What is your favorite holiday of the year? Ours is Halloween and we consider it to be SPOOK-TACULAR! It may be of interest for you to know that the festivities of Halloween and trick-or-treating are only celebrated in some parts of the world.
How To Celebrate Halloween
On October 31, in United States and Canada, children and teenagers dress up as monsters, creatures, fairy-tale characters or superheroes and after dark go door-to-door asking for candy. Most houses have pumpkins carved with lights in them and can have door decorations, lights or spooky music playing. At each house, the doorbell is rung and the costumed children will yell “Tick-OR-Treat!” What they are really asking for is a treat, as the trick part of the holiday is outdated. At the end of the night, children take stock of their bags full of candy. When I was growing up, I was so excited to see what I had collected, that I would dump out all of my candy on the floor and sort it by category. There were always the couple houses that gave out only Rockets, Tootsie Rolls or Suckers that were quite disappointing. To minimize the sugar rushes and crashes, my parents ended up taking our candy hostage at the end of the night. They would then ration it out to us in lunch snacks for school over the next month until it was gone. Let’s be honest Mom and Dad, I know you snacked on it too.
Ways To Celebrate Halloween As An Adult
As you move into the high school years, Halloween seems to lose its excitement. At some point as a teenager, you find yourself too old to go door to door, and even some of the adults handing out candy will ask the question. However, I’m here to tell you that Halloween doesn’t have to be just for kids! There are many outings and costume themed parties put on during October to celebrate the holiday. Some Halloween parties even have cash prizes for the best costumes. Needless to say, there are many creative costumes where people show a lot of effort dressing up and applying costume make-up. Costume parties are a great opportunity to get out of your day to day routine, meet new people and play dress-up for the night.
Halloween Haunted Houses
My favorite way to enjoy Halloween is to celebrate like a local. I look up events being held in the community, and decide which ones seem the most interesting. The corn maze was one of these events.
In my family, we have a long standing tradition of going to haunted houses. My sister and I started it, and we would pull whoever was available along with us. If you know me personally, you know that I cannot tolerate anything “scary.” I refuse to watch horror or slasher films and even veto movies that have too much suspenseful music. Halloween is the one time of year when I make an exception and actively seek out some thrills. Last year my family and I went to Nightmares Haunted House in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It is simply terrifying. If you are in the area, you must go.
PNE Fright Nights
Since Chris and I now live in the Vancouver area, I begged him to go with me to the Fright Nights put on by the PNE. This type of activity is not very scary to him, so it took some convincing. I needed someone to hold my hand for moral support all the way through. Fright Nights in Vancouver is open the second weekend of October and every weekend evening after dark, right up until Halloween. They have 7 themed Haunted Houses which are filled with actors dressed up in elaborate and gruesome costumes. Some of the haunted houses that we went through were called “Fear,” “Keeper’s Dollhouse,” “Asylum,” “Haunted Mansion” and “Darkness.”
One of the things I learned from my visit is that I’m not scared of the actual automated props (for the most part). It’s the human factor that terrifies me. I think that is anyone’s fear. Your mind imagines all kinds of horrible things that another person could do if you were left alone in an abandoned house. When the lighting is dimmed and the music is turned up, your adrenaline and imagination kick into high gear. These haunted houses weren’t so scary, as I knew that the actors could not touch me…by reaching out to tap me on the shoulder or grab my ankle. The jumping out from behind props still made my heart leap though.
Bang For Your Buck
The PNE haunted houses are very well done. As you get to experience 7 haunted houses, they are definitely worth the price of $22/person. You can buy tickets either online or at the gates. There is an option for a speed pass: for double the admission cost you can skip all of the lines. In my opinion this isn’t worth it. Some of the lines for the houses are longer, but you can pick the houses with the shorter lines to go in first. To keep you entertained, there are costumed actors walking around to startle you outside of the line-ups and keep you on your toes. Our favorite was the clown with a chain saw who would rev it and startle visitors. It gave both Chris and I a good chuckle.
Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
If you are looking to be very frightened with your experience, you might want to pick a different venue, such as one with a dedicated haunted house. They should have more dedicated actors staffed to make it more scary. At PNE there are only about 3-4 actors per house, the lights aren’t very dark, and the scary music isn’t too loud. I imagine this is so families can enjoy it with the little ones and still get some sleep at night afterwards, with out too many nightmares!
What do you have planned for Halloween? It’s my favorite holiday of the year! You can’t really go wrong with pumpkins, costumes and candy.
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