In the spirit of this ghoulish holiday that transitions us from spook-filled debauchery to holiday shopping (wink!), we bring you some of our favorite science gags and treats to make every element of your Halloween just as fun as ours!
FIRST: The Costume. There is a lot of pressure to come up with the perfect costume that is scary enough to keep the night crawlers away, but stylish enough to catch the eye of that attractive Halloween party "pumpkin" you've had your eye on since the leaves started to turn vibrant hues of red and orange. The Guardian just published a list of witty haunts that is sure to get your brain juice flowing. Some of our favorites include: the vampire squid, transhumanism (think Frankenstein, the human-meets-technology icon), and of course lab research funding cuts-- nooooooooo!
SECOND: The Fake Blood. There are a whole lot of recipes for fake blood out there. Our favorite is brought to you by Steve Spangler Science, which gives a step-by-step process of concocting fake blood from ingredients you could probably find right now in the kitchen. Here's what you need:
1/2 cup Tropical fruit punch
1 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon powdered cocoa
You can find "experiment" details here
THIRD: Edible Specimen Jars. Whether you are throwing or attending a Monster Bash, one thing is certain: bulk candy will be readily available no matter how old you are. For those of you who started eating candy corn a month ago and can't stomach another bite, consider making these creative specimen jars full of savory treats. For detailed directions on how to make them, visit the Evil Mad Scientist website.
FINALLY: The Entertainment. If your ideal Halloween does not include trick-or-treating or dancing to the Monster Mash, chances are you will be watching a scary movie indoors. This Halloween theme of eliciting fear through costumes, haunted houses, and movies is quite a curious phenomenon. While the cultural questions are abundant on this topic, we are intrigued by the science of fear; what are people scared of and how are our brains responding to such experiences? Here's a short video from BBC on "The science of fear" that begins to touch on some of these questions. Enjoy!