Halloween Horror Lineup

You know when it’s that time of year- the wrinkled leaves of dying trees are blanketing the ground; the orange and black decorations adorning the parched streets. The feeling is seasonal; an eerie smog rolling across the town. It is once again October, which means its time to break out the frights!

No Halloween would be complete without some creepy cinema. Just like an actual scare, horror films can add a bloodcurdling good time! With a genre so diverse, selecting the best lineup of scary movies can be a bit overwhelming: but don’t fret. We are here to help you chop down the competition.

The Ring (2002)

The Ring is a great crowd pleaser, chalk full of intense dialogue and fantastical imagery. The great thing about this film is the overall balance of story and fright. The American film makers molded their film in the likes of uber-popular Asian cinematography. The plot is modern and takes an innovative approach towards the unexpected horrors of technology. The ring was the prerequisite to the all too similar, “The Grudge.” Movies these days rely on gore and “quick thrills,” while The Ring manages to carry it’s ominous undertones from start to finish. Adults and children alike will enjoy this, as it’s got an age-appropriate PG-13 rating.

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, “The Shining,” is based on the popular novel by horror-king, Steven King. The film is spectacular to witness, with it’s vast countrysides and exquisite architecture. Furthermore, Kubrick’s use of cinematography dazzles the screen; each shot could easily be a still-frame. The Shining has an exceptional arc, and the plot steadily builds without disappointment. The characters are strange and quirky, and Jack Nicholson delivers the performance of a lifetime. The overall effect is tremendous.

Saw (2004)

Looking for a some hacking, slashing and fast-reacting? Saw delivers! Undeniably the best of the Saw series of films, the original Saw set the main-stream standards for American gore. The plot is original, with an appallingly unexpected twist. Though the acting might not be top-of-the-line, the film it’s self is certainly gut-wrenching, and perfect for avid blood-seekers. Just make sure you have a strong stomach!

The Exorcist (1973)

Probably the most notable of horror movies, The Exorcist still frightens people to this day. The film was said to be based on a true account, which only adds to its eerie appeal. Take one dose of god-fearing christianity, three doses of exceptionally creepy child-acting and a pinch of early-hollywood special effects and you get The Exorcist.

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

In need of a rocking good shock? House of a 1000 corpses, directed by Rob Zombie, is your cure. Evil is embraced in this clever and visually astounding film. The movie is braised with industrial music and creepy, idiosyncratic characters. Zombie creates a sense of depraved humor with an A+, B-movie feel. Sexy villains, necrophiliacs, deranged hillbillies and crazy clowns will keep you glued to your boob-tube.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Even if you haven’t seen Wes Craven’s signature flick, you undeniably have heard of “Freddy Kruegar,” the psychotic, child-molester who haunts children’s dreams. He’s got razors for fingers and an unnerving face. And thats exactly what you’ll get. Get prepared for the popcorn to fly, as this one is sure to make you jump out of your skin.

Evil Dead (1981)

Halloween films aren’t just about the fear, but also the camp! Evil Dead is a cult-classic that should never be missed. No ominous forest would be complete without thirsty zombies scratching at your cabin door. Furthermore, what could be more campy than bizarre spells and unforetold ancient burial grounds? Evil Dead balances the laughs with the thrills.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

What horror-fest would be complete without brain hungry zombies? Night of the Living Dead is a landmark apocalyptic film, and is a testament to excellence, as the film it’s self was quite low-budget. Other than a few cheesy supporting roles, the acting is sublime. Tension will be high as you relate to the characters and their struggle to not become part of the undead.

Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock’s gem, “psycho,” will leave an everlasting impression. Hitchcock’s rare ability to frighten without fluff or gore makes for one snazzy suspense-horror-thriller. The infamous “shower scene” is a staple to this day in the modern horror community. If you are looking for more than just quick spurts of fear, Psycho does the trick. The acting is superb and never over-the-top. Each scene tediously builds, combining dark humor with unsettling illusions. The end’s haunting twist will leave you on the floor in disbelief.

The Descent (2005)

There is nothing better than a horror movie that glorifies women. All too often, the genre depicts women as “vulnerable and naive.” The Descent takes a realistic plot, embellishes it with flesh-starving monsters and tosses in a group of butt-kicking, alpha-female rock-climbers. The scenery is spellbinding: gorgeous underground caves, lush forests and lots and lots of velvet blood. The textures and sound work symbiotically to create one of the best, new horror movies.

Crafty Halloween Decor

Dust-on those cobwebs and breakout the pocket change, Halloween is approaching. There is no need to spend ship-loads of money on frivolous decor that can be easily made from home. For the thrifty and economical at heart, decorating for this Halloween can be inexpensive, and best of all, fun!

The stores know when Halloween is near; the window glasses are painted with creamy pumpkin oranges and dark, edgeless noirs. you can see the prices increasing, $50 for a sign? What would have been a cheap purchase is now, seasonally, quite costly. Remember that with a little time and enthusiasm, you can deck out your abode, at a pie-portion of the price.

Step 1: Shop cheap!

Try a local thrift store, they are packed with odd-ball knick-knacks, some of which make excellent decorations. If your lucky enough, you might find actual Halloween decorations. Remember to gather your ideas before going, as simple things like sheets and pillows might be assets.

Dollar stores are just what they advertise: $1 items at your galore. Crafts like paper, glue and tape can be purchased for next to nothing.

Garage sales are another option that can yield eccentric results. Who knows, you might find a gothic chandelier or a creepy family portrait.

If you have thought about Halloween ahead of time, remember that party shops discount their decor after the actual holiday, so loading up for the following year can be a cheap solution.

Step 2: Get crafty!

If you can put your noggin to use, there are plenty of recyclables and house-ready objects eager to be made over for this Halloween.

An old chair with a sheet with eye-holes, draped over it can make a creepy stand-up ghost. You can add a lantern, a push-light or flash light on the chair’s seat to make the eyes glow.

White Christmas lights can be revamped with a little orange cellophane. Mini rubber bands or twisty-ties can secure the plastic in a nonflammable way. You can choose whatever color scheme you desire!

If you can find the time to make it to a craft shop, consider purchasing some glow in the dark paint. You can write a creepy saying or something as simple as “Happy Halloween” on your window or door. Sketches of ghosts and eyes can creepify the space. If you don’t want to paint directly onto your house, try a large piece of cardboard or a flat piece of wood.

Any Christmas wreath can be recycled by spray painting it orange and/or black. You can secure some dried flowers, bones or even “doll heads” to intensify the eeriness.

An old basketball can be spray painted bright orange. You can hand-cut stencils and make a jack-o lantern that can be played with or put out on display.

For any holiday, tea lights are very versatile. Just like Christmas, they can be put out around your walk way. Orange bags can add a little more of a seasonal vibe, although keep in mind that tea-candles burn out quickly. You might consider push-lights, which can be purchased at any dollar store. Feel free to add haunting imagery or even cut holes out for eyes.

Make a personalized scare crow! Traditionally, scare crows were fashioned to keep pesky birds out of fields and gardens. You can use a jack-o-lantern, a mask or a creepy doll head as the face. For the body, use an old rustic set of clothes, preferably with patches. Stuff the clothing with leaves or hay and fasten shut. You can look in your yard for a sturdy branch to fasten the body to. Remember that the scarecrow should look home-made, so don’t fret about the sloppiness of the end result. You can fasten it all with pins, rope or twine. The arms can be as simple sticks poking out.

Halloween decoration ideas

Hand-crafted tomb stones are simple to make, and a fun project at that. An old boogie board, a sheet of cardboard or even a broken down crate box are all easy-to-use options. Color the tomb stone gray and design the face with a clever poem or an ominous saying.

Creepy cutouts can be hung from awnings, roof tops and even tree branches. For durability, try wrapping each cutout with clear tape and using thicker string to ensure weather-proofing. Easy subjects for hanging are cats, bats, ghosts and spiders.

A home made witch can be made in a cinch with an old wig (which can be painted black), a broom, paper and some paint. This will create the “smashed on the door” witch. Fasten the wig at the top with a sheet of black cloth where her torso would be. have the base of the broom at the bottom. Paint her arms on some parchment paper and attach them so that they are coming out of the with’s sides. For extra effects add spiderwebs and paint elongated nails scratching the door.

Two large flowerpots can be painted black and placed between your welcome mat. To simulate flames, add crinkled orange and red cellophane. Attach to the bottom of the pot with glue, tape or weights and let the breeze flutter through so that the fire looks engulfed. You can also add push-lights for the evening.

Next to Christmas, Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays of the year. You don’t need to max out your credit card to achieve that spooky and festive allure. Home made crafts are not only fun to make, but great conversation starters. The people on your block will appreciate the efforts that you put in and might even be inspired themselves. The end result will be spellbinding.

Halloween’s History in United States of America

Halloween as everybody knows it today is the result of the “melting pot” called United States of America. The mélange of traditions, religious rituals and pagan superstitions combined with an ever-growing media industry promoting the holiday has resulted in an extremely fun and popular Halloween celebration suitable for all types of people.

While nowadays Halloween is a universally accepted celebration, its beginnings were rather timid. New England population was mainly Protestant and did not celebrate Halloween or any other religious holiday related to saintly figures. Therefore, in the 1800s Halloween did not have too many adepts in this part of the world. In Maryland, however, the situation was more favorable for Halloween, with people gathering together to celebrate the harvest season. The “play parties” (as these gatherings were called), consisted of bonfires, telling stories with ghosts and dead spirits as central characters, singing, dancing and foretelling the future. Although these manifestations were similar to Halloween traditions and were held on 31st of October, the “play parties” were not considered descendants or reinterpretations of the Halloween holiday. Moreover, people were celebrating the end of labor season, the harvesting and the good crops harvested during autumn.

The Irish and English immigrants started walking door to door on Halloween asking for sweets or money in 19th century.

The middle of 19th century brought an increase in popularity for Halloween. American communities were growing fonder of the celebration and the continuous arrival of people from the British Islands fired people’s taste for Halloween’s traditions. In fact, many historians claim that Halloween’s popularity boosted in and after 1846, during the potato famine from Ireland. Chased away from home by the food scarcity, the Irish immigrants found their way towards the American continent and brought along their traditions and superstitions.The Irish and English immigrants started walking from door to door on Halloween, asking for money and sweets on Halloween night, keeping their home traditions alive. The trick-or-treating was soon taken over the established American inhabitants too. Yet the traditions was seen as a way of socializing, rather than a religious manifestation. Halloween’s recognition as a national holiday was only one step away. This step was taken at the end on 19th century, when the American communities have stripped Halloween of all its “devilish” and “ghostly” influences and transformed it into a holiday suitable for children and teenagers. Costumed parades, merry family gatherings and fun parties filled with seasonal foods and sweets have taken over the tradition of telling ghostly stories around the bonfire. Halloween was no longer a religious holiday marked by pagan superstitions, but a time of joy and merriment.

Trick-or-treating has become increasingly popular amongst children and teenagers. However, the 1920s and 1930s were marked by violent pranks masked under the Halloween tradition. The communities were exposed to acts of vandalism and the police found it more and more difficult to keep the teenagers under control, so decided that Halloween should be celebrated in the center of the town/village. Sweet treats were prepared and bonfires were organized for the members of the communities attending the celebration. This decision diminished significantly vandalism and violent actions, making Halloween a socially accepted holiday.

Children in Halloween costumes

Children in Halloween costumes

However, because of the demographic boom registered in the middle 20th century, the town center became an outdated solution. Children and teenager celebrations were now held in schools and kindergartens in order to better control the youngsters and organize diverse activities that will increase their interest in this holiday. Trick-or-treating was revived as a method of sharing the joy of Halloween with the entire neighborhood.

American Particularities for Halloween

  • In Ohio, Massachusetts and Iowa, the night in which children go trick-or-treating is also called “Beggars Night”.
  • The carved pumpkin is an American addition to the Halloween holiday. The pumpkins replaced the traditional turnips used by Irish and English people which were not available on the American continent. The immigrants discovered that pumpkins are larger and easier to carve, making perfect lanterns.
  • The “trick-or-treat” phrase first appeared in 1934 in an article published in a local newspaper from Portland, Oregon. The article told citizens about the vandalism from the Halloween night and informed people of police’s efforts to keep the phenomenon under control.
  • Anoka, Minnesota is the auto-proclaimed “Halloween Capital of the World” as it was the first town to officially organize a communal Halloween celebration. The authorities decided to gather people in the center of the town to prevent youngsters from letting the cows loose to run on the Main Street. Salem, Massachusetts is a strong competitor for this title.
  • UNICEF encourages children to raise funds for their peers in need by collecting money for Halloween instead of the traditional candies. It all began in 1950 when a Sunday school from Philadelphia decided to raise funds for the needy children in the area. They raised $17 which was sent to UNICEF. Impressed by their gesture, UNICEF started their own campaign in 1955 in which schools, parents and churches were involved. Children willing to part-take this cause should ask for the black and orange UNICEF boxes and materials explaining the campaign.

Nowadays Halloween is America’s second largest holiday (after Christmas) generating over $6.9 billions every year, with an average of $44 spent in each house for candies and sweet treats only.