I'm not sure how it is where you are, but Halloween looks a little different this year. We're being urged to be cautious, and certain things I've enjoyed in October's past while in Tokyo seem to have been cancelled. Not Halloween though. Halloween has NOT been cancelled, but since it is a touch different this year-and I'm sure it may be where you are, too-why not look at other ways to enjoy this last week before the big day?
BOO(ZE) a Friend or Neighbor
How cute is this more adult friendly surprise via Sip Jackson Morgan? I love it and used to do this in SoCal, and whether it's a box, bag or bucket, what could be more fun the surprising someone with a holiday inspired happy? It can be as simple or extravagant as you'd like, but the fun in giving makes the reaction of the recipient even better. Fill your Boo Basket (or Booze Basket) with goodies like socks, stickers, candles, candies, snacks, Halloween headbands, napkins-all things you'd probably be able to find at your local dollar store. You can find some cute (and free) downloadable signs for your basket here, here, and here.
Have a Hot Chocolate Movie Night
Pumpkin isn't for everyone so I'm sharing three versions: a pumpkin-forward hot chocolate, white, and a hot chocolate that simply has a fall flavor (hint: it's cinnamon). Whip these up, turn down the lights, and enjoy something spooky (The Haunting of Bly Manor), fun (Hocus Pocus), a rom-com (You've Got Mail), or terrifying (Halloween-the original). You can find my favorite pumpkin hot chocolate recipe here, a white hot chocolate recipe here by the best, Ina Garten, and if you'd like a regular one simply make it the way you prefer then add a pinch of cinnamon. In all cases whipped cream should be added. Don't deny yourself this simple pleasure!
Listen to a Spooky Podcast
I enjoy listening to a good story while running and these definitely keep me on my toes! FYI, I listen to these even when it's not spooky season so I can attest to how good they are. You can find all of them on Spotify.
And That's Why We Drink- Both hilarious and disturbing, two friends who enjoy a good cocktail (and occasional milkshake) dive into the world of true crime, supernatural stories, and listener tales that explore both. This is an easy one to listen to as it doesn't get too scary and since the hosts are very good friends their back and forth is entertaining. If you're looking for something a bit more 'thrill and chill'. however, you should listen to...
Haunted Places- Exploring the frightening, real backstories behind paranormal hotspots across the globe, the host embellishes on true tales and the history of some of the most haunted places on earth, exploring how regular places become legendary for their supernatural haunts. Bonus for Japan expats: the current story is about Okiku's Well at Himeji Castle-the legend that inspired the book and movie 'Ringu', and the Naomi Watts film 'The Ring'. Listen to with the lights ON and a glass of wine!
Southern Fried True Crime - Y'all had to know I'd be listening to a girl from my neck of the woods...ish. The host is a delight in all her sultry Tennessee twang as she discusses current and historical true crime in the south. The sass is as bountiful as the stories and glimpses into the justice system in the Deep South.
The Black Tapes - I hesitated to recommend this one since it hasn't been updated in two years, but it is so wonderfully woven. 'The Black Tapes' is a serial docudrama about one journalist's search for truth, her subject's mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both. How do you feel about paranormal activity or the supernatural? Ghosts? Spirits? Demons? This has it all! Just don't get upset with me when you realize you're waiting to find out what happens next.
Go on a Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Y'all. This is so flipping cute. Kelly from Studio DIY has created the cutest printable for this and every Halloween! Friends with children, this is a sweet way to spend an evening while scouring your neighborhood and shopping areas for these common and spooktacular Halloween decorations. Download it for free here.
Do a Ghost Photoshoot
I'm not at all trendy, but when I first saw this on TikTok I thought it was pretty funny (and something I could get into). #ghosttrend and #tiktokghost seems to have taken off since and why shouldn't it? We all have sheets and sunglasses. Pop them on and take a picture doing everyday things-the more mundane the better (and sillier!). Extra kudos to @lena.daniels for adding some southern fried spice to her shoot with her beau. He was a good sport and I love all that Spanish moss!
And there you have it: five fun-and in some cases free-ways to savor these last few days before Halloween. Enjoy yourselves my friends, be safe, and beside to take some time to savor both tricks and treats!