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My sister Annette lovingly calls me the Fall Queen because once autumn hits and she comes over, she’s immediately welcomed into (or bombarded by) a seasonal paradise.

Pumpkin scented candles waft through my apartment, dark furs drape the couch, gourds have been caringly placed all over the space, and of course, red wine sits on the coffee table surrounded by buckets of Halloween candy, a Halloween movie about to play while pizza is en route.

I love creating ambience and decorating my space for each season, but fall is definitely my favourite. Baking recipes filled with apple, pumpkin, cinnamon, and maple brings me joy, as does listening to Halloween movie tracks or inviting friends over while a horror film plays on mute in the background.

Below is a list of things you can do to get ready for Halloween, in a campy, cozy style. I’m purposely posting this in September so you have time to prep – I know I am!


If you are not a lamp person, now is the time to become one. No main lights should be on during autumn – instead, dim your lights or light all of your lamps and candles for a cozy glow. During this time, I love pumpkin candles that are mixed with vanilla or cinnamon that aren’t sickeningly sweet. If you’re not a pumpkin fan, candles with scents of apple, cinnamon, maple, coffee, vanilla, or pine will still make you feel like you’re willingly locked in a forest cabin, surrounded by fog and golden leaves.

This is also the time I put away my light (coloured and weighted) blankets and bright green pillows, and replace them with chocolate-coloured furry pillows, as well as dark and cream faux furs, which I keep throughout the winter as well. Nesting on the couch on top and underneath these furs while you read a mystery or watch a Stephen King film is what it’s all about.

I also adore small touches – autumn scented hand soaps, Halloween themed bath bombs from Lush, and fall-coloured sheets (think deep orange, dark green, eggplant, or maroon).

Decorate to your own style. If you have a more modern taste, faux pumpkins that are different colours (white, ceramic blue, grey) may be just the trick for you. If you have a cottagecore vibe, surround yourself with pumpkins and pinecones in weaved baskets. If you’re a Halloween lover, deck the place in skulls and candy corn. Whatever your style is, remember it will probably meld or shift in a few years, so when hunting at Homesense, ensure you’re looking for things you’ll love for a long time. I love a forest-house/lodge/cottage atmosphere, so my place is decorated with natural coloured pumpkins, sleek skulls, pinecones, and I buy autumn coloured flowers (mustard yellow mums, maroon carnations, white roses).

You can also gives this your personal style a twist at this time – clothes, nail polish, bags that are deep shades of gold, navy, brown, or black will have you feeling both cozy and spooky.


If you’re a Halloween fan, you’ll definitely spend time watching the feel-good, go-to films: Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, The Witches, and Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. I love all of these when I want something light, that I can enjoy with a bucket of Halloween chocolate on my lap (extra Oh Henry! and peanut M&Ms for me please).

For horror lovers I recommend classics like The Shining, Carrie, Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, Halloween, Scream (a campy fav), Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th (all original). These classic films just make me feel more cozy than all the new movies out, but it’s really a personal reference. That being said, for scary movies, you definitely need a huge bowl of popcorn so you can spill the entire thing on yourself while spooked, even if you’ve already seen the film you’re watching before.

If you love black-and-white movies like me, you absolutely must watch Dracula, Frankenstein, and The House on Haunted Hill. Bell, Book, and Candle and I Married A Witch are also fabulous. These would be great to watch with a themed cocktail – Dracula’s Kiss, anyone?

And my favourite Halloween movies are actually not super Halloween related: just campy, fun, and a bit creepy. If you haven’t seen these already, you must: Clue (yes, a movie based on the board game), Death Becomes Her, and The Witches of Eastwick. All of these deserve to be bought on DVD and enjoyed with red wine and a cheesy pizza.

Background noise

If you’re not big on Halloween, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some good fall-themed music! Anything indie will calm you and provide a nice ambience while you’re working, cooking, or just relaxing on the couch. I often just play rain sounds, to give the feeling of cozy, rainy weather, even if it’s just gloomy outside.

If you’re into Halloween, there are a bunch of playlists on Spotify you can find, each tailored differently, some including a great mix of retro songs with movie soundtracks. You can check out my personal Halloween playlist (HALLOW & EVE by AWOMANOFMANYNAMES) here for inspiration!

Finally, one thing I love doing in the fall is listening to a spooky book on audio. I’ve listened to the audio-book versions of Dracula for something gothic, The Witches for something a little lighter. There is no end to the possibilities! This is a great idea for when you’re doing chores around the house, driving, or on an autumn walk, PSL in hand.


Besides everything you can do at home (read a horror, watch a Halloween movie, listen to music or an audio-book), there are some things you can do to enjoy the crisp weather as well:

  • Go apple and/or pumpkin picking
  • Visit a corn maze 
  • Get yourself a cider or seasonal latte and go for a hike or walk
  • Ride your bike and just enjoy watching the leaves float onto a nearby river or creek
  • Take a short road trip and stay at a cozy B&B or inn
  • Fall camping (Bon Echo is beautiful in the fall)
  • Carve pumpkins.

This is often your last chance to enjoy the weather before it gets miserable, so do anything you can to soak up these moments.

Trick or Treat

It’s at this point a tradition for me to stock up on Halloween candy and chips and eat them myself throughout the entire month of October. I love getting a mix of Oh Henry!, Twix, Snickers, Reese cups, peanut M&Ms, and any kind of chip, especially just simple, salted potato chips, ruffled or not, to enjoy. To be fair, this is a big part of enjoying this time of year for me.

In terms of baking, I love to bake anything apple or pumpkin, especially in September and October. Apple crumble muffins, pumpkin, apple, or pecan pie, or my favourite pumpkin bundt cake are all delicious.

Not big on sweets? Cook with seasonal veggies! Pumpkin pasta with sauteed mushrooms, butternut squash soup, and sweet potato gnocchi are all fun options. I’ve even made pumpkin cannelloni and pumpkin enchiladas in the past! Roast potatoes and pumpkin and add them to a salad or your favourite grain. Cooking and baking are both great, creative ways to show your love for the best season of the year.

I love to bake or cook on a weekend morning, listening to an audio-book before plopping on the couch to rest while my treasure is doing its thing in the oven. 

Some people may call all of this basic, but I’ve simply stopped caring. Life is all about the little things, and if I must reign as Fall Queen to just one loyal subject (shout out to you, Annette), I’ll be happy. Stay tuned for next month’s post where I’ll discuss my favourite books to read for Halloween!

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