Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Harnessing the Web for Halloween

Jack O' Lantern
Photo: Carole Pasquier

When I was a kid, Halloween entailed lots of strategizing about a trick-or-treating route, trying to maximize our candy take and houses with over-the-top decorations. Houses which gave away full-sized candy got extra consideration, and the odd "haunted house" was always a must-hit.

But now the web has transformed that whole process.

Real estate Web site Zillow hosts a "Trick-or-Treat Housing Index," that I think is absolutely brilliant. Zillow only has tackled the top five neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Boston, but it provides a great framework for parents (and kids) to plan their evening.

Zillow calculates the best neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating by considering the value of homes, population density, "Walk Score" (how walkable the neighborhood is), and local crime data. Zillow points out that wealthy neighborhoods aren't necessarily the Holy Grail for harvesting giant candy bars, as kids might spend their time hiking between estates.

For the top neighborhoods in my home town, Los Angeles, click here.

Zillow also directs you to local haunted houses — Click here to check out the ones in Hollywood.

And if you're hunkering down at home with some horror movies, don't bother driving to Blockbuster , look online. Chances are if you can't find something suitably scary on TV, you'll be able to stream horror flicks them to your TV through on-demand, Netflix or Blockbuster On Demand to your TiVo or the like: (See my post on the crowded premium movie market) calls itself the ultimate horror Halloween search engine.

And from the masters:

Here are Martin Scorsese's 11 favorite Horror movies.

Wes Craven tells EW the 10 films that scared him the most.

Questions?  Comments?