Creeping it Real: A College Student’s Guide to Halloween

Oct. 31 is a favorite day for many children, and for good reason: Who doesn’t love getting to stay out late for free candy? Unfortunately, college students fall in this awkward limbo between childhood and adulthood — too old to trick or treat, but still too young to give up Halloween fun. Here are a few ways to channel that spooky spirit.

  1. Have a movie night

What better way to spend the scariest day of the year than with a movie marathon? Family-friendly movies include “Hocus Pocus,” “Halloweentown,” or “Casper.” For those who aren’t scared of a little gore, try “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Carrie,” or “Halloween.” Horror fans can go back to classics like “The Shining,” “The Conjuring,” or “The Ring.” If you’re not in the movie mood, try to find Halloween-themed episodes of your favorite TV show.

  1. Throw a pumpkin-carving party

Nothing screams Halloween like a jack-o’-lantern. Head to a pumpkin patch to find the perfect gourd and — after the compulsory Instagram shots — pick up some tools from your nearest grocery store. Drawing a design on the pumpkin is always helpful, but also feel free to freehand — er, freecarve. Don’t throw the innards away either; place the pumpkin seeds on a tray and throw them in the oven for a few minutes for a quick snack.

  1. Find some haunted happenings

San Diego has no shortage of ghostly gatherings. Try the Ghosts and Gravestones Frightseeing Tour”= for a taste of some local history with the El Campo Santo Cemetery and Whaley House Museum. If you can’t make it to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, try The Haunted Hotel in the Gaslamp or The Haunted Trail in Balboa Park. For a more immersive experience, Savage House or the Star-Fright Haunted Theatre have good options.

  1. Make some wicked treats

These can range anywhere from dirt cups to pumpkin pie. However, sugar cookies are a Halloween staple. Pillsbury sugar cookies are easy and quick, but those who have more time can find many recipes online. Buy Halloween-themed cookie cutters and invite some friends over to decorate for a sweet night.

Happy haunting!

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