Fill in the Blank: My recommendations for spooky season are…


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Columnist Angelina Padilla-Tompkins offers her recommendations on how to celebrate spooky season in DeKalb, Chicago and at home.

With Halloween just around the corner, this is the time to jump into the spooky spirit. There are plenty of events in the northern Illinois area that will get you in the perfect October mood. 

Community events 

The 25th annual DeKalb Chamber Spooktacular will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 27 in downtown Dekalb. Students, parents and children can dress up in costume and trick-or-treat outside businesses downtown. There will also be a free showing of the film “Hocus Pocus” following the event at the Egyptian Theatre. 

Jonamac Orchard, 19412 Shabbona Road in Malta, is hosting a Jonamac Haunted Corn Maze. Those interested will be able to experience the 10-acre corn maze with a spooky twist after sunset at $17 a ticket, according to the orchard’s website. The haunted maze will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in Oct. leading up to Halloween.  

Sycamore’s annual Pumpkin Fest will be held from Oct. 22 to Oct. 30 with this year’s theme being “Wish Upon a Pumpkin.” There will be a free pumpkin giveaway, parade, food trucks, pumpkin displays, vendors, face painting and more, according to the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival’s website

What to do in Chicago 

With NIU being so close to Chicago, students can experience a ghost tour of the Windy City. Given the history of the city, there are bound to be a few ghosts terrorizing the streets. Windy City Ghosts is a tour group in Chicago that takes people to old asylums and haunted bars. They hold tours at 7 p.m. every day of the week with tickets starting at $25 per person. 

Chicago is also host to several bar crawls leading up to Halloween. Students can pay an upfront fee that varies from each event, then try drinks from many different bars, usually across a mile span. 

Movies to watch

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is a true classic that the whole family can enjoy. Watching the Peanuts evokes a  nostalgic feeling that can bring back memories of trick-or-treating and friendships. 

“Hocus Pocus” stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. This is another classic you can never go wrong with that follows the three Sanderson sister witches from Massachusetts, who are resurrected one Halloween night after a virgin lights the black flame candle. 

While the “Harry Potter” films are considered to be Christmas movies, they can also be argued to be Halloween movies, given that they follow the lives of witches and wizards. 

Anyone who loves Halloween also holds a love for “The Addams Family.” After all, “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky.” 

The psychological horror classic “The Shining,” based on the novel by famous author Steven King, is perfect for a good scare and cinematic mastery. Starring Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, the story follows Jack who travels to the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado with his family hoping to cure his writer’s block. Jack begins to learn about the dark secrets of the hotel and unravels into a homicidal maniac determined to terrorize his family. 

“Halloween” is yet another classic, following Laurie Strode, portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis, and the mental patient and murderer known as Michael Myers, played by Nick Castle and Tony Morgan, who escapes and returns to his hometown and searches for his next victim. 

Halloween is such a peculiar time of year that is incomparable to any other season. However you decide to celebrate the holiday, don’t hold back, have fun.