Scary Things To Do
The month of October beckons you to get out of your comfort zone and do scary things, whether its having a horror movie night, attending a haunted attraction, or chasing some ghosts. Here's how I celebrate Halloween all season long, and remember it's okay to be afraid!
Scary Movie Marathon
To host the perfect scary movie night you must set the perfect scene. Turn off the lights, chill the room, have some snacks handy and invite your best fiends over some screams. Check out a list of my favorite movies for your marathon.
Enter A Haunted Attraction
The haunted house industry thrives from late September through the witching hour on Halloween Night. There's haunted houses in most communities that range from family fun to utterly terrifying. Here's a list of my favorites.
Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Farmers across the country turn their old corn fields into haunted labyrinths for the month of October. Some are fairly elaborate and can an hour or longer to find your way out. Some even have haunt actors ready to scare.
Take a Ghost Walk
Get some exercise and learn the dark history of your favorite city. Most places offer year-round ghost walks, usually at night, that center around older, storied districts of the city. Typically these are outdoor walks and you do not go into the buildings but after hearing the stories you may not want to. They are fairly inexpensive and social affairs.
Tour a Haunted Place
If a ghost walk seems tame, raise the stakes by visiting a haunted place. These locations offer guided tours and some let you rent a room to extend your possibilities of meeting a ghost. Be sure you know what you sign and any guest you take, exactly what they've signed up for.
Take a Ghostly Photo
Make a spooky splash on social media by creating a one-of-kind ghost photo. You'll need an actual camera with a long-shutter (some mobile phones have started incorporating this feature) and some moody lighting to create the effect.
Attend a Halloween Expo
Midsummer Scream is the must-attend Halloween event in early August, but regional craft fairs and other conferences are a fun, safe way to experience the season, find decor & costumes, and enjoy pumpkin-flavored food.
Get a Tarot Reading
What to know your future? Finding a psychic is fairly easy these days. You'll see their neon signs glowing brightly in windows beckoning you. I prefer a tarot reading that guides the psychic. Here are some of my tips for working with psychics.
Play Light as a Feather
This physics defying levitation game has been played for decades and the results are sometimes quite shocking. To succeed you need a sizable group committed to the task and a relatively light person.
Attend a Seance
A séance is an attempt to communicate with the dead, sometimes with a medium or psychic leading the activity. These may be difficult to find but start with a local psychic or tarot reader to see if these activities are held near you.
Play with a Ouija Board
Start with getting a ouija board or make one with letters and an upside down turned glass. With participants each touching the planchette concentrate and ask a question. Never play alone, always say goodbye, and stop if things start to get too spooky. Warning advised.
This experiment reproduces sensory deprivation while in a fully aware state, thus allowing the veil between our world and the other side to weaken. Like most other activities this again can be spooky but dangerous. Once you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.
Warning: Explore the Paranormal at Your Own Risk
Paranormal experts have urged me to advise readers that exploring the paranormal "should not be taken lightly as it may unintentionally open doors that may be difficult to close. What seems like a parlor game can lead to everything from hauntings to possessions." So obviously, proceed at your own risk, and only participate only if you feel comfortable.
Is Being Scared a Good Thing?
Fear is subjective and we all have a threshold whether that's high or low. The act of being afraid is actually good for you!
Being scared actually has many positive physical and psychological effects. When you are scared, adrenaline is released, your heart rate increases, and your body gets a little cardiovascular workout.
Being scared also reduces stress (just like laughing reduces stress), and by surviving a little fright, you can achieve the ultimate satisfaction of overcoming anxiety and maybe even cheating death. It’s all very empowering.
"We build up tension in our lives and we need a way to release it,” says San Francisco State University professor Jeff Leroux. “Being scared or scaring others is a way to release that tension. Especially around Halloween you see people testing their boundaries of fear. The further those boundaries are pushed, the greater the payoff.” (Oakland Tribune, 10/26/05)
Are Paranormal Activities Harmful?
On the many ghost hunter TV shows, well-coiffed hosts warn viewers to never try this at home as they enter a haunted place. This builds suspense for viewers but in reality, lock downs involve waiting around for hours to catch some sort of noise. But ghosts don't hurt them. They are more often hurt by everyday things like loose floorboards, toxic fumes, electrical fields, and hysteria.
Specialists have indeed documented cases of unexplained phenomena, but the hard scientific community is not convinced. Science demands repeatability of an event to be considered viable which doesn't happen in the ghostly realms.
Psychologists are convinced ours minds are the cause. The brain is a powerful, little understood instrument and it can convince you that the paranormal is very real, causing psychological distress, anxiety, and even physical ailments. This is especially true of highly susceptible folks whose imagination can get carried away easily. Suddenly, something that's supposed to be fun is not.
I've been exploring the paranormal for many years and have done so thoughtfully, reading books, attending seminars, and consulting experts. You must possess an open mind, psychological stability, spiritual sense of self, and above all be equal parts curious and skeptical since there are no definitive answers.