Tag Archives: spooky

Spooky season go-to’s in Austin

As Halloween rolls around, spooky season is finally among us. This is a great time to celebrate with different activities in Austin that will only be open for a limited time. 

Haunted ATX

What better time to listen to ghost stories and visit paranormal locations than now? Haunted ATX is a mobile ghost tour in Austin that takes you in a van to haunted locations in Austin. Some of the spooky locations on the tours are the Tavern, Clay Pit and Littlefield House

Public tours cost $59 per person during October and private tours cost $99 per person. Most tours are available Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. These tours are usually three hours long and allow everyone to explore the locations while learning about their paranormal history. 

House of Torment Haunted House

Haunted houses are the most iconic spooky season activity. Austin happens to have one of the best haunted houses in the country. With the “Travel channel” calling Austin’s House of Torment, “the scariest haunted house in America,” there is no better place to celebrate Halloween than this haunted house. 

There are three themed haunted houses that you can go through to get spooked. You can also participate in axe throwing, mini escape games and dine at their tavern. 

This haunted house is open almost every day in October, with the first two weekends of November being the last time for the year you can go. General admission ticket prices range $22.99 to $32.99, depending on the day you attend. 

Mama Mary’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch

Not everyone who wants to celebrate spooky season likes to be scared. One non-scary activity you can do is visit a pumpkin patch. Mama Mary’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch is open through Oct. 31. You can go Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for only $5 plus tax. To go on Saturdays and Sundays, registration is required before and tickets go up to $10. 

If you go to the pumpkin patch on the weekend, you can enjoy a hay ride, outdoor bowling, pumpkin painting and other fall-themed activities. This is a great event for friends to take pictures together in the pumpkin patch and get in the spooky season mood. 

Pumpkin Nights at Pioneer Farms

Another non-scary activity to participate in this spooky season is going to Pumpkin Nights at Pioneer Farms. You can explore a trail that features carved pumpkins created by local artists that all have different themes. 

There are pumpkin lanterns that make great photo backgrounds for Instagram. Not only do you get to see elaborate, professionally carved pumpkins; there are also  live fire dancers and you can watch professionals carve pumpkins live. 

Friday through Saturday admission for adults is $23 and on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday it is $18.

There are plenty of events in Austin to celebrate the spooky season. Even if you aren’t a big fan of the creepy and scary things this time of season brings, there are plenty of other activities you can partake in to get into the spooky season mood. After a ton of events being cancelled the past year because of the pandemic, this is a great time to go out and celebrate the season. 

Feature image by Pexels

a ratched halloween

As the Halloween weekend rolls in and quarantine keeps the trick-or-treaters away, it becomes clear that the beginning of the holiday season this year isn’t exactly brimming with the same excitement you’d expect. And while there are no new horror movies or costume parties to keep you occupied this Saturday, Netflix’s Ratched might just be the perfect binge to have you feeling spooked this Halloween season.

The first season of Ryan Murphy’s Ratched comes with 8 episodes that will leave your gut twisting as you watch Mildred Ratched’s story unfold. From beginning to end, there is never any possibility of guessing what’s coming next or who’s story will be more horrific. While it’s not Murphy’s best work, it still feels like the perfect show to snuggle up with your quarantine buddy to while you drink your pumpkin spice latte and indulge in Halloween candy.

“They really are God’s angels.”

Ratched series – S1 E1

The first episode begins in 1947 and introduces us to Nurse Mildred Ratched, who quickly becomes one of the most unreliable narrators I have ever encountered in entertainment. Within one episode, her ability to manipulate any situation to her liking becomes apparent, and from this moment on you are buckled into a story that will never cease to unsettle you.

The extravagance of costume and setting create an almost whimsical feeling, and the play on colors throughout the first episode alone sets the stage for eight episodes of a very different kind of color theory coming into play.

More than that, though, the soundtrack creates the perfect sense of unease throughout the entire season, so even when nothing particularly bad is coming, you can’t help but watch and wait for the worst to happen.

“It haunts me.”

Ratched series – S1 E3

Dr. Richard Hanover, a secondary protagonist throughout the story, provides the most unsettling storyline, in my opinion, that offers the majority of the gore. Episode three of the first season reveals the haunting backstory that brought him to where he is now in the timeline.

This episode alone is enough to make your skin crawl and your night sleepless. The intensity of the gore, the fear of what was happening in the moment, and the reality of the horror story made it difficult to watch — I actually had to pause and come back to finish it after a break.

Despite the difficulty, I actually found the horror of the episode up to par with the expectations I had going in, and even though it made me uneasy, it offered that gory horror experience I think we’ve all been lacking this spooky season.

“You don’t know what it’s like to be constantly running from who you really are.”

Netflix Ratched series – S1 Introduction

One of the most significant themes to the story is that you can’t run from your past, and that becomes apparent as it follows Nurse Ratched through all her experiences, hinders her love life, and shapes her into a person who cannot be trusted. 

Not only Nurse Ratched though, but almost every character proves at some point they are not who they seem. 

Edmund Tolleson is another complex character in the story, because his mass murder habits played against his inability to kill a rooster for a meal gives the audience the opportunity to feel sympathetic for him, and even question him as a villain in the story as he runs away from all he’s faced and all he’s done. 

He is put in contrast to Dolly, a seemingly innocent nurse-in-training who has the killer instinct Tolleson can’t always stomach. By weaving Tolleson and Dolly’s storylines together, Murphy creates internal distress with the audience that offers less of that horror-driven fear, and more of a slow burn of anxiety as the mass-murderer gains a soul while the nurse-in-training seems to lose hers.

“This little game of cat and mouse.”

Ratched series – S1 E2

Critics seem to think the show is too disjointed and offers a disappointing storytelling experience. The first season only received a 61% on RottenTomatoes

However, as someone who’s not looking at the show from the perspective of what it’s loosely based on, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and as someone who recognizes and embraces the unreliable narrator that trends throughout the season, I’d have to give it a much higher percentage.

While not every storyline seems necessary to the plot, the constant question in the back of my mind of; Does Nurse Ratched mean what she’s saying or not? left me sitting on the edge of my seat, clicking “next episode” over and over as I tried to figure out who she really was. This constant questioning and unreliability left plenty of room for several pieces of the story that most of the audience probably would have never saw coming.

Ratched was automatically signed on with two seasons, but I think they could have easily left the story at its current ending. The plot twist and the largely unanswered question of who will catch who first is the perfect unsettling ending to leave the audience with.

It checks all the boxes for a Halloween fright, even if it is a bit too extravagant at times with the editing, and somewhat hard to follow with the main character who does whatever she has to to get what she wants, even if it means confusing the audience.

Overall, season one of Ratched gets 4 out of 5 spooks from me.