How to have a perfect Halloween

It’s that time of year again. The air gets crisp, the leaves change colors and ghouls, goblins, superheroes, villains and a host of other characters emerge from the night to stalk neighborhoods searching for candy. It’s Halloween — a great time to have fun and get scared. Not sure what tricks or treats you’ll be up to this year? Well, South Florida is the place to be.

If you’re too old for trick-or-treating but still love getting spooked on Halloween, it’s time to trade in the superhero costume for a ticket to a haunted house or theme park.  South Florida has many “spooktacular” events to celebrate Halloween. Here are a few ideas that will light your jack-o’-lantern.

Downtown Fort Lauderdale has a large-scale destination of doom and gloom. The War Memorial Auditorium has been transformed into the Village of Horrors, two full-scale haunted houses, surrounded by scare zones, a midway and sideshows. The Village of Horrors is open from Oct. 27 to Oct. 31.

House of Horror, a Halloween amusement park located at Miami International Mall, is open until Oct. 31. This amusement park includes a two-acre haunted house, carnival rides, circus attractions, carnival food, games and free parking.

If you’re planning to leave the South Florida area, then head on up to Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, recognized as one of the country’s most popular Halloween events.  This year offers 24 nights of thrills and chills with eight new haunted houses and a variety of scare zones.  Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure and Brian Brushwood: Menace and Malice are the feature shows.

If you’re planning on having a horror fest of your own, a costume contest is arguably the best way to encourage your friends to dress up for your Halloween gathering. You can let the party hosts choose the winners, have a panel of judges select them or let the guests vote. If you’re thinking of making your Halloween party an annual event, it pays to splurge on excellent prizes to further inspire your guests to get creative.

For adult parties, set up a spooky room, darkened or lit only with black lights with long threads hanging from the ceiling and ghosts, skeletons, pumpkins and other decorations. Let people wander through at their leisure or set up fun, short and simple activities throughout the night.

If you enjoy a good scary movie, Halloween is the perfect night to watch all your favorite slasher films. Have guests make a list of scary movies to create a hair-raising night. Or let the evening’s soundtrack provide the scares by peppering familiar spooky songs in with regular party music. Try “Time Warp” from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Monster Mash” or Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Live on campus and don’t have anything to do this Halloween? NSU has activities going on that are sure to be a scream. There will be classic horror movies nights on Oct. 29 from 3-5 p.m. and Oct. 30 from 5-8 p.m. at the Alvin Sherman Library in Room 1017. Explore cemeteries with genealogy students on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 1-3 p.m.

Halloween can be a holiday of fun for all ages. Go out and check out all of the spine-tingling good times that South Florida has to offer on Halloween. Please your sweet tooth, find your inner ghost or goblin, scare your friends and have a happy Halloween.

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