Everywhere you look on the ‘net, there are tips for making your Halloween celebrations easier or even more fun. As he does sometimes, John Green takes some of those ideas and tests them to see if they really work the way they are supposed to. He doesn’t take a lot of care, so your results may vary, but you get the idea. My contribution: use a large rubber glove, cut the glove off with scissors, including each finger. But his result is funnier, in the Halloween episode of the mental_floss List Show.
PS: I have never found a better way to carve a pumpkin than by using a hole-boring drill bit and a sawzall. Done in two minutes.
Get ready for Screen Junkies to ruin your childhood (again) with an Honest Trailer for the 1993 Tim Burton movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. They say they are doing this for Halloween, but isn’t it supposed to be a Christmas movie?
The first time a witch rode a broom in popular culture could have been in the illustrations of a book published in 1451. French poet Martin Le Franc’s Le Champion des Dames (The Defender of Ladies) shows two women flying with sticks between their legs, although only one is clearly a broom. At least, that is the oldest evidence we have of the legend of witches flying on brooms.
According to Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History, edited by University of Pennsylvania history professors Alan Charles Kors and Edward Peters, Le Champion des Dames has “the first such illustration in the pictorial history of witchcraft.” Le Franc’s long poem about virtuous women is interrupted by a discussion of witchcraft, and the covered heads of the two women marks them as Waldensians. This Christian movement emerged in the 12th-century. With its tenet that any member could be a priest, even a woman, and perform sacraments and preach, the bloody ire of the Catholic Church soon followed. That these heretics would also meddle with the supernatural was not a leap, but why the broomstick?
What people said about witches and what they did with their brooms is pretty suggestive, if not downright prurient. Read more about witches and their brooms at Hyperallergic. Link contains some art nudity.
Halloween may be on a Monday this year, but that doesn't mean you can't have a Halloween party on the weekend or even enjoy a few fun cocktails the night of. If you're looking to celebrate with a little buzz this year, but want to make sure your drinks suit the mood, here are some fun cocktail recipes perfect for the spookiest day of the year.
1. Candy Corn Cocktail
Candy corn is a highly polarizing creation with some diehard fans and a lot of outspoken enemies. You don't have to like the candy to appreciate this delightfully layered cocktail though since they incorporate the fantastic flavors of whipped crime vodka, sour mix, pineapple juice, grenadine and fresh whipped cream.
2. Black Heart Cider
No, this recipe doesn't actually involve making your own hard cider from scratch as that would take months -it does, however, contain cherry cider -hence the name. With black vodka, cherry cider, muddled blackberries and sparkling wine, this pitch-black cocktail is surprisingly light and fruity as well as creepy-looking.
Stephanie Pokorny made an E.T. costume for her 2-year-old son Jack with a crochet hook and a good eye. She didn’t use a pattern, but just tried it on him as she went along and stopped when it was big enough! The costume is one-of-a-kind, so she won’t be making another, no matter how many requests she gets. Read more about the project at Pokorney’s website Crochetverse. -via Everlasting Blort
Halloween is our annual excuse for impersonating someone other than who we are. This guy was making his best effort, but was shot down for having motivations far beyond reality. He won’t try that again. This is the latest from Buttersafe.
Help! I’ve been eaten by the garage! Amanda Destro Pierson made this monster garage for her home in Cleveland. It’s proved to be so popular that she is working on marketing a kit to sell for Halloween next year, so that every garage can be monstrous. Meanwhile, here’s an Instructable tutorial to get you started on your own. -Thanks, hearsetrax!
Devon made a silicone mask for her boyfriend Peter as part of a sculpting class at Make Up Designory NYC. The finished product is jaw-dropping! She posted the process of the mask being made, which meant making a mold and model of his whole head. See how she did it, plus more pictures of the finished product, at Unreality.
Have you ever dreamed of living in a haunted house? Making that dream come true is as easy as believing the home you are in is haunted. But if you want a haunted house that has been scaring other people for years, you can certainly purchase one. For example, there’s the Priestly House in Canton, Mississippi.
Originally built by physician James Priestley in the 1950s, this Greek Revival home stayed in the Priestley family until the 1990s. When new owner Frankie McMillan moved in, she became concerned that Priestley’s wife, Susan, hadn’t gotten the message to clear the premises. McMillan claimed to have seen Susan in hallways and in the bedroom where the woman is believed to have died. The home was restored in 2004 and is listed for $699,000.
Whether you really love feeling terrified on Halloween or you secretly believe you're a vampire and just need the right environment to live the life you've always dreamed of, Airbnb has you covered this Halloween. That's because they're giving you the chance to sleep in Dracula's castle on Halloween night, and you won't be left sleeping in some bedroom like a tourist -instead you'll get to sleep in velvet-lined caskets within the crypt itself. As if that wasn't enough to really set the mood, your host for the evening will be Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great grandnephew.
All you have to do to enter is answer the deceptively simple question, "What would you say to the Count if you were to come face-to-fang with him in his own castle?" So put away your garlic, silver and crosses and start writing!
If you’ve ever purchased a costume fashioned after a pop culture character, the odds are good that it came from Ruble’s. The company started selling costumes at a small shop in Queens in the 1950s and now has licenses to produce costumes of characters from Mattel, Marvel, DC Comics, Playboy, Nickelodeon, Star Trek, and Star Wars, among others. Howard Beige, who runs Ruble’s with his siblings, tells us how they prepare for Halloween by anticipating what costumes and masks will be popular a year ahead of time, so customers can get exactly what they want.
But figuring out what that mask should be, and how many to make, isn’t easy. More people are dressing up for Halloween, but they’re doing it differently, picking costumes in early October based on news events, movies, or internet memes that went viral only a few weeks or months before. Rubie’s tries to anticipate Halloween trends a year in advance, but it’s constantly adjusting its plans as expected blockbusters flop (The Legend of Tarzan), beloved actors die (Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka costume will be popular this year), or millions of people get swept up in the Pokémon Go craze and Beige finds himself mass-manufacturing last-minute Pikachu costumes to fill thousands of back orders. Pokémon will break into Rubie’s 10 best-selling costumes this year, which didn’t happen when it was popular the first time around. “Thank God we already had the license and the designs for that one,” he says. “Otherwise, it would’ve been a disaster.”
Clint Case was ready with a video camera when his young son tried out his Halloween costume yesterday. He will be trick-or-treating as Luke Skywalker riding his Tauntaun. This adorable costume is completely handmade.
“Is your Tauntaun drunk?” Oh, he has two weeks to get used to walking in that thing before Halloween. Sure, you can buy a Tauntaun costume, but it’s not going to hold a candle to one you make yourself. -via Tastefully Offensive
You hear dozens of scary stories every year around Halloween, but it's sometimes hard to tell whether the stories you hear are true or false. Sometimes that can actually be part of the fun -guessing whether the story is an urban legend or a true terror tale. That's why this TopTenz article featuring ten horrifying Halloween stories is so delightful -some of the stories are just urban legends and some are entirely real. Can you guess which is which?
Be prepared -a lot of the tales truly are nightmarish.
Party time! Excellent! This Wayne and Garth is actually former Miss Delaware Kate Banaszak with her Irish Wolfhound Kellan. That’s a big dog! Commenters were speculating about the breed when WhiteheadJ suggested:
It's been almost 100 years since the famously disturbed Sarah Winchester died, but we're still discovering new surprising things about her legendary Mystery House in San Jose. After Sarah was accidentally trapped in an attic room during a 1906 earthquake, she had the room boarded up because she feared that spirits caused the earthquake. Inside the room, the preservation team uncovered items that had been sitting in storage for over 100 years, including a pump organ, a Victorian couch and more. It's a perfect surprise just in time for Halloween.
These adorable little mummy faces will be the hit of your Halloween party! And they are filled with yummy no-bake pumpkin cheesecake. The recipe is genius: crushed gingersnaps and graham crackers added to pumpkin and cream cheese, plus more spices. The decorating part requires a little dexterity, but the results are cute as can be. Get complete instructions at Creme de la Crumb. This was part of a list of Halloween party treats at Buzzfeed.
A photo posted by Ingrid Tjahyadi (@happyingli) on Sep 4, 2016 at 9:20am PDT
The most topical costumes for Halloween 2016 include the presidential election, Harambe, Suicide Squad, and Stranger Things. The Netflix show has several characters you could portray but the most iconic image from the series is the wall of lights. The costume above was spotted at Dragon Con. It’s the most elaborate of the many Stranger Things wall costumes in a list at Buzzfeed. The others would be much easier to pull off.
Halloween is relatively young as far as holidays are concerned, but by the mid-20th century it was so popular with adults and kids alike that everyone agreed they couldn't live without a night of costumed trick-or-treating.
But over the decades Halloween has become virtually unrecognizable, and much more terrifying...
In the beginning Halloween costumes were simple and homemade, but as the holiday became more popular so did the idea of buying a licensed costume off the rack, and then some adults started buying off the wrong rack.
In the past, you may have known Trumpkin as a character in The Chronicles of Narnia. It’s lately come to be a term for Trump supporters. But this is Halloween season, so get ready to see plenty of Trumpkins, meaning pumpkins carved to resemble Donald Trump. Yan from Geeks Are Sexy saw the Trumpkin above at the Montreal Botanical Garden yesterday. Here’s another view of it from Redheadwithoutacause.
It’s not the only one. Redditor xMeta4x posted this one.
You rarely ever see chocolate chip cookies decorated, but Halloween is the perfect time to experiment. These cookies were made by Jennifer Wold of Clever Wren Cakes & Sweets. They helped her illustrate a tutorial at Instructables that shows you how to make your own. Wold has a recipe, but says you can use your own. The fun comes from the decorating, with sugar pearls, almond slivers, and food coloring gel. These cookies look as if they will eat you up, but instead, you eat them up! -via Laughing Squid
We’ve been exposed to the old bait-and-switch on TV a few times now, particularly in the genre of reality TV, so that many viewers don’t believe a thing they see. TV audiences as a whole were more trusting 24 years ago. On Halloween night in 1992, the BBC aired an early version of what we’ve now come to know as the “mockumentary.” Ghostwatch was billed as a drama in the TV listings, but it came across more as a live news report, particularly due to the presence of popular BBC presenters Sarah Greene and Craig Charles right on the scene as a poltergeist tormented the Early family. But Ghostwatch had been completely recorded earlier, using actors.
The finale laid it on a little thick, but not everyone made it that far in. By the time Ghostwatch signed off, a not-insignificant portion of the show’s 11 million viewers were either convinced ghosts were real, extremely upset at the BBC for traumatizing their children, or both.
The broadcaster had just five operators standing by its phones [PDF] once the show went off air, a number that was quickly overcome by the thousands of calls that flooded in. One woman reportedly went into labor due to the stress caused by watching the program; another reported her husband had soiled himself. Within hours, the BBC aired a brief segment that reminded viewers the show was fictional. It was a little too late.
Those who watched were either terrified or else angry at the BBC for causing such terror. Ghostwatch was blamed for several cases of PTSD and at least one suicide. Read the story of Ghostwatch and its fallout at mental_floss.
If you haven’t checked in with Liz Climo lately, you’ve missed out on comics that will give you a smile just when you need it, and all of October will be Halloween-themed. The punchline under this spooky comic is “I ain’t afraid of no goat.”
This is nice: a “year you were born” timeline that actually goes that far back. Look at how Halloween was celebrated from 1916 to 2016, with an image and a blurb about each year. There are costumes, customs, decorations, games, movies, world events, and more. The magazine shown here is from 1924, when Halloween parties kept children from mischief, before the rise of trick-or-treating as we know it. Check out a century of Halloween at Flipboard. -via Everlasting Blort
And if you're lucky enough to have a fancy Dollar Store near you that carries those cute little Christmas houses they can be quite craftily turned into a spooky Halloween village you'll want to leave out all year long!
There are plenty of places you can visit that are named as portals to Hades for one reason or another. It could be that they are really scary, or have a legend behind them, or someone thought that title would be good for tourism. And they were right! “The Gates of Hell” are found all over the world: Greece, Iceland, China, Italy, the US, Turkey, Ireland, Japan, and in Belize, as pictured above. This location has a truly terrifying history.
There is a cave network located in modern-day Belize, which the Mayans believed was an entrance to their underworld: Xibalba.
The name Actun Tunichil Muknal translates as "Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre." Extensive research has linked the site, located in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, to ancient Mayan legends. These stories described rivers of blood and scorpions, and a vast subterranean labyrinth ruled over by the Mayan death gods, the demonic "Lords of Xibalba."
Since their rediscovery in 1989, the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal have become a popular destination for explorers. There are numerous landmarks that make this network particularly interesting, including a vast chamber of stalactites known as the "Cathedral."
Amongst scattered fragments of pottery and bone, one of the more notable discoveries is the skeleton of an 18-year-old girl. Believed to have been ritualistically murdered in the cave as a sacrifice to the Death Gods, she has been nicknamed the "Crystal Maiden"; over the 1,000 years since her death, her bones have calcified to create a shimmering, crystal effect.
The scariest thing we've seen this year has to be the demogorgon from Stranger Things. This year you can actually be the terrifying flower monster -that is, if you have the skill to follow this impressive makeup tutorial by ellimacs sfx makeup (previously at Neatorama).
Of course, putting it together takes more than just talent, it also takes a lot of time and a lot of specialized materials, so be sure you go shopping before you start trying to put this look together.
Are you hungry for some killer Halloween recipes? Then you won't want to miss this awesome Instructables contest featuring delightfully horrific foods themed for Halloween. There's still time to enter your submissions if you have a favorite spooky recipe, but if you're just looking for some great ideas, the contest is great for inspiration as well.
And if you are looking for ideas for your party, doing it right now should give you plenty of time to perfect the presentation of your Kraken tacos and severed hand cakes so your terrifying treats will look perfect on the big night.
With only a couple more weeks left in September, it’s time for you to plan your Halloween decorations. Or maybe you just want to enjoy the over-the-top decorations produced by the work of others. This homeowner, somewhere in Texas, went all out a few years ago with a tribute to oversized movie monsters from King Kong and Jurassic Park.
And this one brings The Walking Dead to the neighborhood. Anyone would recognize it, but you’d think if they went to this much trouble, they’d put wings on the back of Daryl’s vest. If you’re considering doing your home up for Halloween, Housely has some tips for doing it right, plus 50 pictures to give you inspiration.
A photo posted by Property of Joker (@infamous_harley_quinn) on Sep 12, 2016 at 4:03am PDT
This young Australian woman is, believe it or not, NOT Margot Robbie, who played Harley Quinn in the movie Suicide Squad. She is a cosplayer who goes by the name infamous_harley_quinn on Instagram. She’s got the look down to the nth degree! This picture was taken by @whatabigcamera at Oz Comic Con. Here she is with another look-alike.