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Charlie asks that you hold the pickles, he’s a West Virginia dog, not a Chicago dog.

By Maddie Johnson

George Washington High School

It is officially October, which means the start of spooky season. Technically, I started on Sept. 1 with my annual “Haunted Mansion” and “Hocus Pocus” movie marathon.

This upcoming holiday season is going to look different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be great. You can still have the ultimate Halloween experience from the comfort of your home. So, throw on a pair of Halloween socks and grab your witch hat because we are going to make the best of Oct. 31.

The most important thing is to get into the Halloween mindset, and I can think of no better way than watching a Halloween classic. Here is a list of some of my personal favorite Halloween movies:

“Hocus Pocus” (1993)

“Haunted Mansion” (2003)

“Halloweentown” (1998)

“Mostly Ghostly: Who Let the Ghosts out?” (2008)

“Ghostbusters” (1984)

Now grab your pumpkins and candles because it’s jack-o’-lantern carving time. After you finish carving, it is a perfect time to make some homemade pumpkin seeds.

My favorite way to make pumpkin seeds is to wash the seeds with water, preheat the oven to 300 degrees, cover the seeds with a little bit of butter, and bake the seeds on a baking sheet for 35-40 minutes. Fun fact: Originally, turnips were carved instead of pumpkins.

This next activity will really make your parents happy. You guessed it! Grab your rake. It’s time to rake fallen leaves, pile them up and jump. This is a great activity to do with younger siblings, and also the perfect time to capture the classic fall picture.

You can’t have Halloween without costumes. I love doing group costumes, and this is the perfect year to plan one with a sibling. Another great costume companion is ... your pet. My dog, Charlie, loves dressing up! Well, I love dressing him up. I’m not so sure he enjoys it.

Finally, how would it be Halloween without pumpkin spice everything? Light a pumpkin spice candle, make a pumpkin spice latte or even bake a pumpkin pie. The options are endless. It is the best time of the year to experiment with pumpkin spice and see what you come up with.

This year, Halloween may be a little different, but that doesn’t mean it will be any less spook-tacular. Embrace your inner scaredy cat and don’t make this Halloween a bunch of hocus pocus.