How to properly prepare for Halloween

By: Sam Shelton, Senior Editor

What’s up, Tigers — I’m bringing you Ed Desk this week, so everybody strap in and let’s get going. Here are five ways to get suitably spooked for Halloween:

1. Do some light reading in the dark:

I love being creeped out, but I am too big of a baby to handle jumpscares. So, I read. I read a lot. About weird things and spooky things and murderers — Do you know how many wikipedia pages there are about mysteries and murderers and general mayhem? A lot. Want to learn something while satisfying your annual fall urge to indulge in the macabre? Wikipedia is your best friend. Hit me up after you google Lizzy Borden, a handful of cryptids and H. H. Holmes’ murder house (Spoiler: this guy actually tricked out a house to kill people in unique and terrifying ways).

Horror fiction more your style? You can’t really beat Stephen King (or R.L. Stine!), but if you’re running out of material, turn to the internet. Reddit’s r/NoSleep subreddit plays by its own rules, and the moderators really don’t like it when you call something out for being obviously untrue.

If you want a fresh, millennial take on scary stories and creepy encounters, check out r/NoSleep, r/LetsNotMeet, r/Creepy, etc. I especially recommend “The Smiling Man,” the “Search and Rescue” series and “Dr. Ramsey.”

2. Watch something spooky (or super campy):

Back when I was a super edgy, “leave me alone or else” teenage dirtbag, I used to brag about watching “Ghost Hunters” on the Syfy channel and not being scared (Okay, I was a little scared, but I wasn’t about that to admit that to anyone).

A few years later, I wish I could punch my teenaged self in the face, but she did have a point: it’s fun to watch grown adults wandering around in the dark, looking for ghosties. “TAP ME ON THE SHOULDER IF YOU’RE A GHOST,” someone armed with a camera and a flashlight might say, before taking an orchestrated leap backward. “PUNCH ME IN THE FACE IF YOU’RE A WOMAN WHO DIED IN 1892 OF SOME HORRIBLE DISEASE,” viewers might hear. Dude, in 1892 everybody died of some horrible disease. You’re trying to start a fight with an empty room, but I guess that makes for good TV?

Speaking of good TV, ABC Family, now called “Freeform” (blech), airs Halloween-themed movies every evening leading up to the big night. They’re not scary in the least, but they are nostalgic.

3. Play a video game:

I’m not talking about Pacman, ladies and gentlemen. I mean play a scary game — a jump-out-of-your-seat, need-to-change-your-pants game that makes you want to sleep with the lights on (or at least gets you into the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve). Now, I will say, a lot of these kind of games rely heavily on jump scares, so you probably won’t have any trouble getting to bed on time, but they’re fun to play and are great to experience with friends. For solo enjoyment, check out “Resident Evil,” “Silent Hill,” or mystery thrillers “Until Dawn” and “Firewatch,” but switch to games like “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” “Stop it, Slender” or “Dead by Daylight” to play with friends. There are too many horror games on the market right now to list them all, but do some digging and you’ll find virtually every level of scary.

4. Run from some zombies:

I think might heart would pop out of my chest the second I walked into an attraction like Field of Screams, but hey, if that’s your thing, go for it. Take a buddy. Take a jacket. And take lots of pictures for those of us who will never, ever go with you.

5. Carve a freaking pumpkin:

That is all.

I could go on and on about Freeform’s family-friendly programming and its many merits for ages, but I bet that’s not what you cool college kids want to hear.

Instead, I’ll end with this: make as many “bad” decisions as you like, but remember that the only thing scarier than Halloween is the reality of the morning after. Be safe and be spooky.

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