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Boo! 6 Ways to Scare Up Summerween

July 2, 2024

By Christa Protano

As a kid, I was not a fan of Halloween. But as an adult, the creepy holiday has really grown on me—so much so that I actually celebrate Halloween twice a year (more details on that later). So imagine my surprise when I discovered that I’m not the only one? That celebrating Halloween twice is actually a thing? In addition to October 31st, Summerween has become the unofficial start of the spooky season thanks to—you guessed it—TikTok. First made popular by the Disney cartoon Gravity Falls, Summerween starts in late June and last through August. There’s even the legend of the Summerween Trickster, a creature that eats children if they don’t collect 500 pieces of candy…. And with that nugget of folklore, you now have permission to break out the 12-foot skeleton and scare up some frightful fun all summer long. Here are six ways to celebrate #Summerween.

Tell Ghost Stories

Sitting around the campfire telling spooky stories is practically a requirement of this superficial summer holiday. If you’re looking for ideas, the Word Cloud Classics: Horror Collection includes all the great ones. Take your pick from six volumes that include short stories from esteemed authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, and H. P. Lovecraft; macabre works by Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving; the novels Dracula and Frankenstein; and more than 100 memorable fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm

Classic Horror Tales

Carve a Jack-O-Melon

During Summerween, watermelon takes the place of pumpkins for everything from jack-o-lanterns to scarecrow heads. In season and easy to carve, the ruby red fruit inside a watermelon also lends itself to cool summer dishes, like watermelon-feta salad, granita, and more. If you need help carving, pumpkin templates from Pinterest work just fine.

Watch a Scary Movie

Summertime is the perfect time to host a backyard movie night, and only a frightening flick will do for this theme. Allow us to suggest perhaps one the best adaptations of a horror classic: 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The film won three Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Makeup. Once your done watching the drama play out on-screen, we’d be remiss not to recommend the eponymous Word Cloud classic, complete with an award-winning cover design.

Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales

Take a Horror Reading Challenge

Another TikTok trend, 24-hour read-a-thons were all the rage just a few months ago. But don’t worry if you missed it, you can use your summer free time to log in those hours. If you love a scary read, we suggest giving your challenge a horror-genre theme and read as many spooky stories as possible. To keep it interesting, mix things up with long-form reads by the likes of Washington Irving and Mary Shelly and shorter works by The Brothers Grimm and Edgar Allen Poe.

Host a Spook-Tacular Event

If you’re looking for an excuse to wear a costume, play some games, eat, drink, and be scary, then why not host a Summerween-themed barbecue? Now is the time to turn your front yard into a graveyard, pour some chilling cocktails, and invite your guests to dress to impress. In terms of food, draw some menu inspiration from The Brothers Grimm Cookbook and serve Rapunzel’s Mother’s Salad or The Wicked Queen’s Liver Curry (burgers and s’mores work just as well, too).

Brothers Grimm Volume II: 110 Grimmer Fairy Tales

Don’t Forget to Trick-or-Treat

For the younger set, consider planning a trunk-or-treat at a local park or other outdoor area. Our summer campground does this every August and it’s a great way to get us thinking about our October costumes and trunks. It’s also nice that the kids don’t have to layer up underneath their otherwise flimsy costumes since the weather is hotter. But be forewarned: the one drawback of summer trick-or-treating is all the melted chocolate. Instead, consider handing out lollipops or chewy candies, non-edible party favors, or bring along a cooler filled with ice pops. The moms and dads will be forever grateful.

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