23

Steve Scotts Scary Selections: Halloween Edition

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Halloween is here, my little ghoulies and boylies… it is time, once again –for the first time– for Steve Scott’s Scary Selections.  For this One day I will be breaking far away from my normal niche to give you a taste of the best and the worst (like my opening pun) of all that is Halloween.

This may be one of my longest posts, clocking in at over 1900 words.  I crammed a lot into the Halloween theme.  I don’t expect everyone to read it all, but I separated it into sections, hopefully there will be something of interest for everyone.

Lifestyle Design Witch

First give you some Spooky Links.  Then I present 13 Horrifying Halloween Harmonies for your pleasure.  Then there are also 13 Terrifying Halloween Trivia items.  Finally we shall finish off with a the Real Origins of  Halloween.  I hope you all enjoy.  I even threw in a couple of pictures of a young lifestyle designer and his brother.  Even some monsters.  See if you can tell which is which.  Without further ado…

_________________

Haunted Houses:

The boundaries which divide life from death are shadowy at best.  Who shall say where the one ends and the other begins”- Edgar Allen Poe

Haunted Houses of the World.

Haunted Houses of the UK.

Haunted Houses of the USA.   It is funny that there seems to be more Haunted Houses in the USA than in the world according to this list.

For a fun twist to Halloween look up your country or state below and go try to visit a haunted house for this Halloween.

Ghost Stories:

Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living”  -Arthur C. Clarke

Halloween ghost stories:  An interesting collection of ghost stories.  Some Fiction, some real, some urban legends.  Maybe be some good Halloween fare.

Lifestyle Design Mouse

Steve Scott as a Mouse

American Folklore Ghost Stories:  Bloody Mary, The Jersey Devil, The Hook, Jenny Greenteeth (Storm Hag).  All the good stories told around the campfires late at  night to scare the pants off of your friends.

Family Fun:

Check out these sites for a little more family oriented Halloween fun.

Disney Family Fun

Animated Halloween

_________________

Halloween Music:

It is important to set the Halloween mood right.  Get a good playlist going for Halloween.  Here are 13 ideas of good Halloween related songs.

13.   Black Magic Woman–  Santana

12.   Everyday is Halloween– Ministry

11.   Hell’s Bells– AC/DC

10.   Pet Sematary– Ramones

9.     Thriller–  Michael Jackson

8.     Boris the Spider– The Who

7.     Dead Man’s Party– Oingo Boingo

6.     Werewolves of London– Warren Zevon

5.     Season of the Witch– Donovan

4.     Psycho Killer-Talking Heads

3.     I put a spell on you, “Screamin” Jay Hawkins (sung by Nina Simone)

2.     Bad Moon Rising– CCR

1.      Tubular Bells–  Mike Oldfield  (in case you don’t know this song check out link to Youtube.  Just hearing it again as I write this scares me)

Honorable Mentions:   Highway to Hell, Runnin’ With the Devil, Bat Out of Hell, Ghostbusters, Twilight Zone, Jaws (theme), Halloween (theme), Nightmare on Elm street (theme), Dark Lady, Monster Mash

_________________

Horror Movies:

Sometimes dead is better.”- Pet Cemetary

Super Brother

Lifestyle Design Brother

It is well known that horror movies and Halloween go together like Peas and Carrots….  perhaps that should be Pumpkins and Seeds… even Candy and Bags.

Regardless, fan of Horror Movies or not, they can be FUN on Halloween, so here are some ideas of things you can check out for Halloween.

Horror Society:  Horror Society is a website aimed at Horror movies.  This is “indie” site version of horror movies.  No big screen screamers, this site goes for the independents.  Want a gore flecked independent film you have likely never heard of, check out the Horror Society and get clued in.

Travel Horror Movies:  Not exactly Halloween movies, though they do well at Halloween time.  A list by your good friend Steve of some movies that are, frankly, disturbing.

Fearfulfilms:  A nice horror site with links to all movies based on broad subject.  IE:  Vampires, Ghosts, Werewolves etc.Internet Marketers gone Mad

Scariest Horror Movies to watch on Halloween, Gene goes over some truly scary horror movies.  No cheap Slasher flicks here, more classic old school horror.

Zombies:

What about yours? Who died and made you f**king king of the zombies?“- Shaun of the Dead

Zombie Ambience

Zombie Journal

Zombies At Monstrous

Vampires:

Listen to them: the children of the night. What sweet music they make”-Dracula

Vampires.comInternet Marketing Vampire

Vampires at Monstrous

Vlad Dracul @ Wiki

_________________

13 Terrible, Terrifying and Tantalizing Trivia Tales for Halloween:

1)       Halloween is a big money maker.  It rakes in at least 6 Billion each year in costumes, video sales, candy and household Halloween accessories.  6 Billion is a sum that still staggers me to think about for one “fun” day.

2)       The Black and Orange of the Halloween colors represent the Harvest (Orange) and Death (Black)

3)       Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday called Samhain which of course was celebrated on October 31.  The Celtic tradition is that spirits roamed on that night, so people wore masks and costumes so that the spirits would not recognize them as being human.

4)       Spiders that are seen on Halloween mean that a loved one who has passed away is guarding you on Halloween.  Go figure, spiders are a good thing!

5)       The first Jack-o-Lanterns were from Ireland and the Samhain festival.  But they were not pumpkins.  The first Jack-o-Lanterns were candles placed in hollowed out Beets and Turnips.

6)       Chris Stevens of New Richmond, Wi. broke the record on Oct 9 2010  for the world’s largest pumpkin with one weighing in at 1810 pounds.

7)       Vampire bats are real!  They will not turn you into a vampire of course, but they exist in south and central America, where they often drink the blood of local livestock.  …and at least in MY imagination have running battles with Chupacabra.

8)       Sorry, there are no Vampire bats in Translvania, those are just real Vampires in bat form.

9)       It is said that if a person stares into a mirror on Halloween you will see your future spouse.  I think either that happens or some monster comes out and tears you to pieces.  Of course that could be the same thing…I'll Spam you my pretties...

10)   Contrary to popular belief, there were no witches burned at the Salem Witch Trials.  They were all hanged, pressed to death or died in prison.  Which of course is much better, right?

11)   Trick or treating is believed to have begin un Ireland also, where the tradition was for many people to go around asking for money to for the feast of Samhain.  This turned into many wealthy landowners beginning to give out food directly to the peasants on the feast of samhain to keep the evil spirits restful by their charity.  Who would have thought, trick-or-treater’s started as an early form of door-to-door salesmen

12)   Over two Billion a year is spent on Halloween candy alone.  Quick someone figure out how many calories THAT is.

13)    A Jack-o-Lantern is from a story of a man named Jack who was too mean to get allowed into hell.  The devil gave him a burning coal and sent him on his way.  Jack used a hollowed out turnip and put the coal inside, making a jack-o-lantern

_________________

Halloween History

Goblins, Ghosts, Vampires, Frankenstein’s Monster, Skeleton’s, zombies, spiders, Black Cats, Witches.  Halloween is a hodgepodge of ideas.  Many people think that the origin is some sort of pagan devil worshipping day.  A day when demons walked the earth, Witches are at their height of power.  A day where someone who wanders off alone could easily fall prey to a vampire, werewolf or revenant.  That is the fantasy of Halloween.

But what about the true history and folklore?  How did the current Americanized version of Halloween come about?  The version where a pagan holiday has turned into a 6 Billion dollar a year industry that is only eclipsed by Christmas for how much one day out a year brings in.

Samhain

The earliest roots of Halloween are based on Samhain.  It had nothing to do with ghosts or spirits, but was a Harvest festival. – Samhain translates to Summers End-  Since it was also the LAST harvest festival it was the “dark” festival.  Celebrating both the harvest and the oncoming Winter and “darkness”.

Festival of the Dead.

Over time Samhain became a little bit of a festival for the dead.  Since it was the end of summer and beginning of winter on the ancient calendar it was considered the time when the barrier between the worlds was thinnest.  This was not considered to be a scary thing.  The dead were not to be feared, but to be honored.

Time changes everything

Overtime many of these beliefs began to change.  As Christianity began to morph many of the pagan beliefs Samhain influenced and changed the Christian All Hallows Eve as much as All Hallows eve morphed the view of Samhain.

The traditions:  Costumes

The idea of costumes came as Samhain revelers began to be influenced Christianity and a fear of the undead.  Since the “walls to the spirit world” were thin, people would dress up so that no spirits would know they were actually humans.

The traditions:  Jack-o-Lantern

Internet Marketing Devil

Internet Marketing Devil

The Jack-o-Lantern comes from a folktale.  A mean man named Jack tricks the devil one day and makes the devil promise to not take him to hell.  When he dies he is not accepted into Heaven.  The devil then casts him out of Hell to walk the world in darkness.  When he complains he cannot find his way in the dark the devil gives him a coal of hellfire to help light his way.  He hollows out a turnip (pumpkins came much later) and makes the first, Jack-o-Lantern, and proceeds to walk the earth.

The traditions:  Trick or Treating

Before the Feast of Samhain all of the poor from the villages would go to ask for food from the rich lords manors.  The lords would give them food to keep the “spirits” happy and ultimately avoid being, “tricked”.

The day has changed a lot since its inception.  I think that an ancient Celt might still realize that Halloween was a version of their Samhain, so as mainstreamed as it has become it still retains a little bit of its pagan roots.

A final interesting note.

Never be smug in assuming there is not some grain of truth in the ancient myths of Halloween.    The ancient Aztecs had  a similar notion of a day to celebrate the dead, because of their proximity to our world on a special day.  This day was not Oct 31st, but a very close date.  Nov 2nd and has since morphed into the festival  “Dia de los Muerte”  (day of the dead) which happens on November 2nd in many Latin American countries.  Asian and Africa are also said to have similar historical days when the dead are uneasy.

When you are out this Halloween look over your shoulder and make sure the spirits are not walking, because you simply never know.

_________________

Suffice to say this huge post to Halloween took a while to put together.  I do not expect everyone read everything in it, but hopefully there was something in it for everyone.  Let me say one final word…

Happy Halloween!

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 23 comments }

Fran Aslam

Good morning Steve:

So, it is here THE Halloween, which tells me Thanks Giving is Tomorrow and Christmas is day after Tomorrow. It is so close that is how I feel about it.

You have an excellent blog post for Halloween. It has History, it has costumes and traditions and all that Halloween has plus a note of caution. I have to read it again in my reading time to night after trick-o-treating.

Have a FUN HALLOWEEN
fran

Steve Scott

It is a season where a lot of the fun holidays do start rolling out with rapidity. I hope you have a great Halloween and enjoy your Trick-or-treating!!!

Steven

Yes! It’s all about the zombies for me today: Evil Dead, Dead Alive, Cemetery Man, Dawn of the Dead…braiiiiiinnnnssss!

Steve Scott

Zombies never do you wrong! If you are looking for a book, Check out World War Z by Max Brooks. It is actually a surprisingly good zombie book.

Tristan

I actually just finished reading World War Z and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Also, I just saw a pretty terrifying Korean movie last night called A Tale of Two Sisters. Sca-ry!

Steve@Lifestyle Design

I actually put off reading world war z for a long time. Though I like things like “resident evil” as an escapist sort of story, I disn’t think I would be interested in a “Zombie novel”

The way it was written was really good though and was more about characters than anything else. I was pleasantly surprised.

Mark of Success

Hi Steve,

I read the History part fully, but not sure whether I could make sense of it all 😀

I did notice you as the mouse and the internet marketing devil though. You look cute! And Gene looks “super” too!

Don’t forget to keep looking over your should(er) (you missed the last two letters there) all through the day! Happy Halloween!

Cheers,
Mark

Steve Scott

Fixed the should (er) thanks for pointing it out. Have a wonderful Halloween Mark!

lesley

Steve, I really enjoyed this post and I think it’s a great idea to step away from the normal topic now and again.
It’s strange how Halloween customs vary. As a child in Scotland I was accustomed to celebrating Halloween. There were often parties where kids and adults would dress up, and we’d all play specific Halloween games, most of them extremely messy, like ducking for apples and another one with lots of treacle or golden syrup. We carved turnips and there was also a special type of cake we’d have (I loved the icing) usually decorated with something scary. No trick or treating though, that was unknown.

When I moved to England (not far in distance but far more different culturally than you might think), Halloween was mostly ignored, though in recent years the American custom of dressing up little kids and going from house to house has appeared as a result of American TV shows. The house to house tradition in the UK happens a little later in November when we celebrate Guy Fawks (Remember remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot) with bonfires and fireworks. In the days before, children go round asking for a ‘penny for the guy’ to fund the celebration though a penny won’t get them too far these days!

Steve Scott

Very interesting stuff Lesley, since it is a Celtic holiday (and all the stuff I read about the origins) It sounds like your, “Halloween” is much closer to the original version.

One of the most interesting things to me was how Pumpkins had been such a recent (and American) addition to the tradition. The going door to door asking for candy is pretty obviously a recent twist, and of course I knew for years it was based on old Pagan traditions. I guess I just assumed pumpkins were part of the traditions.

I was really interesting to me that Turnips and even beets and potatoes were what was originally used. It is really interesting how the same holidays can have such different customs. I find it sad actually that in 100 years there will likely be a global “standard” because TV, Movies and the internet all tend to promote one way of doing it.

Maria

Glad to see you did your homework for this post Steve on the history of Samhain which is pronounced – SOW-in. Why are Witches always portrayed as ugly women, green and scary? True witches were quite the opposite and far from being scary. Great post, thanks.

Steve@Lifestyle Design

Maria,

Thanks for the comment. You are right, witches definetely have been unfairly demonized. From what I understand it is mostly about a connection with earth and life, which seems wholey beneficial. It may well be a classic case of people persecutuing what they do not understand.

As for thing like the Salem With trials, that was all mass hysteria, a la’ “the crucible”

Matthew Needham

Hi Steve, I think this has got to be the definitive ‘Halloween Post’. Great idea (as always) and brilliantly executed.

Personally I’m not a big fan of Halloween. Maybe because it wasn’t really a big thing when I was growing up and my little one is far to young to get excited by it.

But that’s just me….

Steve@Lifestyle Design

Thanks Matthew,

Yeah, from what Lesley said, sounds like Halloween was really not a big thing in England. It is understandable since it is so close to Guy Fawks day. I think you can only have “so” many big holidays close together.

To be honest though…I likely would not even know what guy fawks day was if I hadn’t seen, “V”

Who said movies were a waste of time?

The Vizier

Hi Steve,

A great article as usual!

I am a huge fan of those classic monsters like Dracula and the Mummy. In fact, I love the 1932 version of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. I have an action figure of Bela in his coffin too. And, I recently bought a Marvel Select Action figure of the Classic Mummy. I just couldn’t resist his ornate looking sarcophagus.

Again I love how you have included so many helpful links to enable us to understand halloween better. It honestly doesn’t feel like 1900 words from the way you have broken up the article.

Thanks for sharing!

Steve@Lifestyle Design

Of all movies I think one of my favorite “classics”…and one i didn’t even bring up. Is actually Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstien. At least in my mind. It has been over 25 years since I have seen it, but I like it a lot. Frankenstien, the werewolf, Dracula…all together!! Of course it is one of those shows I avoid watching because I think it will disappoint as an adults….

Glad you liked the article! :). Thanks for your comment!

Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

Love all the resources you shared! I’ll confess, I’ve never been one for vampires or werewolves – give me Godzilla any day. 🙂

3 hours of trick or treating yesterday – looking forward to a *nice* relaxing day today!!

Steve@Lifestyle Design

Though I am not a gore lover, I do like my “monsters”

Glad you had a great Halloween. Now you just have to deal with all of the candy. Always a temptation!

lawmacs

Haven’t been watching to much scary movie lately however been a dad with a eight year daughter halloween is one event that has to be on the agenda my daughter and i went out and get the sweets i must say halloween is fun for me.

Shane Ryans

Thanks for the knowledge. I guess I need to stop stepping on spiders.

Shane Ryans

You did your research, and yes, it was long, but well written. I did end up reading all of it, and you also have a great sense of humor.

Alex

Awesome Resource Steve!

Hahaha very wicked indeed. Oh. and you were one cute kid! (what happened?)

Be honest now – if Scary did not start with an S, this post would never have made it to print.

Hee hee, I mean {Insert evil laugh}

Murlu

haha, Steve! This is insanely awesome! Wish I caught this on Halloween (had too much drinkage to be done!) – glad I caught it because I’m still in a horror movie mode – Halloween comes and goes too quickly especially when they put Christmas stuff out on the shelves before the 31st blahhh.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: