At this time of year, it seems like every channel is running a horror movie marathon stretching deep into the wee hours of the morning, and it's enough to send you burrowing deeper into your bed in terror. But is that really what you should be doing? If you're going to stay safe from things that go bump in the night, you need to take a few protective measures -- think of it as preventative maintenance for the supernatural set.
We've got the rundown on some common supernatural threats...and how to make sure they won't crash your Halloween party.
These blood-sucking night dwellers famously can't handle direct sunlight, but more importantly, they can't enter your house unless they're invited. Make sure all your party guests have personalized invitations and that they check with you before bringing a plus one along...and just in case, you might want to consider wreathing your door in a charming garlic braid, just to be sure.
Additionally, vampires have been known to have trouble crossing running water, so now might be a good time to install that water feature you've been thinking about. Consider a babbling brook or pond with a low Japanese-style bridge on the way to your door!
Fast, slow, skeletal, rotting, and more, zombies seem to come in a lot of different types, which can make them tough to tackle. What you've got to keep in mind is that your home needs to be reinforced, with exactly the same measures you'd use to keep it safe from thieves. Think heavy doors with triple locks, stout double-pane windows with locking shutters, and an elevated house (bonus: flood protection!) with a secured stairwell up to living areas. While you're zombie-proofing your house, consider checking on your roof and siding to make sure they're securely fastened so they don't provide easy areas of entry for determined undead hands.
Since zombies may lay siege to your home for a couple of days, make sure you have plenty of potable water, safe food, and medication supplies; in fact, the government in general recommends having at least three days of supplies not just in case of zombie attacks, but also for earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Ghosts can be difficult, especially if you're not sure why they're hanging around. First, you need to determine if they're malignant or not (hint: weeping girls on staircases are probably fine, ghosts who wake you up by looming over the bed with a knife might be a problem). If you need to, considering calling in an expert like a white witch or a religious officiant who might be able to help your ghost put her issues to rest.
But you can also take some steps of your own. Ghosts like to cling to the past, so now is a good time to repaint, take out that gross old carpet, redo the wainscoting, and take on other remodeling projects around the house. If you have a historic home, make sure to work with a restoration remodeling company that specializes in that kind of work -- and warn them about your supernatural resident, because she might get mad that people are messing with her house!