesn’t seem like those harnesses did a whole lot of good. But hell (sorry), at least they’re together, right? Forever…

Women: you’re probably okay. Men: run. Dear God, run. Save yourselves. That isn’t a Men’s Room, right? …right?

You can’t MAKE us say it. No. Seriously. You can’t. So just forget about it. We aren’t going to…Oh, okay, fine. What a cute little devil. Satisfied?

There really aren’t enough underwear changes in the world to get through just one viewing of this adorbs little vintage gem.

Yeah, we know. “Grownup doll” costumes are supposed to be peek-a-boo and flirty and adorbs and…not freakin’ terrifying. But…then there’s this. By the way, she’s (or is it a fella?) HOLDING a doll, too. And it’s…looking at her. We’re pretty sure of it. (Don’t go to sleep, lady…okay?)

That isn’t the car Michael Myers used to escape from the asylum, is it? We kind of think it is. We kind of feel worried right now. We’re kind of wondering whether this li’l guy ever saw 1959.

Sure, Halloween is all about hiding, but we’re wondering what “the teacher” (air-quotes, meaningful nod) is indoctrinating this masked little bunch into. And what she’s instructed them to unleash on the town while it’s peacefully sleeping in cozy beds.

We don’t remember the Black Death breaking out any time during the 20th century but just in case it were to pop up, these kids were ready. Plus, they had a sailor and some dude with a cone to help out in case…Okay, we’ve lost the plot on this one. Anyway…happy Halloween, strangely wrapped kiddies.

Isn’t it weird which one of these two is crying?

…but no one heard little Timmy’s whimpers in the night whenever the closet door creaked open, slowly, so very slowly, almost tauntingly, the soft snick, snick of the razor prickling his ears…nor did they seem to notice the hollow look in his eyes. But one day…yes, one day the town would come to regret…Be right back, we feel a movie plot coming on.

 

REVIEW: Dying to Be a Haunt Actor? This Book Tells You How

Review: Author Larry R. Johnson Jr. Unveils ‘Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor’

Do you love screams, laughter and once in a while, an uncontrolled pants-wetting before your very eyes? (And we’re not just talking about the kids.)

As a youngster, while the other children were dreaming of becoming firefighters or teachers, were you the kid daydreaming that one day, you’d be Freddy Krueger?

Do you live to see someone handsome or gorgeous made horrific with a few flicks of dripping home-made goo?

Then you might be just like this guy. Growing up in his North Carolina home, future author Larry R. Johnson Jr. dreamed of something bigger (and more faux blood-covered) than the average.

“I Just Wanted to Make People Ugly”

It all started innocently enough.

Or…not.

The young Larry knew he was different – and creative. His fascination with the ordinary-turned-macabre led him on the path to one day becoming a haunt actor, he says.

“I wanted to do the stuff they did in movies that made people ugly,” Johnson explains in the Introduction to his new ebook, Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor.

He continues in the gotcha! deadpan you’ll quickly come to know and love, “I also wanted to be a pro wrestler. Mostly, though, I wanted to make people ugly.”

Ugly. Got it.

Grim and Gainful Employment

He succeeded. Johnson went on to become an actor in one of North Carolina’s largest and best-known haunt attractions, Hacker House.

Was it easy? Well, yes…and no. Enter Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor.

In this delightful, dark and just-a-little-devilish manual, Johnson details his surprising first step into haunt acting (and what he learned along the way); his evolution since then; and every down-and-dirty detail of how to win that dream haunt acting gig of your own.

What’s Inside the Book

Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor reveals all of the following, in a folksy, fun and occasional profanity-marked (we loved it) let’s-sit-down-and-talk-over-coffee tone:

  • Why a haunt actor audition really is an audition – and how to be ready
  • Getting the “scare” your prospective boss wants to see
  • Improv and thinking on the move
  • Dressing the part (and feeling comfortable while “in character”)
  • How to communicate with your interviewer so you get the gig

A Haunting Future

Johnson notes that it doesn’t all stop at simply landing the job. You’ll also learn:

  • What “oops, that’s not in my contract” work you’ll get (like hands-on set building) – and why you should be a “yes man” when it’s offered
  • Getting along with your coworkers
  • Evolving your character and refining your craft
  • Movements, sounds and your character’s “voice”
  • What to do when haunt visitors heckle, throw a punch, or just won’t give you the scare reaction you’re looking for

And can we just put this out there? The makeup and costuming tips are phenomenal. From making your own faux blood, pus and scars to dressing for scary success, Johnson doesn’t miss a trick – and he’ll definitely save you some coin, whether you’re going pro or staying closer to home to terrify unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

The Quick & Dirty

PRICE: You can’t beat it. Currently, the book is listed in Kindle format for $1.99. (Please note: prices can change. Click the image of the book above for details.)

STYLE: Down-to-earth, occasionally crude, surprisingly funny, sneak-up-on you smart, with tons of informational meat on its bones…it’s EXACTLY what we love at Halloween Alliance.

LENGTH: It’s a very readable, totally filler-free 76 pages. No word will be wasted; even with the engaging style, Johnson gives you a bang for your buck in quality, immediately usable information.

WE SUGGEST THIS BOOK FOR: People who want to be come paid/professional haunt actors; people who want to be part of their own home haunt/scare on Halloween; people who are already haunt actors but want to hone their craft; anyone wishing to make decor, particularly moving or stationary monster or human props, look more realistic.

 

20 Halloween Costume Hacks You ALREADY Have at Home

 

Ink yourself with makeup or non-toxic markers.

The spooky scene: you’re all alone on your couch in the darkness. Suddenly, your phone rings. You nearly jump out of your seat when you see you’ve been invited to that hot Halloween party – but you have nothing to wear!

Never fear: 20 EASY hacks are here – and most of them can be created from stuff you have lying around the house. Read on.

20 Incredibly Easy Costume Hacks From Your Home

Put an old lampshade on your head and hang a sign around your neck that says “Life of the Party.”

Roll up the sleeves of a black or silk screen t-shirt. Draw flowers, swirls and the word “MOM” on your arms and upper chest with makeup or non-toxic magic markers and be a biker.

Get fully clothed and hang a sign around your neck that reads “Nudist On Strike.”

Have a headband lying around? Cut animal ears out of paper, color them, and glue them to the headband, then wear the headband ears on your head, along with an outfit in coordinating colors.

Paint on a scruffy “beard” with mascara. Scrunch a knit hat down over your head. Put on your messiest clothing, leaving it partially untucked. Punch holes in a piece of cardboard, jaggedly cut away. Tie a string through the holes. Write “Will Work For Candy” on the sign and hang it around your neck.

Grab your own – or your roomie’s or sister’s – makeup bag. Make yourself up as a  zombie by dabbing bone-white matte shadow all over your face and painting “blood” spatters with lipstick. Dab black circles around your eyes with matte shadow.

Charlie Brown. wonderhowto.com

Draw an up-and-down pattern in black magic marker around a yellow shirt and be Charlie Brown.

Be a slasher film prom girl by repurposing an old outfit you were planning on tossing.  Slash the dress up a bit (you know you want to!) and add “blood” spatters with lipstick. Grab an old play tiara or cut one out of cardboard and spray paint it gold or silver if you have these colors hanging around your garage. Wear it askew on your head.

Work with what you have naturally! If you’re a woman with long, dark hair and you have a black dress or black skirt and shirt stashed somewhere in your closet, do up your hair in braids and be Wednesday Addams. Work out a lot? Shred an old shirt, paint open areas green with green eyeshadow mixed into makeup base and be The Incredible Hulk.

Glue multicolored pom-pom balls all over a white shirt. Pair with a red skirt or pants if you have them (otherwise, black or jeans will do). Ta-da – you’re a gumball machine.

Scarecrow. heavy.com

Have autumn/Halloween leaf decorations up (or stored in your garage)? Tape them all over autumn-colored clothes such as yellow, orange, red or brown and be a tree.

Find torn up old duds and a hat you were about to toss and be a scarecrow. Add circle cheeks and other scarecrow face decor with makeup if you’d like. If you have hay or straw decor around your house, stuff a little into your wrist and pants cuffs.

Put some lemons in a bowl and write “LIFE” in marker on an old t-shirt. You are now life, handing out lemons.

The most interesting man in the world. mashable.com

Grab an old black suit jacket and an empty Dos Equis container, paint on a beard and mustache if you don’t already have one and be The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Put a bandanna on your head. Wear a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of jeans with the cuffs rolled. Put on lots of red lipstick. Voila – you’re Rosie the Riveter.

Know someone who wears a uniform to his or her job and is willing to “loan” it? There you go: instant “costume”! Careful: don’t try to wear a police or other uniform that could get the lender in trouble. Borrow a football or cheerleader uniform, one from a big-box store, or scrubs.

Put black tape in a stick-figure formation on a white shirt and pants, tie a smiley circle around your head and be a stick figure.

Have a lot of black in your closet? Put on a black shirt and black jeans and safety-pin a full black skirt to the back of the neck of the shirt and to each cuff of the shirt. Spread your wings, and you have an instant bat costume.

Take dozens of Post-It Notes and write “Hello, my name is…” with a different name on each. Post them all over your shirt. Your costume? Identity thief.

Grab some pajamas, put your hair up in pigtails, grab your child’s or a friends stuffed animal (or that old teddy bear you still have in your closet – come on, admit it) and be a big baby for Halloween. Hey, at least you’ll get more candy that way!

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!

 

Make a Creepy “Skinned” Face

 

When you said you wanted to get tanned, we’ll bet this wasn’t what you meant! We saw this eerie image floating all over Pinterest but were unable to locate the original artist. So we decided to try it out for ourselves – and it’s surprisingly easy.

Here’s how to craft a super-creepy “skinned” (cut away from the skull)-face Halloween prop just like the one shown. Happy haunting – and don’t go into the woods alone.

You Will Need:

  • A creepy latex face mask. Searching for masks under “old man,” “zombie” or “baby” (an example is shown at right) on Amazon or ebay will give you great ideas.*
  • An Exacto knife.
  • Acrylic paints. We suggest deep red, black, and white.
  • Twine.
  • A weathered photo frame large enough to stretch your mask across.
  • Sandpaper, if you want to distress/weather a standard wooden frame.
  • A kitchen or sea sponge and a small paintbrush.
  • A heavy-duty hole punch.
  • Short nails (to go into the sides of the frame).
  • A hammer.

*If you are allergic to latex, look for a realistic non-latex mask. It may not be as stretchy, but you can get a similar effect by distressing the mask as described in the steps below.

Step One: Start Cutting

Credit: juneauempire.com
  1. Cut the face of your mask so it’s easy to stretch somewhat flat. Don’t worry about getting too exact with this. You want it to look cut somewhat haphazardly.
  2. If the eye holes aren’t very large, cut them a bit wider. The idea is that the skin has been cut away from the skull. (We know – eew!)
  3. If the mouth is not open, cut a slit between the lips and make sure it gapes when stretched.
  4. Punch holes near the edges of the face (as shown) using the hole punch. If your hole punch isn’t quite sturdy enough to do the trick, cut holes or slits with your Exacto knife.

Step Two: Add Paint

  1. For depth, dip your dry sponge into some black acrylic paint. Dab lightly on the insides of the eye and mouth holes. Again, don’t be too exact. (TIP: If you already have plenty of depth in the mask, you can skip this and the next step.)
  2. Using a different area of your sponge, add a few dabs of gray inside the eye and mouth holes for more depth. Now extend dabs of sickly gray-black across the face if you wish. Allow to dry.

Step Three: Stretch the Face

  1. If you want to distress your frame, rough it up with your sandpaper and smear streaks using your sponge and the gray paint; allow to dry.
  2. Hammer nails into the outsides of the frame where you want the twine to extend outward. These can be slightly off-kilter; again, messier and more haphazard is better.
  3. Cut pieces of twine for each of the holes you have punched into the mask. Tie one twine piece through each hole.
  4. Pull each piece of twine taut to stretch the mask and make it look extra-creepy. (Be careful not to pull TOO hard or you may tear the mask. Just have it look stretched out, with the eyes and mouth gaping.)
  5. Secure each piece of twine around its corresponding nail and tie tightly.

Step Four: Finishing Touches

Credit: craftsy.com

To give your stretched face gory realism, dab/smear dribbles of red paint onto the mask, the twine, and the photo frame. Remember: messier is better!

You can also mix red with a bit of black to get deeper, “older”/dried-blood colors. Dab with your sponge or toss onto the face with a paintbrush for extra splatter.

Allow your creepy creation to dry completely before hanging. Enjoy!

“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!

 

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!

 

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

Why Are We So Scared Of CLOWNS?

 

Want your boat, kid? They all float down here.

If you shuddered just reading that ominous little invitation (and quickly turned on a light), you may be like a surprising number of people who truly fear clowns. (There’s even a name for it – coulrophobia.)

From Twisty in American Horror Story to Stephen King’s It, the darker side of clowns will make even the bravest soul shudder. Here’s why.

The Tragic (and Threatening) Clown of Yesteryear

The tragic kidder Canio in the opera Pagliacci makes us cry more from fear than sympathy.

Perhaps part of our collective trepidation when it comes to clowns is that they weren’t always meant for children – and that historically, they haven’t always been innocent.

From his earliest days through the late Middle Ages, the clown – sometimes called a jester, or simply a “fool”- was a bit rougher around the edges than the laughing face we know today.

No laughing matter: The traditional court fool’s political antics were as likely to get someone’s head put on a spike as they were to induce giggles.

The two morbid grave-diggers in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for instance, were termed “clowns” by the Bard himself. .And Canio, the stage manager-cum-actor from the tragic opera Pagliacci (which means – you guessed it – “clowns”), cried behind thick, cheery theatre makeup while he wondered whether his wife was cheating – and whether he should stab her to death. (Spoiler alert: she was, and he did.)

Dangerous Laughs

Court fools in days of yore were meant to poke dangerous fun at politics, highlight human frailties and sometimes even to outwardly badger the helpless, such as invalids or the poor. (Witness the cringeworthy old-time village idiot motif as an example.)

And tragically, they were associated with putting on a brave face while suffering all of life’s injustices, piece by painful piece.

This all formed a rather unsettling and decidedly un-funny framework for the idea of the modern-day clown.

Clowns Creep Their Way Toward the Present Day

Really now…who wouldn’t trust a grown-up who hides his identity and lures children inside an enclosed area with food and toys?

The clown as we know it today, with outlandish clothes, crazy makeupand a loud, silly voice, began to develop in the mid-1800s, introduced in the popular imagination along with the modern circus.

Carnivals and sideshows of various descriptions had already existed for centuries, but the 19th century circus was a new era, with sideshow “freaks,” danger, occasional grifting, and modern-looking, white-faced clowns.

That motif has carried through to how we like our clowns to look today (but only under bright lights, and at a distance!).

The “Ick” Factor…and Other Clown Psychology

Restaurant clowns: making children run like hell since 1963.

Modern-day clowns have their place in pop culture, such as the lovable Ronald McDonald, purveyor of over-fried treats and beloved of children across the globe – when they’re not terrified of him, that is.

But perhaps that modern association of clowns with kids (can we all say “ick”?) is part of our collective problem with clowns.

Let’s face it: a stranger draped in disfiguring clothing and attempting to engage children using pretty flowers, balloons or candy as bait takes center stage in nearly any parent’s horrified imagination.

But there’s more to it than that, at least according to psychologists. One theory suggests something known as deindividuation may be a factor in the clown-fear phenomenon. Deindividuation involves hiding one’s identity, something that’s sure to invoke distrust – what is this person hiding, why is he hiding it, and who is he, really?

If it looks crazy, sounds crazy and acts crazy, it might just be (wait for it) crazy. Because logic. Image: ebaumsworld.com

Outlandish clothing, makeup and behavior can also be seen as way outside the norm not only because, well, it is…but also because from a gut-instinct perspective, anyone acting too crazy might be just that, and therefore, a threat.

One thing’s for sure: we’re so collectively creeped out about clowns that any number of schools and town Halloween parades across the U.S. have rules against dressing up as clowns on the premises.

And some states even have laws against dressing up as a clown in public, though usually with the caveat that the outfit must be accompanied by some sort of suspicious activity. Though this would seem to be common sense no matter what one is wearing, the fact that clowns are specifically mentioned in the ordinances is notable.

I to the C to the K. By the way, his name is Wrinkles…not kidding. Image: parenting.com

Meanwhile, British sociologists have determined what we already knew: ironically, children are among the most prominent clown-dislikers in the world.

It’s undeniable: clown hysteria is in full swing and shows no sign of slowing.

Which can only mean one thing.

You HAVE to dress as a clown this year!

Stake Your Creepy Claim. Be a Clown This Halloween

Please be advised that we do NOT recommend, nor do we endorse in any way, doing anything that might be even loosely considered illegal. So please check your city ordinances and any other attendant authorities before donning your creepy clown costume and scaring the pants off one and all.

With that said, clowns have been a popular Halloween theme for years. In 2017 clowns are huge once again in the wake of the remake of Stephen King’s terrifying It.

There are so many ways of being a creepy clown, but if you want to stay true to Hollywood form, here’s a 2017-version Pennywise tutorial to get you started:

Now that you’re sufficiently freaked out (just think of the effect this will have on those who view you!), here are some easy ways to be a terrifying clown:

  • Work on that cackle. It should be REALLY terrifying. Go for a hissing, ominous voice, an I’m-dirty old time gangster accent, a screaming-loud laugh or whatever terrifying associations you have with clowns. Trust me, they’ll ALL work.
  • If you have a specific clown in mind – for example, Krusty (The Simpsons), Pennywise (It), Ronald (of hamburger fame) or Twisty (American Horror Story), check out Youtube. There are tutorials by the dozens for pretty much any clown that pop culture has already dreamed up (or was that actually a nightmare?).
  • Love a great mystery? Go retro as a clown of old (suggestions: the original Pennywise; Clarabel from Howdy Doody; Killer Klowns From Outer Space; the morbidly musical ICP) and see who gets it. If a passerby guesses and calls out your clown name, scream “you win a prize!” and hand him or her a lolipop wrapped in ribbon dripping with red food coloring.
  • Clowns of all kinds have one thing in common in the popular imagination: a bone-white face with exaggerated, drawn-on features. This means you can wear practically anything (jeans and a t-shirt will do) and still be an awesomely notable clown simply by dolling your face up with a super-inexpensive Halloween makeup kit. Go for it and remember – be creative!
  • Going for more realism? Look for an old-fashioned ruff (the stiff, stand-out collar associated with clowns). Even creepier: wear the ruff…with your t-shirt and jeans. And of course, the makeup. (Eeew. We may have just creeped OURSELVES out.)
  • Carry spooky toys with you. For example, tear some hair out of an old doll you have lying around. Poke out one eye or if possible, poke it in just partially. (Cracked eyes are great, too. Trust us, there IS no way to screw this one up.) Paint the doll a morbid, sickly blue-gray and carry her around by the hair. Yell out offers to passersby to “come play.”
  • Get a GREAT creepy clown name. We suggest this fun generator. We’re still partial to the odd and twisted moniker “Wrinkles,” though…but you HAVE to promise not to tell him because, well…we’re pretty terrified of him.
  • Remember: it’s all in good fun. We’ve joked around considerably during this terrifying little tutorial, but small children can be legitimately traumatized by grown-ups dressing weirdly and acting in a strange, loud, lunging manner. Know your audience and DO NOT approach a stranger’s child (or your own…unless you’re already all stocked up on hospital-strength rubber bed-wetting protector sheets).

Buy a clown costume at Halloweencostumes.com

Happy Halloween! Meanwhile, we leave you with this…

2017’s Best Movie Couple Costumes

 

Well hey there, gorgeous. You ought to be in pictures! Fictional on-screen lovers (and sometimes, nemeses) have always been popular for Halloween parties and sometimes, for private dressup (don’t worry, we’ll never tell).

If you’re wondering what couples costume theme to choose for 2017, check out the movies that were hits – plus a few that never quite “got there” yet left enduring images for you to emulate this Halloween. 

Here are our favorite fictional couples from this year’s marquees, plus hacks to get you started on creating your own perfectly paired getup. (Or if you’re short on time, click the orange links for steals on these awesome costumes!)

Baywatch

 

Credit: Pinterest, hanna dunlap

We laughed at it years ago when it was a series, yet we couldn’t look away. The same thing happened when Baywatch blew up as a 2017 movie. Be specific Baywatch characters (CJ is iconic, for example) or focus on the Hollywood star aspect (we CAN smell what the Rock is cookin’).

YOUR HACKS: Go thrift shopping for 80s throwback jackets and not-quite-long-enough men’s shorts. Find a plain sleeveless leotard and dye it red – check your local dollar store to see if they have Rit or another brand. (The same goes for the men’s shorts, by the way.) Grab a pair of shades, tease your hair to gigantic proportions and you’re good to go. For the 2017 version, look for a long-sleeve, zip-down leotard. If it’s a lighter color, you can dye it red.

Spider-Man and Mary Jane, Michelle or Liz

 

Credit: Kanani Whitt Photography

The movies have gone through many incarnations, interpretations and outfits, but the gist is the same: for the Man himself, go for a giant-eyed hood and either red, blue or black tights and top. For Spider-Man’s squeeze, choose either traditional red-headed Mary Jane from the comic books and several movie interpretations, Liz from 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” or for extra fun, the hilariously emo and definitely secretly crushing Michelle.

YOUR HACKS: Yes, they sell guy’s tights. Grab a blue pair and stretch red socks over them. Wear a tight red shirt and red gloves. Get creative and draw webbing with a fabric pen. For Liz: go 2017 girly casual. For Michelle: find a curly wig on the cheap on Amazon or ebay and pair with anything black. For Mary Jane: temporarily dye your hair red with Manic Panic or buy a red wig and wear retro clothing. Don’t forget to go for that kiss!

Rey and Finn

 

We know…we love them too, and everyone at the party will love YOU even if you don’t bring your own little BB8 as shown (awww!).

YOUR HACKS: Plastic Star Wars weaponry is available everywhere – even dollar and thrift shops. Although several of the weapons from this extension of the Star Wars franchise are iconic, if you’re on a budget, any Star Wars shooter should do. Finn’s jacket can be tougher; again we’re going to recommend thrift shops or Goodwill. Fabric glue strips of material to decorate. For Rey, wear your hair in descending messy buns. Strap neutral-colored fabric along your arms and around your waist. Dye a plain tunic beige or repurpose a garment you won’t be wearing anymore by cutting out the sleeves and adding a brown scarf as your belt.

King Kong and Brie

 

Credit: popsugar.com 

These two have been a hot item since 1933 and have paired up once again for “King Kong: Skull Island.” “Monkey” (in this case, technically gorilla) suits are always popular for Halloween – for some reason, we’re fascinated with them – but we recommend renting, not buying, unless you plan on taking New York and that hot party by storm year after year.

YOUR HACKS: For Brie, style your hair in curls and a retro “golden days of Hollywood” front side flip. Find a cocktail dress on ebay or Goodwill and add some costume pearls. Add a giant hand; get crafty and papier-mache one over a series of balloons which you can pop and then paint the exterior once everything has dried. Duct tape or vinyl pieces are other options for this effect. For Kong: as we said, rent, don’t buy, unless you can find a steal on ebay.

Medieval Couple (Based on “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”)

 

Credit: Pinterest, stacyreeves.com

We were brokenhearted when 2017’s King Arthur was proclaimed a flop – until we saw how many individuals and couples are ALREADY getting geared up in medieval threads in preparation for Halloween this year! Arthur is legendary in every way, with or without his princess Guinevere (she was absent in this first of the movie series franchise), and best of all, he NEVER needs to be historically accurate, so get into anything middle ages/knights and ladies fair for this idea.

YOUR HACKS: A tunic belted with a tied scarf is very medieval knight. Fabric-glue pieces in the shape of a cross or dragon. Add a plastic sword from the dollar store. If you can locate one, wear a faux crown. You can also go pre-king with an open plain shirt, a Goodwill faux leather or woven jacket with the sleeves cut out and plain black or brown pants. For Guinevere or for a fascinating twist, Morgana: Find a long cocktail dress at the Goodwill and belt it with a cheap non-boned bustier; check ebay for this. You can also belt the tunic with a long, draping scarf. If you’d like, add an outer-skirt and tuck one side toward the front into the waistband of your belt so the under-color shows through. Put flowers in your hair.

Gamora and Peter

We know they’ll be getting together at SOME point. Make the wait less excruciating by dressing as Gamora and Peter Quill from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” this Halloween.

YOUR HACKS: Be careful, as some people have sensitive skin, but if you’re not prone to breakouts or reactions, go to your local dollar store for plenty of green Halloween pan makeup and a black makeup crayon. Wear your tightest black jeans and a tight tank top. For Peter, if you’re crafty, make and paint a papier-mache mask; if not, a wealth of Peter masks is expected to be out this year. You can also go natural as bare-faced Peter. Wear black pants and a faux leather jacket; choose a wide belt and add boots.

Belle and Adam (Beauty and Beast)

 

We all dream of that gorgeous yellow ballgown or Adam’s amazing “you rich beast, you” coat, but you can still get in on the unlikely yet enduring romance without breaking the royal coffers.

YOUR HACKS: For Belle (Beauty): Go thrift store hunting and find a plain white shirt and any light-colored jumper. Dye the jumper blue with dye from the dollar store. Buy white stockings while you’re there – you only need them to last for one night, after all. Curl your hair and tie it back in a ribbon. For Adam: wear a large, partially unbottoned wide-sleeve shirt and casual brown or black pants. Cut these jaggedly at the wrists and ankles. Wear a wig or wild your own hair out with gel. Pick up a cheap makeup palette and create a fuzzy facial look. Add plastic fangs if you’d like.

Jack Sparrow and…Whomever

Credit: coolest-homemade-costumes.com

Jack is never quite “with” anybody, yet there’s electricity between him and a variety of damsels and female pirates (and even an otherworldy creature or two) throughout the franchise. This time around, in “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the feisty movie beauty was Carina, but other exceptional “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise females have included Elizabeth Swan, the goddess Calypso, the mermaid Syrena and Angelica.

YOUR HACKS: Elizabeth was known for her gold-colored gown. If you’re going full Elizabeth, we recommend that you rent rather than buy this costume, which can run to the pricey side. For any of the other characters, including Elizabeth’s various pirate costumes throughout the series, combine a retro 70s long skirt from the thrift shop with a wide belt and a tight, low top or a budget bustier/corset. Wear your hair half-up and hanging down in curls or find budget extensions or a wig. For Calypso and Carina, add steampunk accessories like leather and boots. For Jack: Jack Sparrow dreds are so well-known you can actually buy hats that include them, glued to the inside brim. If you have long hair, braid your own and add beads. Wear a large, wide-sleeved top, unbuttoned as low as you dare. TIP: a large-size elastic band (do NOT let this compromise our circulation) around the wrists “puffs” them out in a very 17th-century style. Wear slightly baggy pants, boots and put a plastic pistol into your waistband (which you can create with a simple scarf).

 

BEST OF: Pinterest Halloween Food Ideas

 

Follow us on Pinterest for more ghoulishly good treats, plus costume ideas, haunted places, devilish decor and more!

Pinterest is so full of awesome Halloween food ideas, it’s almost scary! And although some take a culinary degree and top-notch baking and decorating equipment (you’ve seen them too!), there are others that really aren’t hard to make – and that are downright devilishly delish.

With that said, here are 13 GREAT Pinterest-inspired Halloween recipes for your ghoulish gathering!

Bowl of Worms

These are really simple. They’re basically very firm Jell-O Jigglers, poured into ribbed straws. With the correct food coloring ratio, they really do look like earthworms. Experiment; make red wigglers, black crawlers or multicolored just-for-fun bug-a-boos. Pinterest, onelittleproject.com. Recipe is here.

onelittleproject.com

Spider Web Taco Dip

The reason this recipe is SO easy is that you can add anything you want to it as long as you have the web and the spider! The web is created out of sour cream. After mixing your dip ingredients of choice, dollop sour cream in the center. Drag outward with a toothpick. Then drag horizontally for the cross-sections of the web. Alternate method: use a pastry squeeze tube/carrot bag to create the sour cream web. Add a faux spider to the center.

palatablepastime.com

Severed Finger Hot Dogs

All you need to do to get this gruesomely realistic look is to cut into the hot dog and cut away the area for teh fingernail. Then cook. So easy! The recipe is here.

buzzfeed.com

Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins

You know them and love them, now try pumpkin-shaped Rice Krispie treats! Simply add yellow and red food coloring to get a light orange, mix into your Rice Krispie Treats recipe, mold gently in your hands to create the shape and add a Rollos candy to the top. The cute leaf is a green M&M or Skittles candy.

onelittleproject.com

Jack Skellington Pops

There’s a bit more of a learning curve here but these come out surpisingly cute! The mouth and eyes are iconically Jack Skellington. These are super-fun for a child’s party and of course, they’re delicious. The recipe is here.

bigbearswife.com

Pizza Skulls

We’re pretty sure these are going to be Halloween 2017’s “it” recipe. And they’re SO easy! Simply stuff premade crust into a skull baking pan (we recommend Nordicware) and bake. Find the recipe here.

plainchicken.com

Vampire Hot Chocolate

Mmmm! These hot chocolate treats are bloody good (and easy to prepare). Read the recipe here.

bigbearswife.com

Vampire’s Kiss Shots

 

Blend raspberries and add ingredients in order…done! Try different drink combinations, too. This is a very flexible recipe. Yum!

Inside Out Caramel Apples

These were popular last year and they’re making a reappearance…and with good reason: they’re the EASIEST (and coolest-looking) way to eat a traditional treat. Caramel + apples + easy = win! Here’s the recipe.

bhg.com

Easy Jack o’Lantern Burgers

Any time we see “easy” in a recipe title, we’re there. This one is literally as simple as pressing a jack o’lantern-shaped cookie cutter into a cheese slice (or carefully free-hand cutting). Top a nearly-cooked burger and melt just slightly. Done!

redtedart.com

Slashed Cupcakes

The principle here is a gooey-looking filling along with a contrasting color icing (which is why white is perfect). Slash and the goo shows through. The recipe is here.

redbookmag.com

Sugar Skull Fruit Pizza

It’s so easy to get healthy fruit into kids this Halloween season that it’s scary! Just try this easy recipe, adding fruits your kidslove.

growingupbilingual.com

Easy Floating Hand Punch

There’s that “easy” again, and they’re not kidding. Mix up your favorite party punch. While it’s sitting in the fridge with flavors mingling, fill a non-latex glove 3/4 of the way with water and place in the freezer with the finger tips down if possible (hang the glove for the best result). The water expands into the glove as it freezes into ice. Peel away the glove and add to the punch bowl.

buzzfeed.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for Some New Digs? Dracula’s Castle is on the Market

Image: dailymail.co.uk
Image: dailymail.co.uk

 

With home prices on an upswing, it’s downright frightening for wannabe buyers right now in the world of real estate.

But things just got even scarier with the announcement that the infamous Bran Castle – the legendary digs associated with the late Prince Vlad Dracul – is up for sale.

As most horror (and history) fanatics know, Dracul was the inspiration for Brahm Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, which spawned movies, books and a pop culture image of the sexy slayer we all know and fear.

The creepy count lived in, appropriately enough, a tall, forbidding structure much like Romania’s Bran Castle.

The imposing structure – “Casteul Bran” in its native tongue – was built in the 12th century on the border of Transylvania and Wallachia and was probably unknown to later author Stoker, but according to history, it may have at least loose associations with Vlad III (Vald the Impaler, or Vlad Dracul). The actual castle that captured Stoker’s imagination was similar to Bran Castle, and both were located in the territory then known as Transylvania.

The actual locale where Vlad rested his halberd is now in ruins, but Bran Castle stands as the iconic chilling home for all things vampirish…and now, it’s for sale.

Got Leu?

The sprawling Bran Castle is owned by descendants of the Romanian royal family, but they’re now looking to unload it onto a likely buyer (can’t you just imagine hands rubbing together over a hulking, creepy smile? Sorry for any offense to the Habsburgs, who haven’t shown any real-life bloody tendencies…that we know of).

The asking price is a modest $66 million (about 216,000,000 Romanian leu), but it might be flown off with at a steal, according to realtors, who estimate the final selling price could be as little as $13 million.

But don’t lose your head over the price tag. Look what you’re getting – 57 rooms on 22 acres atop a majestic cliff that just screams location, location, location (at least we THINK those are the screams we hear).

And if you’re short on funds, the royal family won’t necessarily bleed you dry. “If someone comes in with a reasonable offer,” realtor Mark Meyer told the British periodical Telegraph, “…we will seriously entertain the idea.”

Stake Your Claim

Sadly, for most of us, the idea of such a purchase is downright flighty (imagine the commute to your current job?). But you can still dream…or is that a nightmare in the making?

Either way, feast your…er, eyes on these fun and freaky photos of this historic locale.

It looks even spookier at night, meaning you and your loved ones will be sure to throw some killer parties with this pensive purchase. Image: dailymail.co.uk
It looks even spookier at night, meaning you and your loved ones will be sure to throw some killer parties with this pensive purchase. Image: dailymail.co.uk
Looking to stretch your legs? Castle Braun has 57 spacious rooms...and plenty of places to hide the bodies.
Looking to stretch your legs? Castle Braun has 57 spacious rooms…and plenty of places to hide the bodies.

 

Even the good guys look spooky at this creepy castle. Shown here: Romanian priest Petru Darascu.
Even the good guys look spooky at this creepy castle. Shown here: Romanian priest Petru Darascu, frozen in time in eerie effigy.

 

Come inside and warm up. You're looking a little pale. Image: dailymail.co.uk
Come inside and warm up. You’re looking a little pale. Image: dailymail.co.uk
Make this your resting place...just not a final one. Image: dailymail.co.uk
Make this your resting place…just not a final one. Image: dailymail.co.uk

 

So you say you like a cozy courtyard? You won't be disappointed. Image: all-that-is-interesting.com
So you say you like a cozy courtyard? You won’t be disappointed. Image: all-that-is-interesting.com

 

The locale is huge, sprawling, and elaborate - everything a castle-buyer could want. Image: dailymail.co.uk
The locale is huge, sprawling, and elaborate – everything a castle-buyer could want. Image: dailymail.co.uk

 

Location, location, location: the castle is nestled in amazing greenery. Image: rolandia.eu
Location, location, location: the castle is nestled in amazing greenery. Image: rolandia.eu

 

How to Make a Cat-o-Lantern

 

Adorbs! Make your own fun, spooky and frisky cat-o-lantern with this easy tutorial. Ready to get “familiar” with the technique?  Let’s get started!

Supplies

  • Two pumpkins:  a large one for the head and smaller one for the bodycat o lantern supplies 2
  • Two mini-pumpkins (Jack Be Littles or Baby Boos) – pick a size that will be suitable as paws for your cat-o-lantern
  • A zucchini or cucumber for the tail
  • Black spray paint (flat, satin or gloss, per your preference)
  • A large knife
  • A fine cutting tool
  • One tea light candle
  • Black cardboard or posterboard
  • Pins
  • Paper
  • Scissors

spraying pumpkin

Step One: Paint

  1. In a well ventilated area (outdoors is best), with your mouth and nose covered with a mask, spray paint all four pumpkins/gourds and the zucchini (or cucumber).
  2. Allow to dry and then turn each vegetable over and spray the bottom to make sure it is completely covered. Allow again to dry.

Step Two: Carve

scooping out the head

  1. Cut out the TOP of the smaller pumpkin as you would to carve any pumpkin. This will be the BOTTOM of the cat’s head. Scoop out insides and scrape.
  2. Draw an eye shape onto your blank paper and cut it out to make a pattern.
  3. Using pins, create pin marks all around the eye shape as shown. This will be your cutting guide. Flip the eye shape cutout and do eye patternthe same for the second eye.
  4. Cut the eyes out using the pin marks as your guide. Re-scrape the inside if any pumpkin bits are hanging into the eyes and visible.

Step Three: Add Ears

  1. Touch up the outside of the head with spray paint if necessary. Allow to dry.
  2. Cut an ear shape out of your black posterboard, leaving a small square tab at the bottom. Use this cutout as a pattern to cut the other ear. Fold down the tab at the bottom of each ear and pin to the head.

Step Four: Arrange Body Parts and Display

finished cat o lantern

  1. Arrange the body, paw (mini pumpkins) and tail (zucchini) pieces the way you wish them to look.
  2. Place the tea light on top of the body. Light the wick.
  3. Arrange the head on top of the body, over the light, so that the eyes are glowing. (We placed the head off-center here so that Kitty is looking over her shoulder.)

TIPS:

  • To get a faux glow in the daytime, place an orange or yellow piece of paper behind the eyes. At nighttime, remove the paper and light the candle.
  • For a squatter, rounder cat, choose a round pumpkin body; for a leaner cat, choose a taller pumpkin body.
  • Touch-ups are easy to do; just squirt a quick spray of spray-paint.
  • Use gloss paint if preferred. The tutorial shown here was created using flat black spray paint.
  • Larger eyes are spookier. Experiment with ideas on a piece of paper before creating your patterns and carving.
  • Two or more cats make a great look. Use different pumpkin shapes for the bodies in order to get a varied and interesting look.
  • To avoid candle wax dripping onto the body, place the candle in a small, flat dish that fits under the head.
  • If the head won’t stay on top of the body or is wobbly, carefully break some wooden chop sticks or use thick toothpicks. Push the picks into the bottom of the head and push the head down onto the body. An alternative is to arrange your cat so its head rests against an outdoor wall, or use clay to attach the head to the body.

catolantern

The 13 Most Haunted Hotels in America

 

Haunted hotels entered the public imagination in a big way with the spectrally occupied Overlook in The Shining. But creepy stories of spooky stay-overs have always been the subject of speculation – and some reportedly haunted stays still exist today.

Here’s Halloween Alliance’s list of the 13 spookiest hotels in America. Pack your bags and stay a while…if you dare.

#1: The Bourbon Orleans Hotel

Unearthly dancers are said to waltz through the Bourbon Orleans ballroom.
Unearthly dancers are said to waltz through the Bourbon Orleans ballroom.

Nestled in the iconic French Quarter of New Orleans, the Bourbon Orleans is the site of the original Orleans Ballroom, built in 1817. Among those reportedly at unrest at the Bourbon Orleans: a Confederate soldier for whom the war will never really be over (seen on the 3rd and 6th floors), children and nuns who were victims of a yellow fever epidemic when the hotel was an orphanage, and mysterious dancers who disappear as quickly as they appear, ruffling the draperies as they waltz from one world into the next.

#2: The Omni Homestead Resort

Despite its idyllic appearance, the Homestead is said to be anything but restful (or at rest).
Despite its idyllic appearance, the Homestead is said to be anything but restful (or at rest).

According to guests, the Hot Springs, VA-located Omni Homestead Resort is anything but restful. Though the entire building is said to experience ghostly disturbances, the 14th floor receives the most reports of paranormal activity. Originally erected as a much smaller facility in 1776, the resort is said to have a bloody history, including a bride left at the altar who committed suicide in one of the rooms. More recently, the hotel has experienced violence that visitors swear was spurned by the unrest in the building: two hotel supervisors were shot by an employee in the hotel’s kitchen in 2009.

#3: The Onaledge Inn

Harassed male visitors claim some of the Onaledge's guests have reserved a postmortem stay at the haunted locale.
Harassed male visitors claim an aggressive elderly woman has booked a post-mortem stay at the Onaledge.

Built as the Red Craggs Inn in 1844, this Manitou Springs, CO bed-and-breakfast is said to have a number of unearthly “regulars,” including a “blue boy” who plays near the pond and, perhaps more dangerously, an unidentified elderly female who attempts to shove at male visitors. The location was rebuilt as the Onaledge Inn in the early 20th century, but these spooky guests, visitors say, refuse to leave.

#4: The Stanley Hotel

stanley hotel ghost
The spooky Stanley Hotel has a dangerous history and is said to host at least one ghost (see image above).

That’s right: it’s the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining in 1980. And it’s not just King who felt something eerie in the famous locale. According to hotel employees, the Estes Park, CO structure, built by Stanley Steamer magnate Freeland O. Stanley in the early 1900s, things go bump in the night, and not just in Room 217. The place has been plagued by a gas leak, a mystery explosion, power outages and, according to records, has resulted in injuries, including two broken ankles by one of the employees.  Among its spookier stories: beds are found by chambermaids already made up (and not by the guests), and honeymooners report being physically separated on the marriage bed by a spectral presence. And according to hauntedplacesinamerica.com, an eerie image (shown in the pic, right) has been captured – temporarily, anyway – on camera.

Continue the Haunted Tour ->

 

A Tribute To Wes Craven (1939-2015)

Image: wescraven.com
Image: wescraven.com

Remembering a Legend

This past Sunday, horror appreciators everywhere received the sad news that Hollywood legend Wes Craven had passed away. The horror film master, who had been battling brain cancer, succumbed to his illness in his Los Angeles home on Aug. 30, 2015. He was 76.

The world will remember Mr. Craven as the scream king who brilliantly brought us such classics as The Hills Have Eyes, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.

Here is our tribute to the man, the movies and the legend whose push-the-envelope creativity will always be remembered. Wes, thank you for the thrills, the screams…and the images that helped shape the face of a genre – and still keep us up at night.

Wes Speaks: An Interview

The Movies We Loved

About Wes Craven

How To Put Together a GREAT Last-Minute Halloween Costume

Psst. No time to pull together the quick fixes below? Grab the orange links below to find great deals!

You thought you were going to hang out on your couch tonight eating Ben & Jerry’s and watching old Hammer horror movies.

Then the phone call came.

“You won’t believe this – I just got invited to THE Halloween party of the year but I just can’t go alone! Please please please will you come with me?”

Or perhaps your three-year-old is staring up from her adorable clown costume with her lip trembling, asking, “But WHY won’t you dress up too, Daddy? You promised.”

What to do? You have 30 minutes and zero ideas. Never fear: you can pull together a unique costume…and you can use items you already have around the house! Get ready, get set…get into the spirit in a flash with these last-minute costumes.

  • Put an old lampshade on your head and hang a sign around your neck that says “Life of the Party.”chipotle baby
  • Wrap yourself in foil and be a burrito.
  • Get fully clothed and hang a sign around your neck that reads “Nudist On Strike.”
  • Have a headband lying around? Cut animal ears out of paper, color them, and glue them to the headband, then wear the headband ears on your head, along with an outfit in coordinating colors.
  • Go through your (or your wife’s, or your roommate’s, or your sister’s) makeup bag. Make yourself up as a slasher film victim or zombie by painting “blood” spatters with lipstick, be undead with dark eyeshadow under your eyes or be Frankenstein with green eyeshadow blended into some foundation (base) and black liquid eyeliner “stitches” on your forehead. Draw lines down from your mouth with eyeliner and draw “larger” eyes by making circles down below your own and be a haunted doll.
Charlie Brown. wonderhowto.com
Charlie Brown. wonderhowto.com
  • Draw an up-and-down pattern in black magic marker around a yellow shirt and be Charlie Brown.
  • Be a slasher film prom girl or undead groom, or a retro zombie or ghoul by repurposing an old outfit you were planning on tossing. A suit you’ve always hated, a plaid shirt that’s well past its grunge stage or a bridesmaid’s dress you already looked like a horror in anyway are all great choices.
  • Work with what you naturally have. For instance, if you’re a woman with long, dark hair and you have a black dress or black skirt and shirt stashed somewhere in your closet, do up your hair in braids and be Wednesday Addams. Work out a lot? Shred an old shirt, paint open areas green with green eyeshadow mixed into makeup base and be The Incredible Hulk.

    Rosie the Riveter. thechicsite.com
    Rosie the Riveter. thechicsite.com
  • Raid the garage or attic. If you have kids, great! You probably have accessories that will fit you even though they were originally purposed for children. For instance, cat or mouse ears will probably fit on your head; match these with a same-color simple outfit (black for black cat ears, gray for a mouse, pink for a pink bunny, etc.). Even if you don’t have children, you may uncover some fantastic finds – old clothes that are past their prime and now have their own naturally spooky look; pieces of old costumes from that last Halloween party you went to in 2003.
Scarecrow. heavy.com
Scarecrow. heavy.com
  • Have autumn/Halloween leaf decorations up (or stored in your garage)? Tape them all over autumn-colored clothes such as yellow, orange, red or brown and be a tree.
  • Find torn up old duds and a hat you were about to toss and be a scarecrow. Add circle cheeks and other scarecrow face decor with makeup if you’d like. If you have hay or straw decor around your house, stuff a little into your wrist and pants cuffs.
  • Grab an old black suit jacket and an empty Dos Equis container, paint on a beard and mustache if you don’t already have one and be The Most Interesting Man in the World.
  • Put some lemons in a bowl and write “LIFE” in marker on an old t-shirt. You are now life, handing out lemons.

    The most interesting man in the world. mashable.com
    The most interesting man in the world. mashable.com
  • Put a kerchief on your head. Wear a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of jeans with the cuffs rolled. Put on lots of red lipstick. Voila – you’re Rosie the Riveter.
  • Know someone who wears a uniform to his or her job and is willing to “loan” it? There you go: instant “costume”!
  • Put black tape in a stick-figure formation on a white shirt and pants, tie a smiley circle around your head and be a stick figure.
  • Have a lot of black in your closet? Put on a black shirt and black jeans and safety-pin a full black skirt to the back of the neck of the shirt and to each cuff of the shirt. Spread your wings, and you have an instant bat costume.
  • Take dozens of Post-It Notes and write “Hello, my name is…” with a different name on each. Post them all over your shirt. Your costume? Identity thief.
  • Roll up the sleeves of a black or silk screen t-shirt, draw “bad boy” or “bad girl”-style tattoos all over your arms and upper chest and be a biker.