Something Spooky 3, Or: BRAAAAIIIINS

Part three of my self-imposed challenge to do something spooky every day of October.

Day 10: Listened to This American Life’s episode “The Call Was Coming From The Basement”

My two favorite reasons for October collided as I drove 90 miles to surprise my mother for her birthday while fitting in my Spooky activity: listening to a Halloween-themed episode of “This American Life.” That was pretty great, but not as great as surprising my ma. She is the best.

Day 11: The Haunted Basement at The Soap Factory

The Soap Factory in Minneapolis has gotten pretty infamous for its Haunted Basement, and with good reason. Sabrina and I went together for the first time three years ago, and it remains the best “haunted house”-type experience of my life.
This year’s was a close second. I screamed like a little girl and clutched strangers’ arms and at one point told a ghoulish man “You have lovely hair.” He didn’t. That was my actual knee-jerk response in a moment of panic.

Haunted Basement Entrance

Side note: Last year, I was actually part of the Haunted Basement for a night. I spent about eight hours dressed as a goblin, hopping in and out of coffins with terrified/confused strangers and growling things like “Come here often?”

So basically an average Saturday night for me.

Day 12: Saint Paul Art Crawl and “Toto Destruction”

I went to the St. Paul Art Crawl with one goal in mind: to pick up a “Brain Belt” print from the official Zombie Pub Crawl artist DWITT.

Brain Belt print by DWITT

I love his work in general, but add in zombies and beer and I can’t resist. Zombies and beer add value to everything.

Anyway, I got my Brain Belt print (and a few others), and really enjoyed being a dork around one of my favorite local artists and his wife. They are super nice, they gave me a beer and they think my name is Leslie. Overall a win!

Then Leslie went home and put the finishing touches on some zombie props…

Day 13-14: Zombie Pub Crawl

…because what’s Zombie Dorothy without her basket of munchkin heads?

zombie munchkin heads

They…represented…the Lollipop Guild.

And her companion, Zombie Toto!

Zombie Toto

I love “The Wizard of Oz,” so logically I did this to it:

This munchkin crossed me.

This was my fourth Zombie Pub Crawl (previous antics recorded here), because ZPC is basically the best event of the year. This might explain why I went nuts, starting at 6 and going from Minneapolis to St. Paul to Minneapolis to St. Paul, and was still not ready for it to be done 8 hours later (which is why I’m giving myself 2 days of Something Spooky from this one event). Highlights included:

– getting ready with Sabrina/Little Red Riding Hood
– seeing the Gin Blossoms at the Cabooze
– meeting a Zombie Fezzik (from The Princess Bride) at Zombie Island
– coming up with insults about DMX during the 1.5 hour wait for him to show up. You’re not Kanye, we’re not honored by your lateness. We’re getting on the bus to go back to Minneapolis and thinking nice thoughts about the Gin Blossoms.
– enjoying some Brain Belt
– this text message exchange

Alex Text

Alex!

– this photo with a Care Bear

Care Bear Zombie

Care Bear Stare indeed.

– and just general running around. Literally. Zombies aren’t supposed to run, but when I’m excited and have more than one beer in me I’m always about one second away from taking off in a sprint.  As in, “all of my friends are here I WONDER WHAT’S OVER THERE.” Like a dog.

Maybe I should have just gone as Toto.

Something Spooky, or: The Science of October

I love October. Not only were two of my best friends born this month (love you, Lacy and ma!), it is the first month that truly feels like fall, my favorite season. And, because this is Minnesota, it is also the only month that feels like that.

Best of all, October is the season of spooky. It’s my preference to look ridiculous at all times, so I love any excuse to wear a costume. I love history, and weird, macabre history is the best. And c’mon, I super love candy.

So in order to make the most of life, I’ve decided to challenge myself to do something spooky – every day in October. I’m calling it…wait for it…

Something Spooky.

(and your reaction to this reveal is…)

Day 1: (Re)watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 episode, “Halloween.”

Look, I made up this challenge at about 9 pm on a Monday, so I had to start with what was available. Plus, what’s more fun than the episode of BtVS where the Scoobies become their costumes?

Day 2: Apartment Creep-ification Begins

I’m a dork (sentence could end there and still be true) for home decorating. I’m obsessed with Apartment Therapy and Young House Love and antique stores and artwork and crafting. Still, my Halloween decorating usually begins and ends with knocking down real cobwebs to hang fake ones. But not this year. This year, my 100-year-old-apartment is getting a haunting Halloween makeover.

Skull and webs

My new doorman

Books and Petals

“Spooky” books are essential to the decor

Please note that I do not have roommates, nor do I entertain guests all that often. I’m just doing this to creep myself out, I guess. There’s more to come, and some things will even be handmade. Blame Pinterest.

Day 3: Read a spooky story

I did not watch the debates, because I am not after a real “what is this world coming to” kind of terror. Instead, I reread one of my all-time favorite stories: “Lamb To The Slaughter” by Roald Dahl (part of the collection “Skin,” or you can read it online here). Oh, you didn’t realize your favorite children’s author also wrote creepy stories for adults? Do yourself a favor and check them out. Then re-examine your childhood.

Day 4: “Dead and Undead,” a Social Science Event at the Science Museum of Minnesota

I’m very lucky to have a wonderful and delightfully weird best friend who, when asked, “Instead of taking you out for a nice dinner for your birthday, what if I take you to a science museum and we learn about mummies and zombies?” immediately answered, “MUMMIFIED CHICKENS!”

The Science Museum of Minnesota occasionally has “Social Science” events for the 21+ crowd, and this week’s “Dead and Undead” event was a treat. Lacy and I:

Took this awesome picture in the Lost Egypt exhibit.

Fake camel photo bomb

Photobombed by a fake camel

Saw this guy sewin’ up a squirrel.

Taxidermy on a squirrel

Some people juggle geese.

Became ghosts.

Ghost Rachel

Boo!

Allowed professional makeup artists to do this to our faces.

Zombie face Rachel and Lacy

We later ordered a pizza and were so prepared to freak out the delivery guy. He did not react at all.  Apparently that delivery guy has seen some s***.

Did the “Thriller” dance up the stairs of a museum as zombies.

Lacy doing the Thriller at the Science Museum

‘Cause this is THRILLAAAAAAA!

And of course, saw this mummified chicken.

Mummified Chicken

No birthday is complete without a mummified chicken.

So much more to come. Something Spooky October has just begun! I’ve got a huge to-do list started, but suggestions are welcome. Any great Halloween-y activities out there I just must try?