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Paperback A Halloween How-To: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations Book

ISBN: 1565547748

ISBN13: 9781565547742

A Halloween How-To: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

A must-have for everybody who loves costumes, parties, and ghouls. There are recipes, music and movie tips, instructions for costumes, decorating tips, themes for parties, and even travel tips for some of the best haunted houses, pumpkin patches, parades, and ghost tours in the country.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


There's only one thing that keeps "A Halloween How-To" from being the perfect Halloween book and that is that there are no color photographs. That one little drawback aside, this is maybe the best book on Halloween I've ever seen and I've reviewed a LOT of them. Unlike some of the more cutesy-crafty books on the market, this book is more designed for the real Halloween aficionado. This is the person whose more interested in scaring the pants off trick or treaters rather than winning an award from the neighborhood garden committee. The first chapter covers tips on decorating your hose and yard and range from the simple to the very elaborate. Fake Tombstones can be pretty expensive if you buy them in the stores but this book shows how you can make them inexpensively from builder's foam and some paint. Another quick project is the quarter (or more) of dancing lawn ghosts made with old bed sheets stuffed with plastic bags on wooden dowel rods and then arranged in a circle. More elaborate projects can be made by a concoction called Monster Mud, which can be used to mold creatures from. Tips on proper lighting for your outdoor display are included as well. The second chapter covers everything you need to know about choosing, carving, and preserving your pumpkin. A great trip is rubbing it with petroleum jelly or vegetable oil after you carve it to keep it from drying out too fast. Chapter three deals with costumes and make-up, and features designs for fifty different homemade costumes, and patterns for making things like capes and hooded robes. Beyond that it provides techniques for spattering blood on clothing or giving your clothing an aged, rotted look. There are also recipes for making your own costume blood from corn syrup and red food coloring. Parties are covered in chapter four and these are squarely aimed at adults with various themed parties such as gothic or Victorian theme. Ideas for décor, invitations, recipes and games are included along suggested Halloween readings from such classic writers as Poe and Ambrose Bierce. They even tell you how to hold your own séance! Chapter five is a nice accompaniment with its suggestions for music, sound effects and the best scary films to watch on Halloween. One of my favorites is "The Lady in Whites". Chapter six follows up with dozens of recipes. The longest chapter in the book and my personal favorite is the one on Haunted Destinations. The author takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of some of the best and creepiest destinations to visit during the Halloween season. The witch-haunted town of Salem, MA, has their three week long Haunted Happenings that begins the second week of October with various parades, parties, candlelight tours of haunted sites throughout the region. Take a trip to Sleepy Hollow in New York for their annual Halloween festivities or down to New Orleans to visit the Voodoo museum or the famous cemetery crypts. Other destinations include tours of the Edg


If you are looking for a Halloween how to book for grownups, this is it. It is full of magnificent ideas for everything from parties to yard haunting. I love Halloween and I have many Halloween books. This one is the one I use the most. I especially loved the life-sized Grim Reaper. I made it for my yard haunt last year and received more compliments on it than anything else. I highly recommend this book.

Scare Yourself Silly

Before some of my pagan friends get all upset, this book is about the All-American style hauntingly fun holiday, Halloween, not Samhain, not All Souls' Night, not All Hallows Eve though there are brief sketches about these feast days in the introduction. This is about trick-or-treat night! Haunted house week! Dress up and pretend night for grown-ups! Run around in the dark with the full moon sailing behind you night! This book is a delightful compendium of ideas that are refreshingly clever, from easy to semi-difficult, and are very useful in creating a Halloween atmosphere of macabre fun and celebration. Many of the ideas will work well for both kids' and adults' parties, but most of them are geared toward adults. There are not a lot of photos in this book and the ones that are here are black and white, but this is a book where the text is inspiring and where you will have a delightful time reading over the creative ideas almost as if you are brainstorming with a friend who is as in love with this mad-cap holiday as you are. There are chapters on decorating the house and yard, all about pumpkins, do-it-yourself costumes, parties, music and movies, recipes, actual expeditions to haunted locations, myths and monsters. The decoration ideas are not the same old tired ones we are used to seeing and are easy to create since the directions are so thorough. There's even a long list of clever epitaphs for your frontyard gravestones. The pumpkin chapter is loaded with wonderful ideas that even a modest reveller will be able to implement, plus legends and how-tos. Really innovative, funny, spooky and easy costumes are found in abundance in this book...did you know bird-seed makes the best false bosom? Need a recipe for some good fake blood? It's in here. Choose from quick and easy blood, soaking and spreading blood, or cheap two ingredient blood with a bit of concentrated coffee for realism. Do you want dead skin, rotting skin, or old wrinkled skin? No problem. Customize your Halloween party with any of these ideas and you will go down in history as a great party host or hostess. Why not try them all and land yourself in the Partier Hall of Fame! Invitations, theme party ideas, games that are actually fun, fortunes and favors, sound effects,'s all here. There are over 20 pages of really excellent recipes for party foods that are not only visually satisfying for Halloween fun but taste delicious, too. There's a good listing of classic Halloween horror videos broken down into categories, a list of spooky classical music for Halloween atmosphere, a list of the best Halloween scary stories, and a list of places to visit where pros do it up big in theatrical haunted houses. There's even a list of places reputed to actually be haunted..if you have the courage! Even if you have never really done much to get in the Halloween spirit before, this book is sure to infect you with the Halloween bug. The author clearly loves this holiday and

Re: Great ideas for adult Halloween-lovers

This book is chock-full of helpful ideas on how to haunt your yard, decorate your house, throw a Halloween party, and make a cool costume out of next to nothing. Yes, more pictures would have been nice, but I didn't feel that the few black and white photos throughout the book detracted from its usefulness. What I particularly liked were the helpful, real-life suggestions from average folks on what they did and what decorations/party/costume/haunting ideas had worked for them. Another very nice feature was that although the ideas in this book will work for both kids and adults, this is a book written primarily for adults who love Halloween looking to entertain other adults who love Halloween. I really enjoyed the sociological analysis of the holiday as well. The author talks about how Halloween has evolved over the ages--a more in-depth history than one usually finds in Halloween how-to books, debunks many of the myths surrounding Halloween, and talks about modern Halloween trends. The only thing that could have made the book better from my point of view was a section on Halloween decorating for cold climates. By the time October 31st rolls around in my part of the world, the snow is already on the ground, it's too dark to see any decorations that aren't lit up, and warmth is the first consideration when putting together a costume for trick or treating. That being said, if you want a good all-around guide to Halloween, buy this book and you won't regret it. I threw a modest Halloween dinner party last year and am planning a much more elaborate costume party this year thanks to this invaluable little handbook.

Best How-To for Adults

This is the best how-to for serious Halloweeners I've come across. Finally, something with substance for party-givers and yard haunters! Plus it's sprinkled through with lots of fascinating historical tidbits and great stories about folks in the boo-biz. The recipes alone are worth the price of admission, and I also enjoyed thumbing through the various celebrations across the country. There's so much here you'll want to take your time. A treasure!
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