The Best Holiday of the Year

Halloween beats all other holidays hands down. You get to get in touch with your inner child, dress up, eat candy, go to parties, admire the creativity (or lack thereof) of the neighborhood kids, the weather is usually crisp and clean, the leaves crunching under your Frankensteinian feet sound lovely, there are little or no family obligations, which means not getting into arguments that drag on from year to year. It's a win-win situation. If you're not quite ready for the day, fear not, it's never too late.

For comprehensive directions on how to turn your house into a creep's delight, complete with a crime scene, be sure to read this column from last year. It's a step by step, no need to panic or get overwhelmed, guide to being the most interesting house on the block.

If you're interested in just a few decorations, then you'll want to visit the Toy Maker's Halloween page, where you can find paper banners featuring cats, skulls and pumpkins as well as various bags and cards. I particularly like Professor Ravenwing's Dancing Skeletons but the black cat card is also very nice.

If you're sadly lacking in the costume department you'll find just the ticket at Ravensblight, home of some of the most totally awesome scary papercraft on the internet. This zombie mask looks much eerier than a paper mask has any right to look. The vampire mask is reminiscent of the monster in Nosferatu, especially around the ears and forehead. The skull mask is also quite spooky but I prefer the medieval helmets, available in two stylish choices, rusty or dented. Be sure to take note of the cleverly worded warning stating that although these things are known as helmets they won't actually protect your head against anything, not even a really hard rainstorm. But my goodness, will they ever look cool.

While at the site you can play all sorts of games, including this text based game, which starts out, "On your way to the signpost... you encounter a vampire! You have nothing in your pockets except a few kernels of popcorn, keys to your 1972 Coronado, and $1.97 in change. Which item do you throw at the vampire?" Note - my middle son says that vampires should be ignored, which means don't throw things at them, but I am sure you will want to make your own decisions.

You'll find some scary music at this site. It's called Calling All Fiends and is not meant to be cute, cuddly, silly or charming; it's designed to be just one thing, frightening. The tracks are original creations and are free. You can either download them or stream them, your choice.

I would be remiss if I did not point you to, a site that tells nothing but the truth when it says it is the "Definitive Zombie Make Up and Costume Guide." Here you can learn how to make gelatin molds so you can make prosthetics for the face or body. You can learn how to make cranberry flavored blood or create realistic injuries. This amazing site does more than turn you into a zombie on the outside, it also offers character development tips such as what where you before you died and came back as a voracious eater of brains? How did you die? And what precisely made you into a zombie? Radiation? No more room in Hell? Sheer bloody-minded stubbornness? Zombie philosophy is just as important as a ravenous appetite for human flesh and body parts that fall off at interesting and inconvenient times so be sure to do your homework.

If you want to read more fiction but feel like you never have enough time then you will be absolutely delighted with this collection of six word stories from Wired Magazine. Written by quite a roundup of talented authors who write in several genres including science fiction, horror and screenplays, they are disturbing, thought provoking, and laugh out loud funny.

This week's one sentence review comes from Kit Funtastic, who says, "I went to a gallery that was exhibiting the newest work of the famous artist Ledelle Moe who is 'wonderfully outside of the box and takes me to a place of stone giants and lost castles.'" Have you got a one-sentence review you’d like to submit to Quality Time? Send it in to me at, and I'll run the best ones. You may focus on just about anything that fits a family entertainment format; games, movies, books, music - the sky is the limit, or is it? Want to review the status of poor ex-planet Pluto? Go right ahead.