9 Ways to Make Your Halloween More Terrifying

Image via Saptak Ganguly

It’s fair to say that we’re living in a golden era for fans of Halloween. Countless TV shows and podcasts delve into true crime and paranormal activity, and regardless of how real they might be, the stories are the stuff nightmares are made of. Online forums keep us up at night with horrifying stories, and we even have ghost-hunting apps to tell us if our homes are haunted.

This year, for aficionados of the otherworldly and that tingly, terrifying feeling you get about something unknown, enjoy an extra-spooky Halloween season with these nine activities.

Listen To Spooky Podcasts

Image courtesy of Spotify's Parcast Presents: Halloween

Living in the halcyon days of crime and paranormal podcasts means that there’s enough creepy material to last the whole season and beyond. All month long, check out the Parcast Network's new podcast series on Spotify, Parcast Presents: Halloween, for stories about Halloween-centric events. You'll hear of everything from a mythical Scandinavian sea monster, to an account of the first Salem Witches, to Bella in the Wych Elm; a grotesque murder-mystery where four boys discover the skeletonized remains of a woman in a tree trunk. Go to spotify.com/ParcastPresents to check out all of Parcast's ghastly tales.

Watch Old Horror Films

Image via Thais Ramos Varela

Beyond the horror classics, expand your repertoire this season with some older cult titles. Maybe it’s a 1960s “splatter” film, where blood is an art form, or maybe it’s a low-budget, black-and-white film from the studio era that introduced us to the “jump scare.” Ask for recommendations from your cinephile friends, or see whatever’s playing around midnight this month at an arthouse theater or film society in your area.

Pick Up The Phone And Be Terrified

Image via Riley JB

The novelty hotline numbers that were popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s may have fallen by the wayside, but they’ve been replaced with the ability to set up niche numbers with newer online tools to terrifying results.

Do some light internet searching and you will find a treasure trove of creepy results including a haunting looped message of a man sobbing in what sounds like a cave, a recording of a man’s voice frenetically relaying some sort of coded message, or even a hotline that offers you the chance to “remodel” someone in your life, if you should dare.

Get Metaphysical

Image via Maryanne Gobble

Look up your local arcane, witchy institution if you want to get serious about the metaphysical. At Brooklyn’s Catland Bookstore, for instance, an aspiring witch can go to Witch School, an eight-week intensive that will teach you about the “history, mystery and magik of witchcraft.”

Do An Overnight Ghost Hunt

Image via Cosma Andrei

For a 24-hour creepy experience, search for a ghost tour near you that does overnight hunts. Ghost Hunts USA offers tours all over the country, from a stay at an old Colorado prison to Massachusetts’ Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, where Lizzie Borden likely brutally murdered her parents in one of the most notorious unsolved murder cases.

On the West Coast, there's also Unhinged, an immersive horror experience at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif., or in the South, stay overnight at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Ky. If you’d prefer to have an unsettling night at home, try a ghost hunting app that comes with tools that detect fluctuations in electromagnetic fields.

Play The Elevator Game

Image via Marcel

Find a building in your area that’s at least 10 stories high with an elevator, and proceed to scare the heck out of yourself and whoever you’re with. The Elevator Game apparently originated on a Korean website that publishes horror comics. Follow the rules of the game translated here, if you want to chance being transported to another dimension where you risk encountering a mystical woman who will take your soul.

Make An Appointment With A Medium

Image via Sky-Blue Images

This might be less on the sinister side of things, considering mediums are often touted as ways to work through grief, but if you want to go beyond surface-level activities when it comes to unnerving Halloween events, try making an appointment with a medium to attempt to reach someone from the next life.

This time of year, some mediums and paranormal investigators will also do guided psychic tours or ghost walks.

Visit The Internet’s Creepiest Fake Town

Image via Rachel Bellinsky

Take a trip to the very unsettling, uncanny town of Scarfolk, an imaginary town created by graphic designer Richard Littler.

Scarfolk is a fictional English town that’s stuck in a 1970s time warp where “pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever.” View all of the highly realistic, disturbing town paraphernalia here.

Have An Extreme Haunted House Experience

Image via Rowena Naylor

At your usual haunted house attraction, you might have a few freaky moments, but you know things can only go so far considering there’s usually a “no touching the visitors” rule. But at select haunted houses around the country, actors can take things to the next (petrified) level by poking you, pushing you, and generally scaring the crap out of you.

From McKamey Manor, an extreme haunted house in the South where you might be forced to eat cockroaches, to The Victim Experience where you might be gagged or dunked in ice water, there are plenty of attractions around the country that allow people to push themselves and experience something far more terrifying than a traditional haunted house. But do you dare?

This post is sponsored by Spotify.