As much as I love costumes, trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, and the like, my favorite part of Halloween is ... scary movies! Cable networks have been running marathons of horror and suspense movies, and I'm in heaven.
As far as I'm concerned, there's no better way to celebrate the holiday than by hosting your very own spookfest. It doesn't have to be fancy: pick out a few good flicks, pop some corn, and snuggle in with a blanket (so you can hide your eyes if things get a little too, uh, tense).
But if you want to add some fun touches, the zombie food (popcorn coated in cinnamon candy) is a ghoulishly addictive treat. You can also make blood-bath sodas (buy rubber fingers, eyeballs, or sharks, fill with 1 1/2 oz. of red flavored syrup--raspberry, cherry, pomegranate, etc.--and serve along with a tall glass of club soda ... letting your guests pour their own "blood" into the glass). Or turn a simple bowl of punch into a devilish delight by making a floating hand: fill a latex or vinyl glove (not coated with powder!!) with green, red, or orange juice, tie a knot at the wrist, freeze solid, and then cut the glove off your zombie hand. Float it gently in the bowl of punch, and watch your guests shiver with delicious dread.
You could do a 70s-era classic scarefest with The Exorcist, The Shining, The Omen, Rosemary's Baby, and Carrie.
Or go for more modern thrills with The Descent, Insidious, Orphan, 28 Days Later, and Splice.
How about foreign frights? Let the Right One In (Sweden), The Ring (Japan), and Tale of Two Sisters (Korea).
Like your scary with a side of laughs? Shaun of the Dead, Slither, and Drag Me to Hell are all worth a watch
What would you recommend? Offer up your favorite scary movie in the comments section, and you're entered to win today's prize!
(Cinnamon Candy Popcorn)
1 9-oz bag cinnamon candies
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 c. butter (two sticks), cut in cubes
8 quarts popped popcorn
Make sure you pull all the old maids from the popcorn, as they will break your teeth. Preheat oven to 250. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a saucepan, combine the candy, corn syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour candy syrup over popcorn and toss to coat.
Spread the candy-coated popcorn on cookie sheets. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and dump popcorn onto clean parchment or wax paper. Allow the corn to cool, break apart, and serve (in a monster head, if at all possible).
Leave a comment with your favorite scary movie, and you're entered to win this Thanksgiving hostess gift: two autumnal dishtowels; a festive falling leaves apron; a candle scented with orange, clove, and cinnamon; a leaf plate; a maple leaf cookie cutter; and a lovely chocolate fabric box. Just add a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, and you are set to go!