Haunted House Photos

Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Canada, which calls itself the scariest haunted house in North America, has an automatic camera set up at one particularly horrifying point in the house. The camera takes a photograph of visitors at precisely the moment when sheer terror reaches their brain, and the resulting expressions are hilarious.

Click the photo below to go to the photostream for you to enjoy. I think the High 4-H should do this for their Haunted House!

Top Halloween Costumes for 2011

Now that October has arrived and Halloween is just a few weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about what costume to wear this year. The International Business Times put together a list of what it believes the top 10 Halloween costumes will be this year, guided by input from leading industry sources:

  1. Zombie — IBT cited an industry leader saying zombies are the new vampires, in part because of the hit AMC cable TV show The Walking Dead.
  2. Captain America — Star of a summer blockbuster movie this year.
  3. Don Draper — From AMC’s hit show Mad Men
  4. Charlie Sheen — No explanation needed after Sheen’s crazy meltdown of a year.
  5. Frankie Stein — From Mattel’s Monster High franchise.
  6. Thor — The star of another summer blockbuster movie this year.
  7. Arnold Schwarzenegger— The former California governor left office and fell into a scandal involving him fathering a now 13-year-old boy with the family’s maid.
  8. Anthony Weiner— Weiner’s very bad year involved him stepping down from office after tweeting sexual photos and messages to women who weren’t his wife — and having a sex scandal while carrying that unfortunate last name.
  9. Ron Paul— The perennial GOP presidential candidate has helped make his libertarian ideas that once were viewed as loopy gain popularity.
  10. Amy Winehouse — Winehouse is gone, but homage can be paid on Halloween, including with a wig based on her fabulous beehive hairdo.

STARS WHO’VE SEEN A GHOST

With Halloween upon us, it’s a boo-tiful time to hear some real life ghost stories from the stars who swear they’ve seen one:

  • Hugh Grant — The “Bridget Jones” star, 50, lives in a Los Angeles mansion once owned by troubled movie queen Bette Davis. Could it be a coincidence that the halls often echo with tormented, disembodied screams? He thinks not.
  • Nicolas Cage — The National Treasure star, 46, once spotted a spook in the attic at the mansion of his famous uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola, 71. Ever since, Nic has refused to sleep over at Uncle Frank’s. “I was living in the attic,” he recalls. “I was not quite asleep when the door opened and there was a pitch black silhouette of a woman with big hair. When it moved toward me, I let out the blood curdling scream and threw my pillow at it. Then it disappeared.”
  • Dan Aykroyd — Who ya gonna call when your L.A. home’s haunted by Mama Cass Elliot? Nobody seems to know, so the Ghostbuster star, 58, has learned to live with The Mamas and The Papas’ hefty singer. “The ghost turns on the Stairmaster and moves jewelry across the dresser,” he says. “I’m sure it’s Mama Cass because you get the feeling it’s a big ghost.”
  • Matthew McConaughey — The Hollywood lady killer, who turns 41 on November 4, openly admits that he shares his Hollywood home with the spirit of a long gone, elderly woman, whom he calls Madam Blue. “She has no qualms with me,” he says. “Maybe my being nude all the time is why we get along just fine.”
  • Keanu Reeves — As a child in New Jersey, The Matrix hero, 46, swears he saw the eerie apparition of a white, double breasted suit float into his bedroom. And his nanny backs up the ghost story. “I remember just staring at the suit, which had no body or legs in it, as it came into the room before disappearing,” he says. “I still see the figure in my dreams and nightmares.”
  • Richard Dreyfuss — Hooked on cocaine in the late ’70s, the Jaws actor, 63, got scared straight after he crashed his car and then suffered recurring ghostly visions of a little girl. “I didn’t know who she was. I had no kids,” he recalls. “Then I realized the kid was either the child I didn’t kill that night or it was the daughter that I didn’t have yet.”
  • Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke — Before their bitter split in August 2003, Ethan, who turns 40 on November 6, and Uma, 40, were spooked out of their dream home, an 18th century abode in tony Snedens Landing, New York. Both have remained mum about details surrounding the 1998 incident, but local historians report that all the neighborhood’s homes are haunted.
  • Elke Sommer — The German born ’60s sex kitten, 70, got American men hot under the collar with her roles in “The Oscar” and “A Shot In The Dark.” But she couldn’t warm up to the apparition of a dead, middle aged man who kept wandering through her Beverly Hills home. Eventually, the American Society for Psychical Research declared the abode officially haunted.
  • Paul McCartney — The late John Lennon’s spirit toyed with his three Beatle pals in 1995 as they recorded his previously unreleased Free As A Bird for the group’s Anthology 1 compilation album, says Sir Paul, 68. He explains: “There were a lot of strange goings on in the studio noises that shouldn’t have been there and equipment doing all manner of weird things. There was just an overall feeling that John was around.”
  • Tim Robbins — The “Shawshank Redemption” star, 52, bolted from an apartment in a converted Hollywood church after an ominous paranormal force triggered his psychic instincts. “I came home one night, and it was dark and the cats were terrified,” he recalls. “There were clearly spirits in the room. I moved out the next day.”

More CHEAP COSTUME IDEAS

  • Cover yourself with a clear plastic garbage bag, fill it with different colored balloons, write ‘M’ on the balloons and go as a bag of M&M’s.
  • Wrap yourself in tin foil and go as leftovers!
  • Wear a green shirt and attach Christmas ornaments, go as a Christmas tree.
  • Paint your head red and go as a candy apple.
  • Dye Your hair blue and say you’re a Ban Roll-On.
  • Put on dark glasses and write “venetian” across your chest and go as a venetian blind.

LAST-MINUTE HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS

  • Gather six friends & along with yourself, have everyone wear a simple outfit. Attach a capital  C” to each. (You’ll all be the Seven  Seas. This can also be a solo costume if one person adorns his/herself in multiple letter  “C’s”. )
  • Cut two eye holes out of an old sheet to wear & carry a box wrapped in holiday paper. (You’ll be the ‘Ghost of Christmas present’.)
  • Dress as if you’re heading to a funeral & safety pin some plastic vomit to your slacks or skirt. (You’ll be morning/mourning sickness.)
  • Wear your simple black dress and pair it up with a plastic mob hat & a plastic Tommy gun. Variation: Tuck some fake money in your pockets & stockings. (You’re Bonnie from Bonnie & Clyde.)
  • Dress in all black & run yellow electric tape down your clothes. (You are a street. Attach toy cars on your street and stage collisions for fun.)
  • Cut a hole in the laundry basket, attach to your shoulders with rope. (You’re dirty laundry.)
  • Cut the front off of a regular-sized cereal box and hang it around your neck with a string tied to each corner of the box front. Stick a knife handle through it and you’re now a “cereal killer.”
  • Use make-up to blacken one eye, then apply the letter “P” with duct tape onto a sweatshirt or T-shirt. Variation: This can also be an outfit for a group of people, if you want to be “The Black Eyed Peas”.
  • Attach pink balloons to your clothes and wear a shower cap. (You’ll be a bubble bath.)
  • Fill a clear trash bag with purple balloons,cut holes in bottom of the bag for your feet, pull bag up around yourself and go as a bunch of grapes. Add green felt cut in the shape of leaves to go around your neck.

INTERESTING HALLOWEEN FACTS FOR GROWN-UPS

A recent CNN Poll showed a majority of us, 48%, believe in ghosts. 78% of us believe in life after death.

The next full moon on Halloween night will be October 31, 2020

Many historic events have happened on Halloween Day including Harry Houdini’s death in Detroit in 1926. Mount Rushmore is completed in 1941.

Adults love Halloween, too. It is estimated that one-third of all adults don costumes and join-in the “spookiest-night” festivities.

One of the “most filmed” movie characters (if not the most filmed) is Dracula.

What are the “most thrilling” movies of all time? The American Film Institute polled 1,500 members of the film industry. Their Top 10 are: (1) Psycho, (2) Jaws, (3) The Exorcist, (4) North by Northwest, (5) The Silence of the Lambs, (6) Alien, (7) The Birds, (8) The French Connection, (9) Rosemary’s Baby and (10) Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Moviegoers consistently vote for Silence of the Lambs, Psycho and The Exorcist as the scariest movies of all time. There’s no clear ranking within these three – we just think they are scary.

The Salem Witch trials of 1692 are known for burning so-called witches at the stake. Actually, not one witch died by burning; most were put to death by hanging. One unfortunate witch was “pressed” to death and several died in prison of natural causes.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Utah, in 2004, had the highest proportion of its total population trick-or-treating in the 5-to-13 year old age group with Alaska following closely behind.

A new Guinness world record was set October 1, 2005 for the “Biggest Pumpkin.” Larry Checkon of North Cambria, Pennsylvania is the grower of this 1,469 lb. giant. Checkon’s pumpkin outweighed the 2004 winner by about 23 lbs.

The gold standard among pumpkin growers is producing a pumpkin weighing at least 1,100 lbs., which is automatic entry into The 1,100 Club. Numerous professionals hint that you can grow a really, really big pumpkin by planting the Atlantic Giant pumpkin seed.

The first “Jack-O-Lanterns” were not pumpkins – they were hollowed-out turnips and originated in Ireland.

We love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – so says ExtremeChocolate.com’s survey of our “favorite Halloween candy.” The clear winner is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with 20.8% of the vote; second is Candy Corn at 15.8% and third is Snickers with 15.3% of the vote. One thousand people voted, and results were posted on September 13, 2006.

According to ExtremeChocolate.com: “Chocolate is much better than hard candy for you and your child’s teeth. Chocolate contains tannins, which slow down the formation of plaque on the teeth….Further, chocolate usually stays in the mouth a shorter time than hard candy, which is another dental benefit.”

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Carry a flashlight
  • Walk, don’t run
  • Stay on sidewalks
  • Obey traffic signals
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods
  • Don’t cut across yards or driveways
  • Wear a watch you can read in the dark
  • Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground
  • Shoes should fit (even if they don’t go with your costume)
  • Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house
  • Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props
  • (If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape
  • Approach only houses that are lit
  • Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know

Parents:

  • Make your child eat dinner before setting out
  • Children should carry quarters so they can call home
  • Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult
  • If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark
  • If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material
  • Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home
  • You should know where they’re going
  • Although tampering is rare, tell children to bring the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything
  • Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspect

Homeowners:

  • Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones
  • Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them up to protect them from cars or inadvertently bitting a trick-or-treater
  • Battery powered jack o’lantern candles are preferable to a real flame
  • If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing
  • Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won’t be blown into a flaming candle
  • Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later
  • Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins

CREEPY SNIPPETS

  • If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
  • Worldwide, bats are vital natural enemies of night-flying insects.
  • The common little brown bat of North America has the longest life span for a mammal it’s size, with a life span averaging 32 years.
  • In about 1 in 4 autopsies, a major disease is discovered that was previously undetected.
  • The Ouija Board ended up outselling the game of Monopoly in its first full year at Salem. Over two million copies of the Ouija Board were shipped.

Halloween Luminarias

A nice change from the traditional luminaria where you use lunch bag weighted down with sand, place a candle inside to light the way for Trick or Treaters….Get crafty & read on. – Maryann

Make Luminarias with the kids to light up your porch for Halloween!

You Will Need:

  • Containers: Widemouth glass jars, plastic soft drink or water bottles (2-liter and smaller), milk cartons
  • Papers: Lightweight craft paper, copy paper, construction paper, paper twist, tissue paper, decorative papers and so forth
  • Ties: Raffia; orange and black ribbons
  • Light sources: Tea lights, battery-operated candles or white Christmas lights
  • Scissors, utility knife
  • Tape
  • Glue stick
  • Sand
  • Optional: plastic spiders, netting, highlighting markers … be creative!

1. Remove labels and carefully cut plastic bottles or milk cartons below the neck to a variety of heights.

2. Wrap paper around each container, so it’s even at the bottom and several inches past the top edge. Tape the back. (You can color in “eyes” with a highlighting marker for an extra-spooky effect, or fringe the top.)

3. Wrap ribbon or raffia around the bottle and tie a bow or knot; add spiders, netting or other accents.

4. Weight with sand to keep the luminarias upright and from blowing around the neighborhood.

5. Position a tea light in the center of each bottle (do not use in bottles 20 ounces and smaller), OR use a safer alternative — Christmas lights or battery-operated candles. If using Christmas lights, cut an X through the back (both paper and container) of each luminaria with a utility knife and push the bulb through.

MONSTER TRIVIA & FOLKLORE

  • Signs of a werewolf are a unibrow, hair palms, tattoos, and a long middle finger.
  • Vampires are mythical beings who defy death by sucking the blood of humans.
  • In 1962, the Count Dracula Society was founded.
  • To this day, there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires.
  • There really are so-called vampire bats, but they’re not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.
  • Many people still believe that gargoyles were created by medieval architects and stone carvers to ward off evil spirits.