13 Ways to Scare Yourself

13 Ways to Scare Yourself this Halloween Season

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Halloween makes my heart happy. It’s that time of year when I relish in the cozy joys of excitable fear and playful panic. The Halloween season creates a safe place for thrilling fun away from real-world risk and danger. I’m a huge fan.

There are many reasons behind my love and adoration. One reason might be because I like watching Brian’s reactions to the dark and disturbing. Observation of such remains a curious habit from my childhood. Just ask my dad about the time(s) I encouraged my brother to watch for the severed, floating leg in Jaws...

Though I appreciate a good scare, it’s tricky to find something that truly scares me. And I do mean in the haunted, Halloween-sense of things – not in the way of real-world news and events. The real world, on the other hand, can be downright terrifying.

As for good-natured, Halloween horror, I have compiled a little joyful list of spooky scares you can try out for yourself.

Embrace the Fear

If you have even the slightest interest in a scary Halloween, my hope is that you enjoy some of the ideas below. Although everyone might not crave fear the way I do, this list can be a great starting point to launch you into the Halloween spirit.

1. Scary Movie Marathon

One of my favorite Halloween traditions has evolved into a month-long one. Actually, I love scary movies any time of the year. October, however, is the month when Brian finds haunts and horrors on (and off) screen a little more tolerable. Scary movies include everything from campy horror and thrilling suspense to unsettling haunts, dark gore, and more. Personally, I prefer the disturbing and unsettling ones. Pick a theme that gets under your skin for the best chance of solid scares.

Some of my personal favorites are:

Warning: Some viewers may find the following videos disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

– We Are What We Are

– The Taking of Deborah Logan

– Sinister

– Stephen King’s IT (1990)

2. Horror-Themed Video Games

Playing horror-themed video games is such a fun and interactive way to get into the swing of scares. When I was younger, my sisters would sit with me late at night while I played PC games such as Goosebumps: Escape from Horrorland, The 7th Guest, and Maniac Mansion.

Since then, video game graphics have become more realistic with even darker storylines. Brian and I have played a handful of creepy PlayStation games together including:

These games are hauntingly atmospheric and detailed. They’re incredibly fun to play with the lights out!

3. Local Haunts

Explore your local haunted house or corn maze attractions. They’re a great way to connect with the community and support local businesses!

4. The NoSleep Podcast

The NoSleep Podcast will send chills down your spine. Perfect for long, nighttime drives or stormy nights at home, this horror fiction podcast features unsettling tales from the dark and disturbing. A rich blend of eerie music, sound effects, and exceptional voice actors brings these stories to life.

5. Merc Docs YouTube Channel

I highly recommend Merc Docs. This YouTube channel features true crime cases, unsolved mysteries, and more. Excellent narration and interesting cases maintain intrigue and tension. Brian and I have learned that we shouldn’t watch these videos before sleep. They’ve left us feeling uneasy since they delve into real situations with real people.

6. Perform a Séance

If you really want to scare yourself, learn how to perform a séance. Now, it’s not my cup of tea; I believe in the spirit world and don’t want to mess with them. However, it’s worth a try if you’re willing to experiment. Take a look at this how-to guide for some key pointers. If you’re not comfortable with leading a séance yet, you can try to attend one locally. Find or create a séance group through Meetup to connect with others!

7. Hit the Books

Let your imagination run wild with a night of horror fiction. Crack a book or two for a fright-filled literary adventure. Bonus points for reading home alone!

Pet Sematary by Stephen King and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver are a couple of scary reads that might pique your interest!

8. Escape Room

An escape room is an immersive strategy game. The goal is to ‘escape the room’ by solving puzzles to unlock clues. Physical and virtual escape rooms exist, many of which are designed with creepy or haunted themes. These are VERY popular during the Halloween season.

9. Spend the Night in the Woods

For a creepy, low-key idea, you can spend the night deep in the woods. Find a secluded campsite, grab a few friends, build a bonfire, and tell your scariest ghost stories. If you’re feeling extra brave, I recommend camping by yourself with a new scary read.

10. Book a Night in a Haunted Hotel

If you find yourself curious enough to explore haunted lore and legends, you might enjoy a night spent away from home. Book a room in a haunted hotel for spooky thrills. You can stay the night at the famous Stanley Hotel (the inspiration behind Stephen King’s The Shining) or explore other haunted hotels around the world.

11. Scary Challenges

Whether you attempt to recite Bloody Mary in your bathroom mirror, play Hide and Seek in the middle of the night, or summon the Candyman with the lights out, scary challenges can spook even the most skeptical. Check out this list of scary challenges to test your limits!

12. Hike at Night

Night hikes are not for the faint of heart. Before you consider the spook-factor of a night hike, please confirm that your health and safety needs are met. You’ll want to make sure you are hiking in a safe and secure area. Even better if you or someone you trust owns a big plot of land that you can meander through late at night! Head outside, carry a flash light, and let the whispers of the night speak to you.

13. Horror Ambience Soundtrack

Playlists of horror ambience are available through YouTube, Spotify, and many other platforms. Browse for the kinds you find particularly creepy. I really like the ones that include ghostly murmurs, chilling child-like laughter, and sounds of footsteps. Turn off all of the lights in your house, set up a speaker, and play the soundtrack for the night. It’s really fun when you have multiple speakers set up all throughout the house!

What Are You Afraid Of?

The Halloween season gifts whimsical moments to test and celebrate your fears. Good-natured Halloween thrills can keep you energized and on your toes. I love feeling a little uneasy. It mixes things up and keeps life interesting, doesn’t it?

Are you going to be scaring yourself this Halloween season?

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2 Responses

  1. Sometimes a short story is just the right thing to fill in an hour or so. Edgar Allen Poe has quite a few that we’ve enjoyed over the years. Sometimes the classics are best.

    1. Classics set the stage. Edgar Allen Poe is quite the storyteller; The Tell-Tale Heart is and will remain one of my favorites.

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