More Halloween Features

Haunted house operators are pushing the limits of scariness

 NORCROSS, Ga. -- As a smoke machine billows out sweet-smelling mist and the overhead speakers cackle and moan, four preteen boys try to maintain a brave facade.
 But as costumed actors pop out from behind corners at the "Netherworld" haunted house, the boys grab at each other's shirts so hard they almost rip the seams. Even adults in the group shriek.
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    Town embraces Witch commerce

     BURKITTSVILLE, Md. (AP) -- The Blair Witch believers are back, just in time for Halloween. And this time, Burkittsville is ready.
     Last summer, curiosity seekers overran the startled western Maryland hamlet where the hit hoax horror film, "The Blair Witch Project," is set. They snatched road and cemetery signs and vandalized tombstones, prompting a beefed-up police presence in the quiet farming community.
     Burkittsville has since wised up -- and cashed in.
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    Artist makes haunted fortress from junk

     STANFORD, N.Y. (AP) -- Books fly off shelves in the cobweb-lined library. In the tiny church, a bloodstained priest conducts an exorcism as a tin-can snake jumps out of the holy water bowl. In the evil veterinary laboratory of Dr. Mel Practice, a toilet seat rattles the nerves when its lid flies up with a bang.
     If you don't believe an old toilet can be scary, you've never met Peter Wing.
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    Put the bite on cavities

     Go ahead and sink your teeth into Halloween's sweet treats, but be sure to follow a few tricks to keep your chompers healthy.
     While most people might suspect the people who clean your teeth would frown on a day devoted to candy, dentists prove to be a realistic bunch.
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    Fright flicks picks

     Whether it's around a roaring campfire or in the comfort of their own homes with the lights dimmed, people still love a good ghost story.
     The success of this year's sleeper hit The Sixth Sense proves that our fascination with life after death and the spirit world remains strong even in this progressive age of the cell phone, fax machine and the Internet.
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    Jack-o'-lantern makeovers

     MONCTON, N.B. (CP) -- Catherine Delong is thumbing a carrot nose at tradition this Halloween.
     The mother of two plans to update her family's usual jack-o'-lantern with a trendier look. Raffia hair topped by a fashionable straw hat and expressive snow-pea eyebrows will provide the pumpkin with a carefree, folk-art air.
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    Star Wars, Pokemon lead as top costumes

     MONCTON, N.B. (CP) -- You can tell that Leo LeBlanc loves this time of year, just by looking at the 700-plus costumes parked in a storage room at the rear of his home.
     In 1975, LeBlanc whipped up a witch costume for himself. When requests from friends to sew up more costumes began to increase, his collection took on a life of its own. Now, a costume-rental business is an adjunct to his barber shop in nearby St. Antoine.
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    Halloween specials to make your blood curdle

     Boo-ha-ha, as a monster with a sense of humour once said.
     Good Halloween TV scares you spitless or makes you laugh yourself witless. Great Halloween TV does both. Here are this year's highlights:
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    Vampire videos with a bite

     "Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make," - Bela Lugosi, Dracula (1931).
     Another blockbuster hit on his blood drenched hands, John Carpenter's Vampires is THE fright film to see this Halloween season. If screening Vampires has whet your interest in those beguiling cinematic bloodsuckers or you're just looking for a good scare this All Hallows Eve, commit my chronological list of the Top Ten vampire films ever made to memory, hike down to your local video store and rent your own vampire horror movie marathon.
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    Who says Halloween's just for kids?

     TORONTO -- As you dole out treats this Halloween, don't be alarmed to find larger-than-usual costumed creatures at the door. But it's not necessary to fill their goodie bags -- they're just adults out for a fun night.
     More and more baby boomer parents who are eager to spend quality time with their children are participating in Halloween, says Michael Shneer, president of Party City Ltd., a countrywide party super store catering to celebrations of every kind.
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    Halloween horrors abound on TV

     TORONTO - From a "super scary" cartoon party to Homer Simpson's latest Treehouse of Horror adventures, there are plenty of things to go bump on the TV airwaves in the days leading up to Halloween.
     For kids aged 2-10, Master Control, CTV's Saturday block of cartoon shows, will be a special place on Halloween morning. There's Disney's Night of the Living Dougs, in which Doug goes to school only to discover everyone has become a grabbing, chanting zombie.
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    Hexes and the Sexes

     TORONTO -- This Halloween, says a witch who should know, will be a marvellous night for a broom dance.
     It will be the night of the new moon, which is a time for new beginnings, and Halloween is the time when witches believe the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, so it's good for communication. And the broom dance -- for women only -- is perfect for both of those things.
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    Paraphernalia raises carving to new levels

     MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Toni DeWitt and her four children did their plucking in a pumpkin patch, and used modern-day magic to conjure up a vampire, a skull, a cat and a ghost for Halloween.
     Gone are the days when an old-fashioned jack-o'-lantern on the porch stared back with triangle eyes, triangle nose and a few crooked teeth.
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    Strange glow keeps people guessing

     HORNET, Mo. (AP) -- On those moonless Missouri nights when it gets darker than dark -- darker, some would say, than the inside of a cow -- things can get pretty spooky along a rugged stretch of road.
     That's when the Spooklight is likely to make its appearance.
     On some nights it might rise slowly out of nowhere to illuminate a broad swatch of farmland. On others it might simply waltz up East Highway 50 from Oklahoma, dancing across the gravel road that doubles as the state line.
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