by Coleen Smith

Some people think that Halloween is one day, October 31st. That's just not true, because it's not enough time! The two, three or four weeks leading up to Halloween offer tons of fun and spooky activities. The timeframe for Halloween has expanded into a season, not unlike the holiday season in December.

Halloween is about dressing up and being frightened, about as far as you can get from the other holiday season of Christmas, Chanukah and Thanksgiving. It's not a warm fuzzy holiday at all. It's completely fun and frivolous. At Halloween time you might do what you otherwise wouldn't. Like wearing a costume that's as unlike the real you as it's possible to be.

Everyone knows that the costume is one of the very best things about Halloween. You can dress sexy, in a playful way that you never would any other time of year. Or you can try on the persona of someone real or imaginary that you admire. Then there's always the comedic route. Creativity is the key to a great costume, regardless of the look you're going for.

Being frightened is, of course, a great way to get into the spirit of All Hallows Eve. Read a Stephen King novel or a book about vampires. Forget that some things are impossible and let yourself get into the spirit of things. There are tons of good scary books for all ages. The youngest kids can read something fun, like No Howling in the House, about friendly monsters. There are volumes of scary stories to be read at night by older kids. Even adults can find a good book that will keep them awake at night if that's what they want.

Along the same lines, you could watch a scary movie. There are so many classics to choose from, and they're all out on DVD. Rent a screamer, like one of the aptly named Halloween movies, go for a psychological thriller that gets your mind going, or find a movie that has a little of both. Make it more fun by inviting friends over and watching together. Or really scare yourself by watching when you're home alone, preferably late at night. Of course there are always a few scary new releases at this time of year. The dark movie theater is a great place to watch a scary movie. And best of all, you don't know what's going to happen in a brand new movie that you've never seen before!

Of course, you could go the festive route and throw a Halloween party. Parties can be tailored to any age group, or to all ages. Use your imagination in coming up with food and games that fit the frightening spirit of Halloween.

Haunted houses have grown wildly in popularity in recent years. There are elaborate attractions with scenes and ghouls designed to scare the wits out of visitors. Some are private residences decked out for Halloween night, while others are professional operations staged by special effects designers and actors. Many theme parks transform themselves into fright fests with mazes and actors that will chase you!

All of this October frivolity will, of course, culminate in trick or treating on the 31st. Kids get dressed up and go door to door asking for candy. Parents and older kids can escort the younger kids around the neighborhood. Of course they should put on their best Halloween costumes too. In order for this whole scheme to work, somebody needs to stay home to hand out the goodies.

Obviously Halloween is way too much fun to be limited to just one night. You need weeks, if not the whole month of October, to prepare and celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year. - 39969

About the Author:
The first step is to find the best costumes you possibly can. There are many temporary stores at this time of year, including costume stores in San Diego. Teenagers are especially fond of haunted houses San Diego. They try to be brave, but come out screaming!