PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM WILLIAMS / ROLL CALL / GETTY IMAGES
By Rachel Buchholz, KIDS and FAMILY Editor in Chief
When I was six or seven, my younger sister and I loved to hover over one of the heating vents in our floor on Saturday mornings. Not because we were cold … but because eventually, my father would hover over a different heating vent, bellow out his best Vincent Price laugh, and scare us silly as it echoed through the house.
“Scary fun allows you to explore activities or experiences that in the real world you might avoid,” says pediatric neuropsychologist Sam Goldstein. “Most of us can remember our fear of jumping from the high diving board as a child. … even if we never try again, [we] gain a level of confidence that becomes generalized to trying other challenging or fearful activities.”
What kind of scary fun are your kids getting up to tonight? Let me know, and have a safe but spooky Halloween!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL MOELLER / EYEEM / GETTY IMAGES
Spooky stargazing. Want more scary fun? Try showing kids some cosmic monsters while they’re trick-or-treating tonight. With the naked eye (or some help from binoculars), they might be able to spot a terrifying sea monster, the head of a dragon, or the eye of the snake-headed Medusa. Check out these star charts showing where in the sky these ghouls will be, and how your family can best watch them.
QUIZ OF THE WEEK
PHOTOGRAPH BY DANITA DELIMONT, GETTY IMAGES
Gross-out quiz! Halloween can be creepy… but not as creepy as real-life stuff like poop, BO, and mucus. (That last one has something to do with the freaky glowworm cave above.) Add some gag-worthy horror to kids’ Halloween by challenging them with this totally gross quiz.
DESTINATION OF THE WEEK
PHOTOGRAPH BY RONAN O'CONNELL
Creepy caves of Ireland.You certainly don’t have to tell kids that Oweynagat cave was considered the “gateway to hell” by ancient Celts—or that they made animal sacrifices to the demons who supposedly lurked inside. (Above, a hillside path leads to Keshcorran Caves, which were connected to Oweynagat.) But children might be interested to know that these same folks also celebrated the Celtic New Year festival of Samhain, which was brought over to the United States by Irish immigrants in the 1800s—and morphed into what we now call Halloween. Learn more about this destination in this article.
And then tomorrow …Día de los Muertos is a two-day festival that has its origins in both Aztec tradition and the Catholic observances of All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Tradition holds that the dead would be offended by grieving and sadness, so festivities honor them with laughter and joy. Check out this collection of images and facts on the National Geographic Society’s Resource Library.
This newsletter was edited and curated by Rachel Buchholz, with David Beard and Monica Williams. Have a healthy and a sane (as possible) week ahead
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
We'd like to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our emails by sharing your feedback in this short survey.
From their mastery of the seas to their influence over lands as far from home as Russia and North America, the Scandinavian raiders known as the Vikings shaped the world for centuries. Subscribe today and learn new facts that may surprise you.