TEN WAYS FOR HORROR FANS TO MAKE THE MOST OF THIS OCTOBER (2 OF 2)
As promised, Part Two of Halloween Season Preparation for Horror Fans has arrived, and with it some more tricks and treats to help you as a horror fan prepare for the most important month for horror fans and the horror community. I hope you enjoyed Part One and find the rest of these tips helpful for making the most of this very special time of the year.
6. Attend Horror and Halloween Parties
Horror and Halloween parties are about as prevalent as warts on a witch’s chin during the Halloween season. They serve as a great way to let you as a horror fan flaunt your fandom with pride and passion. At these parties, you can be yourself and whip out that stash of horror trivia that you keep in that dark (and normally forbidden) corner of your brain. You can regale fellow party attendees that any other day of the year would have turned as pale as the vampire make up they’re wearing, upon hearing you divulge how long it took to film the bloody torrent elevator scene in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980).
At these parties, you can also indulge your creative side as a horror fan, especially if you are hosting — giving you an excuse to transform your house into a haunted house or your apartment into a crazed serial killer’s pad. You can also extend this to the food and even the games you play or the drinks you serve. If you’re planning on hosting a horror and Halloween shindig, start looking into dark decoration ideas and frightfully delicious snacks and desserts for your guests. One resource I would recommend for the latter is the website and YouTube channel of the Homicidal Homemaker for some recipe ideas to kill (I mean thrill) your guests.
7. Visit a Spooky Place or Horror Historical Site
The Halloween Season is a great time to plan a road trip and go explore the spooky sites, haunted places and horror shooting locations (not to mention whole towns like Salem, Massachusetts) that you didn’t get the chance to visit during the summer. In a previous post, I covered summer travel guides for horror lovers. What I didn’t mention, however, was that these guides work just as well during the fall (or any other time of the year for that matter). And being that it’s the Halloween season, it may add to some of the thrills and chills these places normally bring that may have been sweated out by the summer heat. So go check them out while it still cool and scary!
8. Design a Killer Pumpkin
Planning out your pumpkin design is a great thing to do before you start hitting the pumpkin patches. That way you’ll know exactly what you need before you go, for example, a pumpkin that’s at least 14 inches tall and 15 inches wide, and one that’s not too thick to accommodate your carefully planned out depiction of Dracula’s visage. Pumpkins are a great way to display your horror passion for all to see and marvel at when they come with their kids to knock on your door and beg for treats, or when they arrive for the party or house haunt that you’ve planned. There’s nothing better than when someone, be they a trick or treater, an accompanying adult, or a party guest, comments on how much they love your jack o’ lantern and says: “I remember that movie! It was so scary! It looks just like it!”
9. Let Your Freak Flag Fly
We’ve covered the importance of planning on how you will decorate for a party. But what about just for you? What if you don’t like parties, or just don’t have the time to host one? What if you prefer to stay at home and enjoy the spooky season by yourself, or with your family? What if someone you know is already having a party? The answer: DOESN’T MATTER! Plenty of people, be they year round or seasonal horror fans and Halloween revelers, decorate for the season and holiday that allows you to transform the inside (and outside if you wish and are able) of your abode into a dungeon, a monster’s lair, a mad scientist’s laboratory. Have fun with it! Especially if you don’t live alone, this is presumably the only time of the year you can display your love for horror outside of that one room where you keep all your movies and masks. If that’s the case, you want to get it right.
10. Dress to Kill
Planning out your costume — whether it’s just to wear to the door on Halloween, for a party, or your for your own personal haunted attraction — is one of the most important parts of the Halloween season. It’s also a great excuse to dress up as your favorite horror icon, or personal ghoulish creation. By planning it out now and figuring out if you’re just going to buy a costume, or if you’re going to make one (in which case exact measurements will be necessary), you’ll be ready when Halloween night comes. With this being said, there’s a whole world of awesome costumes and masks made by independent artists and studios that cater to these needs (the most well-known being Trick-or-Treat Studios and the late, and scary, Don Post Studios).
There are also collectors of such frightening ephemera, and there are two ghoulishly gorgeous coffin table books tiled: Dressed for Thrills: 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo , Mark Alice Durant and, Valerie Steele and The Illustrated History of Don Post Studios: Deluxe Edition Hardcover by Lee Lambert that are treasure troves of information and inspiration on this topic.