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January 24 2013

The tale of Jack-o'-lantern

Like the festivity of Halloween itself, pumpkin carving is thought to come from Ireland and Scotland, but they used turnips mostly, instead of pumpkins, to carve faces on them. They were said to keep spirits at bay and represent them at the same time during the Gaelic festival of Samhain. Others suggest  that these carvings originated on All Saint’s Day, with similar purposes.

The tale behind the pumpkin carvings is more interesting, though. It tells the story of a lazy thief called Jack who manages to trick the Devil in many different ways according to different tales. The most popular says that a group of villagers caught Jack stealing from them, and started to chase him. He was hiding in some place when the Devil showed up just to tell him that his time had come. But then, Jack offered a better deal for the Devil, one that he could not disagree upon. Jack told the Devil to transform into a silver coin, with which he would pay the villagers for the goods stolen. Then, the Devil could disappear and all the villagers would fight over who had stolen the coin and thus all of them would end up going to hell. The Devil agreed to the plan, but when he transformed into a silver coin Jack took it and put it into a sack he had, along with a cross. Jack closed the sack, and the Devil found himself unable to come out of it, as the cross was cancelling his powers.


DESCRIPTION

Jack retained the Devil for a long time, and only let him free when he promised to never reclaim his soul. After Jack died, he could not go to heaven, as he was a thief in life, and he could not go to hell due to the agreement with the Devil. He did not know where to go, and asked the Devil for an answer. The Devil, still mad at Jack for having tricked him, mockingly tossed him an ember from hell that could never burn out, so it would illuminate his path forever. Jack then carved out one of his turnips, put the ember inside and started wandering across the planet looking for a place to rest that he would never find. That is when he became known as Jack of the Lantern, or Jack-o’-lantern.

Interesting, isn’t it? It makes for the perfect story to tell your children on your next Halloween party! DESCRIPTION

January 02 2013

Better than Christmas cake

I'm sure you couldn't stomach much more food after the festive season, but after eating a bit too much Christmas cake this year I couldn't help but think that there's much more cake options at the end of October..

I personally think that the boundaries can be pushed so much more at Halloween. This could be in the creativity and variety of taste & design. The possibilities are endless!

October 29 2012

Make-up for Halloween

I’m sure you have already decided a long time ago which costume you’re going to wear this Halloween. But. what about the make-up? If your fancy dress doesn’t include a mask, it’s necessary that you know how to prepare a very realistic make-up and… blood!! Yes, my dear friend, some kind of fake blood sold at stores are not-well prepared; this is the reason that it is very important you create a good quality blood.

Real blood

In this video you are going to watch how to prepare blood. It’s very easy and the most important thing is that it’s made with very common ingredients that you can find at the supermarket.

Burns

It will look as if you've come out from hell, watch it.

Zombie make-up

In this tutorial you are going to learn how to apply make-up yourself or a friend to be a zombie – so you’d be able to act in the tv series the walking dead!

Killer clown

I dressed up as Freddy Krueger last year because I did not have much time to think about the best costume option. It was easy for me, I got home at 7 p.m after work and I had just to to put the costume on.

Fortunately, I am on holiday this Halloween so I have time to prepare my costume in relaxed conditions. I was browsing Youtube last week to get some ideas and I found my costume… a killer clown!! I bought some items at the shop and I am going to do the make-up myself, following these easy steps.

Fantastic, isn’t it? I hope this post has been helpful for you to be the most terrorifying character of the party!!

September 21 2012

The Re-release of John Carpenter's 'Halloween'

The original 'Haloween' was released in 1978 and shocked audiences around the world. John Carpenter's low-budget movie became an instant Halloween classic- which through the years has developed into a franchise.

Halloween 1978

On October 25th the original movie is due to hit the big screen once again. The re-release will be presented in a striking new high definition transfer, too- so you can see a little more detail in those gory moments. The sound has also been improved, which adds the suspense and tension of this classic thriller.

I'm very excited about this re-release, as this was one of the first movies to really spark fear into an audience- and what better title of a movie could they have picked?

Click here for the Halloween re-release trailer.

So are you going to take a trip to the cinema to see it? It may be 34 years old, but it most definitely still has the potential to cause a fright!

June 13 2012

Make your own Pumpkin for Halloween

Now that summer is coming, you have plenty of time to practise making your own pumpkin in order to have the best one for Halloween and be the envy of all of your friends & neighbours.

The first thing you will need to do is to buy a wonderful pumpkin. Then, draw a terrifying face on a piece of paper.  Once you have done this, cut the top of the pumpkin with a knife, remove the seeds and clean up the inside with a spoon.

Take the piece of paper and tape it on a side of the pumpkin. With a sharp blade trace the drawing, creating small holes which will be marked on the pumpkin. Join the holes with a marking pen, cut the lines with a knife and push the pieces out from the inside.

Finally, light your pumpkin. Use a lighter and light some candles which will be placed inside the pumpkin….That’s all, you have created your own terrifying pumpkin!!

March 22 2012

Quirky Traditions

Where will you be this Halloween? If you’re in another country you should consider how they go about celebrating. Most traditions are rather similar across the World, but there are some that are slightly quirkier than the rest. In this post we will pick out our favourite Halloween traditions from across the globe:

In Ireland – where Halloween originated from – all of the traditional antics go on. Children often like to play ‘Knock a Dolly’, a game in which they will knock on a neighbours door in the hope that they will get chased away.

The Irish also enjoy eating ‘Barmbrack’ on Halloween; a yeasted brad containing raisins and sultanas. The bread would traditionally contain a variety of objects such as a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin and a ring. Each item found in a slice would tell a fortune:
Pea – The person will not marry this year.
Stick – The person would either have an unhappy marriage or be in a continual dispute.
Cloth or Rag – The person would have bad luck or be poor.
Coin – The person would have good fortune or be rich.
Ring – The person would be wed within a year.

Barmbrack

Doors and windows are left open in Poland to welcome the spirits- they also believe that the spirits roam on Halloween.

In Portugal, people gather to drink wine and eat chestnuts in the cemetery. Sugary cakes with cinnamon and herb flavouring are also very popular on Halloween.

People of Belgium try to avoid black cats, as they’re considered to be bad luck. They also light candles in memory of family and friends that have passed.

Spain
is another country that tends to avoid black cats on this day. They also like to indulge in ‘the Bones of the Holy’; a special pastry that was originally popular in Northern Spain, but is now tend to be found across the country on Halloween.

Black cat and gravestone

In Hong Kong, people burn pictures of fruit and money. This is because they believe that on the whole day of Halloween, spirits roam the World. This is said to reach the spirit world and then comfort the ghosts of the dead.

‘Teng Chieh’ is celebrated in China, where people will place food and water in front of photos of their dead friends and relatives- which is a tradition also used in Japan. Bonfires and lanterns are also lit, which apparently lights the spirits path back to earth.

Lanterns

‘Beans of the Dead’ are made in Italy on Halloween; small bean-shaped, almond flavoured cakes. Children get very excited about these, as the only other day these cakes are around would be on All Soul’s Day.

A lot of people are Bobbing for Apples in Scotland. Also known as Apple Dookin’ or Apple Bobbin’, this is a very popular game on Halloween.

The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st & 2nd in Haiti. Celebrations include performing rituals in honour of ancestors and voodoo spirits.

Halloween originated in Ireland - which was then adopted by America - and is now becoming increasingly popular throughout Europe and the rest of the World. So no matter where you are this Halloween, you can be sure there will be some sort of celebration!

January 13 2012

Bobbing for Apples

Want to do a little bit more this Halloween than just trick or treat? Why not have a Halloween party? Or at least go to somebody else’s!

Well whatever you do, there’s probably going to be some apple bobbing involved. For those who don’t know, apple bobbing is a traditional game played at Halloween.

The Rules:
-    Apples will be floating in a large basin full of water.
-    The player must take an apple out of the basin with their mouth (hands will usually be behind back).

Sounds simple, right? Well this game is a lot harder than it looks! Although you have to mind your head, as there are plenty more all trying to do the same thing.

The safer alternative to this is where apples are hung on a string line, rather than a bowl of water.

Dry apple bobbing
Dry Apple Bobbing

So whichever way you bob your apples make sure you just have a bit of fun this Halloween!

November 22 2011

Halloween tree. It's a bit random but Halloween decorations sometimes can be scary and others very cute.

October 19 2011

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5 Scary Halloween Party Themes

The end of October marks the beginning of the party season, with Halloween offering the best excuse to dress up in ridiculous outfits and scare your friends senseless. If you’ve not attended a fancy dress party since you were six years old, why not consider revamping the form this year with a few easy theme ideas?

1. Cursed Crew

Bring a very different kind of Hollywood to your evening by hosting a Cursed Crew party. Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean blockbusters grabbed the traditional fancy dress favourite of swashbuckling pirates and made it cool for the 21st century. It’s an ideal theme for a party aimed at both adults and kids. You can drape yourself in cursed Aztec gold, celebrating the cavalier costume with a darker, scarier edge. Pirate costumes are a flamboyant mix of 17th- and 18th-century dress, with knee-high boots, huge hats, swords, pistols, and corsets for the ladies. Remember that a pirate is a walking wardrobe – pirates live in what they wear, so have fun and make your character your own with trinkets, scarves, bandanas, pendants, earrings, maps and compasses.

Child

2. Zombie You

Ever wondered what your own walking corpse would look like? Zombie You is a cheap but brilliantly terrifying way of creating a quick costume for a teenage or adult party. Why not turn your party into your very own zombie apocalypse to scare your friends and family alike? AMC’s TV series The Walking Dead, adapted from the comic book of the same name, has brought George A Romero’s classic horror genre back into the mainstream. If you need a quick fancy dress costume, this can be a great low-cost answer. If you don’t want to zombify yourself, why not consider turning your favourite pop star, actor or singer into a moaning, groaning corpse!

Zombies

3. Fashion Horrors

From platform shoes to A-line flares, fashion is full of horrific mistakes. A fashion horror is a great way to make a cheap costume for a party aimed at all ages. This theme is particularly good for those who don’t like the scarier side of Halloween. It’s also very inventive and great for adults looking to get back to their own teenage years. Jumble sales, attics and charity shops make great places to fish out old clothes to resurrect the fashions time forgot. It’s especially good for people who are a bit shy of blood or don’t like scary make-up. You could even go further and have a competition for the best and worst combinations of fashion horror.

Fashion horror

4. Little Devils

Get your children involved with your Halloween party with a Little Devils theme for a lively family party with a difference – great for mothers and people wanting to get their children having fun with others. This theme also makes for a great opportunity to take some photos for the family album.

Little devils

5. Angelic Tarts and Demonic Vicars

Get creative with your devil costumes and see your friends and family like you never have before. You can be as angelic or as demonic as you like. This theme is great for a laugh and a twist on the traditional Tarts and Vicars party theme.

October 12 2011

How well do you know your horror movies?
Quiz sponsored by Escapade fancy dress

October 07 2011

This year I would like to try some pumpkin carving. As I've never done it, I don't know what to expect or how difficult it would be to carve a recognisable face.

After going through different articles I found on Google, I came across 'Halloween-tastic Pumkins. How to carve them'. This one shows you how to do it step by step.

I'll let you know how I get on when I try it this Halloween ;-)


September 30 2011

Hold on, man.  We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or "forbidden" in the title.
— Scooby Doo

September 28 2011

Landing on Soup.io in the best Halloween mood

I have just landed on Soup.io with my Halloween blog. The count-down starts soon!
Tags: halloween
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