Image via Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Call it a commingling of the sacred and a spectacle.

Halloween "Texas style" starts Friday and goes through Monday with Día de los Muertos and All Souls Day in between.


Tonight, kids across Texas head door-to-door in search of Halloween candy. But some parents may fear more than a fleeting sugar rush – Halloween can also fill children's heads with scary and gory imagery that's tough to dislodge.

While Halloween's filled with all manner of things that go bump in the night, it also offers parents the chance to address their kids fears.

David Sewell McCann knows a thing or two about talking to kids. His "Sparkle Stories" podcast offers original children's stories each week – including stories that can put confusing or frightening events into context. 

It’s a busy weekend in Austin, with Halloween and Formula 1 festivities. That means downtown road closures.

Trinity between Cesar Chavez and 4th Street will be closed until midnight for Formula One. So will 2nd and 3rd Streets between Trinity and San Jacinto. Neches between 4th and 5th Streets will also be closed all day.


Let’s talk zombies. Can’t kill them. Can’t eat them. What are we to the living dead? 

No longer merely the province of Halloween season, nowadays zombies proliferate in American pop culture, from books to TV to film.

Dr. Michael Webber, deputy director of UT’s Energy Institute, says there’s good reason for the persistence of zombies – and it has a lot to do with how we think about power. 

Energy – or the lack thereof – is always a sign of post-apocalyptic and zombie culture. Loss of energy inevitably leads to resource wars among the apocalypse’s survivors. From “The Walking Dead” to “World War Z,” the main drive is often for fuel, water, or power.

An Austin mother sent out a call for help Monday night – although she was already at the hospital with her son.

Laura Wilson-Swanson had taken her 10-year-old Gabe into Dell Children’s Hospital earlier in the week. Laura says he’s affected by an autoimmune disease called PANDAS that can lead to seizure-like episodes.


Here’s a new Halloween practice some dentists see as a treat: Halloween candy buybacks.

Once the little ones have finished trick-or-treating this year, Austin pediatric dentists are ready to buy back their Halloween candy –  at a buck a pound.

The buyback program is a part of Operation Gratitude. Annually, Operation Gratitude sends more than 100,000 packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and letters of support – including Halloween candy – to U.S. service members deployed in hostile regions.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Looking for a good scare before Halloween? Heading to a local haunted house is always a good idea. And if you live in Texas, you're lucky enough to be near three of the country's best haunts.

According to a new ranking by Hauntworld.com, the self described "World's #1 Haunted House Website, Texas has four of the top 13 haunted house in the country. 

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The House of Torment has reached an agreement to stay at its Highland Mall location for a ninth year. "We couldn't be more excited to share what we've created this year with Austin fear fans," says House of Torment president and founder Daniel McCullough in a press release. "We really went above and beyond in terms of both production and design, and we hope you'll come scream with us."

Original story (Oct. 24, 2012): To encourage trick-or-treating in his neighborhood, every year Halloween-lover Dan McCullough would build a haunted house in his backyard in South Austin.

His plan worked – and soon the house’s popularity grew until one year it got out of hand. Over a hundred people showed up to the house and police were called to direct traffic. McCullough’s operation had to end – in that form at least.

McCullough decided to turn professional. The haunted house that originated in McCullough’s backyard is now the House of Torment.

Jon Love visited the House of Torment in its inaugural space 10 years ago. Now he’s the vice president of Harbinger Events, the organization that puts on the haunted house.

Vampires and monsters will be out in force tonight, but some of the darkest creatures out there might be your little angels inside those Halloween costumes.

Nathan Bernier

1. You're More Likely to Get Caught Tonight:

The Austin Police Department is enforcing a "No Refusal policy" beginning tonight at 9 and ending Thursday at 5 a.m.

That means police will conduct blood search warrants on drivers who are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and refuse to voluntarily submit to a breathalyzer or blood test.

2. It'll Cost You:

Police say anyone found with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and could face 3 days to 6 months in jail, a one year suspension of their driver’s license and a fine of up to $2,000 for a first offense.

Several events are taking place around downtown Austin this weekend. That means road closures and detours for drivers.

Below is a list of events causing closures:

All Weekend

  • The Texas Book Festival is back! But, along with all the books come lane closures around the Texas State Capitol. There will be both full and partial lane closures stretching north and south from 9th to 13th streets, and east to west from Lavaca Street to San Jacinto Boulevard starting Thursday at 9 a.m. and ending Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (Map)
  • Happy Halloween Weekend! Expect some traffic delays as costumed revellers celebrate. Temporary road closures will begin on Saturday at 6 p.m. and last through 3 a.m. East 6th Street from Brazos Street to San Marcos Street will be shut down. IH-35 north and south bound exits for 6th Street and 8th Street will also be closed. For a complete list of road closures, click here.
Photo by MarkScottAustinTX http://www.flickr.com/photos/elchupacabra/

The Saturday before Halloween is one of those nights in Austin when 6th Street is even crazier than usual, which is saying a lot because 6th Street is usually pretty crazy.

The Austin Police Department says it will be closing 6th Street at 6 p.m. on Saturday instead of 11 p.m. APD might also shut access ramps onto and off of I-35 between 8th and 3rd streets.

Police also plan to close 6th Street on the actual Halloween, Monday, October 31. The timing of the closures will depend on how big the crowds are.

Photo by furyksx http://www.flickr.com/photos/furyksx/

Pumpkins are kind of like fruit cakes. They only sell for about six weeks out of the entire year. And it’s usually around the time specials like this one air on television.

But the great pumpkin might be harder to find these days, according to agricultural experts.

McDonald costume
Image courtesy Flickr user efohbe http://www.flickr.com/photos/49031772@N04/

Sixth Street was packed to the gills both Saturday and  Sunday night as costumed  revelers turned out in droves to celebrate Halloween. Flickr users efohbe and EgOiStE were among those out snapping dozens of pictures.  KVUE says "tens of thousands" showed up last night.

two guys in Halloween costumes on 6th Street
Image courtesy Chris Blackmor http://www.flickr.com/photos/cblackmor/

Two days left until kids will be knocking at your door requesting candy in exchange for not "tricking" your house with toilet paper. But the parties aren't waiting till Sunday. They start tonight and last all weekend.