Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to bring my 2nd blog for the 31 Days of Halloween at Manic Expression 2015.

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If you want to see my 1st, it was

So, now I’m thinking back on one of my favorite holidays: Halloween. I love everything about it, but there are many aspects of my personal Halloween experience that I’d love to list. Some of them deal with the holiday, itself and the nostalgia it holds for me, and others aren’t specifically about Halloween, but I’ve made an attachment with Halloween. And so, here are my top 12 favorite things about Halloween.

 

Warning: Some small spoilers and spooky fun ahead…

 

#12. Harry Potter and the Great Hall of floating Jack-O-Lanterns

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This is pretty much just a few seconds of actual screen time, but since I love Jack-O-Lanterns, I really love the atmosphere that a room full of them floating by the ceiling creates.

 

#11. The Nightmare Before Christmas

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Now this film can be considered either a Christmas film or a Halloween film…the fact that they combine the two are the reason I love it so much. While I don’t watch it every Halloween, I do bring it out to screen some Halloweens so that’s why it’s low on the list.

 

#10. The Monster Mash-Bobby “Borris” Pickett

This is the song that will never die as long as there’s a Halloween. It’s that iconic and that good. Firstly, Bobby does a spot on impression of Boris Karloff, and the song lyrics are just so timely on Halloween. Every major classic cinema monster gets a tribute in it: Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, Zombies, etc. Just think “Hotel Transylvania” and you just about got it and the zaniness of both.

 

#9. A Nightmare on Elm Street(1984-FUCK THE REMAKE!)

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This is a great horror film that I usually screen on Halloween. Well…more than I screen “The Nightmare before Christmas” which is why it’s higher up on the list. Wes Craven really crafted a great tale of suspense/imagination/paranoia with one of the greatest cinema killer villains ever dreamt up(see what I did there LOL!). It’s also entirely done with practical/makeup effects, and done about as good as that craft can be done-which makes it all the more realistic and scary.

 

#8. Haunted Houses

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You know, the goofy fake hallways of horror done by schools to sell carnival tickets? Sure, you’re never really terrified, but it’s still fun to see how creative they can get to create the atmosphere of macabre and horror on a budget. It’s harmless fun and you get a few screams out of it.

 

#7. The trick or treating scene in “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.”

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Firstly, if you haven’t seen this film…go watch it now and then come back. The boys are attempting to smuggle the squat Alien out of the house on Halloween by disguising him in little sister Gertie’s ghost costume. Why the scene is so amazing, is Spielberg puts the camera in the ghost costume peeking out of the eyeholes to show what E.T. sees and it’s amusing to see him see these weird characters running around. The clincher? He sees someone in a Yoda costume and starts walking toward him chanting “Home…Home…Home!” LMAO!

 

#6. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

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The follow up to “The Charlie Brown Christmas” special, this show is the nostalgic tv show that always gets me in the mood for Halloween. Everything about it is iconic: The girls using the back of Charlie Brown’s head to design a Jack-O-Lantern….Snoopy pretending to be the WW-I Fighter Ace….Sally throwing a fit over missing “tricks or treats” to spend the night with Linus in the pumpkin patch….Charlie Brown getting nothing for trick or treats but a sackful of rocks(That one never gets old LMAO!) Halloween doesn’t start for me until I watch this show.

 

#5. Ghostbusters

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Now THIS film I do watch every Halloween. It’s just so great on so many levels. It’s a great comedy/horror/love story. Mostly, I just love seeing Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson in action still taking the time to make eminently quotable one-liners that are hilarious. The effects, while dated, are still good enough to enhance the story and no matter how many times I see it, I still laugh at all the jokes and thrill to all the great sequences.

 

#4. Yard decorating

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Just like Christmas has homeowners that put up light’s trees and nativity dioramas, Halloween fans love to decorate their yards and houses to celebrate the spooky fun of Halloween. Cobwebs, bats, severed limbs, skeletons, tombstones, witches on brooms…whatever you use, I love to see the creativity involved. One guy actually acted as a statue that didn’t move until the kids got to the door…and scared the shit out of a few of them LOL! I give him bonus points for that 🙂

 

#3. Trick or Treating

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C’MON! You knew this was going to be on the list LOL! I have been in love with this tradition ever since I was 4 and my parents foolishly left me in charge of distributing “pixie stix” for trick or treaters in our apartment without supervision(I just kept eating the sugary treats, and sealing the straws back up…some trick or treaters got tricked when they opened up empty pixie straws HEE! HEE! Then, next year, I got the totally cliche Dracula costume complete with fake blood, fake plastic fangs and tie string cape and had fun bouncing up and down the neighborhood streets scoring candy and playing with all my friends. Every year after that, I had a mission to top the previous costume. Let’s see….I’ve also been: Darth Vader(Friend had an official mask he let me borrow), A Martian, A goofy guy with a nose the size of a football, The Joker and later on Billy Joel(That was during college, when I had enough hair in the right style once I colored it black and added sunglasses-seriously, nobody had to guess. I looked EXACTLY like him in the late 1980s, but I digress…and yeah, this was for an adult Halloween party…I didn’t really go trick or treating that old, so I segued a bit there, sorry….)

 

#2. Halloween Candy

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I mean, sure I love candy any time of the year…but when you can build up a free stash just for ringing a doorbell and saying the magic words? It’s a total slam dunk! I used to love just upending the loot sack and sorting all the candy into their various groups. M&Ms in one pile, Hershey Bars in another, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in another, etc. Then determining the order of consumption. It was a lot of fun.

 

And my favorite thing about Halloween is…

 

#1. Jack-O-Lanterns

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I just love making these candle lanterns with faces. I love cutting them open and scooping out the squishy gunk and seeds out of them. I love figuring out how to carve the features to become the faces I imagine when they’re lit. It’s a matter of pride to think up clever ways to make the faces and then see the trick or treaters ooh and agh over how cool my Jack-O-Lanterns are.

 

And those are my top 12 favorite things about Halloween. Did I miss any of yours? I’d love to hear what Halloween traditions you loved, my friends. Peace.

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