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Creepy Internet sites let browsers get into the spirit of Halloween

There's a dead strawman hanging from the big tree in my front yard, and tombstones sprouted this week in the lawn out back.

I'm ready for all the little spooks and hobgoblins that will come traipsing through my neighborhood on Halloween. If you haven't gotten the spirit of things yet, let me be your guide.I've scoured the creepy corners of cyberspace and scared up your virtual Halloween tour. This way, please:

- The Ghost Web (

Want proof that ghosts exist? It's all here at the International Ghost Hunters Society Web site. You can look at alleged photos of ghosts, listen to audio clips that picked up spectral moanings and get info on local ghost clubs (there are three listed for Utah). There are also true ghost stories, ghost merchandise and reports on everything from "The Metaphysics of Ghost Hunting" to "Spirit Photography."

- Mary's Haunted House (

Haven't decided what to be this Halloween? Mary has a few suggestions in her costume closet. You can also download the "creepy" type font, get some scary decorating tips, read the "Rancid Food" recipes, learn the history of All Hallow's Eve and review safety tips before sending the kids out trick-or-treating. Mary also has a bunch of bone-tickling jokes.

- The UNICEF Support Page (

UNICEF, the United Nation's children's organization, asks American kids to help kids around the world by seeking donations while they go door-to-door trick-or-treating. You can read about the "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" campaign here, send online "treats" like animations of pumpkins or ghosts to friends or print out an official UNICEF label for a collection can.

- The Unofficial Addams Family Web site (

It's always Halloween at the Addams Family digs. Yeah, they're kind of creepy - and we love them for it! Learn all about the Addams Family TV series, movies and its origination in the cartoons of Charles Addams. You can view pictures of family members, download audio clips from the shows and follow links to other sites dedicated to Thing, Morticia and the gang.

- The Haunted Homepage (

Here's a terrific site for families. It has freaky fun (mazes and word puzzles), recipes for spider cake, edible eyeballs and other Halloween treats, poems, Halloween carols (actually, rewritten Christmas carols), photo tips and suggestions for Halloween party activities.

- The Official Anne Rice Web site (

Who better to visit on Halloween than author Anne Rice, whose books about vampires and other dark creatures are legendary? You can read about Anne, her books and her fan club. Or, take her photo tour of New Orleans. The site also offers the scoop on her latest projects, transcripts of her messages to fans, and merchandise. And, as you peruse the pages you'll be treated to a midi file that plays St. James Infirmary!

- An Unofficial Smashing Pumpkins Web site (

How appropriate! I'd much rather listen to Smashing Pumpkins than pick them up off my lawn. This is a very cool site featuring music clips, videos, interviews, software and links to other pages dedicated to the band.

- Night of the Living Yahoo (

Can't keep your monsters straight? Visit the Monsterpedia, a guide to the ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties of the night. Besides the dictionary, there are costume suggestions, ghost stories and a paranormal panel.