If you do not have your costume from the Disney movie “Descendants” yet, you may be out of luck in Charlotte. “Kids are calling for ‘Descendants’ costumes, especially Mal and Evie,” says Debra Curl of Morris Costumes’ Monroe location. “We had Evie for about five minutes.”
Shawn Sluder, store manager at Halloween Express University, says girls still want to be Elsa from the Disney movie hit “Frozen,” and boys are still eyeing morphsuits and “Halo” costumes, but agrees “Descendants” is the winner. “All Descendants costumers are sold out and we still get several calls a day asking for it,” he says.
Sluder says adult costumes are staying traditional this year, with vampires, cops, zombies and cat suits leading the pack. Political costumes are also a favorite, Curl says, noting they have Donald Trump wigs.
Q: Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers? A: No, they eat the fingers separately...
Q. Which ghost is the best dancer? A. The Boogie Man!
Q: What do you get when you cross Bambi with a ghost? A: Bamboo
Q: Where do ghosts buy their food? A: At the ghost-ery store
Bitty bats: Paint a wooden clothespin black. While it’s drying, go to familyfunmag.com/printables, download wing template, and cut it out. Trace two wings onto black cardstock. Cut them out. Fold over a tab on the base of each wing where shown and glue them to the sides of the clothespin.
Gaping Apple Mouths: Cut an apple into 4 or 5 wedges, trimming away the core. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a wedge out of the skin side to create an opening. Trim it to widen it a little. Dip the apple into lemon juice and water to slow browning. Spread a little peanut butter inside (add a drizzle of strawberry jam for a grosser look). Use the knife point to make slots around the edges and insert almond slices for teeth.
Rats lurking on staircases or baseboards are a fun way to give visitors a fright. Make them yourself with this template from Martha Stewart using black cardstock, scissors and tape (www.marthastewart.com/271198/paper-mice). Packs of 10 mice (and two mouse-holes) from Martha Stewart Crafts are sold at Michael’s for $5.99, but in limited quantities.
Throwing a party or just home drinking alone in a mask? Some beers to consider:
White Zombie Ale, Catawba Brewing: Quaffable white ale with a killer can.
Dead Guy Ale, Rogue Brewing. “Deep honey in color with a malty aroma, rich hearty flavor and a well balanced finish.”
Rise Against Clowns, sour beer by Charlotte’s Unknown Brewing and 7venth Sun Brewing in Florida. Hoist this one and the brewmasters say you’ll get 6.6 percent barrel-aged sour that has been brewed with blood oranges and cotton candy and fermented with 100 percent brettanomyces (a “funky” yeast,” according to the New York Times). The blood oranges give it a pop of citrus flavor and the cotton candy gets fermented out leaving a subtle vanilla finish. The end result is like an orange creamsicle.
Or you could just crack a few Buds and forget it.
Feline frights: Black paper transforms a string of lights into a sinister group of cats. Download template from familyfunmag.com/printables. Trace the shape onto black cardstock, marking the placement of the eyes. Cut out several heads and use a hole punch to make eyes. Insert bulbs from a string of electric lights into the holes.
Pretty Pumpkins: Cut the bottom 2 or 3 inches from 2 plastic bottles, with one bottom about a half inch taller than the other. Discard the tops. Cut 4 1-inch slits into the taller section. Crumple orange tissue paper and place it inside both sections. Slide the shorter section over the taller. Cut a triangle from a brown paper bag and twist it into a gnarled stem. Glue it to the top.
Scary flicks with a twist
Movies are memorable when they scare, but more so when we care. “The Silence of the Lambs” is great not just because Hannibal Lecter is repulsively fascinating, but because we’re emotionally attached to FBI agent Clarice Starling. So here are five spooky movies guaranteed to touch the heart as well as chill the spine:
“M” – Peter Lorre plays a quiet chap who murders children in Berlin, though his insurmountable compulsion horrifies him.
“The Orphanage” – A couple trying to keep an orphanage afloat begin to sense ghosts’ interference after their son goes missing.
“The Others” – Nicole Kidman’s family lives on a misty island during World War II – but who are the servants who offer “help”?
“Pan’s Labyrinth” – A plucky Spanish girl makes strange sacrifices to save her dying mother from her cruel stepfather in 1944.
“Shutter Island” – FBI agent Leonardo DiCaprio investigates a disappearance at a prison and uncovers a bizarre conspiracy.
Mummy, what’s for dinner?
Mummy dogs, y’all! Remove hot dogs from package and blot dry. Use either crescent roll dough or bread stick dough cut into thin strips to wrap around the hot dogs. Leave a little space for the face and finish with a little more dough for the head wrap. Brush with 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until browned. Just before serving, dot with mustard to make eyes. Makes 8 servings.
Trick or turkey legs!
The Carolina Renaissance Festival has a variety of Halloween stuff for the goblins Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. There’s free admission for kids (not adults, $24), free Halloween bags and treats to be found all around the 25-acre festival village. There will also be a Halloween treasure hunt and a Halloween costume contest; carolina.renfestinfo.com.
Yucking it up with Count Chuckula
Q: What does a vampire never order at a restaurant? A: A stake sandwich...
Q: Why do vampires need mouthwash? A: They have bat breath...
Q: What is a vampire’s favorite ice cream flavor? A: Veinnilla.
Q: What do Italians eat on Halloween? A: Fettuccine Afraid-o
Q: What did Dracula say after reading all these jokes? A: They suck!