I like dressing up. I like decorating my house in fake cobweb. I like spooky ghost stories and carving pumpkins and passing out candy to Trick-Or-Treaters. The whole holiday is a fun, festive start to the entire holiday season (before you know it, we’ll all wake up with Champaign hangovers from New Years Eve). As I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself holding on to the simple traditions of dressing up and carving pumpkins and enjoying it all more and more with each passing year (just a bit of my childhood I’ll never quite be ready to give up). Tonight I’ll be celebrating Halloween with one of my personal favorite traditions: Roasting the pumpkin seeds from last nights carvings, watching Harry Potter, and passing out candy will dressed up as a background Ravenclaw (I might not have played an important role in the movie, but damned if I wasn’t good at school).
It’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of “favorites” or “roundup” post, so I thought I’d take a moment during this spooky holiday to talk about some of my new favorite things from this October.
I’ve been a big fan of the podcast My Favorite Murder for a long time now (I even went to a live showing of them just a couple of weeks ago). Going along the same general genre as MFM, I recently started listing to the podcast Two Girls, One Ghost and I’m obsessed. If you like funny and spooky stories about hauntings, spirits, and other paranormal activity, I highly recommend this podcast. I’ll listen to ghost stories anytime of the year, but if you want something that feels particular spooky for fall, the Skinwalker episode will leave you double checking the locks on your house.
I’m an easily startled person so scary movies make my way too jumpy, but occasionally I find something a little scarier that I actually like watching. There aren’t any new episodes of Grimm or Strangers Things this year, but I have found myself loving the remake of Sabrina The Teenage Witch. I loved the show growing up (let’s all be honest, Salem the cat is the best character from the series), and I’ve found myself completely sucked into this darker remake. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based on a comic book reimagining that isn’t quite as kid friendly as the original series but totally fills my craving for something spooky but not super scary (seriously can’t sit though a slasher, horror film).
Normally around this time of year I’d be halfway through my reread of the Harry Potter series, but since I’m doing the 50 book challenge (currently on book 40, for anyone wondering), I decided to read all new books this fall. Sticking with the theme of magic, I read the entire Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. Getting my fix on London and magic spells, I really enjoyed this series take on concepts of magic, life and death, and good and evil. (Spoiler alert: The series also involves pirates, which is pretty fun). I’m quickly becoming a big fan of Schwab’s work.
It wouldn’t be a holiday if food wasn’t somehow involved. In addition to my annual purchase of Halloween candy for Trick-or-Treaters, I have a few fun treats I enjoy making this time of year. One of my favorites is Reese’s Monster Cookies (I don’t make them “monster” size, just call them that for fun and because of the fun shape the cookies take). These combine the classic base cookie dough from the chocolate chip and adds in cut up chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I know plenty of people who aren’t a fan of peanut butter (to each their own) but I’m a sucker for that salty peanut butter and chocolate combo. Get the recipe here.
Every year while I’m attempting to clean the pumpkin guts off the seed, I always wonder why I go through so much effort, but it’s always worth it to have a bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds to munch on. This time of year it becomes one of my favorite snacks for when I want a little something post work and before dinner.
What are some of your favorite Halloween treats? Let me know in the comments section below.
GRETCHEN IS A WRITER-BASED IN PORTLAND, ORE. SHE GOT HER START AS A JOURNALIST WORKING ON THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND RESTAURANT BEAT BEFORE MOVING INTO COPYWRITING AND ADVERTISING WORK. SHE CURRENTLY BLOGS AND WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER.