New Word #77: Halloween

Image by Robert Davis from Pixabay

Halloween is an occasion to learn scary words, watch scary movies, light pumpkin lamps. Here I only list a few scary words that I am quite familiar with. There are many more. Please leave me a comment and add words to this scary list.

Scary Words

uncanny: strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way, like “an uncanny feeling that she was being watched”. Uncanny is regularly used and although it means strange, it is not a negative word at all. On the other hand, the word canny is rarely used.

crypt: an underground room or vault beneath a church, used as a chapel or burial place. This word is often used on TV shows around Halloween time, but otherwise, it is not often used.

boo: 1. said suddenly to surprise someone. “‘Boo!’ she cried, jumping up to frighten him” 2. said to show disapproval or contempt, especially at a performance or athletic

Scary Decorations:

cobweb and tarantula: Tarantula is a large hairy spider found chiefly in tropical and subtropical America, some kinds of which are able to catch small lizards, frogs, and birds. It doesn’t exist in the wild in the northeastern part of the U.S., but has a perpetual presence as a Halloween decoration.

pumpkin: Pumpkin is more of a Halloween decoration than a food item.

skeleton and skull: Actually I bought a small plastic skeleton and a small plastic skull one year as Halloween decorations, but they really spooked me. I just couldn’t help thinking that something scary is staring at me.

bat: I don’t know why bat is considered a scary animal. If anything, bats don’t interact with humans very much. They probably even try to evade humans. I think bats are unfairly vilified.

Scary Characters

witch, broomstick, cauldron, costume: Witches always show up in a Halloween party, wearing a costume, riding a broomstick, and brewing something in a cauldron.

bogeyman: an imaginary evil spirit or being, used to frighten children.

devil vs. demon: I don’t know the difference between a devil and a demon. These two words can probably be used interchangeably.

Grim Reaper: a personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe.

ghoul: an evil spirit or phantom, especially one supposed to rob graves and feed on dead bodies.

hobgoblin: (in mythology and fairy tales) a mischievous imp or sprite.

zombie: a corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, especially in certain African and Caribbean religions.

werewolf: (in myth or fiction) a person who changes for periods of time into a wolf, typically when there is a full moon.

vampire: a corpse supposed, in European folklore, to leave its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long pointed canine teeth.

Halloween Activity

trick-or-treat: It traces its roots all the way back to ancient times in Ireland. So as you can imagine, trick-or-treating history didn’t exactly start with people handing out Halloween treats to whomever randomly dropped by their homes

pumpkin cutting: I’ve never done that, but it is a popular activity.

campus event: Every university campus has its own Halloween event, for which several blocks of a street is sealed off from vehicles. And people dressed in weird costume walk about to show off their talent in being weird. For example, there is an annual Global Ghouls Gala in Rutgers University.

Philadelphia’s South Street: It’s a great time to visit here on the night of October 31st. My friends went there and liked the place very much.

haunted house: There are creative people who have scary decoration and various games at their house. They invite people to their haunted house. I only heard about this. None of the Asian immigrants I know has ever done this.

Day Of The Dead: a holiday celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November. It originated and is mostly observed in Mexico. It is called “Día de Muertos” in Spanish. Basically it is a party with a theme–one’s dead relatives.

My Halloween Activity

campus event: I did participated several times, but that’s many years ago. I have to say those fake blood looks quite real.

Halloween event: There are Halloween events in many places for which one can buy ticket to attend and get oneself scared out of one’s wits.

candy bowl: I usually put out a bowl of candy by the door. Anybody who comes to trick-or-trade can grabs them. I was told this is not the right way. I should open the door and give kids candy–one for each kid. I have always been too lazy to do that.

scary movie: I watched Alfred Hitchcock presents and Scary Movie 1,2,3,4,5 for the last three Halloweens.

scary costume: Once my friends and I went to a store that sold Halloween costumes. I tried a witch’s cape and hat. Surprisingly, I look very good in them. Seriously. I don’t usually care about my look so much, but that costume really makes me look … quite good… for a change. It is quite scary, isn’t it? Probably in my past life, I was a witch. If that’s the case, I am sure I was a kind-hearted witch who’s been misunderstood by the world.

scary books: I used to like Edgar Allan Poe and detective stories, but that’s long time ago.

24 thoughts on “New Word #77: Halloween

    1. Really? Is that the reason why the Jersey ice hockey team is called Devil? I didn’t know it until I watched a Seinfeld episode “The Burning” in which Elaine’s boyfriend Puddy who’s a Devil’s fan. It is a very interesting episode.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. If you like Patrick Warburton (the guy who played Puddy), I recommend watching The Tick. It’s a live action series that lasted for 6 episodes, unfortunately, but it is hilarious. It’s about superheroes living their normal lives and being wacky about it.

          Patrick Warburton was not involved in this, but the cartoon series that came before is also funny.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Well, I don’t like him that much. I just feel that it is an interesting episode and he is casted well in it. Wow, remember those days when Seinfeld is something people talk about regularly. Haha. Time flies.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I think Halloween is fun when you’re young and open to being silly. But then, some never grow up. Haha! Some great vocabulary and very interesting elaborations. Happy Halloween. May the witches inside us cackle and spew haunting words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly I grew up hearing a lot of those kinds of words come out of my Dad’s mouth, he mellowed over the years and pretty much was kept in check when my brother and brother-in-law adopted their son who is mixed race black and white.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know what you are talking about. I know a woman and like her so much. She’s the nicest lady. Once she invited me to her home for a holiday dinner and I was shocked to listen to her brother who started a tirade about people he dislikes. He is actually not a bad person.

          Liked by 1 person

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