2

Week 3- Activity 8

word-cloud-1Fall is here! That means you should get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, pumpkins and anything else fall related! Get ready for the Jack-O-Lanterns illuminating your front porch, and make sure you have your Trick-Or-Treat costume ready. Spooky skeletons, spiders, and bats are about, don’t forget to be hanging up the decorations all about your house. The fall clothes are in, beanies, flannels, boots and scarves. The trees are changing too, the once lime green leaves are now shades of pumpkin orange and lemon yellow, with even a few apple red colors. Months of October and November are my absolute favorite, the crisp air is so refreshing. It’s time for autumn!

 

37

Top Ten Halloween Candies

candyzHalloween is an exciting time of the year.  Children like to dress up as characters or other things and go trick-or-treating.  Some adults like to stay at home and hand out candy.  Both of those may be fun, but most people think that the best part of Halloween is the candy.  Kids love getting candy for their costumes every year.  The question is, do you know what America’s favorite candies are?  This blog will tell you all about what the best candies are, based on sale facts from the USA Today website, as of 2015.

1.) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
USA Today says these are the most popular candies for American children as of 2015.  People like these candies so much that they sell almost $510 million of Reese’s.  Reese’s come in mini, the regular size and around Halloween, a pumpkin shaped version.  A big reason people like these candies because they come in individual packaging, so they are easy to give out.  These treats are a delicious treat for anyone, except if you are allergic to peanut butter.

2.) M&M’s
These bite-sized chocolates rake in about $500 million a year.  This is the second highest selling regular candy, they are ranked eighth in snack-sized brands.  People like M&M’s to put in things like cookies and others, but others love them just to snack on.  M&M’s come in minis, peanut, pretzel, peanut butter, regular and the company has recently announced a new caramel variety.  Peanut M&M’s are the top selling M&M’s out of them all.

3.) Snickers
Snickers were the third most popular candy sold last year at Halloween.  This popular candy has the equally popular catchphrase, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”  Last year, $457 million worth of snickers were sold.  Some people like this candy because of its many layers, which include caramel, nougat, peanuts and chocolate.  Snickers are another delicious candy, if you don’t have peanut allergies.

4.) Hershey’s
Number four on the most popular candies list is Hershey’s milk chocolate bars.  Hershey’s are a popular brand of chocolate that has been around since 1900.  These candies are passed out on Halloween quite a bit, raking in $325 million in 2015.  Did you know that chocolate can actually be good for you?  Well, it can, and that is probably a good reason to buy Hershey’s.  The sales for Hershey bars increased by 12% in 2015 at Halloween.  Hershey’s come in regular, almond, cookies and creme and dark chocolate.

5.) Kit-Kat
Kit-Kats were the fifth most sold Halloween candy of 2015.  They sold about $307 million worth of Kit-Kats last year.  Kit-Kats also launched a co-promotion with Google for Android called simply “KitKat.”  Kit-Kats are packaged in pairs, and in bigger packs four.

6.) Twix 4 to Go
The Mars company sold about $116 million in Twix last year.  More specifically, the Twix 4 To Go, which come in packages of four.  Twix are made of cookies and caramel and then covered in chocolate.  Twix were introduced to Americans in 1993 by the Mars Company.  This is also the most expensive top selling candy with chocolate as well as 60 cents more than a regular Twix.  

7.) 3 Musketeers
The number seven candy on this list is one of my personal favorites.  3 Musketeers made more than $100 million in 2015.  These candies were introduced by the Mars company in 1932.  The 3 Musketeers’ sales decreased by about 10%, but an explanation for that could be their lack of advertising.  3 Musketeers are fluffy chocolate nougat covered in more chocolate and come in packs of two and one.

8.) Hershey’s Cookies and Creme
Hershey’s Cookies and Creme bars made around $100 million in 2015.  These bars are a variant of the more popular bar, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.  Hershey’s Cookies and Creme are made with white chocolate and cookie pieces.  Although not as many people like these chocolate bars, they helped to boost over all Hershey bar sales by 9%.

9.) Milky Way
Number nine on the best candies countdown is Milky Way bars.  Milky Way’s made more than $93 million last year.  They were introduced in 1923 by the Mars Company.  Milky Ways are made with nougat, caramel and chocolate.  They come in regular, caramel and dark chocolate.

10.) Almond Joy
The final candy on this list is Almond Joy.  $82 million dollars worth of Almond Joy’s were sold in 2015.  The began being sold in 1946 by the Hershey company.  These yummy candies are made by pressing together coconut and putting almonds on top, then covering them all in chocolate.  They are similar to their other candy, Mounds, that lack the crunchy almonds on top.

This has been the top ten best candies for Halloween, credit to USA Today for the facts and number.  Thanks for reading!

Image from: https://www.stitch.net

1

Murder Mystery Mansion

My alarm clock says “7:32” as I look over at it.  It’s way too early to get up, but I get up anyway because I’m so excited.  I pull on my skinny jeans and my old , knobby, gray sweater and head downstairs to execute my morning routine.”Fweee!” goes the kettle as my tea is starting to boil. Off the burner I take it and pour some orange spice tea into my favorite ‘Snoopy’ mug.  I plop down onto the arm chair and turn on the T.V. and click through the channels until I come to the news. “Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you have a spook-tacular day!”says the news guy wearing vampire teeth and a black cape. “OK, back business.  A convict from the Hamilton Insane asylum escaped and is moving westward in the Hampton county….”

The stairs creak as I walk upstairs to get my things ready for tonight. A long, silk, purple gown is what I’ll wear.  I’ll layer with my mom’s white mink stole and long white gloves and my hair in an up-do. All the detective heroines in the books look like that.  In my small, fancy, bag I stuffed cotton swabs to test if ketchup or blood, along with special paper that turns blue when it’s real blood, a classic magnifying glass, a pen and paper, a handkerchief, and harsh flash light for questioning. I’m all set. By then everyone has gotten up in the house, so I go ask my family at the breakfast table if anyone wants to play ‘Clue’ until I have to go…..

I am so ready for the Murder Mystery Mansion field trip.  

“OOHHH MAN!!! It’s 7:45!!!! Only 15 minutes until we are at the place!!!!” I excitedly scream to my parents as they drive me to ‘The Hamptons Mansion’, where our whole English class is going for a field trip on our section about Agatha Christie.  Fancy lion statues at the big iron gate flash by my face as we enter the serial and elegant Hampton Mansion.  My friends Tina and Julie wave excitedly when my car pulls up.  They both look gorgeous! Tina in a rich pink gown with a subtle poof at the waist, she layered with a  ghostly white shawl and a silver necklace. Julie looked  very, Julie-ish. She wore a short, red, silk, Japanese style cross over dress with black Converse, because she doesn’t own any fancy shoes.  But, she looked fantastic anyway.

A young man in a spiffy, grey suit , with a name tag reading: ‘Adam, staff’ walked up to our group and said, “If you could come inside, the rest of your class is in the house.”  We tingled our fingers to say goodbye to our parents and followed Adam inside the Hampton Mansion.

As we walked in a ‘butler greeted us and took our coats.  Our whole English class was there, with the exception of Roy because he just can’t handle scary.  Mr. Burrow finished speaking with the  main leader of the festivity and got our attention so he could say, “Hello everyone! Please meet up with your group and your tour guide so we may start!” Tina, Julie, and I went to our tour guide, Ryan.  “Follow me and we will meet our other guests.”  Bright light hits my face as we walk into a room that appears to be the dining room.  Five people who look like a rainbow of aristocracy,  Each wearing a different color.  Scott the main leader each one of them, “These are the other guests to the Hampton’s Halloween party, Miss Roselia Rouge,”  Clad in a red dress.  “Prof. Lemaen.” Wearing a black suit with a yellow vest.  He continued,”Miss Flora Greenwood,” Garbed in a green pencil skirt and a green cardigan.  “Lord Hampton and his wife Lady Violet.”  “Jeez I prepared myself better than I thought.” I murmured to my friends.  “There will be a two hour break before dinner, please look around and admire our lavish house.

 Ryan lead us to the library for our break, with Miss Greenwood following us.  Julie, Tina and I all rushed to sit down on the ornately woven chaise lounge and do our best fainting women impression.  Tina was first to  it, only to be pricked in the posterior by a small dagger’. We all exclaimed shrilly “A clue!” When we looked closer at it we noticed to letter ‘R’s’ carved on it ornately.  “I wonder whose it is?” Ryan said with a hint in his voice.  “Probably Miss. Rouge’s.” Julie said. “AH HA! Our first suspect!” I screeched.  “Genna, you dope! No one’s done anything yet.” Tina said, bringing me back to the real world.  “Oh, yeah I forgot you’re supposed to text the other groups when you’ve found something.  Tina whipped out her smancy- fancy touch-screen phone.  “I got dis.”  She said cooly.  While Tina was texting the other four groups we searched around for more clues but nothing was to be found.  We came back to Tina and asked what the other groups said, “Well group two found a green handkerchief with the initials ‘F.G’ embroidered on it  although it was very blood stained in the study ,” right then Miss. Flora mysteriously left the room.  “Group three found a blue slipper in the conservatory, group four found a bottle of poison in the ballroom , and group five found nothing.”

The hall with the bathroom is where Ryan lead us next.  each of us used the bathroom it was when julie looked in the mirror that she noticed a piece of paper stuck in the medicine cabinet. She pulled it out and called us over to look at it.  It read: “I will do it with poison like you said. Did you leave it in the  ballroom like you said? ~G.R.” “This totally has something to do with the bottle of poison in the ballroom.” Tina observed.  She texted the other groups and gave us the update.  “Group two found a corresponding note that acknowledged ours and said that that the knife would be in the library.  The other groups found nothing.”  ryan cut in, “Time for dinner, let’s head down to the dining hall.” We followed him and halfway down the large staircase we heard frantic footsteps running in one of the rooms next to the stairs.  Ryan didn’t seem to notice.  

The butler seated us at the large table with extensive table settings. “What the stuff! How many forks do you need?” Julie murmured to us.  we both tried to hide giggles.  The servants brought us split pea soup  and savory dinner rolls.  Lord Hampton raised his glass for a toast, “To many more wonderful Halloweens and thank you for being such wonderful friends!”  We raised our glasses and took a dainty sip from them.  Then Lord Hampton fell face down in his bowl of soup everyone gasped and his wife screamed.  Prof. Lemaen dabbed his finger on the edge of his glass then sniffed his finger, “Poison, that’s’ wot killed ‘em.”  The three of us looked knowingly at each other then scanned the faces of everyone else.  “Whoever this murderer is , well they have a good poker face.” I said. Lady Violet shakily whispered, I suggest we all go somewhere else to calm down.” everyone left the table silently.  “We’ll catch up I lost an earing somewhere.” I lied He shrugged and left the room. We rushed over to Lord Hampton to check his pulse.  Tina’s face went white with horror, “He has no pulse.” She said tensely.  “So he’s actually dead?” julie asked. “Yes.”  We went to the billiard room where we were supposed to meet Ryan.  “Oops I left my bag in the dining room.” Tina remembered.  “We can get it later.”  Julie said. As We sat down Tina’s phone tweeted, signaling that she got a text.  She took out her phone and read aloud.  “Team two we found Prof. Lemaen face down with a knife in his back, dead in the living room.” We all shuddered.  Then dashed off to look for any evidence of the murderer in the living room.

We arrived and immediately I took out my blood testing paper and touched it to the bloody spot.  “This definitely real blood.” I reluctantly said.  “Who could be doing this?” Eric, from the other group said to me.  “ I have a hunch but I need a bit more evidence.  “Where is Miss Rouge?” I asked. “She is supposed to be in her room.” One of the guides said.  “Let me see that knife.”  No one went to get it so Julie does and rolls her eyes at the the supposed ‘tough’ guys.  I wipe it off on my handkerchief and look closer at it with my magnifying glass.  It has the identical ‘R.R’ carved on it.  The same knife that Tina put in her bag the bag she left in the dining room.  I call Lady Violet, and ask, “Do you have any security cameras in the dining room?” “Uh Huh.” she says with a whimper.The recordings will be in the kitchen.

The kitchen is the place we go next.  We find the recordings and upload them to Tina’s phone.  We all watch carefully, in the video after Julie, Tina and I left twenty minutes later Miss Rouge and Miss Flora Greenwood come in and rummage through Tina’s bag.  Pulling out the knife they high five and walk out.

The group goes back to the living room, the scene of the crime.  We all moodily mose around pondering why. Julie leans on a bookcase and clumsily falls backward as it opens.  Inside we find a ripped up straight jacket and the dead body of Lord Hampton.  “This is a real murder, not a fake one we’re supposed to solve.” Tina whimpered. “Exactly! Someone is using the fake clues from the fake mystery to commit a real murder.” I said forgetting how gruesome this actually was.  Julie sat down on the large sofa and screamed.  Two long grungy hands gripped her neck trying to strangle her. But Eric from the other group jumped up and wrestled with the unknown murderer.  The unknown’s fingernails dug into his neck and eventually tired him out and put him to the ground.  The unknown was surely the convict his shirt had ‘The Hamilton Insane Asylum.’ We all realized  what was happening in front of us. We scrambled for our lives outside and ran into the night with a insane person on our heels.

0

Family Bonding

When I was younger, I always used to race through the halls of my decrepit house.  My footsteps would echo through the space of the ancient pathway, thump, thump, thump.  Footsteps would turn into flying.  Right now, pretending to be a superhero soaring through a run-down ‘city’ seemed silly.  But I wasn’t doing that, I was running for my life.  I could hear my own heartbeat in my ear, pulsing and pulsing.  Halloween was my least favorite time of the year, and this is exactly why!  Tap, tap, tap, tap my mom was growing slower, so I dared to take a quick glance back.  Regret flooded every bone inside of me.  Seeing her like this brought an aggressive sadness through my head like a tsunami.  Suddenly, I fainted on the cold wood floor.

Every year on Halloween night, my entire family goes berserk.  It’s a mystery to why it happens and why I’m the only one who doesn’t go completely crazy.  By crazy, I mean crazy.  Once I found my dad in the dining room with his eyes rolled back in his head while he lay on the floor, motionless.  Another time, my brother and sister were in the living room watching static on the television.  However, the worst comes from my mom.  You can count on that she will run through the house screaming every Halloween night.  She might even break a few plates.  Tonight was the worst though, she was constantly chasing me!  Every once in awhile she would gurgle out my name in a pathetic tone.  I was starting to wake up from my black out.

Tiny beams of light filled my eyes.  Sleeping was a beautiful thing, so I tried to just curl back up and rest some more.  Realization was the only thing I could think about.  Not the good kind, you know when a character in a movie realizes the love of their life had always loved them back, the kind where your world gets dark and you have to face reality.  Which in this case for me was to open my eyes.  So I did, as hard as it was, I had to face my insane family.  Staring me right in the face was my mom, dad, brother and sister.  They just stood there, not blinking, moving, breathing, they were just statues in that moment.  Moments like that go by quickly I can tell you.  Calmly, my sister went over to me and crouched down.  Automatically, my feet scooted me backwards.  In that moment, time went by like the slowest thing you can imagine.  It was almost like I floated right through the rail.  Back first, I fell down my old staircase.  Pitifully, my arms flailed in attempt to catch myself.  Soaring through the air like the superhero I used to be, I tumbled backwards and landed with an awful crunch.  One thing I was for sure about in all of the commotion, my sister said one thing to me. “You’re special, sis.”  After she groaned that, I was sure about why I was sane on Halloween night.

November 1st, the day everything was clear.  Beep… Beep… Beep…  Soreness was all I could feel in my back.  A nurse in pale blue scrubs came into my room “Are you feeling any better, Sara?” she smiled. “Yes, thanks,” I sighed.  Unthinkably, my mother then trudged into the room “Sara, I am so sorry, please, I can explain-” I glared at her “Why did you do this? Why am I different?” I cried. Awkwardly, the nurse scurried away.  I continued speaking, slowly raising my voice, “I want to be like you!  Why can’t I be alive too?”  Well, that was it.  Reason #1 why I didn’t turn into a monster like the rest of my family: I already was one.

0

To Grandmother’s House We Go…

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Cara felt the cold wind pierce her skin as she climbed the porch stairs to her cruel grandmother’s house.  She always hated coming here because of everything that happened in the house.  The bags she was carrying made her arms feel like they were filled with lead.  Her foot hit the last step and it creaked from the unexpected weight.  As she reached the porch, she dropped the bags with a sigh of relief.  Cara heard the large, wooden door creak open as she slowly saw her grandmother’s ugly face come into view.

“Well, well. Look who it is.  Get inside child and set those bags down before you catch a cold in this wind.  Well, hurry up!” she snapped.

Cara pulled her jacket closer to her chilled body, suddenly noticing the cold wind pick up it’s speed.  She picked up the heavy bags and slowly followed her already grumpy companion inside.  Something hairy brushed up against her leg and Cara immediately recognized it as Alumit, her grandmother’s black cat.  Her grandma had told her that the name Alumit means secret.

They finally reached the kitchen and Cara set the bags full of candy on the counter.  It was Halloween night and this was her family’s tradition.  Cara would go to her grandmother’s house on Halloween night, she would trick-or-treat for an hour and then help her grandma pass out candy for an hour.   And then she would stay in that creepy old house for five days.  Five Days!  The young girl shivered at the thought.  She was so excited for Halloween, mostly because her friend Tosha was coming over to trick-or-treat and stay the night, as tradition.  Cara’s grandma thanked her for her effort.

“May I go upstairs now?” Cara asked the old woman.

“Yes, go. I may need you later though. What time is Tisha-”

“Tosha.”

“Whatever. What time is Tosha coming?” The woman corrected herself.

“I think she said 3:30.”

“I want you back down here by 3:20, showered, teeth brushed and hair combed.  No tight clothes and nothing too revealing. No jewelry and no spunky clothing. You are to dress like the young women you are, you can wear the clothes I laid out for you or some of the extra clothes in the closet. Do not open that trunk on the end of the bed! By now you know the rules. The only time you change out of those clothes is when you dress up in your silly costume and when you go to bed. Do you understand?”

“Yes grandmother, I understand your rules and will not break them or disobey you.”

“Good, now go, you’re wasting my time.”

Cara ran up the stairs and shut and locked the door.  She quickly got a shower and dressed herself with some clothes in the closet.  Cara only brought one bag because there was no point in bringing her own clothes. In her bag Cara had her phone, her kindle, some chargers, a toothbrush and toothpaste, her nighttime retainer and the book she was currently reading.  After a few minutes of listening to music and playing games on her phone, she heard her grandma yell at her, signaling it was 3:20. She carefully hid her electronics, not knowing how her grandmother would feel about them, and walked down the steps.  After waiting for a few minutes, there was a knock on the door.  Cara quickly got up and opened it before she hugged her best friend.  

After a few hours the two girls went trick-or-treating.  They finally made it to a big hill with a single house on top.  

“Hey, I think we forgot one” Tosha said as she started walking to the open gate at the bottom of the steep hill.

“No, that’s okay Tosha, let’s just go back” Cara said, looking at the scary house in fear.

“What are you scared?”

“N-no”

“Bawk! Bawk, Bawk!” Tosha squealed and laughed at her own stupidity.

“Fine, you wanna go so bad, we’ll go”

“Yay!”

The two girls hiked up the treacherous hill and stopped at the top to catch their breath.  After about a minute or so the girls knocked on the door.  A man that looked like he was in his thirties opened the door.

“Trick-or-treat” the nearly breathless girls said in unision.

“Oh, um, sorry no candy. Oh! I just made some caramel apples. Why don’t you come and give the caramel some time to dry.

“Okay”

Cara and Tosha’s bodies were later found in the basement of the house on the hill. Remember, always be safe on Halloween and never trust something or someone suspicious…

0

The Demon of Halloween

I was walking home when I heard a noise in the bushes, I thought it was a cat so I continued walking.  Five minutes later I heard the same exact noise.  Still having to walk another mile I called my friend, Bill to see if he could give me a ride to his house.  He picked me up a few minutes later, he was just leaving his friends Halloween party.  Bill lives outside of town about 20 minutes away.   It was a long quiet ride, we didn’t talk about much.  But I didn’t tell him what I heard.  Once we were there we went inside and watched T.V.  The movie was a scary Halloween movie, the same sound that came from the bushes was in the movie.  

The movie gave me chills. There was a demon that had a red, cut up and bloody face.  We watched the rest of the movie, I will be scared all night.  While we went to sleep I kept hearing scary noises coming from outside.  Eventually I looked outside to try to see what it was, I didn’t see anything.  Then suddenly the monster I saw in the movie jumped up to the window scaring me.  So I woke Bill up to tell him, he was scared too.  His reaction was to have someone watch just in case.

Bill took the first watch.  I slept first, it was hard to sleep knowing what could be out there.  A few hours later when Bill woke me up he said he said he saw it again.  So next I watched for a couple of hours. Suddenly, Bill was dragged away by a monster with a blood red face. He woke up and was confused but when he was the monster he started screaming, then I started chasing him.  Once I caught up I grabbed his foot but the monster was too strong. He was gone, I would never see him again.