Truth: No one is going to mock you, or cast a judgy side eye, if you choose to go the peeled-grapes, damp-spaghetti route again this Halloween.
Because, look: The neighborhood trick-or-treaters adore it. For that matter, so do the adults who come to visit your annual garage or yard haunt. No one can quibble with the fact that there are traditional haunted house details so classic that few would ever dare criticize or say "boo" to them.
But if your "boo" could use some oomph, or, as they say in Halloween-loving circles, "boomph," and your yard haunt needs additional eek, your ghoulish go-to is pulling into town. Or, actually, the Long Beach Convention Center, to be specific, a vast space which will be filled with all sorts of autumn-eerie frights throughout the final weekend of July 2017.
What to do, where to go and what to see
It's Midsummer Scream, a mega, Halloween-focused convention, and while the theme park haunt previews will get a lot of attention, and the vendors selling everything from make-up to monstrous props, it is the workshops and classes that catch many a home haunter's eager-to-learn eye.
The 2017 workshop line-up will include scary seminars covering such terrifying topics as "Halloween Decorations: A History," "Designing Immersive Environments," "How to Make a Dragon," "Putting the Boo in I Do (Halloween Weddings)," "Dry Ice Ideas for Halloween Science Fun," and "Façade Design: Designing a Spooktacular Face for Your Haunt."
"Glowing Ghost Make & Take," "Digital Decorations: What They Are and How to Use Them," and "Design and Craft Your Own Custom Tombstone" are a few of the others, but there are more on the macabre rundown.
Keep in mind that most classes are specific to either Saturday, July 29 or Sunday, July 30, so if you really want to learn how to host a Halloween-themed wedding, best check the exact date and time to make sure you're sauntering into the Long Beach Convention Center at the right moment.
As for the ol' bowl of peeled grapes? And wet spaghetti?
If a classic scare works, stick by it, of course. But as the yard haunt industry continues to grow and phantom fans try and up the looks of their lawns and garages each October, so does the scale of domestic decorations.
So consider that you can probably weave in a few more wicked details and ghostly effects, all to delight the neighbors who line up down your sidewalk on All Hallow's Eve.