Texas Living

Spooky Season Guide: October in Texas

By Staci Parks 9.27.23

As soon as the slightest chill hits the air, Texans embrace the wonder of fall and the return of “spooky season.” Fall brings a slew of small-town rituals, ranging from festivals to pumpkin patches. Don’t let the season pass you by: Dig into our spooky season guide to Texas haunts and delights.

Haunted Happenings

Get a haunted history lesson. A state as storied as Texas will surely have some skeletons in its closet. Share some of Texas’ ghost stories and mysteries, such as the curious Marfa lights, the elusive chupacabra, or haunted happenings at Austin’s The Driskill hotel.

Visit one of Texas’ spookiest Halloween towns. Head to Fort Worth for a Stockyards ghost tour. Down south, brave the halls of the massive, abandoned Yorktown Memorial Hospital for a flashlight tour of the 30,000-square-foot building that’s so spooky it’s been featured on “Ghost Adventures.” 

Craft a DIY Haunted House. Transform your home into a monster-worthy mansion. Carve a pumpkin (or three) to set the scene as you welcome your guests. Inside, a few strategically placed decorations and bloodcurdling background music will create an eerie ambiance in no time!

(G)host a Halloween Party. Perhaps the best part of planning a spooky soiree is finding the perfect Halloween party games and concocting a scarily good menu, complete with chocolate Day of the Dead sugar skulls and deliciously cute baby bats made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Oreos, and candy eyes. Don’t forget to give credit where it’s due by awarding the best Texas-themed family costume.

Frightfully Fun Activities

Head to a pumpkin patch. There are pumpkin patches all over Texas. Round up the family for a day of fall fun on a journey to pick the perfect pumpkin.

Get crafty. Multitask at the pumpkin patch and pick up a few for inspired spooky seasonal decor. Fall into your creative side by filling your home with gourd-geous decorations. Think ahead to Thanksgiving and start crafting the perfect DIY tablescape

Make your favorite fall foods. ’Tis the season for pumpkin everything — pumpkin bread, homemade pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin soup, pecan pumpkin butter, and any other pumpkin recipe you find. While you’re at it, get a batch of mulled apple cider on the stove for a seasonally fragrant home.

Orchestrate a community scare. Don’t keep all the frightening fun to yourself: Scaring is caring! Get your neighbors involved with a few different activities. Conjure a spooky scavenger hunt, host a pumpkin carving party, or set up a family-friendly movie night — these are just a few neighborhood Halloween ideas!

Get outside. After a tormentingly hot summer, enjoy the cooler temperatures by embracing outdoor activities like scenic hikes and day trips to find the best fall foliage in Texas. But you don’t have to leave your backyard to have a blast. Toast some homemade marshmallows over the fire pit while swapping Texas ghost stories.

Whatever you do this spooky season, do it with those you love. Stay safe on Halloween night, whether passing out candy or guiding kids along a well-worn trick-or-treating path.

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