You don’t have to fill a plastic pumpkin with candy corn to make the most out of fall’s best holiday. Even if the pumpkins are the best. things. on. earth. Halloween comes chock full of goodies, many of which won’t send you into a diabetic coma or give you a muffin top in your cheap vinyl pirate hooker costume. We’re less than two weeks away from Halloween, and I know I’m looking forward to way better treats than fun-sized Milky Way bars.
1. Horror Movie Overload
As a horror movie fanatic, this is my favorite time of the cable television year. On any given day of the week, you’ll find yourself choosing between installments of Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Scour the TV Guide, and you’ll probably also find lesser-known thrillers like The People Under the Stairs, or a wide selection of Steven King novel-turned-creepy-classics.
This is also the time of year for new horror flicks to hit the cinemas. I’m tempted to shell out $10 for Saw V, which hits theaters October 24. I also have to admit I’m tempted to check out The Haunting of Molly Hartley, which comes out on Halloween, and not just because of Chace Crawford.
2. The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Special
Can you believe that this year’s Simpsons Halloween Special will be number 19?!? Though we have to wait until November 2 to see ToH XIX, you can bet the other 18 episodes will be running in syndication every weeknight for the next couple of weeks. This year’s episode will supposedly feature spoofs of Transformers and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (another Halloween treat that deserves an honorable mention on this list). The opening credits are also rumored to have strong political ties, but I’d rather not spoil the surprise. If the blood and gore of horror flicks gross you out, you can still appreciate the hilarious parodies that The Simpsons bring us every year.
3. Haunted Houses and Haunted Hayrides
Any small town is bound to have an annual haunted fundraiser of sorts, where local girl scouts, boy scouts, and drama clubs volunteer to act as zombies, witches, and ghouls for your entertainment. Sure, they’re usually cheesy, and are more likely to make you chuckle rather than scream, but it’s the holiday spirit that makes it fun.
If you live near an amusement park, you can also enjoy such festivities as Bush Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream and Six Flags’ Fright Fest, which sends dozens of professional actors out in costume to try to scare the bejesus out of you while you wait in line for an adrenaline-pumping roller coaster.
4. Guys in Full-Out Jack Sparrow Costumes
If you go to a big enough Halloween party, you’re bound to find some dude that shelled out the dough for the full Jack Sparrow digs. I’m talking the hat, the wig, the jacket, the pants, the boots. True, this guy is probably a comic book geek who put too much time, money, and effort into something he can only wear one night. True, he might have just as big of a boner for Johnny Depp as I do. But the fact of the matter is, that Jack Sparrow guy is going to grab my attention, and spark some of my deep-seeded fantasies. And if I get drunk enough, I might wake up in the morning and see the real man behind the mascara.
5. Test Tube Shots
Not only are the campus bars going to be packed with costume-wearing, binge-drinking partiers, but they’re probably going to have some killer drink specials. Some popular gimmicks include shots in test tubes (which a lot of bars serve on the regular, but which are more fun to buy from a shotgirl dressed as a slutty mad scientist), fish bowls with fake body parts floating in them, and pretty much any shot that’s blood-red or slime-green (note that these shots will obviously reappear at Christmas time, but have a totally different effect). Halloween is also a great excuse to do shots of Tarantula tequila, which, in my opinion, trumps Mike and Ike and Snickers any day.