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Halloween Information

 

Halloween Information, Patterns, Party Ideas

 

From: Spike The Grate <spikethegrate@hotmail.com>
To: Jamie Swafford <wbma@harborside.com>
Subject: hallowe'en
Date: Monday, October 21, 2002 1:56 PM

Hi, Jamie-Pooh: I don't know if you have this or want this, but it just came to me
today that I hadn't seen anything like this on our site, and maybe it is and I missed it.
Loveya -
~^~^~^~^~
The History of Halloween

Halloween is one of the oldest holidays with origins going back over thousands of years. The holiday we now know as Halloween has had many influences from many cultures over many centuries.

Hundreds of years ago the Celtics lived in what is now the UK and Northern France. The Celtics worshipped nature and had numerous gods. The "Sun" god was their favorite. It was "he" who dictated their work and rest times. He made the earth beautiful and the crops grow.

The Celtics celebrated their New Year on November 1st. It was celebrated every year with a large festival marking the end of the "Season of the Sun" and the beginning of the "Season of Darkness and Cold."

The Celtics believed that, during the winter, the Sun God was taken as a prisoner by Samhain, the Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness. On the eve before their New Year celebration (October 31), it was believed that Samhain summoned all the dead people. The dead would take different forms, with the evil spirits taking the form of animals. The most evil, taking the form of cats.

On October 31st, once all the crops were harvested and stored, the cooking fires in the homes would be extinguished. The Celtic priests would meet on the hilltop in the sacred Oak Forest and light new fires and offer sacrifices of crops and animals. They would dance away the sun and let the darkness in.

In the morning the Druids would give a burning coal from their fires to each family. This ember would start the fires that would heat the homes and protect them from the evil spirits.

The November 1st festival, which lasted 3 days, was named after Samhain and honored both, the sun god and Samhain. People would parade around in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals.

This festival would become the first Halloween. During the first century the Romans invaded Britain and,of course, brought many of their festivals and customs with them. One of these was the festival know as Pomona Day, named for their goddess of fruits and gardens. It was also celebrated around the 1st of November.

After hundreds of years of Roman rule, the customs of the Celtic's Samhain festival and the Roman Pomona Day mixed, becoming 1 major fall holiday.

The next influence came with the spread of the new Christian religion throughout Europe and Britain. In the year 835 AD the Roman Catholic Church decided to make November 1st a church holiday. It would honor all the saints.

This day was called All Saint's Day, or Hallowmas, or All Hallows. Years later the Church would make November 2nd a holy day called All Souls Day, which honored the dead. The celebration included large bonfires, parades, and people dressing up as saints, angels and devils.

Over the years the customs from all these holidays mixed. October 31st became known as All Hallow Even, eventually All Hallow's Eve, Hallowe'en, and then - Halloween.

The Halloween we celebrate today includes all of these influences, the harvest, black cats, magic, evil spirits and death and the ghosts, skeletons and skulls.

Halloween Crafts

Paper Napkin Ghosts

Have children make paper ghosts from unfolded white paper napkins. Help them place cotton balls in the center of the napkin. Show them how pull down the corners of the napkin over the cotton ball. Tie a piece of white yarn around the "neck". Use markers to draw a face. Tape a thin piece of string from the top of the head and hang from the ceiling.

Paper Plate Pumpkins

Paint paper plates orange using finger paints. Let the paint dry and using yellow paint, add eyes, nose and a mouth. Cut a stem from orange construction paper and fasten to the top of the pumpkin.

Paper Plate Spiders

Paint paper plates black using finger paints. Let the paint dry. Using white paint, add eyes. You can also use the round paper reinforces used to reinforce the holes on 3 ring binder paper. Using black pipe cleaners, have the children bend legs and glue to the bottom of the plate.

Ghost

Nothing says Halloween like your very own homemade ghost. Blow up a large balloon and drape it, knot side up, with a large sheet of white tissue paper. Tie a string around the knot and hang the balloon from the ceiling. Cut out the features for the eyes and mouth from electrical tape and stick them on the ghost's face.

Click HERE for a white background.

Halloween Party Games

"Creepy Objects"

Fill shoeboxes with such items as peeled grapes, cooked pasta, gelatin, and cleaned chicken bones. Have the children sit in a darkened room, feel inside the boxes (no peeking), and tell spooky stories about what they're touching.

Click HERE for a white background.

Ghost Tag

Have the children sit in a dark room with their eyes covered. An adult should tap a child on the shoulder and give her a noisy, creepy object such as a chain to rattle, a drum to bang, or a small blackboard to scratch. The child should wander around the room making noises and then tap another
child. If the tapped child can guess who the noisemaker is, she wins a favor and another child is selected to be the ghost.

Halloween Safety

Red Cross Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Adults

With witches, goblins, and super-heroes descending on neighborhoods across America, the American Red Cross offers parents some safety tips to help prepare their children for a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat holiday. Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some
common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun.

Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not in the street.

Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms.

Cross the street only at corners.

Don't hide or cross the street between parked cars.

Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)

Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go with you.

Carry a flashlight to light your way.

Keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely flammable.)

Visit homes that have the porch light on.

Accept your treats at the door and never go into a stranger's house.

Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.

Be cautious of animals and strangers.

Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don't eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.  

"Halloween Traditions for the Less-Spooky Family"
By: Brandie Valenzuela

Our family has pretty much stopped trick or treating.  We live in a rural area, so most streets have no street lights and homes are on large lots and tend to be spread out quite a bit. While, I am not against it altogether, my husband and I have decided over the last few years to find alternate activities, and nowadays, it is quite easy. 

One of the alternate activities we participate in is our local elementary school fall festival. The kids are allowed to dress up (there is even a costume contest), plus their are booths set up where children can exchange their tickets to play a fun game. Everyone always wins -- candy and other goodies!

Another yearly activity in our family is decorating our home for the Autumn season and for Halloween. We have decided to forgo the "scary" decor for more seasonal decorations:  scarecrows, pumpkins, fall leaf garland, and other delightful signs of fall. 

Our family also has great fun cooking up fun Halloween or Autumn themed meals, snacks, and sweets during this time of the year. Like many families, we enjoy visiting our local pumpkin patch and picking out our own pumpkins and then bringing them home for carving and pumpkin seeds!

Yet another enjoyable tradition in our family is watching the less-scary Halloween movies and cartoons. Even though my children are getting older, every year we still watch "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". It has become a family tradition that I am sure will continue for many, many years.

If you are looking for even more fun Halloween tradition to start with your family, our family does something that is very easy for all to do. Your children will love doing this, as I am sure you will too!

**The Pumpkin Phantom**
When you go out pumpkin picking, pick out an extra pumpkin to surprise someone with! You can surprise a senior citizen, a teacher, a single person, or just about anyone! Next you must get a note or card ready to give with the pumpkin. Since you will do this in secret, make sure you choose a method, such as your computer or cutting out letters from magazines or newspapers, so that the receiver won't be able to recognize your writing. Your message could say something like this:

Dear _____________________ 
Happy Halloween from the Pumpkin Phantom!!!

Then that night put your kids in the car and drive to the home of the person you are giving it too. Have one or more of your children sneak up to the home and place the pumpkin on the steps and ring the doorbell (or knock) and run like crazy back to the car! It is a lot of fun and a great way to do something fun for someone else!

**The Fun & Sneaky Family**
Here is another variation of the above idea, but this is done with candy and a poem. Decorate a paper bag (or use a basket if you wish), and put in the bag a paper pumpkin, a pattern to make that same paper pumpkin, a bunch of candy or other goodies, and a note that says: 

Happy Halloween!
A fun & sneaky family has come to town
To leave you some goodies that we see you have found
If you do not wish to disappoint all 
Continue this greeting, this "sneaky family call"
Buy or make some treats,
2 paper pumpkins, and two notes like this. 
Deliver them to 2 neighbors who may have been missed. 
Don't let them see you, be sneaky, no doubt
And make sure they put their paper pumpkin out.
Next, you have only one day to act, so be quick
Leave it at doors where a sneaky family hasn't hit
Deliver at dark, where there is no light.
Ring the doorbell and run, and stay out of sight.
Last but not least, come join in the season.
Don't worry, be happy -- you need no good reason.
Be cool, have fun, and remember don't be seen. 
Share the spirit of Halloween!
(Don't forget to hang your paper pumpkin on a door or window 
so other sneaky families will know you've already been visited.)

TIPS FOR SAFE TRICK OR TREATING THIS HALLOWEEN :

* Make sure costumes are flame-retardant and light or bright in color. Dark costumes should have strips of glow in the dark tape along the back.

* Use face paints rather than a mask which can obstruct both breathing and vision.

* Make sure your child has...
- a name tag complete with your address and phone number
- change to make a phone call for emergencies
- a flashlight

* Young children should be accompanied by an adult, and no child should go out alone.

* Trick or treat only in familiar neighborhoods and set a time for when your children should return home.

* Treats should not be eaten until the child is home so that you can inspect everything first.

* Check all treats for signs of tampering and discard all loose and homemade treats (unless you know the person who provided them)

These wonderful costume ideas were sent in by Mary. IF you already have yours done then there is always next year.

Easy Animal Costumes for Infants and Up 

Children look so cute dressed as fuzzy and furry creatures. Especially with whiskers painted on their chubby little cheeks! Here are some fun animal costumes that are perfect for infants and toddlers, as well as children of all ages.

Note: For all of the costumes below, use (Note :Make up recipe to follow this e-mail) make up recipe and paint on a cute nose and whiskers! Almost any animal costume can be made with a little imagination and a sweatsuit!


Sheep
white hooded sweatsuit
cotton batting or stuffing from a pillow
white or black felt triangles for ears
double sided tape
two pairs of white or black socks
Apply strips of double sided tape up and down the sweat suit. Attach cotton batting in clumps by pressing onto the tape. For the ears, cut two triangles from either black of white felt. Either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood. Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the sweatsuit after Halloween! Have child wear one pair of white socks on his hands and one pair on his feet (use black socks if you used black felt for the ears).

Skunk 
black hooded sweatsuit
white faux fur
fabric glue
black felt
2 pairs black socks
double sided tape
black fabric
Cut the faux fur into a long strip and adhere it on the hood and down the back of the sweat jacket with strips of double sided tape. Cut a small oval shape for the tummy area and adhere that with fabric glue. For the ears, cut two triangles from black felt. Either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood. Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the sweatsuit after Halloween! Have child wear one pair of black socks on his hands and one pair on his
feet.

Bunny 
pink, brown, or white hooded sweatsuit
powder puff or large pompom or a handful of cotton balls
double sided tape
white pantyhose
wire coat hanger
plastic headband
two pairs of socks to match suit color
plastic or real carrot
Attach powder puff, pompom, or cotton balls to back of sweat pants using double sided tape. Bend the coat hanger into the shape of two long bunny ears. Gently stretch the panty hose over the ears and attach to plastic headband. Carry a carrot!

Turtle 
green sweatsuit (hooded is optional)
2 piece green or light brown poster board
scissors
craft paint or thick markers
hot glue
Cut one piece of the poster board into a large oval shell. Draw large wobbly circles on shell. Go over outline with markers or paint to accentuate. Cut two long, fairly thick strips (between one and two
inches depending on the size of the child) from the second piece of posterboard the full length of the board. Using hot glue, attach these strips to the top of the back side of the shell, then run over child's shoulders as straps. Hot glue straps in place. Leave enough room for "give" so child can move his/her arms without tearing or breaking the straps.

Puppy 
brown, tan, gray, black or white hooded sweatsuit
Fabric circles in a contrasting color (i.e. white suit, brown spots,
etc.)
2 sheets of felt in color matching sweatsuit
scissors
double sided tape
2 pairs of socks in color matching sweatsuit
dog collar or belt cut to size (optional)
Using small pieces of double sided tape, attach fabric circles to sweatsuit in various different areas. Cut two floppy ears from 1 sheet of the felt and either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood. Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the sweatsuit after Halloween! Cut a long tail from the second sheet of felt and attach to the back of the pants with a safety pin. Have child wear one pair of socks on her hands and one pair on her feet. Top off with a dog collar or a belt cut short to serve as a collar.

Click HERE for a white background.

Cat
gold, brown, tan, black, gray or white hooded sweatsuit
faux fur in color matching sweatsuit
fabric glue
felt in color matching sweatsuit
plastic headband
scissors
2 pairs of socks in color matching sweatsuit
dog collar or belt cut to size (optional)
If desired, use black marker to draw stripes on sweatsuit. Cut two triangles for ears and hot glue to the headband. Cut a small oval shape from the faux fur for the tummy area and adhere that with fabric glue. Next make cuffs and a collar. Use the cuffs on the sweatshirt as a guide for how wide and long you need to cut the faux fur strips. Attach the strips to the sweatshirt using fabric glue. Cut a long tail from the remaining felt and attach to the back of the pants with a safety pin. Have child wear one pair of socks on her hands and one pair on her feet. Top off with a dog collar or a belt cut short to serve as a collar.

Click HERE for a white background.

Spider/Bug 
black hooded sweatsuit
2 pairs of black socks
4 pair of black tube socks, nylon or polyester
cotton batting
Stuff the tube socks with cotton batting to make the spider's legs. Sew or pin the eight legs to the sides of the black outfit. Have child wear one pair of black socks on his hands and one pair on his feet.
Note for infants: When your baby crawls, the legs flop up and down on the ground, making it look like a spider crawling across the floor.
Adorable!
Variation: To make a bug costume, use a green or brown (or any color you like) sweatsuit and coordinating socks.

Spider Web
black hooded sweatsuit 
white fabric paint, squeeze bottle
medium sized fuzzy spider
black plastic headband
hot glue
small plastic spiders
With white fabric paint in a squeeze bottle, paint a big spider web on the front and back of the black sweatsuit. Paint a few smaller ones on the pants. Hot glue the fuzzy spider to the plastic headband, allow to dry. With two or three stitches, hand sew small plastic spiders to the webs, don't forget the ones on the legs!

Click HERE for a white background.

Tiger 
yellow hooded sweatsuit
black or brown fabric paint
yellow felt 
2 pairs of black socks
Paint black or brown stripes on the sweatsuit. For the ears, cut two triangles from felt. Either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood. Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the sweatsuit after Halloween! Cut a long tail from the remaining felt and attach to the back of the pants with a safety pin. Have child wear one pair of black socks on his hands and one pair on his feet.

Cow 
white hooded sweatsuit
black fabric marker or black fabric/felt circles
short piece of rope or 10-12 strands of black yarn, braided
dog collar or old belt cut to size
bell
2 pairs white socks
Draw black splotches onto sweatsuit with a fabric marker or cut and sew on black felt or fabric circles or spots. Add a tail by unraveling one end of the piece of rope and pinning the closed end to the back of the pants. If using yarn, be sure to leave a section unbraided toward the end of the tail. For the ears, cut two large triangles from felt. Either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood (or a headband). Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the
sweatsuit after Halloween! Use dog collar or an old belt and attach "cow bell" for the finishing touch. Have child wear one pair of black socks on his hands and one pair on his feet.

Pig
oversized pink hooded sweatsuit
cotton batting or receiving blankets
pink felt
hot glue
long pink chenille stick
2 pairs of pink or white socks
plastic pig nose (optional)
For the ears, cut two triangles from felt. Either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood. Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the sweatsuit after Halloween! Twist chenille stick into a corkscrew tail and attach with a safety pin. After child is dressed, stuff sweatsuit with cotton batting or receiving blankets (anything soft that will not irritate skin). Have child wear one pair of socks on her hands and one pair on her feet.

Dinosaur/Dragon
green hooded sweatsuit
sheet of red felt
sheet of blue felt
sheet of purple felt
sheet of orange felt
two or three sheets of yellow felt
plastic grocery bags (for stuffing) or cotton batting
long piece of green felt or fabric to match suit
fabric glue
From the red, blue, purple and orange felt, cut triangular scales. Glue to the front of the sweat jacket in overlapping scale pattern. From the yellow sheets of felt, cut large triangles, roll into cone shapes, glue together to form the cone. Allow to dry. Stuff cone shapes with plastic bags or cotton batting and glue to the back of the suit for spikes. Make smaller versions of the yellow cones for the hood. Add a large pointy tail on the back hem made from long piece of felt or fabric. Hand sew on to back of pants or bottom of jacket.

Mouse 
gray hooded sweatsuit 
gray felt 
double sided tape
2 pairs of gray or black socks
Cut two circles for ears from the felt and either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood. Use may alternatively use a headband. Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the sweatsuit after Halloween! Cut a long tail from the second sheet of felt and attach to the back of the pants with a safety pin. Have child wear one pair of socks on her hands and one pair on her feet.

Ladybug 
red hooded sweatsuit
2 pieces red poster board
scissors
black craft paint or black marker
hot glue
2 black chenille sticks
red or black plastic headband
2 pairs of red or black socks
Cut one piece of the poster board into a large oval. Draw or paint black circles onto oval. Cut two long, fairly thick strips (between one and two inches depending on the size of the child) from the second piece of posterboard the full length of the board. Using hot glue, attach these strips to the top of the back side of the shell, then run over child's shoulders as straps. Hot glue straps in place. Leave enough room for "give" so child can move his/her arms without tearing or breaking the
straps. Wrap chenille sticks onto headband for antennas. Have child wear one pair of socks on her hands and one pair on her feet.

Click HERE for a white background.

Bear
brown hooded sweatsuit 
brown felt 
double sided tape
2 pairs of brown or black socks
oversized plastic margarine tub
blue construction paper or craft paint
black marker
Cut two circles for ears from the felt and either hand sew or hot glue onto the hood. You may alternatively use a headband. Keep in mind that hand sewing will make the ears easily removable so you can reuse the sweatsuit after Halloween! Have child wear one pair of socks on her hands and one pair on her feet. Paint or glue construction paper around margarine tub. using black market, write the word "HONEY" across the front.

Butterfly
black hooded sweatsuit
2 black chenille sticks
black plastic headband
poster board, any color except black
fluorescent craft paint, different colors
sequins
glitter
craft glue
pair of long boot laces
2 pairs of black socks
Cut posterboard in half, with scissors shape each half as a wing of butterfly. Being sure to leave enough room for a border around the wing, paint wings with fluorescent paints in different shapes and patterns. Paint a black border around edge of wings. Add sequins and glitter to the border. Poke a hole at the top inside seam of each wing, and at the bottom inside seam. Run boot laces through and criss cross over child's body and tie. Wrap chenille sticks onto headband for antennas. Have child wear one pair of socks on her hands and one pair on her feet.

Click HERE for a white background.

Homemade Halloween Make Up, Bruises & Blood 
Dressing up for Halloween is so much fun! Enjoy it even more knowing that you and your little goblins prepared their faces for the frightful night. Face paint is inexpensive when you make it yourself, and it's safer than a mask that can obscure vision. Try these ghoulish recipes yourself!

Click HERE for a white background.

Homemade Face Make Up
RECIPE 
1 tsp cornstarch 
1/2 tsp water 
1/2 tsp cold cream 
food coloring 
Stir together starch and cold cream until well blended. Add water and stir, then add food coloring.

APPLICATION 
Wash your face and any area that you will be applying the makeup to. Dry thoroughly. Use fingertips to spread onto large areas. Use a small paint brush to paint designs on face. Removes with soap and water. Store in airtight container.

Homemade Bruises
You will need:
deep blue powder eyeshadow
charcoal or smoke gray powder eyeshadow
shimmery green powder eyeshadow
make up brush
Using a blot of deep blue powder eye shadow, apply with a wet make up brush. Use your fingertips to add blots of charcoal gray and blue shadows. Touch up the edges with a shimmery olive green. Smudge the bruise to complete.

Homemade Blood
You will need:
1/2 bottle of light corn syrup
very hot water
squirt of liquid soap
red food coloring
blue or green food coloring (optional)
Pour light corn syrup into a bowl and add hot water sparingly, adding and stirring until you have the right consistency. Add a squirt of liquid soap to make it the blood easy to clean off later. Tint with red food coloring. You may add a drop of blue or green if you like to make the blood a darker color. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Smear on as needed!

 

Carving Jack O' Lanterns is a Halloween custom that dates back to ancient Ireland, although the first Jack O' Lanterns were made of turnips, beets or even hollowed out potatoes, not pumpkins. The large orange squashes didn't come into prominence until Irish immigrants settled in the United States, where pumpkins were cheaper and more plentiful than turnips.

Several version of an Irish legend tells of a man named Stingy Jack, who invited the Devil to have a drink. When it came time to pay, he convinced the Devil to change into a sixpence, but instead of paying for the drink Jack pocketed the sixpence and kept it stored beside a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back.

Jack made a deal with the Devil before letting him free that the Devil could not harass him. Next Halloween Jack died and was turned back from the Gates of Heaven. He went to the Gates of Hell and the Devil told him to go away, as Jack had made him promise not to claim his soul. 

Jack didn't want to leave because it was dark and he couldn't find his way. The Devil tossed Jack a glowing coal and Jack put it inside a turnip, and ever since with this "Jack O' Lantern", Stingy Jack's lonely soul has been roaming the faces of this earth.

Another version has Jack tricking Beezelbub into climbing a tree, where upon Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil in his high perch. Jack made a deal with the satan that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let Lucifer down from the tree. 

According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. The rest of the legend remains the same.

A Little History About Halloween

by Gene Griisser

Halloween means "hallowed" or "holy" evening. Like many other holidays, Halloween has descended from celebrations of Ancient times. Roots for our Halloween celebration seem to have grown out of the British Isles, and the Celts who lived there. The ancient Celts, who inhabited Great Britain and northern France, celebrated a fall festival called Samhain. 

This festival celebrated the end of summer, and was special to the Celts because it signaled a time of transition for them. They prepared for the winter. The harvesting was over, and the herds were brought out of the fields and separated  for slaughter. People would gather together for long nights of crafts and stories. This was considered a magical time. 

It was at this time of the year when they considered the veil  between the worlds of the living and the spirit was at its thinnest.

The living could communicate with those who had died, and the dead  could return to earth. In many cultures, the season of fall begins a time  to reflect on those who have died.

 

Halloween Survival Tips:

Never read aloud from a book of demon summoning even as a joke.

Do not search the basement, especially if the power has just gone out.

When it appears that you have killed the monster, never, ever check to see if it is really dead.

If you find that your house is built upon or near a cemetery, was once a church that was used for black masses, had previous inhabitants that went mad or committed suicide or died in some horrible fashion, or had inhabitants that performed necrophilia or statnic practices in your house, move away immediately.

If your friends speak to you in Latin or any other language that they do not know, or if they speak to you using a voice which is other than their own, shoot them immediately. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run. NOTE: It will probably take several rounds to kill them so be prepared.

When you have the benefit of members, never pair off or go it alone.

As a general rule, don't solve puzzles that open a portal to Hell.

Never stand in, on, above, below, beside, or anywhere near a grave, tomb, crypt, mausoleum, or other house of the dead.

If you are searching for something which caused a noise and find out "it's just the cat," leave the room immediately if you value your life. If appliances start operating by themselves, move out.

Do not take anything from the dead.

If you find a town that is deserted, it's probably for a reason. Take the hint and stay away.

Don't fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you're sure you know what you are doing.

If you are running from the monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice, more if you are female. Also note that, even though you are running and the monster is merely shambling along, it's still moving fast enough to catch up with you.

If your companions suddenly begin to exhibit uncharacteristic behaviour such as hissing, fascination for blood, glowing eyes, increased hairiness, and so on get away from them as quickly as possible.

Stay away from certain geographical locations such as: Amityville, Elm Street, Transylvania, Nilbog (if you recognize this one, you need to get out more), the Bermuda Triangle, or any small town in Maine.

If your car runs out of gas, don't go to the nearby deserted looking house to phone for help.

Beware of strangers bearing tools such as chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, combines, lawnmowers, butane torches, soldering irons, band saws, or any device made from deceased companions.  

 

Click HERE for a bat with a white background

How to Survive a Horror Movie:

If you hear a noise outside..TURN ON EVERY LIGHT YOU CAN FIND!!

Go outside with a group of friends! DON'T go outside alone!

Stick together...don't say "I heard something in this dark bush" and go in by yourself.

If all your friends are being picked off one by one...get the heck out of there!! Don't wait to see if you are next!!

If you forget your homework in the haunted house, FORGET IT!! Don't go back at midnight to retrieve it!!

Stay a virgin!! Creatures never kill a virgin!

If the power goes out...don't walk outside to see if you can fix it...YOU CAN'T, especially if you are dead!! This goes for the phone too

If your girlfriend (boyfriend) suddenly begins speaking in weird tones and his/her head begins to vibrate....RUN...don't tell him/her you love him/her...JUST RUN!!!!

If someone looks over your shoulder and begins to shake...don't turn around, just get the heck out of there!  

 

Let's assume you want to do something a little out of the ordinary for Halloween. Something that, while chilling in its own right, is made even scarier by the thought that you might actually learn something. How about a visit with the dearly departed?

We're not talking about a chitchat with your late Grandma Pearl or social call to your deceased Chihuahua, little Bobo, per se. But an informal cemetery visit is splendid for anyone desirous of a slight-but ultimately harmless-brush with death. As burial sites for those who have passed over, necropolises are naturally some of the best places to make contact with the other world.

Graveyards are heady with the presence of spirits, and according to some, act as portals for the nonliving. The silence alone is enough to make anyone(even those not inclined to believe in the supernatural), sufficiently spooked. As such, bone yards are some of the more creepy places to visit any day of the year. Around the Halloween season, they take on even more significance.

Traditionally, Halloween (or All Hallows Eve) marks the night when spirits freely roam the earth. Costumes are worn as a disguise to prevent evil spirits from snatching the souls of the living. After the night of the dead, All Saints Day honours good spirits, particularly saints, who walk with the living.

As a pit stop between this world and the next, it stands to reason that cemeteries surge with phantasmal activity right during the last days of October. And those with a Blair Witch impulse who want to test this theory are in luck; St. Louis has some great cemeteries steeped in history and soaked in lore.

As two of the oldest and largest burial grounds in the city, Bellefontaine and Calvary cemeteries are ideal for a visit to the real St. Louis underground scene.

Spread over 330 acres and encompassing 14 miles of road, Bellefontaine Cemetery, established in 1849 as the "Rural Cemetery Association," contains over 82,400 gravesites. Calvary was purchased eight years later, after the 1849 cholera outbreak left the city's existing churchyards swelling at full capacity, and has over 315,000 graves on 477 acres.

Combined, these neighbouring cemeteries are the final resting place for many of St. Louis' most prominent historical figures, including former Confederate soldiers, several orders of nuns and an ancient Native American burial ground.

With all of this in mind, perhaps you'll agree that a graveyard stroll is the perfect precursory to the usual round of trick or treating and late night parties.

One final note of caution: be sure to stop by the cemetery offices and pick up a historical map to guide you on your quest, as both cemeteries are huge and winding; those who take the journey completely by foot may get lost and never return.  

 

The Haunted House

I must have asked my eight year old daughter a hundred times if she was sure she wanted to go into the haunted house. And every time, she nodded emphatically.

Feeling a little apprehensive, I took her into one last weekend, and, as her fingernails dug into my wrist, I was absolutely amazed she wasn't pleading to leave. That is, until we rounded our first corner, someone jumped from the shadows, and I let out a blood- curling scream.

What can I say? I was caught off guard.

The reason this was not an intelligent thing to do is, up to that point, my daughter assumed I was the brave one. I would protect her. And, no matter how much I tried to reassure her that everything was still fine, she stood there looking at me as if zombies had just removed my brain stem.

And that's when my daughter's legs went wet-noodle and she started to scream.

Suddenly, the strobe lights, moaning, laughing, and haunting sound effects completely over stimulated my senses. I felt claustrophobic. I must have panicked, because the next thing I knew, I was trying to push back towards the entrance shouting "Coming through, coming through, little girl about to pee her pants." Only, the crowd was so thick, there was no getting through the throngs of giddy people enjoying a good fright.

The more I tried swimming upstream, the more the wave pushed me back towards the ghouls and goblins. And, to make matters worse, I was totally dismayed when the pathetic yells of a voice screaming for a "little compassion" turned out to be mine.

So, I gave up and started moving with the crowd, only, my daughter didn't like that plan. Screaming at the pitch of her lungs, she threw her body to the ground. Besides recording the pitiable image of that, my brain also replayed my wife's last parting words to me when I told her I might stop at the haunted house on the way home from ballet class.

"Ken," she said emphatically, "don't you dare take our daughter to a haunted house! It will scare her to death!" (Isn't it funny how sometimes God makes us look like fools. I wish he made moms do that, too.)

Anyway, I guess my daughter on the floor began to create a bottleneck at the front door, because moments later, the house manager showed up to talk to me.

"What?!" I shouted at him. "I can't hear you! I think my daughter's screams shattered my ear drums! Hold that flashlight to your face and mouth the words, slowly!"

He told me I needed to get my little girl off the floor and keep moving.

I explained to him that was impossible. "Don't you have an emergency team to help get kids out quickly in a situation like this?" I asked. "A quick reaction force or something?"

"No."

"That's not very helpful," I complained.

"Well, maybe your daughter isn't ready for this, and should have stayed outside."

"That's good advice," I retorted. "Maybe you'd like to come over later and help my wife say 'I told you so.' You could stay for dinner."

Finally, I grabbed my daughter up, told her to bury her face into my chest (she did the same with her teeth), and I ran really fast through the haunted house.

I'd tell you what my wife said when I got home...but I don't want to scare anyone.

Click HERE for a monster with a white background.

Halloween Fun Facts

"Trick or Treat" originated in Britain where it was first known as Mischief Night.

In days gone by, bonfires were lit to scare off the supernatural creatures that struck fear into superstitious hearts. 

The ancient Celtic fire festival called "Samhain" (pronounced sow-in) is the origin of modern Halloween. This festival was the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, marking the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season. 

In days gone by, people feared the coming of Halloween. They believed that the spirits who walked the earth on this day were capable of possessing their bodies. To discourage them, they darkened their houses to make them appear as cold and unwelcome as possible. Donning all manner of frightening dress they rowdily took to the streets in an attempt to scare the spirits off. 

In Mexico Halloween is known as Los Dias de los Muertos (the day of the dead).  However, it isn't a time of sadness but one of great rejoicing. At this time of year the Monarch Butterflies, which have summered up north in the United States and Canada, return to Mexico. They are believed to bear the spirits of the dearly departed and are warmly welcomed home. 

Black cats are a symbol of Halloween because it was once believed that souls could travel back into the world of the living in the body of an animal - usually a black cat. 

The name witch comes from the Saxon term wica, meaning wise one.

In Ireland, wealthy landlords used to distribute gifts of food to their poorer tenants at Halloween. When the potato crop failed the Irish who moved to America in droves are thought to have introduced Halloween traditions to their new homeland

Halloween is believed by some to be the time when the dead and other demonic creatures rise to walk the earth once more. 

Creepy Crawlers

Styrofoam ball
Wiggly eyes
Plastic eyelashes
8 Chenille Stems
Black acrylic paint
Tacky Glue
Knife
Fish line or other transparent thread 

Cut your styrofoam ball in half and paint each half with black paint. Allow the paint to dry. Cut 8 chenille stems (I used the really fluffy ones) in half. Put a dot of glue on the end of each chenille stem and push the glued end of the chenille stem, through the foam, at the sides to create legs. Glue eyes and eyelashes on. Bend the chenille stems and cut the lengths of the chenille stems even.

Poke a hole in the top centre (the end of a pen or pencil works well) of the foam and glue a piece of fish line into the hole to create a hanger. Touch up any white that may show through in the fish line whole with black paint

Mr. Mop 

This little guy can be made up in no time at all and he proudly hangs around for the autumn season 

16 oz mop refill
Hot glue and gun
Paint for face
Straw Hat
Infants clothing
5" Styrofoam ball
Scrap piece of canvas
Kerchief for around neck
Push a large craft stick through the styrofoam ball (about 1 1/2 inches in) and secure with a little hot glue (low temp works best). Cover your styrofoam ball with a scrap piece of canvas or white cotton fabric and securing the fabric down the craft stick. 

Lay your mop flat with the mop strands facing out to the left and right of you and centre seam in the middle. Glue your craft stick to the top centre seam of the mop and secure with a few mop strands tied tightly around the stick. 

Divide your mop strands into four sections (two for the arms and two for the legs) Make the legs a little thicker than the arms. 

Braid each of the four pieces (as you would braid hair) and secure at the end with a mop strand.

Trim away the excess strands at the ends of the braids and keep these pieces to use for hair.

With the reserved mop pieces, glue around the top of the head to create a border of hair. Place your straw hat on top of the head and glue in place.

Paint eyes, a nose and mouth (you can use buttons for the eyes and nose and a pipe cleaner to shape the mouth).

Dress the little guy in infants clothing, tie a kerchef around his neck and you're all done!

How to Create a Fall Swag

Swags made of foliage and dried flowers can enhance a staircase, a doorway or the entrance to your home. These colorful and easy-to-make fall swags are also very inexpensive, because they are made from string, floral wire and garden clippings. 

Steps: 
1. Gather a wheelbarrow full of 6-inch-long garden trimmings. Some suggestions for foliage are juniper, oak, asparagus fern, bay laurel, camellia, dusty miller and citrus. 

2. Lay a 10-foot length of string or twine on a large, flat surface. 

3. Make a loop in one end of the string. 

4. Attach #24 floral wire (sometimes called paddle wire) to the loop end of the twine. 

5. Select several stems of the 6-inch foliage pieces and place them together in a bunch, with the stems at one end. You can mix different 
kinds of foliage in one bundle. 

6. Place the bundle of foliage at the loop end of the twine with the stems pointing toward the long end of the string. 

7. Wrap the floral wire around the stems and twine to secure them in place. You will need two hands for this; one will hold the foliage in place against the string, and the other will wrap the wire. 

8. Wrap the floral wire around the bundle twice and then pull it 
tight. Make sure to leave the wire attached to the twine, because you still 
have a long way to go. 

9. Gather another bundle of foliage and lay it so that the stems  overlap with the first bunch and cover the stems. Make sure that the stems on  both bunches are facing the same direction. 

10. Continue overlapping the bunches of foliage and wiring them to the twine until you run out of string. 

11. When you finally do run out of string, twist the wire tightly around the last bundle, knot the wire and the string together, leave 1 foot of wire (to attach the swag where you want it) and cut the wire with scissors or pruning shears. 


Tips: 
Cover the finished end with a ribbon or raffia bow. 

If you need the swag to be longer than 10 feet, you can wire two completed swags together. 

Add interest to your swag by alternating chilies, kumquats, dried fall leaves, dried flowers or small fruit between the bundles of foliage.

Click HERE for a pumpkin with a white background.

  Ghost Family 
Display this family on your door to greet Halloween guests. 

Plastic-foam balls: 1-1/2-inch, 4-1/2-inch, and 6-inch 
Old white sheet or fabric 
Black-with-white-polka-dots ribbon (1/16-inch- and 15/16-inch-wide) 
Large-tip black permanent marking pen 
"Groucho" glasses and Spanish moss "hair" 
Glue gun and hot-melt adhesive 
Fish line 

Tear sheet/fabric squares to drape over the plastic-foam balls. Tie a ribbon bow around the "necks." Mark a face on the cover of each ball. If you like, hot-glue "Groucho" glasses and hair onto one head. Use fish line to hang each ghost.

Make a Jack-O'-Lantern

Cut a cylindrical cardboard container (oatmeal or iced-tea carton) to 5" to 6" high. 

Glue tissue scraps to outside using Mod Podge Matte Finish. Let dry. 

Paint outside orange, inside green. Let dry. 

Cut points in top. Brush on Mod Podge, inside and out. 

Cut out face and glue black cardboard behind. 

Glue on paper twist handle

Click HERE for a ghost with a white background.

Dry Ice Tips 

Dry ice is commonly available in two forms: flat, square slabs a few inches thick and about 8 inches on a side; or cylinders about 1/2 inch in diameter and up to 2 inches long. 

Do not seal dry ice in an airtight container (an explosive bursting can result). A plastic foam ice chest with a loose-fitting lid is good for transporting dry ice. 
Use tongs or insulating gloves to handle dry ice. The extremely cold temperature can cause damage to the skin if touched. 

When placed in warm or hot water, dry ice forms clouds of white fog. Do not allow anyone to lie down in this fog or allow babies or pets to breathe it because it contains harmful carbon dioxide.

Click HERE for a ghost with a white background.

Spider Web Tablecloth

A fun way to decorate your Halloween table.

What You Need
An old white sheet
Permanent black marker
Scissors

How To Make It
Spread the sheet on the floor.
Draw the web with black marker, starting at the center.
Cut along the outer lines to make a wavy hem.

Idea for Table Decor & Setting

First, the table setting.
Take an old white sheet. Rip or tear or cut the bottom edge into tatters. Then get a package of spider webbing and pull out the web until it covers the whole table. Pull down the edges and hang a spider or two. Find wooden platters and bowls and dishes to serve up that "dark age" feel.

Get a bowl and fill it full of ping pong balls painted to look like eyeballs. Buy a couple of rubber rats and and put them between slices of bread on a plate. Pour fake rubber snakes and gummy worms into a salad bowl. Fix a bowlful of "Sticks & Stones" with pretzel sticks and candy that looks like rocks.

Now, take a piece of poster board and
write out your menu as follows:
Ghoulish Gourmet Menu
Appetizers (Decoration Only!)
Deviled Eyeballs
Roast Rat Sandwiches
Snake Salad

Add Your Real Ghoulish Food that you prepared for the occasion to the Menu. Use the Recipes Spooky Names.

What would Halloween be without a party?
Here are some theme parties and decorations

Witches, Wizards and Goblins
Invitations:
Buy several cheap plastic magic wands. Print out invitations on white paper with important information.
Scroll up around want. Tie with orange and black ribbon.
Decorations:
String Christmas lights around the entrance way. Hang silver and gold stars through out the party area. Mylar gold and silver balloons can also be hung. Cut out ghost shapes in Mylar and hang. Glow-in-the-dark tape attached to walls, doors, lamps etc. is nice when lights are low. Grave markers can be made from Styrofoam sheets - use felt-tip
markers to make inscription.

Cats and Bats
Invitations:
Cut out the shape of cats or bats in
construction paper. Write important party info on these.
Decorations:
Have guests enter through a cat door (place a dark blanket over half the doorway and let guests crawl through). Hang black crepe paper and cobwebs everywhere. Hang black silhouettes of cats and bats throughout the house.
Black balloons are a nice touch.

Nightmare at Haunted House
Invitations:
Cut out tombstone shapes on construction paper.
Write party info in the form of an epitaph.
Decorations:
Hang spider webs, plastic insects, phony tombstones, ghosts, balloons, witches and bats. Use back and white candles (out of reach of children). Hang ghosts made from white pillow cases. Use white balloons with black eyes drawn on them with markers. Ask florist to save dead flowers and wreaths that would be thrown away. Create a headless heathen by stuffing old clothes with newspaper and prop up at front door.
Dry ice makes a special affect at these parties.

Pass The Pumpkin Game
You need a Pumpkin Gourd or an Orange and
three or more people (the more people the more fun!).
Make the people stand around in a circle. Someone start with the orange under their chin (It would be too hard to do this with a pumpkin unless it's a really tiny one). The object of the game is to pass the pumpkin from your chin to someone else's! If you drop it, you're out.

 

Here are some theme parties and decorations

Witches, Wizards and Goblins

Invitations: 
Buy several cheap plastic magic wands. Print out invitations on white paper with important information. 
Scroll up around want. Tie with orange and black ribbon.

Decorations: 
String Christmas lights around the entrance way. Hang silver and gold stars through out the party area. Mylar gold and silver balloons can also be hung. Cut out ghost shapes in Mylar and hang. Glow-in-the-dark tape attached to walls, doors, lamps etc. is nice when lights are low. Grave markers can be made from Styrofoam sheets - use felt-tip 
markers to make inscription.

Cats and Bats

Invitations: 
Cut out the shape of cats or bats in 
construction paper. Write important party info on these. 

Decorations: 
Have guests enter through a cat door (place a dark blanket over half the doorway and let guests crawl through). Hang black crepe paper and cobwebs everywhere. Hang black silhouettes of cats and bats throughout the house. Black balloons are a nice touch. 

Nightmare at Haunted House

Invitations: 
Cut out tombstone shapes on construction paper. 
Write party info in the form of an epitaph. 

Decorations: 
Hang spider webs, plastic insects, phony tombstones, ghosts, balloons, witches and bats. Use back and white candles (out of reach of children). Hang ghosts made from white pillow cases. Use white balloons with black eyes drawn on them with markers. Ask florist to save dead flowers and wreaths that would be thrown away. Create a headless heathen by stuffing old clothes with newspaper and prop up at front door. 

Dry ice makes a special affect at these parties.

Freaky Food that's Good for You! 

At Halloween, the focus on food is centered so completely around candy, it's easy to forget that monsters young and old need to get some healthy food down their gullets too. This year, put a ghastly spin on some of your favorite appetizers and dinners, then play some ghoulish games, before unleashing the sugar-crazed trick-or-treater that lurks inside of everyone. 

Turn deviled eggs into deviled eyeballs by topping each one with a slice of green or black olive. 

Make an edible veggie head: buy a Styrofoam wig head and wash it well. Dry it and secure it to a square of plywood with a long nail. Now cover the head with bite-size vegetables or fruit speared with toothpicks. Use different colors and shapes to make facial features (red pepper or apple slices for lips, radishes peeled in strips to make bloodshot eyeballs). Don't forget the dip! 

Cut slices of meatloaf with a bat-shaped cookie cutter, and serve with bat's blood (ketchup). 

Spaghetti and meatballs takes on a whole new 'life' when you announce it as nightcrawlers and eyeballs.

Chicken strips can easily become witch fingers when served with slime sauce (ranch dressing dyed green) for dipping. 

Stuffed pasta shells have an awful appeal when you call them Snail Shells stuffed with Rat Spleens. 

Good side dishes include steamed maggots (rice), rotting teeth (corn) and lizard tongues (carrot sticks). 

For a less nauseating but still festive meal, scrape out small pumpkins and use them as individual serving bowls for black bean, split pea, or pumpkin soup.  



When planning party activities, don't underestimate how much fun a good old-fashioned game of bobbing for apples can be. For an added challenge, remove the stems before beginning.

Turn it into a game of bobbing for 'eyeballs' instead by using grapes. 

If you would prefer to avoid the sloshing water and wet guests that result from traditional apple bobbing, try a different twist on the game: tie strings to each apple and hang them from the ceiling at face height. The challenge in this game is to take a bite out of the apple without using your hands! 

Pass The Pumpkin Game

You need a Pumpkin Gourd or an Orange and 
three or more people (the more people the more fun!). 
Make the people stand around in a circle. Someone start with the orange under their chin (It would be too hard to do this with a pumpkin unless it's a really tiny one). The object of the game is to pass the pumpkin from your chin to someone else's! If you drop it, you're out. 

Bathroom Decor

Put a Skelton in your bathtub with a little water & red dye, with low lighting. 

Put some rubber spiders on the toilet tank, & hang some coiled rubber snakes over the towel rack. 

It is suggested to spray non-stick cooking spray on your tub so your "blood" doesn't stain. 

Splatter some old white handtowels with fake "blood" & hang them for your guests.

Tin Can Lanterns

Add magical element to your night with tin can party lights. Use them to illuminate your porch on a dark winter evening or to create atmosphere for a party. 

Make a pattern of holes on paper to wrap around your can by using a photocopier to enlarge one of the designs shown at the bottom of the facing page. Alternatively, cut a piece of paper to size and copy the designs onto it freehand. 

To copy the circle designs from the patterns, use a compass and pencil to draw concentric circles and mark equidistant points around the outer circumference. Draw lines from the center to these points to divide the circle into even sectors. A dot at each intersection indicates where a hole is to be made. 

For the diamond design, draw a small diamond shape made of two equilateral triangles and enclose this in two proportionately larger triangles. Add dots to the outlines at evenly spaced intervals to indicate holes. 

Tape the paper pattern to the can.

Place one end of the dowel lengthwise in the vise; slip the can over the other end

At each dot on the pattern, tap a small hole with a large nail and then enlarge the hole with a drill. Make holes for the handles near the top of the can in the same way. 

Make a handle by bending a 20-inch length of wire at its midpoint, then bending small hooks at each end to attach to the can. Twist the other end into a small loop for hanging. Paint the cans if desired.

CLOTHESPIN BATS 

Spine-chilling as it sounds, a colony of bats hanging from the highest reaches of your house serve as the perfect welcome for guests-if you're throwing a Halloween party. You can also clip these clothespin bats onto tree branches or bushes outdoors to greet trick-or-treaters. 

MAKING CLOTHESPIN BATS 

Template 
Pencil
Oak tag 
Scissors
White pencil
Black construction paper
Mini hole punch or pushpin 
Glue stick
Black spray paint
Wooden clothespins
Craft glue 

Draw a bat onto a piece of oak tag. Cut out the tracing.

Use your template to trace bats onto black construction paper with the white pencil; you will need two bat cutouts for each clothespin. Cut out each bat.

Use the hole punch or pushpin to make eyes in each cutout. Then, use glue stick to glue two bat cutouts together at wingtips. Spray the clothespins black, and allow them to dry. 

Place a dab of craft glue onto the center of each side of the clothespin. Carefully slip a clothespin between two bat cutouts. Pinch bats to clothespin for a few seconds, until glue holds. 

Cornhusk dolls were toys for Native American and early American children. Each family had its own method of making dolls. Today, cornhusk dollmaking is a craft kids can still do. 

Materials:
4 cornhusks 
Scissors
String (cut into 6 pieces, each 12 inches long)

Making the doll:
Dolls can be made in only a few steps. Here is one of the easier dolls to make. First, you'll need to remove four husks, the coverings for an ear of corn. Soak them for at least a half-hour in warm water. Remove from the water. Now you're ready to start. You also may want to make some practice dolls first.

Trim one corn husk to about 5 inches long, roll up and tie on each end. 

Put two large cornhusks together and tie them together. 

Separate the husks and pull them over the tied end and tie again. This makes the head of your doll. 

Part the husks in the center and slide the rolled cornhusk in between them and as close to the head as you can. 

Tie the loose husks below the rolled husks to make the doll's waist and skirt. 

Fold the last cornhusk and drape it over the doll's shoulders and tie at the waist to make a shawl. Trim the bottom of the skirt and shawl and loose strings

Pumpkin Lightbulb

Burned out light bulb (globe style bulb)
Acrylic Enamel Paints:
Orange
Black
Green
White

Raffia 
Toothpick
Paint Brush

Paint your lightbulb using orange paint. It's important to use an "enamel" paint for this project. If you use regular acrylic paints, the paint will scratch and peel. If you have glass paint... that will work even better. If you decide to use regular acrylic paints, do not expose your bulbs to the outdoors and be very careful not to scratch the surface. Allow your paint to dry.

a toothpick works best for painting the tiny details, but be careful not to apply too much pressure with your toothpick, or you may scratch the orange paint.

Once your orange paint is dry, paint the socket section of your bulb with green paint and extend the green paint down the bulb slightly. Now using a toothpick or fine liner paint brush if you have one, paint tiny lines with black paint, adding little dots between the lines. paint the face using black paint and add teeny lines with white paint to highlight the eyes.

Tie a small raffia bow around the socket area and if you like, you can tie a small ribbon or string around the socket to use for hanging. These little pumpkins look so cute added to a fruit bowl.

Click HERE for a pumpkin with a white background.

ABC's OF CARVING A PUMPKIN

Take a firm, big pumpkin that's free from bruises. Cut a star-shaped lid from the top, tapering the lid so that it is wider on the rind edge than on the inside (this helps to keep the lid from falling in if it shrinks).

Scoop out the seeds and fibers from the pumpkin's inside and lid. Dig a small space in the bottom for a glass cup (which will hold the candle). Save the seeds to toast later for snacks. 

Carve the mouth, taking care to place it above where the pumpkin curves so that the face won't collapse. Next, cut out the nose and eyes. Of course, there's no rule that you have to carve a face. One way to make an easy-to-follow guide for cutting any shape you'd like is to press a cookie cutter into the skin, leaving behind an imprint. 

Place a short, fat candle in the candle cup, light it and set it inside. Always be sure to extinguish the flame when you're not watching it. Replace the lid and watch out for spooks.  

Face Make Up

Face paint: Cold cream or shortening and ordinary food coloring can be used for face paint.

Rotting flesh: One part water to six parts oatmeal creates a mixture which resembles rotting flesh (especially after it has started to dry and flake).

Fake blood: Corn syrup and food coloring creates a nice "blood" mixture (be careful - it may stain).

Click HERE for a wreath with a white background.

Spooky Ghosts 

12-inch-long plastic foam cone (I used a soda bottle)
4-inch-diameter plastic foam ball 
Twigs 
Masking tape 
Plastic wrap 
White fabric 
Fabric stiffener (available at crafts stores) 
Plastic bag 
Purple, green, and black fabric or craft pens 

Fabric stiffener firms the shape. 

Assemble a form for the ghost. Attach the foam ball to the top of the cone with a short straight twig. Use masking tape to fasten several twigs together to make arms, then insert the arms as desired into the sides of the cone. Cover the entire shape with plastic wrap.

Cut a piece of white fabric into a square or a circle. Make sure the fabric is large enough to fully cover the form with some extra for draping.

Pour 1 cup of fabric stiffener into the plastic bag. Place the fabric piece in the bag. Squeeze the bag repeatedly to soak the fabric with stiffener. Add more stiffener to the bag, if necessary.

Remove the fabric from the bag. Lay it out on a flat surface that's covered with waxed paper. Press it with the heel of your hand to reshape the fabric so it will be easy to drape over the form.

Place the fabric over the form. Drape it to shape a ghost. Keep some of the fabric along the base so the ghost will stand by itself when it's removed from the form. Let the fabric dry.

Paint on eyes, eyebrows, and a mouth. Remove the ghost from the form. Reuse the form to make more ghosts.

Halloween Crafts

Click HERE for a white background.

Paper Napkin Ghosts

Have children make paper ghosts from unfolded white paper napkins. Help them place cotton balls in the center of the napkin. Show them how pull down the corners of the napkin over the cotton ball. Tie a piece of white yarn around the "neck". Use markers to draw a face. Tape a thin piece of string from the top of the head and hang from the ceiling.

Paper Plate Pumpkins

Paint paper plates orange using finger paints. Let the paint dry and using yellow paint, add eyes, nose and a mouth. Cut a stem from orange construction paper and fasten to the top of the pumpkin.

Paper Plate Spiders

Paint paper plates black using finger paints. Let the paint dry. Using white paint, add eyes. You can also use the round paper reinforces used to reinforce the holes on 3 ring binder paper. Using black pipe cleaners, have the children bend legs and glue to the bottom of the plate.

Ghost

Nothing says Halloween like your very own homemade ghost. Blow up a large balloon and drape it, knot side up, with a large sheet of white tissue paper. Tie a string around the knot and hang the balloon from the ceiling. Cut out the features for the eyes and mouth from electrical tape and stick them on the ghost's face.

Click HERE for a spider with a white background.

How to Create a Pumpkin Planter

It's easy to carve and hollow a pumpkin that will hold potted plants. Pumpkin planters look great on a front porch or as a centerpiece for a Halloween party! 

Steps: 
1. Select a fresh pumpkin that is round in shape and not too tall. 

2. Cut all the way around the stem end of the pumpkin a few inches down from the top with a sharp knife. 

3. Pierce the flesh of the pumpkin with the pointed end of the knife, following with a back-and-forth slicing motion to cut through the thick, tough skin. 

4. Make an opening large enough to place a flowerpot inside the cavity. 

5. Remove and reserve the stem-cap portion of the pumpkin. 

6. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from inside the pumpkin using a large spoon. 

7. Cut a small drainage hole near the bottom of the pumpkin. 

8. Place a potted chrysanthemum, indoor plant or colorful potted annual inside the cavity. If the plant sits too low, add recycled material such as crumpled aluminum foil or an upturned plastic container to raise the plant. If the plant is too high, hide the exposed portion of the pot with
decorative moss or dried grass. 

9. Display your pumpkin planter on the front porch or inside the house in a cool location away from direct sunlight. Prop the stem cap alongside the display for a casual look. 

10. Remove the potted plant to water; replace after it has been allowed to drain for a few minutes. 

Tips: 
Draw a face on the pumpkin with a thick felt-tip marker. 

Provide the correct requirements for each type of plant. For example, place sun-loving plants in a sunny location or shade-loving plants in a cooler area. 

Warnings: 
Children under 10 years of age should be supervised when using sharp tools.  

Witch 

Materials
3-4 oz. of polyester fiberfill 
(1) 22" diameter circle of Halloween fabric 
(1) 6" diameter black witch's hat 
(1) 2-1/2" wooden ball for head small amount of spanish moss for hair 
(1) small broom made from twigs 
(1) 6" diameter cardboard circle for base 
(1) rubber band 
(1) black felt tip marker glue gun and glue sticks blush 

To make the witch's body:
Lay fabric right side down and place cardboard circle centered on top of fabric. 

Place poly-fil polyester fiberfill in the center of the circle. 

Gather fabric up around the poly-fil and secure with a rubber band. Leave about 2" of fabric above the rubber band, this will become the witch's collar. If needed, add more fiberfill once the rubber band is secure.
 
To make the witch's head:
Glue moss over the top and down the sides of wooden ball for hair. 

Glue hat to top of head. 

Draw on a face using a black marker. 

Dab a small amount of blush onto cheeks to give her a rosy glow. 

To finish:
Fan excess fabric out to create the collar over the rubber band. 

Glue head in center of collar. 

Glue broom to witch's body. 

Your Witch is Complete!

Click HERE for a white background.

Drunken Witch

You know those witches that are "smooshed" up against the house ..or a tree...lol...here's directions for one!

Black witch hat 

Black cape, or black material to simulate cape 
Black wig or yarn
Black turtleneck or similar shirt 
Large, black gloves 
Green rubber gloves (dishwashing gloves) 
Thick tights or pantyhose 
Stockings (stripes are optional) 
Old low-heeled shoes, preferably black 
2 lengths of foam tubing (often sold at toy stores as floatation/pool toys) 
Hammer and nails 
Several old hangers 
Wire cutters 
Narrow piece of plywood (4-6" wide x 18-24" tall) 

First, choose a crash site for your witch—a tree with a trunk that's sturdy, yet not huge in circumference. Ideally, the tree should also be highly visible to passersby.

Measure the tights or pantyhose's legs and cut the foam tubing into two, a few inches longer than the pants. Slide the tubing into the tights or pantyhose's legs. Then slide the Stocking over the pantyhose. With an assistant's help—nail a leg onto each side of the tree 3 or 4 feet above the ground and parallel to it. For the best illusion, you'll want to have at least a few inches of the legs extending toward the witch's back (so that she appears to have hips). Slide the shoes onto the ends of the legs.

Secure the broom in place by wrapping a coat hanger around it a few times then nailing the coat hanger to the tree tree (on the back side of the tree so it's not seen).

Now cut the other foam tubing to the length of the turtleneck's arms and slip it inside the sleeves. Nail an arm to each side of the trunk, parallel to the ground and a few feet above her legs (so that the bottom of the turtleneck just reaches the sweatpants). 

Slip the rubber gloves onto the ends of the witch's arms. 

Place the black cape over the back of the arms, then nail it in place so it hangs down as a cape. Secure the cape at the bottom as well, so it doesn't blow around. 

Lastly, nail the wig to the tree, cover it with the hat, then nail the hat in place as well. If you don't have a wig, simply cut a bunch of thick yarn into long strands and tie them together at the top.

Click HERE for a white background.

Halloween Party Games

"Creepy Objects"

Fill shoeboxes with such items as peeled grapes, cooked pasta, gelatin, and cleaned chicken bones. Have the children sit in a darkened room, feel inside the boxes (no peeking), and tell spooky stories about what they're touching.

Click HERE for a white background.

Ghost Tag

Have the children sit in a dark room with their eyes covered. An adult should tap a child on the shoulder and give her a noisy, creepy object such as a chain to rattle, a drum to bang, or a small blackboard to scratch. The child should wander around the room making noises and then tap another child. If the tapped child can guess who the noisemaker is, she wins a favor and another child is selected to be the ghost.

Mummy Wrap

This is one of my kids favorite games for a school party or scouts. My troop had a ball with it!

Divide the kids into smaller groups. One kid in each group is the mummy and the others wrap the mummy with toilet paper. You can have a winner for the best mummy or a race for the fastest mummy wrapped, or no winner at all. 

To avoid problems with "I want to be the mummy!" you can divide the groups and have each member of the group draw an assignment out of a pumpkin for their "job". You need at least one mummy per group and you could assign one kid to wrap the legs, arms, etc.. or just let them go. 

Make sure to set some ground rules. You might want to tell them NOT to wrap the head or face and throwing the rolls of toilet paper around the room probably is not a good idea! (The teacher will appreciate this rule.) You could even have them wrap the teacher or room parents.

Halloween Safety

Red Cross Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Adults

With witches, goblins, and super-heroes descending on neighborhoods across America, the American Red Cross offers parents some safety tips to help prepare their children for a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat holiday. Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun.

Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not in the street.

Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and
low-flying brooms.

Cross the street only at corners.

Don't hide or cross the street between parked cars.

Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)

Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go
with you.

Carry a flashlight to light your way.

Keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely
flammable.)

Visit homes that have the porch light on.

Accept your treats at the door and never go into a stranger's house.

Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.

Be cautious of animals and strangers.

Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don't eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.

Spooky Decor & Party Ideas 

Bathroom Decor

Put a Skelton in your bathtub 
with a little water & red dye, with low lighting. 
Put some rubber spiders on the toilet tank, & hang some coiled rubber snakes over the towel rack. 
It is suggested to spray non-stick cooking spray on your tub 
so your "blood" doesn't stain. 

Splatter some old white handtowels with fake "blood" 
& hang them for your guests. 

In the Hallway

Have a willing live victim sprawl on the floor. 
Use masking tape to make a body outline. You can do this in any part of the party area, but I think it works best in an out-of-the-way area such as the kitchen or a hallway. The body outline can be done outside too, with tape or chalk. 

On the Walls

Replace the pictures on my walls with spookier versions. 
Find some creepy pics to download & frame! 
Or frame the cardboard cutouts that you can purchase inexpensively in any local store. 

For Anywhere

Gather up some small & medium sized branches. 
Spray paint them black (or dark purple, or green & orange!) Put some sticking out from behind the couch, 
put some in a large vase, put some outside! 

Make larger ones into 'trees'. Get a large basket or bucket decorated to your liking, arrange your branch in some floral foam, weight it with some rocks, & spread some spanish moss (avaliable at any craft store) over the top. You can decorate your tree or leave it bare. 

If your computer's in view, seat a skeleton 
in the chair, mouse in hand. 

If you have any bedroom doors ajar, 
prop a skeleton up in bed with a pair of glasses & a book to read. Or, if you decide to be really gruesome, buy some old sheets from the Salvation Army, lay them out (OUTSIDE) & spatter them with any "blood" concoction of your choice, that doesn't stain!!! If it doesn't stain anyone else when dry, 
the bloody sheets can be used to cover (& protect!) your furniture. Just like in an abandoned house 
where a horrific butchering took place!! EEEK! 

Gather up some plug-in or (preferably) electric 'candles' that are usually displayed in windows at Christmastime. cheaper Paint them black, & drip some red paint- 'melted wax' along the top. Be careful not to get paint in the bulb socket. 
And stock up on flicker bulbs! 

Click HERE for a white background.

Favor Idea
Make party bags for your guests to take home and stuff them full of neat treats. They don't have to be expensive, 
even kids stuff like spider or bat rings, puzzles, games, Halloween Pens, pumpkin spice candles.
Cut circles of orange tissue paper and wrap around to 
make a pumpkin shape, tie off the top with green ribbon or floral tape. Wah-lah! Little pumpkins! 
Just draw on faces with a black marker.

Click HERE for a white background.

I like to give some favors that match the parties theme,  if you choose a theme idea.

Some themes 
Spider Party
Bat Party
Haunted House & Ghosts
Witch Party
Vampire theme
Skeleton Party
Universal Monsters
Jack-o-lanterns

When I go the theme route, I usually add a little more decor to match the theme then usual, and dress the part if I can.

I use matching theme party goods. You will usually find matching invitations with the party goods. Mail the invitations with a Party name to match the theme of cause!

I make homemade chocolite candies with 
candy molds to match the theme.

The cake is made to match the theme of cause.
Don't forget, make those loot bags with some theme goodies.

Click HERE for a white background.

Centerpieces & Candy Bowls

Hunt down gelatin molds that are shaped like a brain, 
heart or hands and make an interesting centerpiece.

Decorate with a bunch of inexpensive plastic skulls & 
pumpkin baskets that can double as candy dishes

Guts & Gore Display

MATERIALS
Cooked spaghetti
Can of spaghetti sauce
Frozen grapes
Cailiflower
Cardboard for sig

DIRECTIONS
For your haunted house party, use cardboard or heavy construction paper to make signs that say 
"Brains", "Blood", "Eyeballs" and "Guts". 
Put the spaghetti sauce, cooked spaghetti and frozen grapes in separate bowls & Cailflower. Place the signs in front of the bowls of gore you have set out on a table or around the room.

Cooked spaghetti = guts
Spaghetti sauce = blood
Frozen grapes = eyeballs
Cailiflower = brains

Shrunken Heads

MATERIALS
Firm apples
Paring knife
1 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
Toothpicks
Heavy string or cord

DIRECTIONS
Peel and core a firm apple. Use a pen to draw large features on one side and then carve them out with a knife. Soak the head for 30 seconds in the lemon juice and salt to prevent browning. Set aside and repeat the process with more apples. 

Make knots about 6 inches apart in your string or cord. Pass the sting through the cored middle of the apples. Stick toothpicks through the knots and rest each apple head on a toothpick. 

Tie the string to a coat hanger in a place where the apples can dry. In a few days, the apples will shrivel up and look like shrunken heads. Great for centerpiece decorations at your scary party.

 
Favor Idea for the Loot Bag 

Print out the decorative Chamber of Giggles page from this site. Roll into a semi-loose scroll and tie with black or orange curling ribbon. Curl ribbon against a scizzors edge. Guests will have something to die laughing with. Yes Die!!

Ghost Suckers

Use these for party favors, hanging them from the ceiling until ready to distribuate to your guests.

Take a round-headed lollipop. Lay the head in the center of a white handkerchief, facial tissue, or cloth square. Gather the handkerchief down around the stick and tie tightly just below the head with a rubber band, twist-tie, or string. Add 2 black dots for eyes.

You can also use these ghosts as an invitation to your party. Write the party date and location around the outside of the handkerchief before making the ghosts. If you plan to mail them, you might want to use flat round lollipops and padded envelopes.

Halloween Centerpiece

Purchase small pumpkin shaped gourds. There are always lots available in the grocery stores at this time of year. Keep the ones with pretty stems to include without candles. 

What You Need
Orange pumpkin gourds 
Yellow, orange and black candles 
Apple corer 
Florists' adhesive clay, optional 
Dried leaves or vines, as desired 

How To Make It
Break off the stalk from the gourds. Use an apple corer to make a bigger indentation 
in the top for a candle. 

Note: If the gourd is too hard to do this, get some florists' adhesive clay and use that to hold the candle in the top. 

Insert a candle 

Make a centerpiece with several candleholder gourds and some of the ones (with nice stalks) that you saved. Scatter in some fall (dried) leaves or vines, whatever you can find. Use your imagination!

Window Pumpkin Faces

This project makes pumpkin faces to put in the small windows in your front door. These faces (Clipart Gifs Samples & link 
to Print them are below) will make shadow patterns inside your house when the sun is shining, and silhouettes 
from outside the house at night.

What You Need
Computer paper - white or orange
Scissors
Tape

How To Make It
Print GIF or download and print GIF. The gif has two faces on it. The image is 6" x 10" and should be 'centered on page' when printing. hallface.gif

Cut pattern in half. Cut out eyes, nose and mouth on each face. Trim paper to fit the small windows in your front door.
(They can also be placed in paned windows.)

Tape pattern to windows. Below are the Patterns & the Link.

Carving Jack O' Lanterns is a Halloween custom that dates back to ancient Ireland, although the first Jack O' Lanterns were made of turnips, beets or even hollowed out potatoes, not pumpkins.

The large orange squashes didn't come into prominence until Irish immigrants settled in the United States, where pumpkins were cheaper and more plentiful than turnips.

Several version of an Irish legend tells of a man named Stingy Jack, who invited the Devil to have a drink.

When it came time to pay, he convinced the Devil to change into a sixpence, but instead of paying for the drink Jack pocketed the sixpence and kept it stored beside a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back.

Jack made a deal with the Devil before letting him free that the Devil could not harass him.

Next Halloween Jack died and was turned back from the Gates of Heaven. He went to the Gates of Hell and the Devil told him to go away, as Jack had made him promise not to claim his soul. 

Jack didn't want to leave because it was dark and he couldn't find his way. The Devil tossed Jack a glowing coal and Jack put it inside a turnip, and ever since with this "Jack O' Lantern", Stingy Jack's lonely soul has been roaming the faces of this earth.

Another version has Jack tricking Beezelbub into climbing a tree, where upon Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil in his high perch. Jack made a deal with the satan that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let Lucifer down from the tree.

According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. The rest of the legend remains the same.

Click HERE for a white background.

Bathroom Decor

Put a Skelton in your bathtub
with a little water & red dye, with low lighting.
Put some rubber spiders on the toilet tank, & hang some coiled rubber snakes over the towel rack.
It is suggested to spray non-stick cooking spray on your tub
so your "blood" doesn't stain.

Splatter some old white handtowels with fake "blood" 
& hang them for your guests.

In the Hallway

Have a willing live victim sprawl on the floor.
Use masking tape to make a body outline. You can do this in any part of the party area, but I think it works best in an out-of-the-way area such as the kitchen or a hallway. The body outline can be done outside too, with tape or chalk.

On the Walls

Replace the pictures on my walls with spookier versions.
Find some creepy pics to download & frame!
Or frame the cardboard cutouts that you can purchase inexpensively in any local store. 

For Anywhere

Gather up some small & medium sized branches.
Spray paint them black (or dark purple, or green & orange!) Put some sticking out from behind the couch, put some in a large vase, put some outside!

Make larger ones into 'trees'. Get a large basket or bucket decorated to your liking, arrange your branch in some floral foam, weight it with some rocks, & spread some spanish moss (avaliable at any craft store) over the top. You can decorate your tree or leave it bare.

If your computer's in view, seat a skeleton
in the chair, mouse in hand.

If you have any bedroom doors ajar,
prop a skeleton up in bed with a pair of glasses & a book to read. Or, if you decide to be really gruesome, buy some old sheets from the Salvation Army, lay them out (OUTSIDE) & spatter them with any "blood" concoction of your choice, that doesn't stain!!! If it doesn't stain anyone else when dry, the bloody sheets can be used to cover (& protect!) your furniture. Just like in an abandoned house where a horrific butchering took place!! EEEK!

Gather up some plug-in or (preferably) electric 'candles' that are usually displayed in windows at Christmastime. cheaper Paint them black, & drip some red paint- 'melted wax' along the top. Be careful not to get paint in the bulb socket.
And stock up on flicker bulbs!

Favor Idea
Make party bags for your guests to take home and stuff them full of neat treats. They don't have to be expensive, even kids stuff like spider or bat rings, puzzles, games, Halloween Pens, pumpkin spice candles.
Cut circles of orange tissue paper and wrap around to make a pumpkin shape, tie off the top with green ribbon or floral tape. Wah-lah! Little pumpkins!
Just draw on faces with a black marker.

I like to give some favors that match the parties theme,
if you choose a theme idea.

Some themes I had...
Spider Party
Bat Party
Haunted House & Ghosts
Witch Party
Vampire theme
Skeleton Party
Universal Monsters
Jack-o-lanterns

When I go the theme route, I usually add alittle more decor to match the theme then usual, and dress the part if I can. I use matching theme party goods. You will usually find matching invitations with the party goods. Mail the invitations with a Party name to match the theme of cause!

I make homemade chocolite candies with candy molds to match the theme. The cake is made to match the theme of cause. Don't forget, make those loot bags with some theme goodies.


Centerpieces & Candy Bowls

Hunt down gelatin molds that are shaped like a brain, heart or hands and make an interesting centerpiece.

Decorate with a bunch of inexpensive plastic skulls & pumpkin baskets that can double as candy dishes

Guts & Gore Display

MATERIALS
Cooked spaghetti
Can of spaghetti sauce
Frozen grapes
Cailiflower
Cardboard for sig

DIRECTIONS
For your haunted house party, use cardboard or heavy construction paper to make signs that say

"Brains", "Blood", "Eyeballs" and "Guts".

Put the spaghetti sauce, cooked spaghetti and frozen grapes in separate bowls & Cailflower. Place the signs in front of the bowls of gore you have set out on a table or around the room.

Cooked spaghetti = guts
Spaghetti sauce = blood
Frozen grapes = eyeballs
Cailiflower = brains

Shrunken Heads

MATERIALS
Firm apples
Paring knife
1 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
Toothpicks
Heavy string or cord

DIRECTIONS
Peel and core a firm apple. Use a pen to draw large features on one side and then carve them out with a knife. Soak the head for 30 seconds in the lemon juice and salt to prevent browning. Set aside and repeat the process with more apples. Make knots about 6 inches apart in your string or cord. Pass the sting through the cored middle of the apples. Stick toothpicks through the knots and rest each apple head on a toothpick.
Tie the string to a coat hanger in a place where the apples can dry. In a few days, the apples will shrivel up and look like shrunken heads. Great for centerpiece decorations at your scary party.

Favor Idea for the Loot Bag

Print out the decorative Chamber of Giggles page from this site. Roll into a semi-loose scroll and tie with black or orange curling ribbon. Curl ribbon against a scizzors edge. Guests will have something to die laughing with. Yes Die!!

Ghost Suckers

Use these for party favors, hanging them from the ceiling until ready to distribuate to your guests.

Take a round-headed lollipop. Lay the head in the center of a white handkerchief, facial tissue, or cloth square. Gather the handkerchief down around the stick and tie tightly just below the head with a rubber band, twist-tie, or string.

Add 2 black dots for eyes.

You can also use these ghosts as an invitation to your party. Write the party date and location around the outside of the handkerchief before making the ghosts. If you plan to mail them, you might want to use flat round lollipops and padded envelopes.

Halloween Centerpiece

Purchase small pumpkin shaped gourds. There are always lots available in the grocery stores at this time of year. Keep the ones with pretty stems to include without candles.
 

Window Pumpkin Faces

This project makes pumpkin faces to put in the small windows in your front door. These faces (Clipart Gifs Samples & link
to Print them are below) will make shadow patterns inside your house when the sun is shining, and silhouettes
from outside the house at night.

What You Need
Computer paper - white or orange
Scissors
Tape

How To Make It
Print GIF or download and print GIF. The gif has two faces on it. The image is 6" x 10" and should be
'centered on page' when printing. hallface.gif

Cut pattern in half. Cut out eyes, nose and mouth on each face. Trim paper to fit the small windows in your front door.
(They can also be placed in paned windows.)

Pattern is HERE


 

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