Tag Archives: Halloween

Ways to Stay Safe this Halloween

Stay safe this Halloween – Photo from Wonderopolis

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year, even if it’s not an official holiday in the United States. Here are some ways to stay safe this Halloween.

Limit the Drinks or Just Don’t Drink: Halloween isn’t all about kids going Trick-or-Treating; adults and teens will use this as an excuse to go out and have a drink, but that’s not a good idea. Halloween is on a weekday, and you will most likely have work or school the next morning. Being hungover won’t look good. So if you do drink, be responsible. Otherwise, don’t drink.

Watch out for Kids: There will be kids out looking for candy, so whenever you are driving that evening, you should be on the lookout for any kids on the streets. You don’t want to hurt anyone – most parents will be with their kids but for those who are old enough to go out trick-or-treating, watch out for them.

For parents: Tracking Apps are available on both Apple and Android phones for parents to keep track of their children. Both companies have apps available on the phone already but apps like Life360 and Find My Family are great for use. Phones now-a-days have flashlights built-in but if your child’s phone does not have this, then you probably should invest in a flashlight.

Candy: There are some kids who have allergies to peanuts and if you are one of the people handing out the candy, make sure you have some candy that fits everyone’s dietary needs.

It takes a village to keep everyone happy and safe on Halloween, but if everyone can do their parts, we will have another great Halloween this year. Save some candy for me.

All Fun and Games till Someone Gets Hurt

As we all get ready for THE spooktacular time of the year, it is so important that we remain on top of our toes this Halloween. There’s no knowing what’s lurking out there, looking to make the most of the night of nights, in the worst of ways.

You can either hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband because these clowns are out there raping everybody or you can have a good time without being dumb about it. For instance, don’t wear a clown costume. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Don’t do it.

suicide-squad
“It is so important that we remain on top of our toes this Halloween. “

We have this one saying in the Middle East, “Come bull, hit me.” Regardless of your intentions, clowning around this Halloween may mean asking for trouble. And yet, despite the warning, I’m going to see Harley Quinn and the Joker on every other block in town; I just know it.  But the real question is–do they even count into this whole coulrophobia thing going on? They’re not really all that creepy as the classical clowns with plastered smiles and red noses that go squeak-squeak.

I have two Evil Jester costumes lying around from 2013 that I was planning on selling this year, but I’ve been more indecisive about this than the usual Chick-fil-a line makes me: will it be chicken nuggets today or waffle fries? Three cheers if you can relate!

Call it paranoia, call it precaution, but one Mississippi town has put a ban on clown costumes till November 1. The county “has declared it illegal to dress like a clown, and is threatening to levy $150 fines against anyone” that is caught doing so. Costume shops around the nation are advising against “clowning around the wrong people.”

As reported by NBC4’s sister station WKRN-TV: Gary Broadrick with Performance Studios in Nashville, Tennessee said, ““I’d feel really bad if I found out that somebody bought a mask of any kind from us just to have some fun and got hurt.”

It doesn’t get any better with the creepy clown craze making its way overseas, but that’s just my opinion. Be safe! Be smart!

A furry situation

Groaning, Drew pressed the heel of his palm into his eye socket. A sensation akin to having someone grope around inside his skull had awakened him. With unfocused eyes, he glanced around the room.

The dresser, the drapes, the nightstand—all of it seemed ordinary and exactly as he had expected it to look since he’d moved into his apartment. However, one thing stood out in his mind: that nothing stood out in his mind.

He had no memories of the previous night. Clutching his head, he tried to recall even the slightest detail in vain, and after untangling himself from his bedsheets, he realized that his person was just as blank as his mind.

Glancing around his room, he tried to recall where his clothes had gone, but that memory, too, was missing.

With a grunt, Drew slid his legs over the side of the bed, stretching them until he felt the coldness of the hardwood on his soles. He wrapped an arm around himself as he headed to the bathroom, rubbing his shoulder for warmth as the chilly air assaulted his bare skin. Hardwood transitioned to tile, and he flipped on the light. The illumination revealed a pair of dark brown eyes staring at him from the mirror. The blackness smeared around them made the bags beneath them even darker. He touched his hair—it was mussed and tangled—then his lips. Still sticky with gloss, they were split and bloodied.

Brow creasing, he, again, scrabbled at the darkest recesses of his mind for even a fragment of an explanation, but he found only a murky haze that suffocated his memories, barring them from being dredged to the surface. His fingertips trailed down his neck until a smudge of red caught his eye. Hesitant, he leaned closer to his reflection, tentatively stroking the dried liquid on his skin. Daring to scratch some off, he pulled his hand back to find a ruddy crust beneath his fingernails.

Breath catching in his throat, he took a step back. The distance revealed more red, the splatters painting his chest appearing in the mirror.

“What the fuck?”

A jaunty chiptune sounded from the bedroom, and he leaned into the doorway, peering in the direction of the noise. He knew exactly who was calling; he received the same call daily around the same time. Retrieving his cellphone, he returned to the mirror to answer it, tapping the screen with a trembling finger.

“Hey,” he stammered, fixating again on the rivulets of blood. “What’s up?”

The tearful voice of someone saved in his contacts as “Bae” with two hearts and a kissing emoji replied, “Sammy’s dead.”

“What?” The sobbing in his ear made him freeze. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” Uriah whimpered. “I put food in his bowl like I always do, but he never showed up to eat, and I went out looking for him and found him in the backyard.”

His own heart felt heavy with the news despite that the calico cat was never his own. “You don’t have any idea what happened?”

“Well…” Uriah sniffled, taking a deep, quivering breath. “There was this huge dog roaming the neighborhood last night. Honestly, it looked like a wolf. But I-I thought it was gone when I let him out.”

“Oh, sweetheart. I’m so sorry.” He shook his head, brow knitted tightly.

“I mean, it was still dark out, but he never even leaves the backyard. I thought it was safe.”

“It’s not your fault,” he insisted, voice a soothing coo. “I’ll come down in a little while. Do you want anything to eat?” He decided to shelve the mystery of the bloodstains on his skin and focus, instead, on cleaning it off so he could go visit his grieving boyfriend.

“Not really.”

“Okay. Well, I’ll get ready and be there in, like, an hour, okay?” He licked his lips, cringing at the taste of something foul in his mouth.

“Okay.”

He leaned close enough to his reflection that he was nearly kissing himself. “Just get some rest, okay?” His tongue traced something foreign, and he pulled back his lip to investigate.

“I’ll try. This just really fucking sucks. I had that cat for nine years.”

Drew was about to offer him more consolations, promise him that he would be there soon, but his every muscle stiffened at what he found in his mouth: a tuft of black and orange fur wedged between his teeth.

Images and sounds flooded his mind, of blood and viscera and the squeals of a helpless animal. He keenly remembered feeling hunger then delight, and excitement as fresh meat rolled across his tongue and into his gullet. The disgust and fear that overwhelmed him made his head swim and breaths shallow. Chills skittered up his spine like tiny spiders as his bulging eyes peered a thousand miles into an imaginary distance.

“Drew?” Uriah’s concerned voice brought him back. “Are you okay?”

“U-Um, yeah, I’m fine,” he blurted, stumbling over his words. “I just remembered I left something in the oven. Gotta go.”

“Drew? What?” he replied, but the other end of the line went dead. Uriah pulled the phone back, gawking at the screen. His puzzled expression remained even after he tucked his phone back into his pocket. A distinct memory surfaced in the forefront of his mind.

One month prior, as the leaves were changing and the air becoming cold, Drew had made him a birthday cake. Or, more accurately, he had tried to make him a birthday cake. He had failed to follow the directions on the box, and the middle of the cake collapsed in the oven. Drew actually asked Uriah for help in salvaging his own birthday cake once he’d arrived for what was supposed to be a surprise party. That was the first time, Drew told him, that he’d ever attempted to bake anything on his own. With the way his trash was always filled with fast-food wrappers, Uriah had no doubt as to the truth of that declaration.

“When does he ever cook?” Uriah mumbled, eyeing the air in front of himself suspiciously as if someone just as befuddled were standing there.

A little over an hour later, there was a knock at the door. Uriah pushed eagerly up from the sofa to answer it. Drew greeted him but was clearly distracted, eyes shifting up and down Uriah’s form. His lack of a skirt and other frilly things clearly betrayed Uriah’s dreary mood, but something else seemed to have Drew disconcerted. As he stepped into Uriah’s apartment, his freckled face lost even more color.

“How’s your day going?” Uriah asked, failing to hide the concern in his voice.

“It’s fine.” Drew offered a few jerky nods, which were vaguely directed toward Uriah, as he moved over to the sofa. However, he didn’t immediately sit. Something beyond the window, in the backyard, caught his attention, and he kept wringing his hands.

“Are you sure?” He padded over and plopped down next to the seat he expected Drew to take. “You look kind of distracted.”

Drew shook his head and sunk into the faux suede cushions. “I’m okay. I’m just… sad about Sammy.”

Uriah might have noticed how guilty Drew sounded if it weren’t for the reaction hearing his beloved pet’s name evoked. He wiped at his eyes and nodded, lips trembling. He felt the cushions shift, and Drew’s arm was around him a second later, pulling him against his side.

“I’m so sorry,” the redhead murmured, genuinely apologetic despite the stiffness in his gesture.

“It’s not your fault.”

Drew fell silent as death, and Uriah squeezed him until his tears dried and he could steady his voice, having swallowed the lump in his throat.

“Do you want something to eat?” he asked, trying to change the subject.

Drew shook his head. “No, um, I’m full. I just ate.” He looked like he wanted to vomit.

“Oh? You said you forgot something in the oven?”

“Yeah.” Drew waved his hands as if trying to fan that topic away from himself.

“What was it?” Uriah pressed, hiding his skepticism behind a familiar curiosity.

“Just a casserole. It was, like, turkey and green beans or something.”

He didn’t know what kind of casserole he’d made?

“Oh. Sounds good.”

Drew nodded, sighing a second later. “Sorry, I should have brought you some food. It’s just been one of those days.” He shook his head.

“I understand. Plus, I said I didn’t want anything anyway.”

After that, the room became unusually quiet. Drew wasn’t talkative to begin with, but they normally found something to chat about. Uriah wasn’t uncomfortable with silence, and found a movie for them to watch instead. Nevertheless, he couldn’t ignore Drew’s lack of interest. It was as if he wasn’t even in the same room, on the same couch.

The idea that Drew would be that upset over Sammy’s death simply wasn’t plausible, especially because he didn’t seem that upset. He was unsettled by something, but it wasn’t loss. It felt like he wanted to tell him something but couldn’t bring himself to speak.

Somehow, he still managed to find Drew’s presence comforting and soon dozed off on his shoulder. When he woke, Drew had shifted so that Uriah’s head was on his lap. Normally, they both snoozed together, but whatever was eating at Drew, Uriah noticed when he woke several hours later, had prevented him from napping.

“What time is it?”

“About 6:30,” Drew replied.

Uriah rubbed his eyes, feeling that he was forgetting something. The werewolf that howled from the old movie on the television reminded him.

“I need to go take pictures of the moon.” For his blog.

“Why?”

“It’s full tonight.”

The air became tense. Drew froze, dead silent for long enough that it would have stood out in Uriah’s mind had it not been so addled by sleep at the time.

“I thought that was last night?”

“Well, it’s technically full for three days in the cycle, but tonight is the actual full moon,” Uriah explained.

“Oh.”

Drew’s eyes darted to the window. The sun was beginning to set, painting the sky a warmly-colored farewell. As soon as Uriah was off his lap, he jumped up from the couch, wringing his hands again and fixating on the door. Initially, Uriah didn’t pay him much mind. Drew could be very timid. However, the darker it became, the more Drew seemed to struggle within himself.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. I just think I need to get going now.” He let out a sharp sigh.

“Really? You’re not staying the night?” Uriah’s eyes looked hopeful, almost pleading for Drew to change his mind.

“Well, I have to get up early for work, and I’m sure you don’t want me waking you up.” He side-stepped around the coffee table, Uriah the only thing between him and the door.

However, Uriah moved with him. “I really don’t mind.” It wouldn’t be the first time Drew had slept over when he had work the next morning.

“I didn’t bring any clothes though, so…”

Uriah concealed his disappointment, but it was more overshadowed by concern. Drew moved past him to the door, slipping into his shoes. Uriah tried to glue himself in place, but he turned on his heels with a huff.

“I feel like something’s wrong. Please just talk to me,” he begged.

“Really, nothing’s wrong. I just have some things to do before bed.”

“I can tell you’re lying.”

Drew said nothing, head hanging in shame. He twisted the doorknob, but Uriah caught his hand before he could step outside.

“You know you can tell me anything,” Uriah reminded him, but Drew didn’t turn around. He intended to say next, “I’m worried about you,” but the syllables choked off in his throat. Drew’s fingers became a set of claws, digging into the meat of his palm.

wolf
“The werewolf that howled from the old movie on the television reminded him.”

Never ending nightmare

I was walking down a long dark hallway, barefoot. My footsteps squelched wetly. The dim flashlight I held was almost useless.

Slowly, I took one foot in front of the other trying not to let a sound escape my lips. The floors squeaked with every step I took. There seemed to be a figure in the distance, but I couldn’t make out a face, only the shape of what appeared to be a human.

Fear shook my entire body, but I continued towards the dark figure. I walked closer and closer. Suddenly I stopped. I realized what I been stepping in, what made the floors wet, was blood.

I wanted to scream, but couldn’t. The dark figure was much closer now. He looked like a human but had a large mask covering his face. He turned and faced me, it seemed he was insulted by my presence, though he did not say a word.

He turned toward me. In his hands was a long, blood stained sword. He hoisted the sword above his head. . . .

dark hallway
“Slowly, I took one foot in front of the other trying not to let a sound escape my lips.”

A flash of lightning and roar of thunder woke me up. I shot out of the bed I was laying in.

I was sweating and shaking. All I could see was darkness. I rubbed my eyes. I remembered then, my boyfriend, Jake, and I had rented a hotel room for the night. He was not beside me when I woke up. Jake must have left the room while I dozed off. The little alarm clock beside the bed said in bold red numbers 9:00pm.

I slipped out of the covers and staggered into the bathroom to wash my face. The warm water made me feel a little better. Jake came back into the room as I was drying myself with a hotel towel. He had gone out to rent an X-box and to pick up some food. He decided I needed to play a scary game tonight. Jake loved to see my reactions, but I was really not in the mood.

“Oh come on, you know it’s all fake. And I’ll be right here with you.” I was still hesitant, however, when he handed me the controller.

The game began and it wasn’t really scary, much like a predictable, bad horror movie. At least until one point in the game.…

Without warning it became darker and much more scary than it had been before. The halls to this game resembled that of my dream. The floors were wet and the only thing that made them distinctive from the one in my dream, was that this was water.

“All right… Stop it! I can’t do this anymore!”

“Aww, you’re such a baby! Here, let me play for a while.”

I handed him the controller and he began to play. About an hour later the game seemed to be building up suspense.

Lightning rebounded off the walls, with a loud crack, killing the power. We both turned to the window, then looked up at the dark ceiling.

The only light into our room now was from the thunderstorm.

“This damn cheap hotel, this is the last time I take a suggestion from Michelle.”

“Do you just want to go to bed now?” I asked hoping, praying desperately that he would say yes.

“Nah, I’m not tired at all. Do you want go out for a drink?” He asked casually.

I didn’t want to disappoint him, but I was terrified to leave this room. I stayed silent, then dismissed those horrible thoughts.

“Sure, it’ll be great to get out of this stuffy hotel, and clear my mind with some good beer.”

He and I both laughed, then got up off the floor. He grabbed a flashlight from the drawer nearby. I got up and put a new pair of pants on, grabbed a jacket, and left with Jake at my arm.

I was the first one to exit our room. To my horror my dream was alive, the hotel’s hallway became the hallway of my nightmare. Every detail from my dream was correct, although I hadn’t yet seen a figure at the end of the hallway. To my slight relief the liquid on the floor was not blood…just water leaking in from the ceiling and windows.

A flash of lightning coursed in through the windows and rebounded off the long hallway. It illuminated the floor. I didn’t want to see anything more, so I turned around and stared into the chest of my boyfriend. Suddenly all around us it got colder. I began to shiver.

Jake had paused for a long time waiting at the door, trying to get the flashlight to work. He was banging against walls, tapping it with his hand, or twisting it to try and get it to turn on. When it finally did, I looked up into his face and saw a look of horror.

“Hey, who the hell are you?”

My eyes widened, and I froze “no, no. . . .” I thought.

I didn’t want to, but the way Jake turned his arm made me accidentally look at the figure at the end of the hallway. Once my eyes locked on to it I couldn’t turn away. I was terrified, my breath caught in my throat.

It looked like a man from the chest down, all except his head. Its chest was bare and scarred. He had on some manner of bloody apron. In his hand was a long sword. I tried to keep my consciousness, but could barely see through a haze of panic.

Then unexpectedly, it was gone, and the dim ceiling lights revived throughout the hall.

I relaxed for minute looking at the light, how wonderful the light is. How it can banish evil.

It made me smile, until I felt a seeping liquid at my feet. Then heard a thud. I turned aside painfully slow. Jake lay dying at my feet, his blood flowing across my shoes. In his back a large gash that was spewing blood all over his black jacket. Blood gushed from his mouth, though he tried to breath.

I couldn’t stop the instant tears that overflowed in my eyes. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t  breathe, I couldn’t even make a sound. The monster reappeared in front of us once again. Slowly walking towards me now, the sword stained with Jake’s blood. I wanted to scream but couldn’t. The dark figure turned and faced me. He hoisted his massive, bloody sword over his head.…

 

Good Luck

late
“Georgia resolved to take a quick glance at her watch that she had somehow remembered to strap on in the midst of her morning’s madness.”

It was a rather disastrous brisk September morning. Georgia had snoozed her alarm one too many times, and suddenly every step felt one step behind. She managed to pull on a button-down shirt and her cleanest pair of slacks in record time before realizing, to her chagrin, that her shirt was inside-out.Her efforts to get back on schedule were entirely fruitless and her attempts at rushing were only making her slower. It took a few tries to get her left shoe on and to get the buttons of her shirt in line.

Georgia’s frown fell deeper when her telephone rang incessantly from the kitchen and she just about lost it when she answered and her mother was on the other side of the line, expecting for a long conversation. She was required to clock into work at 8:30 and at this point, arriving before 9:00 seemed like a dream.

She found herself out of her favorite blueberry Eggo waffles and was forced to shove a couple of slices of lackluster wheat bread into her toaster to retain a semblance of her normal breakfast. Her hands reached to pull out her hair when she caught a whiff of her burning breakfast from across the room. Of course she forgot to adjust the toaster setting, she thought bitterly. In the midst of her sprint to retrieve her burning toast, she forcefully slid across her kitchen’s tile floor into the edge of the counter.

Georgia could already feel a massive bruise forming as she reached over to clutch her throbbing side. Her anger and frustration off the charts now, she kicked a nearby stool over, causing an unfortunate domino effect that upset a stack of her sorted papers in all different directions.

Feeling as if her dignity was in shambles, she dutifully retrieved the papers that were now spread across her kitchen and stuffed them haphazardly into her burgundy briefcase. Georgia resolved to take a quick glance at her watch that she had somehow remembered to strap on in the midst of her morning’s madness and her frown transformed into a downright scowl.

She crunched on her burnt toast and hauled her iota of pride out the door with her briefcase and car keys in tow. There was hope when her car started, but New York City never failed to provide her with dreadful traffic on a day to day basis. Her car crawled down avenue after avenue at a reliable pace of something less than a mile an hour. She figured that at least in the confines of her car, she was safe from some of the outside world’s morning hysteria.

As she approached another momentary standstill, Georgia checked her watch once more to discover she was already ten minutes late. A few more left turns, she thought, hoping her unexpected bad luck wouldn’t push her tardiness past 9:00.

She could see her building in the distance around 8:44 and the nearing proximity triggered her mental search for an adequate excuse. She parallel parked a block away, not willing to risk jamming herself into more traffic. After stepping out of her car, shutting the door, and checking if her efforts to lock the vehicle had done the trick, she raced off in her kitten heels toward the skyscraper that was her workplace.

Georgia had yet to give up on making it to work as early as possible (which she had yet to accept was still plenty late). Suddenly, her heel wedged into a crack in the concrete and snapped clean off, sealing her fate.

It was only a few seconds after this fortunate mishap that she lifted her head up to spot an airplane barreling towards the tower that she had been heading towards. She was frozen now, helpless as the aircraft collided with the building, setting a massive explosion of fire and smoke into motion.

Her briefcase plummeted onto the concrete and its contents floated away towards the chaos before her.

Georgia was still; her first instinct was not to run to her car screaming like the crowd building around her, but to stare thoughtlessly at the machinery that had wedged completely through her office floor. She doesn’t remember when she lowered herself to the concrete but sometime between the loud screams and sirens she woke up again. She found herself clutching her broken heel to her chest, musing about her good fortune.

13 Nights of Halloween PSA

Attention all Halloween lovers and movie fanatics: 13 Nights of Halloween has officially started on ABC Family! It technically started last week, but this week is when they play Halloween movies non stop, and really good ones at that!

 

13 pumpkin
“13 nights of Halloween has officially started on ABC Family!”

Last week ABC started by showing a Harry Potter marathon and The Addams Family. Now that we are at the week of Halloween, however, they have been showing Halloween movies all day and night, every day and night. They have moved up from Casper and are now airing the classic Hocus Pocus and beloved Tim Burton’s films such as Corpse Bride and A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Some newer movies are being played as well such as Paranorman, an animated movie about a boy who can see and talk to dead people and must save his town from the walking dead taking over.

Frankenweenie is also a newer movie that is animated and tells the story of a boy who brings his dog back to life and the rest of his neighborhood and classmates bombard him to bring their pets back to life as well.

Another classic that hasn’t been showed in a while is Sleepy Hollow, which will play several times on Halloween night along with Hocus Pocus which will play back to back! Halloween is the perfect time to enjoy some creepy, and even a little funny, movies when the air starts to get crisp and chilly and the leaves start to fall. It will really get you in the mood for the winter that is on its way.

Don’t miss out on the classic and new Halloween films this year! ABC Family has done a brilliant job of scheduling the movies so that you can catch them at some point throughout October and also have included a great variety in which movies they are airing. Click here and get the full schedule of 13 nights of Halloween on ABC Family and enjoy your spooky Halloween the fun way!

http://www.eonline.com/news/692450/abc-family-s-13-nights-of-halloween-is-here-check-out-the-line-up

 

The truth behind The Gallows

Haunted Houses are not what they used to be. Instead of old-fashioned jump scares and innocent unchained chain saws casually brought very close to your face, haunted houses are now full of derogatory name calling, references to rape, and physical abuse.

I was excited to attend The Gallows, but unfortunately I was left disappointed and upset.

I went to The Gallows Saturday night, and was filled with excitement and nervousness of what as to come. I saw Beetlejuice, a guy with a huge bald head and a never ending smile and two sets of teeth, and Mr. E who always loves to tell the truth.

These characters are always fun because they walk around while you’re waiting to go inside, hyping up the atmosphere. They are always fun to talk to and are usually respectful and simply funny.

The Gallows also had a side show full of crazy acts who swallow swords and staple dollar bills to their chests. The people outside the house are nice and just want you to have a good time. Inside the house, however, is a different story.

Are you going to the Gallows? Graphic from Fear The Gallows
Are you going to the Gallows? Graphic from Fear The Gallows

You enter into a corn field. This part isn’t too scary. There are a few jump scares here and there, but it isn’t too bad. However, once you enter the school bus, it’s begins to get uncomfortable.

I enter the bus behind my girlfriend and was met with strobe lights and a man wearing a bandana standing on top of the seats. He turned around and a sadistic smile appeared on his face.

He jumped toward us and put his face right next to mine, breathing heavily and sniffing my hair. He moved behind me and shoved me so hard that I ran into my girlfriend in front of me and then fell to the floor. I was so shocked at this action that I sat down and tried to hide my embarrassment. We left the bus and made our way out of the cornfield to the house.

I was so afraid of what was going to happen next if this is already how it begun.

We entered the haunted house with a hard kick to our hands and butts. As I was shaking my hand of the pain, this large man in a butcher’s apron began taking above his array of human meats on the table, specifically looking at my lower region and stated “and I’ve got some good pussy meat.”

I felt extremely violated and wanted to leave immediately. He kept touching us on our way out. These types of interactions continued throughout the entire haunted house. We saw scenes of rape, more than once, and derogatory terms being thrown at us every 5 seconds.

I can’t tell you enough how uncomfortable and angry I felt walking through that house. I wanted it to end the second it started.

The Gallows, obviously, isn’t for everybody. Some people might enjoy what I experienced, feeling as though it’s scary and funny.

I, however, felt upset and empty afterward. I would never go through it again. There needs to be improvements and reevaluations on what crosses the line between haunted houses and torture chambers.

A cup

It sat there on the table, silently mocking him. It knew the power that it held over him. It was an inanimate object, incapable of thought, and yet it knew. And it knew all too well.

The fire caused shadows to begin their nightly dance, and they were drawn to the darkness surrounding him. Shadowy hands reaching for him, pulling on him, clawing at him, hunting for a soul to claim. They would find nothing in him, nothing for them to feed on. His soul was long gone, crushed and trampled into nothingness. They would not feed on him that night, but they would help pull him further into the darkness.

Graphic from Pinterest.
“It sat there on the table, silently mocking him.” Graphic from Pinterest.

The barmaid took the object that had held his attention and replaced it with another that could judge him. The liquid inside was a cold, bubbling ale, and foam spilled over the lip dripping down onto the table, forming a golden ring. The barmaid had tried to be generous by filling it to the brim, and he hated her for it. Didn’t she see that it caused him pain? That it controlled his mind and made him live through things that one should never live through even once? Did she not see that he could not escape from it? It took over his mind just as easily as the other one had.

Deeper and deeper he was pulled into the darkness of his mind, shadowy tentacles wrapping around his neck and limbs, pulling on him. There would be no escape this time.

Flash after flash the memories surged forward, claiming his mind. He was back in the numerous battles he had fought in the past, fighting just as he had fought all those years ago. Then he was in an inn much like the one his body was currently seated in.

A warm fire, ale, friends, and laughter. That laughter could never again happen, the friends creating it long since claimed by the black mass that called itself Death. He could feel tears fighting for their release, and so trapped as he was, they fell free. The memories became more horrific, he remembered things that he had fought to forget, and saw things that he had prayed to never have to see again.

All danced across his mind now, and there was no stopping them.

How much longer would he have to suffer like this? When would he be able to enjoy a drink in peace? How long had he already suffered? Why was he the one targeted like this?

Why did a damned cup torture him so?

Three DIY Halloween decorations to prank your roommates

Once again, it’s the season of tricks and treats. The only thing better than having cheap, easy, and spooky decoration for your home is being able to prank your roommates with those decorations. Here are three terrific ideas for Halloween decorations that will make your friends jealous and scare your roommates.

1) Head in a jar

 

To create the illusion of a head in a jar, simply find a picture of a head that has been widened (you can find these images online or photo shop your own), get it laminated (most office supply stores have a station where you can get things laminated), roll up the laminated picture and stick it into a jar, then fill the jar with water (add green and yellow food dye for an added effect). In addition to making a great decoration, you can give your roommates a heart attack by sticking the jar in the refrigerator. That will teach them not to eat your food. (More extensive instructions in the link)

2) Chicken wire ghost

  

This one requires a little more skill, but if done correctly, it will create an awesome affect. First buy some chicken wire (available at most stores such as Walmart, also at craft stores such as Michael’s) then shape the chicken wire into the vague shape of a person. (More detailed shaping instructions are illustrated in the link). The illusion works best if you place your “ghost” a little ways away from your audience, such as a backyard or a courtyard. Spray paint with glow in the dark paint for an added effect. Bonus: in addition to making the basic human figure (as shown above), you can also make ghostly dresses, among other haunting figures. To prank your roommates just point outside and say “Hey, what’s that?” The “ghost” will do the rest.

3) Creepy glowing eyes

  

For a super cheap and easy idea guaranteed to scare all your friends, collect toilet paper rolls. Cut out holes in the shape of eyes and then simply insert a glow stick or another source of light. Place the “glowing eyes” in bushes, in the gap behind your couch, in your roommate’s closet…

Happy haunting!

Cute and easy Halloween costumes for ladies

 

This time of year there are some of the best kinds of parties—costume parties! The average college student, like myself, tends to be broke. Despite that, I’m sure there is still a desire to attend these parties with a cute costume. In light of that, here is a list of four easy and, more importantly, cheap costumes for you to try.

1.) Cowgirl

Main Outfit: Wear a sundress with either a denim jacket or a denim shirt.

Shoes: Cowgirl boots—if you don’t own any, you can borrow a pair from a friend for the night, or hit up your local Goodwill.

Hair and Makeup: Wear natural makeup, and put your hair into two braids.

Hat: Put on that cowgirl hat you know you own.

  1. hogwartsHogwarts Student

This is another simple outfit that everyone at your Halloween party will understand. Even if they don’t know you’re from Hogwarts they’ll know you’re a schoolgirl.

Main Outfit: Wear a white button-up shirt with a black pleated skirt. Add a cardigan of your house color complete with an iron-on crest for your house.

Shoes: Slip into some black flats. If you want to be extra fancy you can buy knee socks for your house from Hot Topic.

Hair and Makeup: You can wear both hair and makeup however you want, but I suggest wearing your hair either down or up in a messy bun. It completes the student look.

Hat: You don’t need one unless you really feel like wearing a witch’s hat like McGonagall.

3.) Snowflake

Main Outfit: Wear a white dress with a white cardigan. It can be any white dress that you like, but I suggest wearing straight white and not off-white.

Shoes: Put on white flats with white pantyhose (WHITE pantyhose, not nude).

Hair and Makeup: Wear your hair down if you’re blonde. If you have dark hair, you can pick up a white wig for pretty cheap at Walmart or Target. While you’re there, grab white face paint and silver fake eyelashes to wear.

Hat: You don’t need one.

4.) Velma from Scooby Doo

Main Outfit: Find a bright orange turtleneck sweater and pair it with a dark burgundy skirt. Velma wears a pleated skirt but non-pleated looks just fine with the outfit.

Shoes: If you can find orange flats, that’s perfect. Otherwise, look for Mary Janes or black flats.

Hair and Makeup: Use a curling iron to curl the ends of your hair under so that it looks more like Velma’s bob. You can also pull up a few strands of hair from the front of your face and tuck them under a thin black headband to give the illusion of bangs.

Hat: No need!

 

Why Tim Burton’s Movies Are Best For Watching At Halloween

Tim Burton created the famous movies “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Corpse Bride”. Most people know about “Nightmare Before Christmas” because it is a classic Halloween or Christmas movie, depending on what time of year it is. Some may know of “Corpse Bride” and some may not, it’s a less popular movie but just as enjoyable and festive as “Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Jack Skellington thinks you should watch some Tim Burton movies this Halloween. Graphic from Giphy
Jack Skellington thinks you should watch some Tim Burton movies this Halloween. Graphic from Giphy

No one creates movies like Burton. He has a unique taste and imagination that no one else can replicate or compare to. In the odd case that you haven’t seen “Nightmare Before Christmas”, it’s about a skeleton (Jack) that runs the Halloween world, but he discovers other worlds such as Christmas. The Christmas spirit and Santa Claus inspire him to have his Halloween world take over Christmas for that year.

It goes wrong when Halloween creatures bring their own spooky toys to the holiday season. Jack himself has to save Christmas from the creepy claws of his own world. “Nightmare Before Christmas” is a timeless movie that all ages will enjoy watching. It gets you in the mood for Halloween or Christmas.

“Corpse Bride” is a less known, but equally good watch. “Corpse Bride” is about a man and woman who are arranged wed, but they barely know each other. The man gets nervous and runs off into the forest to practice the wedding ceremony and places the ring on a slender branch. Little does he know the branch is a dead girl’s hand and he has just married a woman who has already passed. The story takes a twist when it reveals how the girl died, leaving them both to work together to get what they want.

Both movies will leave you pleased if you watch them and make it a tradition for you every year. I can’t go a Halloween without watching both of these Tim Burton films.  I am happy that they have become routine for me in the fall season and my favorite holiday, Halloween.

 

The flip side of Halloween costumes

Halloween is right around the corner, and you can already feel campus abuzz with activity and excitement. Though some might argue that the holiday is childish, many people feel as though it invigorates them in some way. It makes October exciting and worthwhile, and the milestone makes it that much easier to get through the month.

Personally, Halloween is and always will be my favorite holiday. That being said, as I’ve grown up, I feel myself being able to take a step back and look at it with a hint of skepticism.

As a child, I’d never noticed all the things wrong with Halloween — or, more specifically, the costumes. I never saw dressing in a kimono for the night, or painting on a different skin color, as problematic. That was, until I saw concerns being raised over social media.

Being who I am — hard-headed and always fighting to voice my opinion on any subject — it was hard for me to come to terms with the racism and other basic discrimination that comes with the Halloween costumes that are produced in bulk.

As a white female, it didn’t have any effect on me. Of course, if it had no effect on me, and I wondered how could it have an effect on anyone else? It was just a costume for Pete’s sake, how dangerous could it be?

Well the short answer, I’ve come to find out, is very.

Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from college Humor
Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from College Humor

Black face, brown face, and yellow face have been issues during Halloween probably for as long as the commercialized part of the holiday has been around. The thing is, it’s 2015– not 1964.

Nowadays, it’s a lot less obvious as we see kids play pretend as Cowboys & Indians all the time and kimono knock offs are being sold in Forever21 to pass as a fashion trend. We’re becoming accustomed to seeing these things everywhere and the shock factor has worn off and worn down until there’s basically nothing left.

These are now everyday occurrences and most people have no idea the effect it’s having on the specific culture it comes from. Some people aren’t bothered by it, but others are. You making light of a culture for personal gain, even if it’s personal gain as simple as being a “joke” for a singular night, is cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is dangerous in several different ways. Not only does it erase and invalidate a culture, but it erases and invalidates the everyday experiences that people of certain races undergo because of skin color or origin.

While you can shed your costume at the end of the day, people of color or different cultures are stuck with all of the racist comments at the end of the day.

Before you buy a costume this year, take a look around, check out the internet. Make sure that your costume is something you enjoy that everyone else can enjoy too.

A culture is not a costume.

Everything you need to know about American Horror Story: Hotel

It’s almost that magical time of year again when Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk release yet another long awaited season of “American Horror Story”. If you’re anything like me, you’re a little nervous for this season because it revolves around newcomer, Lady Gaga’s, character rather than Jessica Lange who usually plays a lead role. Never fear, however, because here is what you need to know before the premiere on Wednesday October 7th.

1) Taissa Farmiga will NOT be in this season.

Yes, it’s a huge bummer. I really thought she would come back for this one since it’s been an every other year type deal for her since season one. However, she has other filming commitments so while we will be missing her on the 7th, we will hopefully be seeing her soon in her upcoming projects.

American Horror Story kicks off their fifth season with "Hotel."
American Horror Story kicks off their fifth season with “Hotel.” Graphic from Pop Matters

2) Jessica Lange WILL be in this season.

When Lange, the usual star of the show announced that she would not be returning for season five, our hearts were understandably crushed. However, one of the show’s creators, Ryan Murphy, has confirmed that while Lange will not be playing a huge role, she will make an appearance. At least we can wean ourselves off of her.

3) Darren Criss WILL be in this season.

Darren Criss rose to fame after starring in Ryan Murphy’s hit show “Glee” (although I fell in love with him while watchingA Very Potter Musical” way back before his “Glee” days) and now after some vague Instagram remarks, it is apparent that Criss will be making an appearance on American Horror Story: Hotel.

4) Max Greenfield WILL be in this season.

Yes, Schmidt from “New Girl” is checking into the Hotel. Let’s all pray that he doesn’t die, although knowing Murphy and Falchuk, he probably will.

5) Evan Peters will be playing a serial killer.

Yes, you read that right. Sure, he shot up his high school in season one, but he ended up being a reformed bad boy. In all the other seasons, he played pretty moral characters. This season, we’re going to see a different side to him.

6) The plot may include something about the story of Elisa Lam.

If you don’t remember, Elisa Lam was a 21 year old Canadian tourist, who back in 2013 was staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles when she died. She went missing and was found days later in a water tank on top of the Cecil during an inspection after guests complained about low water pressure and funny tasting water. Bizarre and incredibly creepy security camera footage captured Lam acting very strange in the elevator as she presumably rode up to her death. She appeared to be interacting with an invisible being. The autopsy report showed no drugs in her system, making this video even more disturbing as it could never be explained.

The hotel had been the temporary home of a few serial killers and many people who believe in the supernatural say that one of their spirits killed Lam. Many fans of American Horror Story are expecting the new season to touch on this case ever since Ryan Murphy dropped hints that the show would cover famous Los Angeles hotel deaths from over the years.

7) Ryan Murphy says this may be the most disturbing season yet.

If you’re like me and you hate blood, you might want to sit this one out. Not wanting to miss out on a great season, I just plan on watching this one through my fingers as usual.

If you want a taste of what’s to come, check out the opening credits and this first look, released a few days ago.

Highlanders Anonymous: Sororities, Stress, and Going home for the weekend

“I want to join a sorority, but I’m scared of what people will think of me. I’m not a party girl or anything, but I was really into my church growing up and this is a nice chance to meet cool people while getting back into philanthropy. Should I do it?”

When you get to college you have so many incredible opportunities to get involved at your school. Greek life is definitely a pretty cool one, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. I suggest that you go to a bunch of informal rush events and mixers (if you haven’t already) to make sure that this is something that you truly want.

If it is, then to hell with everyone else’s opinions—you do what you want. It sounds like you’re getting into it for all the right reasons so the real question is, why shouldn’t you?

“I have way too much going on right now. I’m a freshman and I got involved with every club or organization I could get my hands on, but now I feel completely overwhelmed. What do I do?”

Make sure that you have a planner. It may seem elementary school-ish, but they really do work. Write down everything that you have to do every week including the due dates. This will help you organize everything in your mind which will certainly help with the stress.

Secondly, with all of your events and homework be sure to schedule in some time alone for yourself. “Monday 6pm- 8pm: watch two Once Upon A Time episodes with Halloween cookies.” It may seem dumb, but when you have to schedule everything else in your life so carefully it helps to know that you’re guaranteed some “me” time.

“I have a boyfriend back home that I really want to visit, but I don’t have a car. The longer we go without seeing each other the crazier I feel. I knew that long-distance would be hard, but I’m not sure if I can handle only seeing each other once every few months.”

First of all, yes, long-distance will continue to be hard, but there’s no reason that you guys can’t see each other on the weekends. There’s a bus that leaves Radford every Friday to take you to the real bus station and it returns on Sundays. It’s not too expensive either.

Another option you have is hitching a ride with someone else headed in that direction. Post on the RU Facebook page for your graduating class to see if anyone is headed where you want to go. Most people are willing to even go out of their way for you if you offer to pay for gas.

That’s all for this week, but remember to send in your anonymous questions for us to answer! Next week could be your question!

image1 (1)
Photo by: Danielle Johnson. Students: Sydney Puryear and Olivia Moorehead

When you get to college you have so many incredible opportunities to get involved at your school. Greek life is definitely a pretty cool one, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. I suggest that you go to a bunch of informal rush events and mixers (if you haven’t already) to make sure that this is something that you truly want.

If it is, then to hell with everyone else’s opinions—you do what you want. It sounds like you’re getting into it for all the right reasons so the real question is, why shouldn’t you?

 

 

Why fall is the best season

leaves
“I love walking on the orangey green leaves and hearing the crunchy sound, filling you with memories of when you used to jump into a pile of leaves as a child.”

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace, as I have seen in one autumn face.” This statement by John Donne is perfectly valid in my world. Autumn (or fall) is the best season, there’s so many reasons to love it! The leaves are changing colors, it symbolizes a new change in your semester here at Radford, the atmosphere is so calm and helpful for days you want to stay inside and read a book and drink coffee. Also holidays are just around the corner.

What I love about autumn is the beauty that it holds, the freshness in the air, the chills after a sip of hot chocolate. I love walking on the orangey-green leaves and hearing the crunchy sound, filling you with memories of when you used to jump into a pile of eaves as a child. Other things I love about fall are comfy sweaters, pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, pumpkin everything, rainy days, new TV shows, football season for the sports fan and the calm before the holidays!

Speaking of holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving are the best in my book. I loved dressing up and going to trick or treating, and we get to go back home and see our pets and family again and finally eat real food after two long months of studying hard, when you find yourself around the table with you family and closest friends. It’s very special not only being with them, you also get to reflect on yourself and show your gratitude towards the things you’ve gained for this year. Other reasons to love fall are that you aren’t sweating like crazy walking to your classes that are so far away from each other, haunted houses, one word: boots, being able to be okay with being lazy and of course winter is coming which means snow and Christmas!

Fall is a new start of endings, wearing scarves and cozy coats, and the sunsets are beautiful, making gingerbread, and pumpkin cookies, and going home for Thanksgiving. There’s absolutely no argument to this. Can anything top that?

The window

We sat in silence for nearly an hour. The rain was just beginning to let up, though a slate-gray sky kept the atmosphere dark. Beside me Will was stationary in his seat, only breaking the stillness with the flicks of his thumb on the phone in his hand. Vague shapes passed us by behind fogged windows, but we paid them no heed as the bus tumbled along towards our stop.

“Hey—Aaron reply to the text yet?”

Will’s voice nearly startled me. I was beginning to drift off, but quickly straightened myself and gave a shrug. I took out my phone and checked the lock screen, but no notifications were there. “Nope. Probably hasn’t seen it yet.”

“You sent it to him at lunch, though!”

Another shrug.

“You’d think he’d have told us what he needed, sending a message like that. Sounded urgent.”

“If it were urgent, he probably would’ve called.” I straightened my arms out in front of me, stretching the weariness from them. “And if it were urgent, he wouldn’t’ve called us.”

Will sighed audibly, but the turn of his head to the front of the bus was all the agreement I needed. There were several more minutes of silence.

“You bring any of those pills, man? I’m starting to get a headache and this ride is lasting forever.”

“Nope. Ran out.”

Will furrowed his brow. “Don’t you think you should get those filled?”

“I will. I’m seeing him tomorrow.”

“Well damn, man, I probably could’ve just slept through this!”

“You’re the reason I ran out so fast.”

Will gave a quiet snort, but let the subject fall. We were beginning to slow, the quiet whine of the brakes announcing the end of our trip. Aaron’s neighborhood was not too much of a walk from the stop we were getting off at, and it seemed like the weather would refrain for the time being as we disembarked.

Only the sound of our footsteps on rain-soaked pavement accompanied us as we walked the sidewalk, punctuated here and there by the hum of a cars engine and the hiss of their tires through puddles in the road. My leg protested almost the whole way to Oak Grove, the enormous bruise on my shin crying out against any activity.

I kept moving, though, and Will did not notice the slight winces that crossed my face with each step.

Aaron’s house was not grandiose to any extent, but it was reasonable enough for his tastes. With two floors and a dull beige paint job, it stood as the clone of several older buildings put up for sale down the street. It was clear that he had not taken a power-washer to the place for a while, as small dots of mold were beginning to pop up here and there between the exterior paneling. Will winced.

“You’d think Sarah would’ve gotten him to clean the place up. It’s not like her to let it get this bad…”

His words faltered under my withering glare, and he brought a hand up to fix his mussed hair. Though it was no longer raining, a low-lying fog had moved in and was beginning to mist our clothes and skin.

Rain soaked window. Graphic from Sam D'Amico Photography
Rain soaked window. Graphic from Sam D’Amico Photography

“Sorry, I know—”

“You’re fine,” I said.

“Yeah, but I know it wasn’t cool for—”

“You didn’t care then, why should you now?”

“Dude, it was her choice. And you know it wasn’t like that.”

“It’s fine. She probably just hasn’t seen it yet. His problem now.”

Will looked at me for a little while longer, with an infuriating air of what could have been pity. It did not much matter to me at the time, though, as I was not really paying much attention. I climbed my way up the short flight of steps to the house’s porch, waited for Will to get up beside me, and rang the doorbell.

No answer.

We waited half a minute, growing colder by the second in the misty weather. Will reached out and hit the bell again. We both heard the tone play throughout the house, but received the same response. I turned to watch as Will checked the driveway again, but Aaron’s blue ford was still parked where I remembered it.

“This asshole better be home. I have shit to do today.” Will shivered and replaced his hands in his jacket pockets.

“Maybe he can’t hear us?” I offered, albeit halfheartedly. I punched the doorbell two more times and waited. When once again answered with silence, Will stepped forward and reached for the door’s handle.

“Why’s he leave this stuff unlocked?”

“It’s Aaron,” I said. Once again, this seemed enough for Will as he gave a deprecating shake of his head and pushed the door wide. Inside there was darkness, and a brief moment when my heart sped up and sweat ran colder than the insidious vapor that clung like a damp blanket. Then we stepped in, and turned on the light.

It was a handsome entrance room, with an open archway to the kitchen on the left and living room on the right. Stairs set into the right wall climbed up to the second floor, and in the middle between the stairs and kitchen was a shortcut to the dining room. Aaron’s shoes were piled beside the doormat, with Sarah’s flats beside them. The walls were painted white, darkened here and there by odd shadows and aged blemishes. Will looked at the shoes quizzically before taking his own off and walking into the kitchen. I turned, setting the door’s deadbolt and hanging my jacket on a nearby hook.

“Hey, come check this out!”

Will sounded excited, and despite my leg I moved quickly to investigate. He was no longer in the kitchen, but the dining room. I cast my eyes around to see what he was referring to, and it didn’t take long. One of the chairs was upturned, lying on its back, and the table was slightly crooked, pushed nearly a foot forward on the right side.

I furrowed my brow. “What’s that?”

Will, who had probably looked around a little bit before calling me, narrowed his eyes and cast them around the room and down the hallway. His voice was quiet, his tone suddenly serious. “You think someone broke in here?”

“What do you mean?”

“Shh! Shit, man, what if they’re still in here?”

“We rang the doorbell four times.”

“Where’s Aaron? Where’s Sarah?”

His steely glare was disconcerting, definitely, and I hardened my expression as well. We stayed in that room for several more seconds as the soft sound of rain suddenly began pattering against the roof. A tree branch, blown by the wind, scratched against the nearby window. He seemed at the same time worried for his friend and scared to leave the dining room.

“Maybe they’re upstairs?”

His words, or at least their tone, were almost pitiful to hear. I had never thought of Will as a coward, but this was a side of him I had not seen before. He seemed genuinely frightened at the thought of going up to look for Aaron and Sarah . . . so much for the bravado he always seemed to show. When he finally moved away from the table to venture for the stairs, I turned my eyes back to the dining room one last time. The chair had not moved from last I remembered, and a low-set bench was still knocked to the side of the room.

My shin gave a throb.

Every step we took stairs creaked under our weight as we climbed the stairs, the carpet on the steps doing nothing to muffle our sound. It was growing steadily darker. None of the lights were on. Every picture hanging from the walls seemed to be watching us. I stopped when I reached the top of the staircase, but kept my eyes on Will as he slowly moved on. My heart racing in my chest, my senses clear, I made an effort to stay silent as I crept after him as he reached the end of the hallway and Aaron’s and Sarah’s bedroom.

I didn’t have to look up to see the scene that kept Will motionless, that brought his hand up to his mouth and held back the words struggling to rise to the surface. I did not have to see the two forms lying in utter stillness on the bed, an expression of confusion and fear frozen on their face. All I had to feel was my aching arm, pushed to exertion twice today already, and it snaked under Will’s jaw and locked.

The phone on the bedside table buzzed in reminder of its unread texts. Will’s hands tried wrenching the arm away, growing weaker by the second. I turned my eyes on the woman in the bed as the body fell limp in my arms, and kept squeezing.

 

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The water-slicked asphalt reflected the slate-gray sky above as the bus screeched to a halt in front of me. Its doors opened, and I climbed in, stretching out my arm and wincing at the pain of each step. I laid my head against the cold, fogged window, and closed my eyes.

It was going to be a long trip home.