a illustration of two pumpkins wearing a witch hat. With the middle pumpkin smiling

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Arts and Entertainment

How to have a safe and fang-tastic Halloween

Ways to spend Halloween night indoors or outdoors.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/breadpitt08/" target="_self">Liza Del Mundo</a>

Liza Del Mundo

October 7, 2022

One of America’s well-recognized holidays, Halloween, is fast approaching. People are shopping early to embellish their homes with creepy fake spider webs, creepy skeleton bodies sitting on the front porch, freaky Jack-o’-lanterns sitting on the front steps, and of course, you can’t forget a bucket of treats.

Whether you plan on celebrating the holiday indoors or outdoors with your friends and families, there’s always a way to make it more enjoyable, memorable, and safe on Halloween night.

If you plan on celebrating Halloween indoors, there are multiple ways to make the night fun and scary. Here are some great ideas:

Have a Scary Film Marathon!

Halloween night is the perfect time to watch “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Hocus Pocus” (1993), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993), and the “Addams Family” (1991) with your friends and families. Though, if you’re feeling brave enough and are looking for a real scare, watch “The Shining” (1980), “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), and “The Grudge” (2004). 

According to Seeker, a division of Discovery, the pleasure of fear does not derive from fear itself but comes from the “…physical and emotional release that follows scary situations.” Psychologist Glenn D. Walters states three primary elements give attraction to horror entertainment.

Firstly is tension. Directors and producers add factors of mystery, suspense, gore, fright, and shock to create feelings of anxiety and intimidation within the audience. Secondly is relevance. Films usually establish universal relevance that the audience can identify with, such as the fear of death and the unknown.

The final element is unrealism, a reminder for the audience to realize the film they are watching is fake. Directors and producers capture certain camera angles, play background music, and even utilize humor to remind the audience that the sole purpose of the film they are watching is intended to entertain.

Overall, these factors play on the psychology of fear that appeals to viewers. No wonder people enjoy watching scary films, especially on Halloween night. 

Wear your Halloween Costume

Who said you can’t wear your Halloween costume at home? Wear your scariest, creepiest, or cutest costume and get into the Halloween spirit. According to History the Ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, people would light up bonfires and wear their costumes to ward off ghosts.

In the eighth century, Pope Gregory lll had established November 1 as the time to honor/celebrate all saints, eventually incorporating traditions of the Samhain. Over time, Halloween has evolved into a day of fun activities such as Trick or Treating, carving pumpkins, putting on different kinds of costumes, and devouring delicious treats. 

Decorate your Home

To get into the Halloween spirit, decorate your home with orange, black, and yellow hues. Go ahead and purchase supplies and create craftwork to garnish your home. Carve pumpkins and place them around the house for fun. You can also place fake spiders or skeletons around the kitchen for a silly prank, though try not to get yourself spooked. 

According to History, many traditions of the Samhain were incorporated into the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day when Christianity was first introduced to Great Britain. Halloween began to spread to the United States when the Scottish and Irish immigrants ventured into the New World, bringing their cultural traditions along with them.

Halloween had gained favor in the United States, and eventually, people began to think of Halloween decorations similar to Christmas decorations that come year by year, kept and brought out again. Today, many stores carry Halloween decorations such as props, skeletons, spider webs, and animatronics.

Play Halloween Games!

Halloween games can be funny or scary. Dress up as your favorite characters from your favorite movie or TV show with your friends and families. You can even dress up and impersonate each other for a good laugh. Whoever laughs first loses. For a scarier game, you can play hide and seek in the dark with your friends alongside some creepy background music. 

There are many ways you can set up a Halloween game where everyone can feel engaged and connected. For instance, a fun yet safe game is an eerie egg hunt. If you still have easter eggs from last year, it would be a good idea to put them into use again this upcoming holiday. Simply doodle spooky faces on your easter eggs and stuff them with candy, then hide them around your house or backyard. Try adding glow sticks for a fun egg hunt in the dark! 

If you decide to celebrate the holiday outdoors, there are multiple ways to make it a fun night with your friends and family. Although, it’s important to take extra precautions for your own and their safety. COVID-19 is still roaming around, so feel free to wear a mask if you don’t yet feel too comfortable. Nevertheless, here are some outdoor places you can attend with your friends/families for a fun, exciting night. 

Trick or Treating!

A traditional way of celebrating Halloween night is going Trick or Treating. Youngsters would go door to door to ask for candy with the exclamation ‘Trick or Treat! Have a guardian or a trusted adult come with you for extra security. However, be mindful of candies that look commercially wrapped. Stay clear from consuming treats with holes, discoloration, or tears from the wraps for your safety. 

Not interested in traditional Trick or Treating? No worries, there are plenty of other activities and events around Los Angeles that you may find more exciting and scarier to attend with your friends and families if you are yearning for more suspense. Here is a list of events you could visit:

Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood offers you scare zones and mazes that you can explore, which guarantees a fun and eventful Halloween night. Halloween Horror Nights will run from September 8-October 31. Prices may vary from $72 to $102 depending on the night. 

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is a fun yet scary event in Los Angeles. Taken back to the mid-80s mythical town of Midnight Falls, explore the thrilling adventure of the monstrosities tormenting the village. Attractions centered around the Jack-ó-lantern-filled Midnight Falls Town Square.

Expect an old funeral parlor at the Midnight Mortuary haunted house and the slaughterhouse maze. The event runs from September 30-October 31st, 2022. A ticket per head costs $40 and may vary depending on the night. 

Knott’s Scary Farm (Buena Park)

Knott’s Scary Farm at Buena Park is one of the best locations to celebrate Halloween. Explore the nine unique mazes, from a new hypnosis-themed maze to the classics such as the Pumpkin eater Maze. There will be fun yet terrifying rides, such as the Ghost Rider and Supreme Scream. Open from Thursdays to Sundays through Halloween. Tickets cost $53 and may vary depending on the night. 

There are multiple ways to spend Halloween night indoors and outdoors with your relatives and peers. Halloween night is the moment to test your fears of the unknown while creating fun, memorable memories.

Incorporating some of the listed ideas into your Halloween day, you get the chance to learn a bit of the holiday’s history and how it developed with time into a day full of fun surprises and activities. Halloween only comes once a year, so have fun and stay safe on Halloween night!