Fright night

By Randi Eichenbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Are you scared yet?

That time of year is approaching once again. The days are no longer endless, and tank tops are being replaced with long sleeves. But along with chilly nights comes one juicy holiday.

Ghosts and goblins are not just a thing of our childhood. In fact, Halloween seems to get better as we reach our adolescence. We are no longer restricted to a two-hour window of trick-or-treating and parents forcing us to bed with the ultimate sugar high. Now, Halloween is yet another reason to party.

But beyond Halloween parties with skimpy costumes, there is a magical feeling to this particular autumn night. And one may find this

Halloween spirit at Old Tucson's "Nightfall: The Gathering," 201 S. Kinney Road.

The Disneyland of Halloween, so to speak, features all you need to locate your inner child's love of witches and skeletons. And if it's unable to do that, it will at least squeeze out a few laughs.

"Frightmares: The Specter's Revenge!" is a 30-minute performance featured at "Nightfall," combining music from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Alice Cooper's "Welcome to My Nightmare."

Attendees can enjoy zombies rising from the dead to perform songs like Usher's "Yeah" and Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady."

Performer Michael Hawk gets a real hoot out of entertaining his daily audiences.

"People love pop music," Hawk said. "They love it even more when you make fun of it."

That performance might not be the scariest of shows, but the "Mine of Lost Souls" haunted house is.

Following the maze of black lights and glow-in-the-dark skeletons provides the perfect solution to haunted house cravings. As a warning, a real pirate/haunted house attendant who approaches his guests may cause screaming. Let me tell you, this pirate is no Johnny Depp.

If "Nightfall" cannot be squeezed into the agenda this year, hopefully something around town can be. Even with no place to go, a Halloween costume is essential.

Creative Costumes, 828 N. Stone Ave., has everything you need for the occasion, whether it be one of those skimpy costume parties or a night out of trick-or treating. (And no, it's not really socially acceptable for college students to still be participating in trick-or-treating).

With everything from wizards to vikings to sumo wrestlers, one can easily find something there.

It's a good thing they have quite the selection too, because according to Elizabeth Burke, Creative Costumes employee, people are opting to be ultra-original.

"Witches, ghosts?" Burke mused. "No, I haven't really seen any."

Burke has seen some interesting ones, however, including a gothic Robin Hood, the Blues Brothers and Rick James.

Johnny Depp may not be the pirate at Nightfall this year, but he is making an impression on costume selection.

"It might just be because the movie came out, but Willy Wonka is a popular one this year," Burke said.

Some are on a mission for the perfect costume, while others are merely figuring out what the Halloween tradition is all about.

Raveesh Sood, mechanical engineering sophomore, from New Delhi, India, is not planning to dress up this year.

"It's my first time in a costume store, so I just wanted to see what it's all about," Sood said, while browsing at Creative Costumes.

Sood has jumped on the bandwagon of Halloween activities, however, by choosing to party with his friends.

Along with costumes, the store carries wigs, makeup and other various facial accessories.

Undeclared sophomore Larsen Jones is hunting for the perfect Western motif.

"I'm thinking a cowboy with a fake moustache," Jones said.

After a costume is checked off the list there is one thing missing, the ultimate symbol of Halloween, the pumpkin.

An added bonus, buying a pumpkin at Brian and Andy's Pumpkins and Tress, 1909 E. Fort Lowell Road, will provide more than household/apartment/dormitory decoration. This year they have teamed up with the College of Pharmacy fraternity, Kappa Epsilon, to donate a percentage of the proceeds to breast cancer research.

Andy Scala, who has been in the business for 12 years, says the lack of other pumpkin patch businesses this year is benefiting his own.

"The variety is incredible this year," Scala said. "We got a great setup."

The pumpkin patch is quite charming with an array of pumpkins, both large and small, as well as various decorative items for the home. Scala also has ducks, chickens and a pig on site, which is the perfect touch to embrace that farm feel while on the corner of North Campbell Avenue and East Fort Lowell Road.

No matter how authentic the atmosphere of your festivities may be, the celebration will continue. If nothing else, the night offers the perfect opportunity for us "theoretical" adults to freeload.