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How to Make Halloween Fun: Costumes, Treats and Sound Effects - By ARA Content

Note: The Toga instructions and Muffin recipe can be found on the How-To index page.

(ARA) - Scariness and spookiness are upon us. And we're not talking about opening 401(k) statements. Ghouls and goblins will be running through neighborhoods searching for candy and scares alike. Trick-or-treaters will be heard screaming and screeching while being haunted by neighborhood houses decorated for one of the most anticipated holidays for children -- Halloween.

Halloween's history has changed over the years. Centuries ago, Halloween night was known as "devil's night." Superstitious people associated this day with death and supernatural happenings, such as bad omens, black cats, and bats or spiders. Halloween night was known to be one filled with vandalism as well.

Fast forward several hundred years, and you have a more modern, contemporary holiday of fun, food and decorations. Today, Halloween has turned into one filled with lavish costumes, home decorations, and more candy than a dentist cares to know about. Party-goers of all ages dress up in fun, scary or outrageous costumes for school, college and other celebrations.

If you're getting back to the simple ways of life, nothing's better than an easy costume for kids and adults. How about the chiton?

"OK, so not everyone recognizes what the term 'chiton' means," says Kathy Colussy, fashion design instructor, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. "But if I mention the word, 'toga,' we can recall images of togas from movie epics or from college fraternity parties. Our mind conjures up bodies draped, swathed and pinned in bed sheets." The gown is remarkably simple to construct and designed to be belted or draped to flatter any figure. By following the steps below, you're sure to impress everyone at your Halloween party.

Now, it's on to the food portion of your celebration. According to Michael Holderfield, chef instructor at The Art Institute of Houston, families are looking for more creative recipes to entice children to eat more traditional and seasonal favorites, such as pumpkin muffins.

Party and baking instructor Kim Smith, of The Art Institute of Seattle, recommends her pumpkin muffins to start Halloween morning off right. "These are a great start to anyone's morning."

For those wanting to create their own spooky haunted house sounds, they can use tapes or CDs of graveyard sounds, doors slamming or screams. "It's fun to make your own tape of Halloween sounds," says Rob Lehmann, chair of the Audio Production Department at The New England Institute of Art & Communications. "Popular sound effects include doors slamming and people screaming. Kids, and adults, can have so much fun creating their own haunted house sounds." Simply recording such sounds on your tape or CD recorder will allow you to spook those trick-or-treaters.

For further information about The Art Institutes go to the Web site at

-Courtesy of ARA Content



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