Ten Things I Love About Halloween
October is here. There’s a nip in the air. The leaves on the tress have changed their colors. Hues of red, orange and yellow are everywhere. The aroma of pumpkin spice surrounds us in treats, candles and lattes to help signal the season.
But most importantly, everything starts to feel a little bit more spooky. The sun sets a little earlier, your breath appears before you, and the general theme of horror is everywhere.
Halloween has always been a big part of my life. From my childhood right through to today, the start of October just fills me a sense of joy that some may wonder “Why“? “What is so special about this holiday that he loves so much?”
Being a huge horror nerd at such a young age and continuing into this day has made me have a special connection to this holiday. Now getting to share my love and every moment of this season with my wife Tracey and daughter Adrianna has made this celebration of the macabre even more special to me. So it’s an absolute joy to talk to you guys today about “Horror’s Holiday“.
So let’s get into the my personal Ten Best Things About Halloween and why I love them!
Top 10 Favorite Things About Halloween
10. Halloween Hunting
That first trip to the Halloween store. It’s like coming home to a Halloween nut. We live in a small community where the selection of Halloween and horror items to choose from a very limited. A couple ghosts here. A mask there. Some very basic Walmart costumes. This is why we like to make trips into the city to go to the larger Halloween superstores like Spirit Halloween.
Seeing all the displays, the animatronics, the costumes, the lights, the colors, the props, everything on full display is always a treat.
9. That Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Halloween Playlist
Every Halloween nerd knows some tunes that have to go on the Halloween playlist. Staples of the season include Thriller and Ghostbusters which tend to receive more regular play on radio stations. Of course not every song on the list is necessarily about ghosts, ghouls or even Halloween, but it’s fun to interpret some of them that way and blend them in. Maybe throw in a few of you favorite tunes from horror movies and you’ve got a rockin’ list to go Halloween hunting with.
Here’s a few common choices to get you started and you can build your own from there:
- Michael Jackson – Thriller
- Ray Parker Jr – Ghostbusters
- Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me
- Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper
- Time Warp – Rocky Horror Picture Show
I like to include a couple favorites from my favorite 80s horror franchises like Dokken’s “Dream Warriors” and “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” by Alice Cooper. I’m obviously a child of the 80s but make your list your own!
8. Haunted Houses & Halloween Events
Something we don’t see too often in our small communities but Halloween events like haunted houses, corn mazes, dances and parties are always a fun time. They may be done a lot smaller and on tiny budgets around here, but it’s fun to see everyone get into the season and have some fun putting things together. (I’m totally jealous of people who get to go to big effects like Halloween Horror Nights).
There’s always at least one prop or person in costume in every haunted house walk through that gets me every time. Dammit, I knew it was going to move! I knew it!
7. Halloween Specials
Not Halloween themed movies, but those Halloween specials we had to catch in October every year as a kid. Halloween specials sort of died down for a while a few years back but have been seeing somewhat of a resurgence lately. In the 90s there were sitcom Halloween episodes and animated specials everywhere. Home Improvement and the Simpsons had yearly Halloween episodes and we watched regularly. I was never big on Rosanne but that show pretty much pioneered the yearly sitcom Halloween episode.
We watch loads of stand alone Halloween specials and episodes every year. However nothing beats the original, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. It’s timeless in it’s charm and a requirement every year. I can’t count how many times I regularly quote “I got a rock” in my daily life.
Some favorites to check out:
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
- Garfield’s Halloween Adventure
- Spongebob Squarepants – The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom & Scaredy Pants
- The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes
- Mad Monster Party
- Angry Video Game Nerd Halloween Episodes (for the YouTube generation)
6. Halloween Costumes
What would Halloween be without costumes? The costumes are a chance to be somebody else for night. Be it a ghastly creature, your favorite superhero, or a sexy “insert noun here”. It gives us a chance to show our fun side.
For me now, it’s all about dressing up with Adrianna for Halloween. Adrianna’s costumes have always been adorable and she picks the coolest characters. She’s been She-Ra, Link, Mega Man, Raven, Harley Quinn, A Powerpuff Girl, Sailor Moon and this year she wants to be Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Of course my favorite is always seeing Tracey in her Halloween costume at the end of the night.
5. Carving Pumpkins
The Jack-o-Latern is a Halloween staple and tradition. Seeing a carved pumpkin all lit up with candlelight while approaching a door just sets the tone. I am absolutely terrible at carving pumpkins. I can never seem to get the carving knife to do what I want. Tracey and Adrianna do a much better job than me. After you gut the pumpkin too you get to roast the pumpkin seeds! A little salt and spice and you’ve got a little treat with your decoration.
4. Trick or Treating
CANDY! Obviously Trick or Treating is different for me now. When I was a kid, it was all about the candy. Going door to door getting treats, filling pillowcase upon pillowcase full of sugary goodness to gorge on later. It was the best! Then came the end of the night trades to get rid of that candy you didn’t like.
Now it’s all about taking my daughter around door to door, watching her light up with excitement every time a favorite treat is dropped into her bag. The huge grin on her face when we come home at the end of the night and dump all her candy on the floor always makes me laugh. Then she gives me a Dad tax which I never ask for, but she’s a really good kid. Then we snuggle up on my chair under a throw blanket with some treats and watch Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. I plan to enjoy these days to the fullest while they last. They grow up so fast!
3. Halloween Decorating & The Yard Haunt
Now’s the time to implement all those decorations we’ve hunted earlier. Digging out all those decorations from storage and trying to figure out where to put them. Seeing everything light up (or in some cases lack of light to set the mood). Watching the trick or treater’s faces light up as they look across the yard. Watching people stop and take pictures of everything all set up. This makes any Halloween decorator’s day.
Not many people around here really do much in the way of Halloween decorating. A pumpkin here, and spider there, and really, that’s all you need to get involved. But we like to go all out. We love lights, we love tombstones, we love skeletons (oh so many skeletons!) We really try to make it fun for everyone and we’ve often seen grumpy faces from parents who just aren’t into taking their kids around trick or treating turn into a smile when they see it all lit up. Especially when their kid is having a blast looking at everything. Makes my whole month.
2. All the Horror Movies
Of course there has to be a ton of horror movies. It’s a celebration of the macabre and all things scary. What is more relevant in this day and age in October than watching a bunch of scary movies?
Every year Tracey and I do the 31 Days of Horror challenge where you watch at least one horror themed movie a day for every day of October. It’s an investment of a challenge but it’s totally worth it and a lot of fun. We have staples that we have to watch every year of course. We usually start the month off with The Fog. An Evil Dead movie is usually a requirement for us (most often Evil Dead 2, it’s my favorite). Monster Squad is another regular and on Halloween we always watch a Universal Monster movie, Young Frankenstein and round it out with a Horror movie that’s usually Halloween themed.
1. People Embrace Horror
My favorite thing about Halloween has to be the fact that as a Horror fan, people who aren’t as into horror suddenly have a strong desire for all things spooky. Horror is everywhere and everybody is having a good time with it, not just the horror enthusiasts. Your tastes are no longer odd choices for movies nights but are the desired choices. You’re a horror fan among people discovering the genre for themselves and you become the go-to expert for what they are looking for.
They want a good ghost story? You have recommendations. They want a simple cheesy slasher? You know some good ones. Are they in the mood for a zombie flick? You know all the classics well. They want something lesser know that they haven’t seen? Who better to ask? Everybody in interested in something you’re passionate about and that’s awesome!
So those are ten of my favorite things about Halloween. What are some of your favorite things about Halloween? Are there any movies you have to make sure you watch every year? Do you dress up in costume or decorate?
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