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Carol Vorderman's internet column: Click or treat; SPOOKY SITES A GREAT HAUNT.

SEARCHING for some scary screen fun this Halloween? Then click on to www.spooky.org.uk

This site, from Scotland Online, offers all sorts of topical tricks and treats including a monstrous message board, creepy cards, some fearful Halloween facts, a guide to celebrity spooks from Dracula to the Addams Family and some truly ghastly jokes.

(For instance, what instrument does a skeleton play? The trom-bone, of course.)

And if that jogs your funnybone, you'll find more of the same on the Scary Jokes page at www.kid sjokes.co.uk/jokes/scary/halloween. html (What do witches eat at Halloween? Spooketti!)

There's much more fun to be had at Halloween in England at www.anglo-saxon.demon.co.uk/hal loween/

Visit its graveyard, click on the gravestones and you can meet miserable Mort the fortune teller, be horribly cursed by grumpy Grizelda, question the Magic Eyeball and join in lots of gruesome games and quizzes.

And if you like the site, you can vote for it in the Cryptwars challenge, where it is currently going head to head with Tvamp's Fangs at www.angelfire.com /ks2/kcchiefs/index.html a site dedicated to the nastiest vamps from TV shows like Buffy.

If you're throwing a party on Tuesday, don't miss a visit to the Party Store at www.thepartys tore.co.uk where you'll find all manner of atmospheric accessories from haunted house paper plates to bat mobiles and creepy candles.

There's also a good selection of Halloween tablecloths, napkins and plates plus witches' hats, face paints and party bags for the kids from www.woolworths.co.uk

Place an order today at either of these sites and they promise the goodies will turn up before Tuesday.

Need help with your party menu? Turn to Hookery Cookery at www.therightside.demon. co.uk/cook ing/hween-menu.htm where you'll find about 20 Halloween recipes, ranging from pumpkin pie and traditional Irish Lucky Boxty Pancakes to treats for the kids such as Little Goblins Toffee Apples and Wicked Witches Sticky Fingers.

It's not too late to send seasonal greetings to your friends - or enemies!

www.loquax.co.uk and www.duck mail-greetings.co.uk both have a cute selection of Halloween cybercards, or for something more elaborate try American sites such as www.sears-portrait.com/cards/hal loween.html or www.123greet ings.com/events/halloween/ Of course it's our American cousins who love Halloween the most, and this means there are literally thousands of US websites dedicated to all things ghastly and ghouly.

For just a taste of this transatlantic extravaganza, try visiting www.halloween-online.com and its accompanying www.hal loween-magazine.com which is apparently the official magazine of the Halloween community, whoever they might be.

Horror-4-All's 100 horror related links at www.cavernsofblood. com/horror-4-all/horror4all.cgi ; Evil Tool's Top 100 Halloween Sites at www.topsitelists.com/best sites/eviltool/topsites.html ; 50 Spooky Faves at www.all-4- free.com/spooky50/autorank.html and Spookysites at www. spookysites.com

Any of these will link you to hordes of spectacular Halloween sites.

They are offering everything from ideas for parties, costumes and pumpkin carving to scary stories, jokes and riddles, games, quizzes and puzzles, tips on successful trick or treating, and clipart, graphics, screensavers and bloodcurdling sounds to download to your computer.

But be warned, once you delve into this endless labyrinth, you could just be trapped there for months!

But not everyone thinks of October 31 as Halloween.

In Mexico for example, it's called El Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead, and to pagans around the world, it is the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, pronounced sow-in, with sow rhyming with cow.

You will find an interesting history of different festivals around the world at www.ben jerry.com/hal loween/history.html while the story of Samhain is explained at www.sil iconglen.com/scotfaq/12_19.html along with some of the old Scottish customs associated with the festival.

For example, lovers who were unsure about their future would put two large nuts together in a blazing fire.

If the nuts stayed together it was off to the altar, but if they jumped apart it was time to look around for someone else.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Prophet, Sheila
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2000
Words:712
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