Sep 30, 2009

So, What is this Halloween Countdown Anyway...

...and what do I need to do in order to participate?

These are the two questions I've been most frequently asked about this endeavor.

The Halloween Countdown is something of a virtual neighborhood to go trick or treating in. Imagine a neighborhood where all of the neighbors really got into the spirit of the holiday and went all out with decorating their yards and homes and on top of that also handed out the coolest treats whenever some kid in a costume rang their doorbell. Well, you are that kid in a costume, and the participants in the countdown are the neighbors with the cool houses and candy. When you visit their blogs, you will essentially be ringing their doorbell and shouting "Trick or treat." rewarded by a solid thunk at the bottom of your plastic Halloween bucket which is their post for the day. In a way that's even better than the actual Halloween (no way! I hear you saying) you get to ring their doorbell and trick or treat every single day throughout October. Not only that, but there is bound to be over 100 houses for you to visit each day as well.

As a participant, I suggest thinking of the Halloween Countdown as something of a virtual Advent calendar, only devoted to Halloween. Each day, throughout October, a blogger posts something new pertaining in some way to Halloween, or something emblematic of the season. This can be anything, photos of you as a kid dressed up in your Ben Cooper costume, recipes, crafts, horror movie reviews, holiday reminiscences, board games and children's books of the past, artwork, traditions, anything at all. The daily aspect of this is something to strive for, but is not expected. Veterans of the countdown will tell you how grueling it can be to put together a daily post without much advance preparation. The goal is to have fun, and if you're spending every spare moment composing a daily post, you won't have any fun, nor will you have time to see what everyone else is doing. Do what you can.

Whether you are a blogger participating with a countdown of your own, or someone who just wants to trick or treat without having to decorate their own home, all are welcome. If you are not on the list of participants, but would like to be, just let us know, and provide a link to your blog. If you have more than one blog you'd like to include (you're insane) provide links for both (or more).

Dusk is upon us, and the Jack O'Lanterns are lit and being set outside. Nows the time to put on your costume, grab your trick or treat bag and head off down the street to ring the doorbell of the first house. Happy Halloween!

Sep 28, 2009

Just a hop, skip and a jump away...

There are only three more days until the Halloween festivities officially begin! There are a bunch of sites on the list this year, so it's destined to be a full month of with a metric ton goodies for everyone's treat bags...

I thought I'd reiterate that it's never too late to be added to the list, well, unless you wait until the end of the month, but then there's always next year. We're going to do our best to update the list as we get any requests during the month. Also if you'd like to sport a button/badge on your site, you can find some here (with the corresponding HTML), as well as a fun video John K put together.

I can't wait to dig into the content. Look for the list October 1st, at midnight!

Sep 24, 2009

Promotional Video

Those of you who check out my main blog, "Random Acts of Geekery," probably saw the first version of this video a few days ago... since then, with this separate blog starting up to coordinate things, I've made a slight revision to the end of it to point people here.

Now, you'll notice if you watch it that I've got a logo calling it the "Halloween Countdown," instead of "Countdown to Halloween." That's because I started working on this back in June or July, and didn't know the "official" title at that time... and I kind of dig the logo I came up with. Of course, it doesn't really matter what you call it, so long as it counts down to Halloween, right?

Anyone who wants to post this video to their own participating blog, feel free to do so! And I promise, next year, if I decide to do a new promo video, I'll check with Shawn and John first to see if they've got any logos planned!

Sep 22, 2009

Halloween Countdown Calendar

When asked about the Halloween Countdown one of the ways I typically describe it is as something of an Advent Calendar for Halloween.

With that in mind I thought this would be of great interest to people visiting here. Inky-Dinky has produced a physical Halloween Countdown calendar, with great, creepy, artwork by John Littleboy. As you open the number for each day you will discover behind it, a story about one of the macabre cast you see before you. You can order a copy here . Make sure you tell them where you found out about it.

Sep 12, 2009

Just a quick note on spreading the word...

Hello again to all of you creepoholic constituents out there. I thought I'd take a second to address some of the shocking options for those of you who would like to spread the good word about the Countdown to Halloween. Again, the idea behind this site is to simply act as a resource for the growing number of blogs participating in the seasonal fun of writing about all the frightening facets of this wicked holiday.

If you'd like to feature a button/badge on your site...

Banner #1 (200 pixels wide)

Copy and paste the following html onto your site:

Banner #2 (200 pixels wide)

Copy and paste the following html onto your site:

Pierre Fournier of the wonderful Frankensteinia also created a third, more Halloween-centric banner on a black background for anyone who'd like to use it.

Banner #3 (200 pixels wide)

Copy and paste the following html onto your site:

Or if you'd like a slightly smaller version for three column template blogs: Banner #3 (170 pixels wide)

Copy and paste the following html onto your site:

Also you can follow the Countdown to Halloween on Twitter via the halloween_blogs account.

As John mentioned in the last post, the list is being compiled and will appear here on October 1st. I can't wait for the festivities to begin!

Sep 11, 2009

Reminder to Participants

There are now less than 20 days left before this year's Halloween Countdown begins. If you are planning to participate, and have not contacted me, please do so. I'm compiling a list of links to the participating blogs and websites and want to make sure no one is overlooked. You can always be added to the list, even as the countdown is in progress, but why wait? It's no fun creating well thought out posts if no one knows to go look at them.

The list of participant links will be posted here at midnight, October 1st.

Sep 2, 2009

About the Countdown to Halloween...

Alright kids, no fooling around. There are four solid weeks left to work on 2009's Countdown to Halloween. That's 28 days of hard work and research to slough through until the party really begins.

A quick note on the intention of Countdown to Halloween. Basically, over the last three years I've noticed an amazing trend in some spooktactular holiday spirit when it comes to the celebration of all things Halloween. There have certainly been those (like Matt at that have been spreading the good word for awhile, and there are a plethora of wonderful sites out there dedicated to making every day of the year a little bit more orange and black, but in the last few years there has been a surge in fiendish fun around the month of October that really gets this dried up and dusty ticker of my beating again. In particular, in the past two years there has appeared a list, usually cobbled together by a couple of swell guys John Rozum and Jon Knutson, that gets passed around from site to site and really makes the whole experience fun and exciting. For one, it provides a virtual vault of horror, a crypt of terror, a, um (well geez, I guess EC Comics should have come up with another great title for me to lift from), oh wait I know, a tomb of dread, a virtual cornucopia of amazing stories, photos, comics, reviews, crafts, toys, songs, radio plays, jokes, and general commentary on a holiday that a lot of us hold dear. This list also serves as a centerpiece for a spur of the moment community, a virtual meeting place, and the type of communal experience where the internet is the perfect forum.

Countdown to Halloween is a home for this list. Note, it's not the home. Part of what makes this season of creepy blog-a-thons so special is that there is no expectation, no rules or guidelines, but all the same I think it would also be beneficial to have a place to point to, a hub. This isn't a union, it's intended as a resource.

So if you're planning on another year of terror inducing blogging during the Halloween season, or if this is your first time trick-or-treating alone, feel free to let your intentions known. You can either comment here at this site, you can add your voice to the comments on Mr. Rozum's blog, or you can @ or follow Halloween_Blogs, on twitter.