This Ain’t Your Mummy’s Mix Tape

A List of Halloween Tricks and Treats to Keep You Huddled Under That Favorite Blanket


Published: October 22, 2009


  • “The Witches”: From children’s book to the silver screen, Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” is kiddie-horror at its finest. “The Witches” tells the story of a young boy who discovers a convention full of witches while on holiday. The concept of these witches is of course the scariest part of the movie, but it’s what they are made to look like that scared me as a six year-old. Bald, warty, ugly and downright nasty, Anjelica Huston as the Grand Witch was a young child’s worst nightmare. With incredible makeup effects as well as memorable characters, “The Witches” proves to be a classic for that six year-old inside of everybody.
  • “Silence of the Lambs”: Is it me, or is Anthony Hopkins the most operatic, sophisticated serial killer to come out of the big screen? With the famous line, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti,” Hopkins is sure to go down in cinema history as one of the scariest horror villains ever. Originally written as a novel by Thomas Harris, “Silence of the Lambs” is the story of FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who recruits the infamous Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in order to catch the maniacal Buffalo Bill. One may say the plot of the movie itself isn’t scary, but rather it is the characters that make the film memorable. Hopkins brings to life a new breed of killer, toying with his victims in various psychological and tormenting manners, simultaneously gnawing their faces off. And remember kids, “It puts the lotion on the skin or it gets the hose again!”
  • “The Shining”: By taking Stephen King’s already haunting novel and turning it into cinema gold, Stanley Kubrick hit the nail on the head with “The Shining.” With Kubrick’s unique style of initiating sound, color schemes and disturbing camera angles, the story of Jack Torrence and the haunting of the Overlook Hotel is simple yet increasingly complicated. Jack Nicholson is at his scariest ever, with a disturbing face only a mother could love.
  • “Hocus Pocus”: I don’t care how old you are or how many college degrees you have: “Hocus Pocus” is a true classic that recovers lost childhood memories and patches them together with cheesy, lovable performances by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and a young Sarah Jessica Parker. There has to be a law stated somewhere that this movie is to be played at least 36 times during ABC Family’s “13 Nights of Halloween.” It’s almost impossible to miss.


  • “Weird NJ and Weird U.S. series”: This one is for all my fellow Jerseyans out there reading. If you’re from the sleepy suburbs of New Jersey and looking for an adventure on a Saturday night, a “Weird NJ” issue isn’t far to be found. Combining stories of urban legends, ghost stories, abandoned buildings and the always infamous Jersey Devil, “Weird NJ” has a story for everybody from almost every quiet town. And don’t worry, non-New Jerseyans, the “Weird NJ” series also has “Weird U.S.,” a book compiling the best urban legends and supernatural stories from all 50 states.
  • “Dracula” by Bram Stoker: Alright all you “Twihards,” here’s a real vampire book about the original Godfather of blood-sucking. Modeled after the real life history figure Vlad the Impaler, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” takes you on a journey of gothic imagery, dark magic and displays of romantic, sultry seduction from the Count himself.


  • Sufjan Stevens—“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”: Haunting acoustic guitar? Check. Delicate, childlike singing? Check. Lyrics about a legendary serial killer who dressed like a clown in order to kill and dismember young boys? I just pissed my pants a little.
  • Warren Zevon—“Werewolves of London”: A classic, down-home tune about courting werewolves that even your parents would know.
  • Sonic Youth—“Halloween”: Just listening to this song makes you feel like you’re in a 1975 B-movie about inbred cannibals directed by a  bar mustache.
  • Slayer—“Raining Blood”: This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t put some sort of death metal song on here. This has “WTF” written all over it.
  • Led Zeppelin—“Stairway to Heaven”: Get a record player. Play it backwards. Enough said.


  • “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”: Originally run as a special every year, this Peanuts classic is a must-watch. Grab your favorite bowl of candy corn, pop open a giant Snickers bar, bolt the door shut and turn the porch light off. Trick-or-Treaters, don’t even think of ringing my doorbell.
  • “The Twilight Zone”: No matter how weird or ridiculously creepy these episodes get, I can watch them for hours on end. “Captain… there’s… something on the wing… some… thing!…”