Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published October 16th 2019
Halloween for Kids and Kids at Heart
The 31st of October is almost upon us and with it Halloween. Whether held in serious regard or just an excuse to have a party there is no denying the celebration has taken the world by storm. Although the origins of Halloween are hotly disputed it is widely agreed this is a day to remember the dead. Thought by many to date back to Celtic times and by others to be of Christian origin, it is apparent that the American commercial festival has had the strongest influence on Australian celebrations. But at the end of the day, do we care where it came from? It's a time to get together and have fun and this is not a kids'only zone. Here are 13 serious and silly ways to get into the spirit.
1. Go Trick or Treating. This is the quintessential Halloween activity. Dress the little kids up in their favourite costume and accompany them for trick or treating in your neighbourhood on the evening of 31st October. There's no need to stand on ceremony with the costume. While ghosts, witches and zombies are all popular Halloween mainstays, we have had many a Spiderman, Superman and pink fairy knocking at our door.
Hopefully, your neighbours have stocked up on yummy chocolates and lollies and nobody will be mean spirited enough to trick rather than treat. Historically the trick was a threat to do harm to the householders who did not offer treat. Now it is more likely a piece of fruit in the bag instead of chocolate or lollies.
Go Trick or Treating - Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
The most important thing Mum and Dad is to stand back a respectful distance when your kids knock on doors unless of course embarrassing the kids is your Halloween treat. And folks, be sustainable, give your kids reusable bags for their collected stash. Check out these tips for safe Trick or Treating.
2. Dress up as Something Sinister. Costumes parties were very popular once and it was common for them to have a theme. Make yours Halloween and invite your friends over to celebrate. This might be a kid's party but why should they have all the fun. Adults like dress-ups too. Check out these tips for hosting an adults Halloween party.
Dress up as something sinister - Image by 2396521 from Pixabay
3. Organise a Zombie Walk. What more iconic zombie scene is there than the grungy and gruesome undead, their hands outstretched, stepping forward in that stilted wooden leg walk that has them swaying ominously from side to side. Hit the op shops, buy some oversize clothes, rip them, shred them, rub them in the dirt and splash them with red paint. Apply ragged and haphazard makeup to your face with the skill of a hopeless drunk on an endless bender. You might get some ideas for your walk from this Wikipedia article.
Have a zombie party - Image by bdeanindy from Pixabay
4. Make a Scary or Funny Sign and put it in your front garden. A quick google search of "funny Halloween signs" should leave you spoilt for choice of caption. Things like "Trick or treat, smell my feet," "Well behaved children welcome, the rest will be made into pies," "If zombies chase us, I'm tripping you" or "If you're reading this you're blissfully unaware of what's creeping up behind you."
Make a scary sign - Image by Amber Avalona from Pixabay
5. Face Painting is particularly popular with the younger kids. It might be part or their trick or treating costume of an activity on its own. If you're not keen on them wandering out this is something you can do at home. Perhaps add in a favourite DVD and special treats. Face painting kits can generally be picked up at a reasonable price. At the time of writing a 15 colour kit with two brushes is available on Amazon AU for under $20. Will your kids want skeleton faces, zombie's wounds, spider webs or maybe even cute butterflies and kitty cats? It really doesn't matter as long as they have fun.
Get the whole family involved - Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
6. Put Something Creepy at your Front Door. Get into the spirit and decorate your front doorstep. You could make something yourself, get the kids involved or buy something from a discount store. A scary witch, a skeleton or two, or vampire bat silhouettes stuck to the window. What about a sheet with ghost's eyes hung from the verandah? Wouldn't that be effective on a windy night? Take a look at the Country Living article, 55 Best Outdoor Halloween Decorations to Spellbind Every Trick-or-Treater for inspiration.
Put something creepy at your front door - Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay
7. Post Scary Photos Online. Halloween might date back centuries but that doesn't mean it can't have a modern twist and play out on social media. Grab your camera or phone and pose for some photos with sinister overtones. Perhaps you will post a selfie in your best Halloween costume or you could get more creative. Stage a scene of you sneaking up behind your friend, a cricket bat ominously raised. There's always the old torch shining from below your face for that very spooky look. Add some audio, perhaps cackling witch laughs or terrifying screams.
Take scary photos - Image by Simon Wijers from Pixabay
8. Visit a Cemetery. Do you dare walk amongst the true dead especially on Halloween? Will you stumble in the dark or jump at the slightest noise? Will you have the spunk to dwell at the older headstones long enough to read them? Will you be a frightening heavy breather or a hysterical screamer when something startles you? Go in a group, being scared is so much more fun in company but as you go also be respectful. Remember these are memorials to people once loved, some still loved. If you'd prefer the comfort of a guide you might like to book onto the Melbourne General Cemetery Night Tours which run regularly and have a special Halloween event.
9. Take a Spooky Tour. Judging from the number of spooky tours commercially available it is clear people have a passion for being scared. So what's your poison? If it's ghosts, check out Lantern Ghost Tours, they know all the places. What about a Hangman's Night Tour of Old Melbourne Gaol where criminals suffered the ultimate punishment for their dastardly deeds? If it's the macabre details of murder that captivates your imagination, Twisted History has you covered with their regular Carlton Murder Tours.
10. Have a Tarot Reading. Connect with your inner self, gain clarity on your life and make more positive decisions. That's why people have tarot readings but on Halloween those wildly decorated tarot cards could look mighty spooky. Google 'tarot readings Melbourne' and take you pick from the pages of tarot readers available.
Have a tarot reading - Image by Mira Cosic from Pixabay
11. Stage a Séance. DIY or professionally run, it's up to you. Even if your participants know it's just for fun, create the right atmosphere and you can still scare the pants off them. Gravedigger's Local 16 has provided instructions for How to Stage a Séance.
12. Have a Horror Movie Marathon. Stock up on snacks and drinks, sit yourself down with family and friends turn off the lights and settle in for a horror movie marathon. The list of selections seems endless. Mix up the classics like Alfred Hitchcock's Psychco, with the zombie apocalypse in Dawn of the Dead. Get into ghosts with Poltergeist 1, 2 and 3. Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street shocked a generation. Paranormal Activity was so effectively horrific it was the beginning of a six movie franchise. Whatever you choose you might want to snuggle up with your significant other before you press the play button.
Pretend to be a ghost - Image by Adina Voicu from Pixabay