The Best Things About Halloween Time

The most wonderful time of the year might be Christmas, but Halloween comes in a close second for me! With the days leading up to the holiday bringing colder temperatures, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin flavored everything, this time is difficult to hate. Every region in the U.S., from San Diego to Salem, has their own special traditions leading up to Halloween time, each just as great as the next. Growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania, I was lucky to experience Halloween time to the fullest, shaping me into the “Hocus Pocus” loving, candy corn binging, black cat owning girl I am today. For all of my Halloween time fanatics out there, enjoy the spook-tacular (too much?) list of the greatest things Halloween season brings to us.

The 13 Nights of Halloween

Halloween time - 13 Nights of Halloween

No true fan of the holiday misses a movie on Freeform’s ‘13 Nights of Halloween’. For the last 13 days of October, the television network airs Halloween movie favorites like The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family, and of course, Hocus Pocus. Cozy up with your black cat, gather some snacks, and watch out for the Sanderson Sisters, it’s that time of year again!

Pumpkin Patches

Halloween time - Pumpkin Patches

Whoever first thought to market off of a bunch of pumpkins growing in a field was near genius. With many pumpkin patches having fall activities such as hayrides and corn mazes, catching the feels for Halloween time couldn’t be easier. Plus, when it comes to making jack-o-lanterns,  you get acres of pumpkins to choose from. Also if you’re puzzled on where to take your first date, a pumpkin patch is a great choice!

Wearing Costumes

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Separate from events like Comic Con or most music festivals, we don’t get much of an excuse to go all out with costumes. Thankfully, Halloween was bestowed upon us allowing us to transform into the characters we could never be otherwise. Parties are much more fun with ghosts, witches and vampires- you name it! Sometimes assembling a costume can be difficult, however- we’re not all Heidi Klum. If you need some inspiration, eCampus.com has put together a fantastically extensive list of ideas to look through. But remember to be respectful to races, cultures, religions, and people in general this year!

Scary Movies


Okay, so Freeform plays some fantastic Halloween movies, but none are going to exactly give you nightmares. For the brave souls who can make it through all of the Halloween movies, bless you. Watching scary movies around Halloween is an annual rite of passage to amp up the scare. Networks like Netflix and AMC curated super scary watch-lists to give you your worst nightmares. After watching The Shining and The Exorcist, two horror classics, I recommend sleeping with one eye open.

Haunted Houses


Who doesn’t love subjecting themselves to walking through dark corridors littered with horrifying things that jump out at every corner? I know I certainly do. Arguably one of the best things about Halloween time is the trauma of entering a haunted house. Every year, old buildings around the United States are transformed into these attractions designed to make us scream, shake, and sometimes wet our pants. If you’re feeling gutsy, make plans to visit one of the many haunted houses here in the United States. Good luck!

I hope you enjoy all of the fun things that come during Halloween time. What are your favorite things to do around Halloween time? Leave us a comment below!

Halloween Breakdown of Scary Movies

Yay! October! It’s getting colder and it is officially the Halloween month. This means costumes, candy and of course- scary movies! Who doesn’t love grabbing a big bowl of candy and watching scary movies until you have to sleep with the lights on? But the struggle is, which scary movie do you want to watch? This is my list of scary movies to watch this October. I broke them down into the following categories: Sort of Watching, Sort of Not, Watching Without Losing Sleep and Never Sleeping Again.


Sort of Watching, Sort of Not

These are the movie suggestions for when you want to watch a scary movie, or have one on, while you’re doing something else. So these are scary movies that you don’t have to be 100% invested in to enjoy.



The Scream movies are gold. And I am in no way trying to diss them, but they don’t require a lot of concentration. Basic slasher film. Except they’re making fun of slasher films without being boisterous like the “Scary Movie” movies. These movies are nice to watch when you know your attention can’t be entirely focused on the movie. The first movie was the best, but I also recommend the fourth if you want to laugh during the movie.

Paranormal Activity


These movies, like the aforementioned, are ones you don’t have to completely watch to understand. This series of movies are ghost movies based more on jump scares, which is great, especially for dates when you want to talk a little but also watch a scary movie. I recommend the first and second Paranormal Activity.

Watching Without Losing Sleep

These are the movies that will scare you while you’re watching, but not enough to freak you out after its over. You will still be able to rest easy with the lights off at night.



It had to be on this list somewhere. One of the most famous horror films of all time. Michael Meyers is on a mission to kill his whole family (this mission changes as you get further into the series and the writers run out of ideas). The first movie is the one I recommend, although Halloween: H2O holds a special place in my heart.

The Shining


One of my favorite Stephen King movies, even though he hates it. An alcoholic father takes his wife and son to a hotel to take care of in the winter. Cabin fever, anyone? A great movie that keeps you interested and freaked out but not enough to make you sleep with the lights on.

Never Sleeping Again

These are movies that terrified me and made me sleep with the lights on and the door open. *Disclosure* these are movies that scared me personally, but everyone’s fears are different.

The Woman In Black


Only the first one. I watched it because Dan Radcliffe was in it, and ended up losing a lot of sleep. There’s not really jump scares, the movie scares you more from your anticipation of what happens next. Dan Rad goes to an old house to take care of a clients paper work after he’s passed away, only to encounter something really freaky.



I don’t know what happened to these people when they were younger, but their minds come up with the scariest stuff. The makers also did Sinister, which was an equally terrifying movie. A young son falls into a coma, and while under horrifying spirits try to take his soul. Seriously, horrifying. Watch it.

I hope this post gave you some ideas of what movies to watch as we enter Halloween season. Enjoy, and always remember the movies aren’t real! Or are they?…

Offensive Halloween Costumes, the Dos and Do Nots

Let’s talk about what may qualify as an offensive Halloween costume. I will tell you a personal experience to give you an idea what might be considered taking it too far.

In fall of 2010, I was firmly sitting atop of the world. I had pledged one of the best houses on campus, my female peers were staring to notice me, and like every other freshman on campus that October, I was eagerly anticipating my first college Halloween party. When we got to the affair, the drinks were flowing and the music was pumping as sexy nurses mingled with vampires. Of all of the costumes we saw that night, a handful of them stood out. There was one guy dressed as pimp and another dressed in orange prison attire as a convict. These costumes would be commonplace for a Halloween party with the exception of one little detail; the guys in the costumes painted their faces black. Two weeks, one very uncomfortable campus rally attended by seemingly every black student on campus and tons of bad press later, my fraternity found itself on a seven month suspension.

offensive Halloween costume - 1

Anytime a party calls for a costume, there is always a possibility that someone is going to do something offensive. While culturally insensitive costumes aren’t exactly a new concept, it is kind of baffling why in 2014, given all of the very public and very embarrassing incidents we have seen, students continue to offend. Yet, whether it’s the 2012 Mexican Party hosted by the Penn State Chi Os, the self-titled “Racist Rager” put on by Duke’s Kappa Sigma chapter in 2013 or the CMT vs. BET soiree presented by the Phi Deltas and Phi Sigs earlier this year at McDaniel College, it would seem that cultural insensitivity is alive and well. Perhaps I give people too much credit.offensive Halloween costume - 2

Trying to get to the root of these issues is difficult as there are many “excuses” and “explanations” given. There is the tried and true “I wasn’t trying to be offensive”, which in a lot of cases, I tend to believe. Call me naive, but I like to think my fellow man wouldn’t intentionally participate in harmful behavior. The problem with this excuse however, is that it is usually given in order to absolve one of any responsibility for their actions. However regardless of intention, the damage is still done.

offensive Halloween costume - 3There is also the “I did it to give my costume a sense of realism”. I’m almost sure that is what Dancing With The Stars’ Julianne Hough was shooting for when she donned black face to go along with the orange jumpsuit and bantu knots of her Crazy Eyes costume (from Orange is the New Black). This “attention to detail” is usually not warranted.

And let us not forget the “Come on dude, I’m just trying to joke around” crowd. You know them; they were the once who painted bullet wounds on their hoodies last year while holding a can of Arizona Ice Tea and a pack of Skittles. And thank goodness that we had these merry jokesters to help bring humor to the slaying of Trayvon Martin; I don’t know how I would have otherwise coped.

Halloween does not have to be a time of ignorance, hurt feelings and university sanctions. With the smallest bit of commonsense, a lot of these mishaps can be avoided. Because I know how much this blog just loves a good list, I present: The Number One Tip For Not Offending People This Halloween.

offensive Halloween costume -41. If your costume portrays a racial, ethnic, religious, LGBT or cultural stereotype, DO NOT WEAR IT. You will regret being the one who showed up in an offensive Halloween costume!

Have a happy Halloween y’all.

How To Do Halloween Right in College

Well everyone, I am very happy to announce that the best month of the year has rolled in. Yes, with the arrival of October. Halloween is also on its way, and college students everywhere will soon be getting prepared for their own holiday adventures. Are you not sure about what to wear? Or how much holiday spirit to show? This list will walk you through all the do’s and don’ts of Halloween scares!

halloween- costumes

DON’T buy a fancy, pre-made costume. Who in their right mind would spend money on an overpriced costume when there are so many awesome DIY Halloween costumes!? Believe me, the extra appeal probably isn’t worth the cost and the discomfort.

DO take the time to make your own costume. In the long run, making the costume will cost infinitely less than buying one, and it really won’t take too much time at all! Of course, if you need any ideas for costumes, just head over to 201 Halloween Costumes: Easy, Fast, Cheap!

DO decorate your dorm room/apartment for the holiday. It’ll make your room a little more unique, and holiday decorations always help to cheer up students!

DON’T go overboard. I can’t even begin to explain how weird it is to walk into someone’s room only to find that it’s been changed into a haunted house. I’ll tell you something, there’s absolutely no way I’d fall asleep with a Freddy Krueger manikin at the foot of my bed.

DO bake pumpkin donuts….they’re absolutely delicious. Or, for those of age, try one of these spiked apple cider cocktails!

DO make sure you spend time with your friends watching a lot of horror movies. Or, if you’re not into scary movies, at least try to watch Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. These are fantastic holiday traditions, and it gives a great excuse to eat a lot of pumpkin flavored baked goods.

DON’T forget that many professors schedule exams during the week of Halloween. As much of a buzz kill as this can be, it’s still a fact of life. Just try not to forget about your grades.

Most importantly, have fun! Halloween is always a great holiday in college. Whatever you want to dress as, and however you want to decorate your dorm, don’t forget to go out and have a great night. For more ideas on recipes, costumes and decor, visit our Halloween Pin Board. Happy Halloween!

How to carve the perfect pumpkin!

Get your front doors ready by carving some super spooky jack-o-lanterns!

Step 1: Design the carving!
The first step to carving your pumpkin is picking out the right one! You can find great pumpkins at your local pumpkin patch/orchard! If you don’t know where the closest pumpkin patch is located, another common place to find the perfect orange porch ornament is at your local grocery store.

After you have your pumpkin, grad yourself a piece of paper and a permanent marker. Draw out a couple of sketches of your favorite carving on some paper. This allows you to make the perfect design without actually cutting into the pumpkin, so in case you accidentally mess up, the pumpkin is still uncarved.

Once the perfect design is picked, draw the design onto the pumpkin!

Step 2: Remove the insides of the pumpkin
Your jack-o-lantern won’t glow if the inside of the pumpkin isn’t removed! To remove the insides first cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. Try cutting with your knife at an angle. This will make it easier to pull the top off. After you have dug the knife all the way through the outer later of the pumpkin, and cut the whole, you should be able to see the pumpkin guts!

The pumpkin guts will look stringy and have seeds. It will feel cold and slimey and gooey. That is what needs to be removed! Take out all the seeds and strings and try to make the inside of the pumpkin as smooth as possible. The innards of the pumpkin can be tossed into the trash.

Step 3: Carve into your design
This part is the hardest part. It is also the most dangerous part. It is extremely important to be careful with the utensils you are using to carve!!! Typically, most people will use a sharp knife to cut out their design. (At this time of you, one may usually find a pumpkin carving kit at your local grocery store. These kits usually come with several types of knives to cut out your design, and sometimes with a book full of stencils for designs.)

Take your knife and slowly and carefully cut into the pumpkin. The faster you try to cut your pumpkin, the less control you might have.

Once your design is cut out, clean up the edges and remove any excess marker lines that were drawn.

Step 4: Light your jack-o-lantern!
Finally, after some sweat and tears of carving into your pumpkin, you can take a breather. It is time to light your pumpkin up! Take a small candle and place in inside the pumpkin in the middle. Light the candle and watch it glow! Enjoy the reward of your hard work!

Here are a couple of helpful pumpkin carving links!
Extreme Pumpkin Carving Kit Book
Pumpkin Carving Stencils
Carving Ideas
Pumpkin Carving Tools

With love,
Kat VonD

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