Frightful festivities: Laugh or scream?

The sinister season has finally arrived. If trick-or-treating sounds old, here are four activities to occupy Oct. 31. Two of them are for the more daring at heart, hoping for a good scare this Halloween, and two more activites are fun adventures for everyone to try.

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CREDIT: ANGELA PROCA | THE MIRROR

Set the right ambience of the night with some LED candles inside of decorations or pumpkins.

Head down to your local pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect one to carve your design into. (CREDIT: ANGELA PROCA | THE MIRROR)

1. Jack-o-lantern carving

While the prospect of carving jack-o-lanterns seems daunting, it’s a fun tradition worth all the time and effort. Begin by taking a sharp knife and cutting around the stalk of the pumpkin to create a detachable cap. The hole should be spacious enough to stick a hand into it. With a spoon, reach inside and scrape out the flesh and seeds.

Once the pumpkin is emptied, the next step is carving an image. It can be as simple as triangle eyes and a nose with a jagged grin, or as intricate as a witch. All kinds of templates are available on the internet. Use chalk to outline these features onto the surface, where the front of its head will go. Grab the knife again and plunge it into the areas traced with chalk, cutting and removing them. 

There’s no need to worry about accidentally setting the pumpkin on fire with actual candles. Instead, use LED light strings or flameless tealight candles. Take off the removable cap and place either of those items inside the pumpkin for a spooky finish.

EduCare recently hosted an event with pumpkins on campus, choosing instead to hold a painting, not a craving, competition between students. 

2. Bake ghost-shaped cookies

These haunting, delicious treats only require three ingredients: mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and peanut-butter filled sandwich cookies. 

First, melt the white chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat until completely liquid. Be sure to not leave the pan on the stove for too long to avoid scorching the chocolate.

Spread wax paper over a sheet pan. With tongs, take a peanut-butter filled sandwich cookie and dip it into the melted white chocolate, making sure to shake off any excess. Carefully place the cookie flat on the wax paper, and repeat the dipping process with the desired amount of cookies.

For the final touches, put two chocolate chips on each cookie, as they will be the eyes of the ghost. Set a timer for 10 minutes to let the cookies cool, and get ready to devour these frightful sweets.

Gather your own group of “boys” to watch movies with classic horror icons such as Pennywise, Ghostface, Jason or Jigsaw. (CREDIT: ANGELA PROCA | THE MIRROR )

3. Watch a scary movie

It doesn’t always require a friend group or store-bought goods to enjoy the ambience of Halloween. Sometimes, just a blood-curdling film, blankets and some popcorn will do the trick. Pick any horror movie, whether it be a classic slasher film or a psychological thriller, and feel free to flinch or scream without judgment.

4. Tell scary stories

Gathering with two or three friends at home and trading horrific tales is an easy way to get the creeps. Storytelling can be tricky, but it can be pulled off with elements of reality incorporated into it. Memories from childhood, for example, are great for creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. 

Set the mood by lighting candles in a dark room. This will immerse listeners, further intensifying the suspense and tension as the story is told. The use of hand movements and sound effects can also help to instill fear.