What better way to start a week with an awesome holiday special for the best holiday in the calendar (followed shortly by International Talk Like a Pirate Day). While this week may not have a perfect start otherwise, you’re getting a good reason to get some coffee in you right now.
Everyone should know by now that Wednesday is Halloween, and while I know everyone has different traditions, here’s my version of the Top Ten for Halloween traditions.
10. Lose yourself in a spooky book
This year, while Trucker Ghost Stories didn’t exactly pan out, there are a ton of brilliant options in multitudes of formats. My personal favorite this year?
9. Celebrate the history of the day with a traditional All Hallow’s Eve feast
While I’m not exactly an ace in the kitchen, there’s a million and one recipes ranging in difficulty from 5 year old to culinary genius. Try recipes featuring the harvest season (think apples, winter squash, walnuts, persimmons, and pomegranates) and plan for lots of yummy spices (mostly along the lines of cinnamon, cloves, and the like).
8. Hit the cemetery for thrills and chills
My boots have grave dust on them. Why is this? Well, only the 5th Annual Cemetery Seek put on by a friend of mine! This time of year, many historical societies put on moonlight tours or candlelight ghost tales. There are also reenactments by actors portraying those within the graves, spooky scavenger hunts (such as mine from Saturday), and even volunteer cleanups. Check local event boards for stuff in your area.
7. Enjoy a well made cocktail that’s a little black and bloody
My two staples of the Halloween season: black liquor and bloody liquor. My favorites are definitely Blavod’s black vodka and Vampire vodka. Both do not have any extra flavor associated with the coloring, and the coloring is relatively stain-free in each. You can also use liqueurs with flavorings such as black licorice and pomegranate, but you actually have to plan for the flavors with those…Blavod and Vampire are perfect as-is in your favorite vodka cocktail.
6. Spoil the minions (strikethrough) munchkins with treats
What better way to spread the love of an amazing holiday than by sharing it with the younger generations? After all, some of my favorite holidays involve trick-or-treating. If you live in an apartment building or a similar place that gets no kiddos running around, there are always trunk-or-treats at community centers and churches where you can set up your car for a bit of candy-handing out action.
5. Cover yourself in blood and provide for the less fortunate
Nowadays, the Zombie Apocalypse is a generally accepted fact in Western culture. Heck, I heard it used as a marketing tool for a company that sold generators the other day! That being said, the zombie hordes are being used as a force of good (albeit year-round). Zombie Walks for Hunger are popping up all over the country and they’re a great excuse to dress up and help out for a good cause (the one here in Kansas City goes to benefit Harvester’s). Check your local newspaper for listings and calls for denizens of the reanimated dead.
4. Dress beautifully and carry a big mask
This time of year, there is something out there even better than a costume party: a masquerade. The biggest of these parties is down in New Orleans for the vampire elite (yes, the non-sparkly kind). Attending The Endless Night Vampire Ball has been a dream of mine for years, but again I find myself in the home area for the night. However, masquerades are like conventions: you can find them all over with all sorts of different specialty themes.
3. Chill out with a creepy or gory flick
There’s tons of great horror movies out there (and terrible ones that are made even better by the fact of their ridiculousness), but no two capture the spirit of Halloween for me more than The Crow and Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Crow is, perfectly enough, my “Devil’s Night” tradition (the night before Halloween) and Rocky Horror is usually some time before Halloween. There’s nothing like seeing it in a theater with 100 other shrieking Rocky-ites and props to add to the fun.
2. Attack pumpkins and squash with a butcher knife (or any of those other fancy tools)
If you don’t carve a pumpkin, it’s not Halloween. Just sayin’.
1. Become someone else (or at least a different version of yourself)
Last year, I covered my rules for Halloween (always dress up and never repeat a costume). I have these rules because it is probably one of the most fun parts of the holiday, in my opinion. I’ve been a lot of things, too, and have forced myself to get more creative over the years. That’s the beauty of it: you can be ANYTHING or ANYONE. If you want to be a Tetris cube, great! If you want to dress up as a video game character, you don’t even need a con! If you want to be a Steampunk version of yourself, awesome sauce! A friend of mine recently inspired me for the holiday as she’s decided to be a famous woman from history henceforth, I ran with the idea and am dressing up as Mary Shelley. You can explore taboos, break free from your inhibitions, and have fun artsy time (if you’re so inclined to make your costume as opposed to buying it).
So, there’s some ideas…go forth and haunt!