In celebration of Jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treaters everywhere, I’ve put together a list of the top 13 online destinations, search engines and services I’ve found over the past week which specialize in the October holiday.
Top 13 Halloween Sites, Searches and Destinations:
1. BuyCostumes.com : The largest online retailer of Halloween Costumes, BuyCostumes.com offers just about any scary costume needed for the Halloween season, from zombies to monsters to comic book characters. And don’t forget to buy a costume for the family dog either!
2. GooGhoul : Pronounced “Google”, this trademark lawsuit waiting to happen lets users channel the spirit of Local Search to find Halloween events in their neighborhoods.
Simply type in your zip code into GooGhoul’s searchbox and the creepy search engine will respond with Haunted Houses, Hayrides, Haunted Woods, Haunted Mazes, Trails and Halloween Parties in your area.
3. Pumpkin Gutter : An extraordinary online photo gallery of some of the best jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin carvings in the world. Currently having some server problems due to the amount of ghoulish traffic visiting the site, Pumpkin Gutter offers the best pumpkin carvings submitted from year to year.
4. Samhain.com : No, it’s not a site devoted to Glen Danzig, but at first glance it could appear to be. Instead, it’s all about Halloween, which has its origins in Samhain, the winter season of the ancient Celts.
Samhain Eve, in Erse, Oidhche Shamhna, is one of the principal festivals of the Celtic calendar, and is thought to fall on or around the 31st of October. It represents the final harvest. In modern Ireland, the name by which Halloween is known in the Irish language is still “Oíche Shamhna”.
Samhain.com features a Halloween Directory along with horror related content.
5. Wikipedia : For all kinds of information about Halloween, one of the most in depth locations on the Internet is Wikipedia.
With a page devoted to the origins of Halloween, Halloween in different countries, symbols, trick-or-treating and religious viewpoints, the Wikipedia entry on Halloween is a one stop destination for info on the holiday.
I especially like the story on the origin of the Jack O’Lantern.
6. Halloween.com : Owned by the same people who bring us such high profile domains as SantaClaus.com, PhoneBook.com and Hurricane.com, Halloween.com is a portal for Halloween info ranking from a Haunted House Finder to Halloween Safety and plenty of supplies, costumes and products which must bring in some hefty revenue.
7. Ghost Photos : This collection at GhostResearch.org features classic photographs with globes, ghosts and faces accompanied by photos proven to be falsehoods.
8. Vampires do exist : Sanguinarius.org is a ‘Support Page’ for real vampires and blood drinkers. The online support group offers an events calendar, directory, online shop and meetup information for real life Draculas and Lost Boys.
9. GothicMatch.com : Have a taste for the dark supernatural world and looking for the perfect man, woman or beast to share your uncanny romantic adventures with? GothicMatch.com could be your answer… especially for those who have lost their souls to the full moon:
10. Scary Stories from Google Book Search : What better way to showcase the new Google Book Search than with devlish creepy stories around All Hollow’s Eve.
To help get you in the Halloween spirit, we’ve gathered some of the best classic spine-tingling tales you can find in Google Book Search. At google.com/scarystories, you can rediscover spooky classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as explore less well-known tales like Thomas Hardy’s Victorian ghost story, “The Withered Arm”.
11. Horrorfind.com : Horrorfind is a search engine & directory devoted to all things Halloween. Categories include Ghosts, Vampires and Werewolves.
12 . Halloween on Flickr : A realtime search for ‘Halloween‘ on Flickr will bring you the most recent photos of pumpkins, costumes and parties as they are uploaded. (and speaking of horrifying user generated content, let’s not forget YouTube).
Or for incredibly scary Halloween pictures there is always the Adventures of Inigo (aka. Matt Cutts) !
13. Ask.com SmartAnswers : Last but not least, if you’re not sick of Halloween information, recipes and spooky sounds, the Ask.com SmartAnswers search result for Halloween can help find all kinds of content on the holiday to get your school, work or neighborhood party kicking just in time for October 31st.