Safety tips and monster movie facts just in time for Halloween

If you're looking for a good scary movie to make your Halloween extra frightening, you might want to consider a historic horror film.

A number of short films, including The Haunted Castle filmed in 1896, vie for the title of first horror film, but arguably the very first monster film was Frankenstein, produced by Thomas Edison's film studio in 1910. The most famous incarnation of the monster was the portrayal by English actor Boris Karloff in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein(1935) and The Son of Frankenstein (1939).

Dracula made his cinematic debut in the German-made horror film Nosferatu in 1922. The filmmakers were unable to acquire rights to Bram Stoker's Dracula, so they filmed a thinly disguised version starring a vampire named Count Orlok. The first Dracula film with sound starred Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi, 1931's Dracula.

The Mummy appeared onscreen for the first time in 1932 with Boris Karloff in the lead role. Despite Karloff's success in horror films, many people remember him most as the narrator and voice of The Grinch in Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

And if you thought Lon Chaney Jr. was the first Hollywood wolfman with his 1941 blockbuster The Wolf Man, guess again. That distinction falls to Henry Hull, an actor from Louisville who starred in the 1935 Universal studio production Werewolf in London.

Safety tips

â–  Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

â–  Walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.

â–  Wear reflective tape on costumes and bags to make yourself more visible.

â–  Carry a flashlight and watch out for obstacles as you walk — don't run — from house to house.

â–  Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.

â–  Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

â–  Never accept rides from strangers.

â–  Homeowners should be sure walking areas and stairs near their houses are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.

â–  Pet owners should make sure that all but the most social dogs and cats are kept in a room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

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