Fall is here and with it, the spookiest time of year—Halloween season. What better place to spend it than in a cabin in the woods of Beavers Bend? Whether you plan to bring the kids for a family-friendly excursion or a group of friends for a fright-filled weekend getaway, there are plenty of ways to indulge the holiday in McCurtain County. Here are eight suggestions.
1. Search for Bigfoot
McCurtain County is Bigfoot Country, so grab the backpack and start hiking. Just don’t get lost, and be sure to keep track of each other. If you’re lucky enough to see the elusive yeti of the Kiamichis, please don’t take any pictures—he’s camera shy. (But if you can’t help yourself and manage to snap one of the big furry guy, be sure to tag us on Instagram.)
2. Tell campfire stories
This is a simple, easy classic. Tell your friends ahead of time to come armed with their best ghost stories, build a fire in the pit outside your cabin, pour a few drinks and prepare for the scares. Pro tip: Use the ol’ flashlight-below-the-chin trick for extra spooky effect.
3. Watch scary movies in your cabin
If you’re a movie nerd, come armed with your best collection of horror movies, pop some popcorn, and let the ambiance of the woods add to the atmosphere. If the weather allows, open some windows so the creepy hum of the outdoors at night creates an extra layer of dread.
4. Play flashlight tag
This is a great game for kids that combines traditional tag with a scary version of hide and seek. If you’re “It,” you simply run around searching for your friends with the flashlight—whenever you catch someone in the shine of the light, they’re now “It.” Just be careful to pick an area with steady terrain that’s not too dark.
5. Carve pumpkins
Find the nearest pumpkin purveyor, grab the correct carving tools, lay out some newspaper on the giant deck of your cabin and start carving. Go freestyle, or, for the more serious carver, print a template from the internet and impress everyone with your intricate carving skills.
6. Go on a geocaching hunt in the woods
Geocaching is like an outdoor scavenger hunt using a GPS device. As long as you have a GPS on your phone, it’s completely free fun. In Beavers Bend State Park, hundreds of geocaches are waiting to be discovered. Before you start the hunt, log on to the Global GPS Cache Hunt and type in the zip code 74728 to pull up the locations of McCurtain County caches. Start hunting in the afternoon and plan to finish just after dark. Let twilight offer the natural spooky vibes, just don’t stay out too long after sunset. You never know what you’ll find in those woods…
7. Get spooky with the locals
Beavers Bend State Park hosts a Haunted Museum at the Forest Heritage Center on October 28, featuring pumpkin carving, face painting and other activities. Meanwhile, the Train Depot in Broken Bow offers a Train of Terror haunted ride every weekend in October leading up to Halloween.
8. Make your own scary movie
Remember “The Blair Witch Project”? Even though it was relatively cheap to make, that movie, made in the 90s, still cost thousands of dollars just to shoot. Now, thanks to the magic of technology, you and your friends can make your own horror movie with nothing but the built-in camera of your iPhone or Android.
Start your evening with a brainstorming sesh in the cabin—find some inspiration by watching a few classic scary movies (“Cabin in the Woods,” perhaps?), come up with a basic premise with your friends (like “mysterious entity stalks a group of friends in the forest”), then start shooting. We’ll see you at the Oscars.
Find your perfect cabin here and start planning your spooky retreat today.