Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles

Singletude is a positive, supportive singles blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Single on Halloween: Ten Fun Ways to Scare Yourself

As far as holidays go, Halloween is singles-friendly. While there are plenty of sexy singles showing off in costumes that make the most of it, there is little emphasis on romance or family. No one is waiting to pounce on you with mistletoe, though they may pounce with an ax or chainsaw, and when the clock strikes midnight, it's not your cue to plant a wet one on the nearest eligible bachelor(ette) but to cringe and cower at a host of ghouls and goblins.

Still, if you haven't been invited to a party this year and don't have small children to chaperone, you may wonder how to raise your Halloween spirits. That's why Singletude has picked ten frighteningly fun ways to give yourself the chills this Halloween. Try them alone (if you dare), or double your fun with a friend!


1. Host a horror movie fest.
Pop some corn, dim the lights, and treat yourself to a selection of horror classics that will keep you on the edge of your seat, questioning every bump and creak in the house throughout the night. Add some friends to the mix if you don't want to sleep alone! Visit Amazon.com's Horror Storefor inspiration. If you're creative and handy with a video camera, you may even want to shoot your own bloodbath! (When I was young, one of my friends and I passed hours writing and shooting our own amateur vignettes. Closer to comedy than horror, they weren't exactly film festival material, but they entertain us on dark and stormy nights to this day.)

2. Bake some Halloween treats for the tricksters.
If you're at home in the kitchen, whip up some Halloween-themed cookies or cupcakes for the trick-or-treaters on your block. Take the leftovers in to work the next day and surprise your coworkers. To get your creative juices flowing (and your mouth watering), check out these scarily good Halloween recipes from Allrecipes.com!

3. Be crafty.
You don't have to be a witch or warlock to have some serious craft. Is painting your cup of tea? Light up a dark, spooky night with this Glow-in-the-Dark Mural! Do you quilt? Keep warm with this Ghoulies and Ghosties Quilt! Or maybe you like to keep the home lights burning? Practice the ancient art of candle making when you hand-dip these Easy-to-Make Gourd Candles! Whether you want to spruce up your own home or sell your wares at the local market, crafting is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to express your, um, inner demons on Halloween. Get more Halloween craft ideas from Allcrafts.net.

4. Be designing.
Design your own costume or, better yet, a costume for a child in your life. Unless you go to a high-end costume rental, most packaged costumes look cheap, generic, and scream "Halloween store." That's not the kind of scream you're looking for! If you're nimble with a needle and thread, consider sewing a homemade costume, which can be as simple or elaborate as you'd like and can be fine-tuned to your measurements and color and texture preferences. McCall's, Butterick, and Simplicity are among the most popular designers of costume patterns for those who like to do it themselves. If the sewing machine is not your friend, put your creative genius to work and mix and match what you have. An embroidered blouse and peasant skirt befit a gypsy, while a straw hat and overalls are the building blocks for a scarecrow. Or, if you're skilled with hair or make-up, create a lavish cat face that will bring sparkle to a black bodysuit or mad scientist hair for a young Einstein. When you bring a touch of costume magic to the kids in your world, they'll think you're really cool, and there's nothing more heartwarming than watching a child live the role of his or her favorite character for one enchanted night.

5. Bury yourself in a book...of ghost stories, of course.
Dig up an old book of ghostly tales, heat the hot chocolate, and delight in the chills racing up and down your spine! If you have friends over, gather around the fireplace or light candles and take turns reading or telling stories to each other. Even better, prepare the stories in advance and act them out for your captive audience. Don't forget to toast the marshmallows! Click herefor a selection of literary thrillers from Amazon.com.

6. Do the "Monster Mash."
From Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain to Zevon's "Werewolves of London," the musically inclined have tried to capture the sounds of the spooky and the kooky for centuries. This year, make a Halloween mixtape of your favorites and make copies for friends and family or listen to it yourself to get in the mood for a howling good time. If you're feeling adventurous (or have had a few drinks), sing along! Should the spirit really move you, take a handful of friends and a page out of small-town Christmas traditions and go "Halloween caroling" door to door. (Whaddaya know? Amazon has something for everyone today. Add these spine-tinglersto your mixtape!)

7. Build a haunted house.
Every neighborhood has that one house that goes all out for Halloween, the one with animated skeletons singing and dancing in the front yard, a soundtrack of moans, groans, and scraping chains triggered by little footsteps on the stairs, and a basement that every kid begs to see. Why not make that house yours? Transforming your basement into the land of the undead requires a substantial investment of time, money, and physical labor, but the emotional payoff is big when yours is the house that people drive 30 miles to see. Moreover, you can use your local celebrity for a good cause. If your haunted house is thrilling enough to charge admission, you can donate the proceeds to charity. See About.com for tips on constructing your own house of fear!

8. Relive our haunted history.
Though the U.S. has a relatively short history, it produced the Salem Witch Trials, Washington Irving, and the Winchester House. If the macabre in our history captures your imagination, this Halloween visit a museum or take a tour at a historic site with a gruesome past. Who knows? You just might witness something the history books can't explain! Here are some landmarks to get you started:
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa
Alcatraz Island
The Bell Witch Cave Farm
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum
Danvers State Insane Asylum
Gettysburg, PA
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Hotel del Coronado
Hotel Provincial
The House of Mystery (The Oregon Vortex)
Hull House
Jim Thorpe, PA (The Hand Print)
The Knickerbocker Hotel
The Lincoln Theater
The Myrtles Plantation
New Orleans, LA
The Queen Mary
Washington Irving House
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum
Salem, MA
The Stanley Hotel
Tombstone, AZ
The Whaley House
The White House
Winchester Mystery House

9. Honor the dead.
The word "Halloween" is derived from All Hallows Day (a.k.a. All Saints Day), which, in many European and Central/South American cultures is a holy day on which families honor their ancestors who have passed on to the next life. Mexico, for example, arguably the country with the most colorful All Hallows Day festivities, parties hard in its cemeteries, adorning loved ones' graves in wreaths and streamers and breaking out the tequila and mariachi bands for a toast to the dead. While dancing on the graves of your deceased relatives may hold little appeal, you can still find meaningful ways to honor them. From leaving fresh flowers at a grave site to revisiting family photo albums, you too can set aside this day to remember important people who are no longer with you. Take this a step farther, if you will, and commit the day to something your loved one cared about. Do an activity the two of you enjoyed together, volunteer for a cause he or she supported, or spend some time with someone else he or she loved, keeping your memories alive.

10. Be a ghost hunter.
These days, anyone can get in on the action, whether or not you have an electromagnetic field detector (EMF). Of course, if you want proof that what you saw wasn't just your own shadow, infrared cameras, EVP recorders, and other pro paraphernalia are a necessity. You can pick up your own at web retailers like Ghost-Mart, Ghosthunter Store, or The EMF Safety Superstore, although Singletude can't vouch for the quality of the equipment. Even if you don't buy the goods of the trade, you can still investigate hotbeds of paranormal activity for your own amusement and edification. The Shadowlands has what might be the most comprehensive inventory of reputedly haunted locations in the U.S. and has recently expanded its listings beyond our borders. With such an extensive collection of sightings, you should be able to find at least one or two near your hometown. Since the site depends on user updates, be sure to report any new findings! On a note of caution, though, many of these sites are not open to the public. You should always get permission before exploring private property.


No matter what you do this Halloween, alone or accompanied, have fun, stay safe, and don't eat too much candy--it'll rot your teeth. Unless your dental plan covers caps. Then go for it. :)


If you'll be single this Halloween, how are you planning to celebrate? If you've ever tried any of the above suggestions on Halloween, what was your experience like? What other ways can you think of to celebrate Halloween on your own?


Fun Link of the Day


Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have a rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a Singletude Q&A or your rant or rave in a Singletude Sound-off!

3 comments:

bobbyboy said...

wow, just when I think I knew all there was to know about Halloween, you come along and shatter it ;)

Actually, although Halloween is no big deal to me anymore, I do get a kick out of the kiddies running around :)

Clever Elsie said...

Bobby: Me too! Some of their costumes are so elaborate and creative! I also like seeing what the "big kids" have come up with, as well. ;)

shrin said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Miriam

http://www.craigslistdecoded.info