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Photos: Netherworld behind the scenes

Elementary school cancels Halloween

Halloween costumes will have to stay packed away for elementary school students in one Connecticut town, at least until the big night. 

In a letter sent to parents this week, the principal of Lillie B. Haynes Elementary School in Niantic, Connecticut, informed parents that the school has eliminated the annual Halloween parade and costumes in school, WTIC reported.

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The letter from Melissa DeLoreto said that officials made the decision was made so students didn't feel excluded and to make sure students stay safe, specifically when adults come to the parade dressed in costumes also.

Classroom parties will still happen but will not be Halloween themed and instead, will have a fall feel.

One parent told WTIC that the cancelation is "killing kids' fun."

Go behind the scenes at Netherworld, 1 of America's top haunts

Chainsaws, soul eaters, toxic foam -- it's just another October night at one of the country's top haunted attractions, Netherworld in Norcross.

This year marks the 20th year of haunts, terrifying screams and fear at Netherworld.

"We have so much crazy new stuff," co-owner and creator Ben Armstrong said. "We've got these creatures called soul eaters. They are these bizarre monstrosities.They're all over the place. They're upstairs in 'Monsters.' And downstairs, in 'Meltdown,' it's a nuclear meltdown. There's missiles. There's a reactor. There's mutants. It's absolutely insane."

Netherworld features two haunts. There's "Monsters" upstairs and "Vault 13 Meltdown" downstairs.

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In "Monsters," there's an invasion of horrific aliens released from the unknown. They threaten our world and only the return of ancient creatures from Netherworld’s past can defeat them. It has been 20 years since Dr. Colber opened the doorway to Netherworld and now the invasion of our planet reaches a fevered pitch in an epic war of the monsters. Experience the Flying Angel, the Lair of The Sea Witch, the Feasting Vampires and an army of hideous Soul Eaters in "Monsters."

Descend into Netherworld’s dark basement to a secret government facility filled with unnameable horrors in "Vault 13 Meltdown!" During the events of last year’s "Vault 13 Unearthed," the mad artificial intelligence Proteus seized control of Vault 13 and used its resources to capture his creator, the Mangler. Proteus now demands that the Mangler create him a “bride” or the world will be destroyed with the massive nuclear arsenal of Vault 13. Can the chaos be stopped or will mutations, aliens, robots and nuclear destruction be unleashed on an unsuspecting planet, slaughtering millions? Vault 13 includes the Xenomorphic Terror, the Collapsing Missile, the Blast Off Inferno, the return of the Toxic Foam Room and more.

"You can't describe it," visitor Austin Kunis said. "It's like you're in a movie. It's like everything is around you. You look up and there's something. You look down and there's something. It's all around you."

A number of fan favorites from the past 19 haunts are back this year. Armstrong and co-owner and creator Billy Messina have resurrected legendary characters such as the Collector, the Harvestman and the Boogeyman.

Netherworld Haunted House has been rated one of the top high-tech haunts in America and noted for having one of the best haunted house casts by USA Today Reader’s Poll named Netherworld as one of America’s best haunted attractions.

It's open every night through Halloween and select nights in November.

Which Halloween candies are the unhealthiest?

Time for candy corn, cavities and upset stomachs. It’s Halloween season, and there will be plenty of candy for kids and parents to munch. But, which ones should you avoid? Most of them aren’t great for you, but a specific few are especially bad.

In a list on The Daily Meal, the website listed staple candy favorites such as 3 Musketeers, Sour Patch Kids, Milky Way, Butterfingers and Snickers among the unhealthiest candy given out at Halloween. 

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According to The Daily Meal, 3 Musketeers was listed as the unhealthiest candy because one bar contains 240 calories, 36 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of saturated fat. Even though it advertises itself as the “lighter way,” the site says the candy bar “contains trans-fat hiding in the form of hydrogenated palm kernel oil.”

Other unhealthy facts include: 36 grams of sugar and 140 calories in one 2-ounce box of Sour Patch Kids, 275 calories and 29 grams of sugar in one Butterfingers bar, 24 grams of sugar and 250 calories in one fun size pack of Twix and 50 calories and 12 grams of sugar in one mini box of Nerds.

Time to dream: Neiman Marcus' Christmas book is here

Dig out the checkbooks, credit cards and cash. You're going to need all of it and more to buy this year's Neiman Marcus fantasy gifts.

The luxury department store's yearly Christmas catalog came out this week with its one-of-a-kind gifts. 

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From a walk-on role on Broadway to a mattress with a built-in lock box, the list has what Christmas dreams are made of.

Take a look at this year's list:

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false"></script> [View the story "Neiman Marcus releases annual Christmas catalog." on Storify]

America's favorite Halloween candies by state

With Halloween approaching, many excited children are practicing their "trick-or-treat" mantras and imagining what sweets and candies will fill their baskets.

At the same time, adults are gearing up to go to stores and purchase bags of all kinds of treats and sugary goodies.

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A list released by product-review site Influenster aimed to make it easier than ever to make sure no candies are left unwanted at the bottoms of barrels.

The report, which reveals which candies were most liked in each state, compiled data from more than 40,000 people who voted in a 2015 survey. 

The results show candy corn, often known as a love-it-or-hate-it candy, as the No. 1 pick in the most states: Oregon, Wyoming, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups collected the most votes overall with a total of 4,348 votes.

"If the U.S.A. were compared to other countries in the rest of the world, Reese's would be our (national) candy," said Aydin Acar, co-founder and CEO of Influenster. "I personally love M&M's, so I stand by Michigan and Oklahoma."

Here are the most popular Halloween treats by state, according to Influenster:

Alabama: AirHeads

Alaska: Snickers

Arizona: Toblerone

Arkansas: Skittles

California: Life Savers

Colorado: Milky Way

Connecticut: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Delaware: 3 Musketeers

Florida: Nestlé Crunch

Georgia - Pixy Stix

Hawaii: 100 Grand Bar

Idaho: Butterfinger

Illinois: Snickers

Indiana: Reese’s Pieces

Iowa: Twix

Kansas: Twizzlers

Kentucky: Whoppers

Louisiana: Swedish Fish

Maine: Starburst

Maryland: Almond Joy

Massachusetts: Starburst

Michigan: M&M’s

Minnesota: 100 Grand Bar

Mississippi: Hershey’s Kisses

Missouri: Hershey’s Kisses

Montana: Kit Kat

Nebraska: Skittles

Nevada: Jolly Ranchers

New Hampshire: Tootsie Rolls

New Jersey: Sour Patch Kids

New Mexico: 3 Musketeers

New York: Sweetarts

North Carolina: Butterfinger

North Dakota: Sour Patch Kids

Ohio: Milky Way

Oklahoma: M&M’s

Oregon: Candy corn

Pennsylvania: Swedish Fish

Rhode Island: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

South Carolina: Candy corn

South Dakota: Laffy Taffy

Tennessee: Candy corn

Texas: Candy corn

Utah: Nerds

Vermont: Almond Joy

Virginia: Reese’s Pieces

Washington: AirHeads

West Virginia: Oreos

Wisconsin: Laffy Taffy

Wyoming: Candy corn

District of Columbia: Twix

Star Wars fan-dad makes epic Luke, tauntaun costume, puts other Halloween costume ideas to shame

If you plan to make your child's costume from scratch, stop now. Just head to the party store and pick one off the shelf. You won't be able to match this epic Halloween costume idea, especially with only days before the big night.

Clint Case built his son his own tauntaun costume. 

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Case's son takes over in the role of Luke Skywalker, dressed as if he were ready to go out into the cold weather of Hoth. 

The boy's legs fill out the tauntaun's legs giving it full mobility.

Watch the costume in action as the child walks then runs around the family's living room, which stands in for a Hoth set.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> In tough times like these, all the world needs is a boy and his tauntaun. #starwars #halloween #costume #tauntaunPosted by Clint Case on Wednesday, October 12, 2016

'Peanuts' corn mazes crop up for 50th anniversary of 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'

Get ready for a Halloween treat, Peanuts fans.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," Utah-based The MAiZE Inc. has designed "Peanuts"-themed corn mazes at more than 90 farms across the country, the Washington Post reported last month.

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According to the Post, "several of the mazes will feature political slogans, such as 'Snoopy for Prez'" in honor of the upcoming presidential election. 

Guests also will get a chance to watch the iconic "Great Pumpkin" special, first broadcast in 1966, at the farms. (And if you can't make it to one of the farms, don't fret: The special airs at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on ABC.)

Read more here.

>> Click here to find a maze near you

Photos: Kids costumes for Halloween 2016

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