There’s mist in the valley fields, yellow leaves falling a few at a time, and a chill in the air that lingers in the all day shade. I’m a sucker for summertime and usually can’t forgive fall for what follows, but boy do I love Halloween. Here’s some entertainment suggestions to help you get into the spirit of scarecrows and full moons.
The Witches by Roald Dahl – Dahl’s books are classic, but I think this one is overlooked sometimes. Read it out loud to one or more kids, and as long as you keep a straight face and a grim tone, it will be sure to scare. If you’ve never read it and you’re thinking of Hermione… don’t. These witches will eat you up.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin – This is a new discovery! Creepy plans, mysterious puzzles, and Halloween night… a classic to come back to for sure.
Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud – These books are the best series I’ve read in a long time. In a parallel England, ghosts have been cropping up in great number, making it unsafe to go out at night. The ghosts can be stopped by placing silver, iron, or lavender (a la Supernatural) around their “source,” usually an artifact from their lives that was important to them. The trick is, only children can see the ghosts, and only some children have the Talents that allow them to eradicate the problem. Thus, young Lockwood has formed his own Agency for hire to investigate supernatural phenomenon. Spooky, suspenseful, well written, these gripping reads are perfect for Halloween. The Hollow Boy is the third book in the series, and comes out Sept. 15.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – The classic story of a supernaturally haunted house, this book is a must for fans of scary stories who want something beyong the usual drivel. Challenging, mysterious, and spooky, beware that this book might keep you awake at night.
Dracula by Bram Stoker – If Hill House might keep you up at night, Dracula will certianly do so. This book scared me silly. I was hearing things in my room, seeing shadows out side my window, and jumping at the tiniest sounds. The feint of heart won’t want to read this after dark… unless you want to be frightened out of your wits.
Clue: The Movie – Like any kid, I’ve played Clue dozens of times and enjoy the game. But I never saw Clue: The Movie until this year. We sat down to watch it and Caleb said “It would be so cool if there were 12 different endings…” Guys, there are three different endings! Gotta watch ’em all.
Psych – This is probably my favorite thing on this whole list, and that’s saying a lot. Shawn and Gus are great all the time, but there are several episoves that have an especially spooky of Halloweeny comedy kind of feel, and they are some of the detective duo’s all time best work. Let me know if I missed any that should be on this list:
- Tuesday the 17th (should be obvious)
- Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead (zombies)
- This Episode Sucks (vampires)
- Heeeeere’s Lassie (haunted appartment building)
- 100 Clues (again, should be obvious)
- Ghosts (haunted house)
- In Plain Fright (haunted house RIDE)
- Scary Sherry (insane asylum)
- Let’s get Hairy (werewolf)
So… that’s what I like to do at Halloweentime! On top of all this there’s also costume designing (and collecting, crafting, sewing…), pumpkin carving, and cobweby, black caty decorating while listening to the Monster Mash and Halloweentown… I know this isn’t just me!