The History of Daylight Saving Time: How Much Do You Know? [Quiz]

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 1. I’d tell you to enjoy the extra hour of sleep, but if you’re conscious enough to read this, then you clearly aren’t enjoying your extra hour of sleep. But hey, as long as you’re up, we’ve got an activity even more exciting than sleeping: a quiz!

Although Daylight Saving Time is perhaps the Western world’s most cherished tradition involving coordinated time fluctuation, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about it.

Care to prove us wrong? Try your hand at our quiz on the history of Daylight Saving Time.

Stay safe when Daylight Saving Time ends

Remember, even if you’re as sharp as a Swiss watch when it comes to the history of Daylight Saving Time, this tradition can do some weird things to our minds and bodies. Be sure to brush up on some of the driving dangers that come when Daylight Saving Time ends to help stay safe on the road.

And, of course, if you’re an Esurance policyholder and you do have a mishap, we’re there for you.

13 Terrifyingly Good Horror Movies You Haven’t Seen

At Esurance, it’s our job to shed light on the unknown and we take it pretty darn seriously. I mean, SR-22 forms, anyone? But why stop at insurance? We think it’s equally important to help people appreciate hidden treasures from all walks of life.

Which is why, in honor of Halloween — more specifically, scary movies to watch on Halloween — I recently handcuffed myself to a chair and began screening all the unjustly ignored and unseen horror movies I could get my Edward Scissorhands on.

While this has admittedly left me a twitching shell of my former self, my unspeakable inner torment means you don’t have to settle for the same old thing this Halloween. Instead, get into the season (and satisfy your inner critic) with these 13 horror movies you haven’t seen.

Berbarian Sound Studio (2012)


Synopsis: A milquetoast sound engineer specializing in nature documentaries is unknowingly hired onto the production of a violent Giallo horror film. At odds with the producer and director, he attempts to preserve his sanity as the project grows unsettling.

Notes from the peanut gallery: Can a film haunt you with nothing but sound? Don’t answer, that was rhetorical. It’s a definite yes.

Watch it if: You’ve ever cut into a head of lettuce and thought, “Wait a minute … that sounds exactly like a goblin attack.”

Don’t watch it if: You have noise-sensitive neighbors.

The Host (2006)


Synopsis: A deadbeat dad sets out to recover his daughter after she’s taken by a hideous, pollution-born monster living in South Korea’s Han River.

Notes from the peanut gallery: A thread of absurd humor distinguishes this monster movie from most American versions, as does its breathless creature reveal sequence.

Watch it if: You’re tired of waiting for Godzilla remakes to actually be good.

Don’t watch it if: You thought the last Godzilla movie was good.

Repulsion (1965)


Synopsis: When her sister / roommate leaves for vacation, a young woman harboring intense anxiety and hostility toward the opposite sex isolates herself in her apartment.

Notes from the peanut gallery: As Roman Polanski’s first English-language movie, it set the tone for Rosemary’s Baby with its gothic palette and urban alienation.

Watch it if: You believe the scariest thing of all is one’s own mind (ooh that was good).

Don’t watch it if: The words “gothic palette” and “urban alienation” made you roll your eyes harder than a teen who just got asked how hashtags work.

The House of the Devil (2009)


Synopsis: A meticulous throwback to horror flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s, this film follows a college student who, desperate for cash, takes on a babysitting job she may regret.

Notes from the peanut gallery: A vivid reminder of just how powerful anticipation and unbearable tension can be.  

Watch it if: You’ve been thinking babysitters have had it a little too easy lately.

Don’t watch it if: You’re more of a “Devil-stays-out-on-the-front-stoop” kind of person.

Inside (2007)


Synopsis: A soon-to-be mom is terrorized throughout one very long night by a woman with mysterious motives.

Notes from the peanut gallery: Be aware: once this thing revs up, it doesn’t stop.

Watch it if: Roller coasters and base-jumping aren’t jangling your nerves like they used to.

Don’t watch it if: You’re home alone or plan to be home alone anytime during, er, your life from this point on.

Kill List (2011)


Synopsis: Part family drama, part crime film, part psychological horror, this British gem follows a former hit man who’s talked into doing one more job.

Notes from the peanut gallery: Once you’ve reached the end, it’s hard to believe how far you are from where you started.

Watch it if: You want an ending you won’t see coming.

Don’t watch it if: You’ll be too scared to pull your hands from your eyes anyway.

Session 9 (2001)


Synopsis: An asbestos-removal crew begins work on a shuttered insane asylum, which may not be as defunct as they thought.

Notes from the peanut gallery: Filmed on location at the actual asylum from the film, this baby is drenched in authentic atmosphere that’s hard to shake.

Watch it if: You ever wondered what Shutter Island would be like if they couldn’t afford extras.

Don’t watch it if: You already think asbestos is frightening enough without the side effect of pure evil.

May (2002)


Synopsis: After getting contacts to correct her lazy eye, quirky and lonely May sets out to finally fall in love. Problem is, she doesn’t take rejection well.

Notes from the peanut gallery: One of the finest black comedies around, but still manages to give you the willies. Perhaps the most memorable central performance on this list.

Watch it if: You’re a compulsive dater looking for a cure.

Don’t watch it if: You find standard rom-coms too emotionally taxing.

Audition (1999)


Synopsis: A recent widower holds a fake movie audition in hopes of choosing a new girlfriend. He may ultimately want a mulligan.

Notes from the peanut gallery: On pure nightmare potential alone, this fever dream of a movie ranks right at the top.

Watch it if: You thought May sounded good, but wanted to swap out the gallows humor for just the gallows.

Don’t watch it if: You have strong ideas on how acupuncture needles should and should not be used.

Timecrimes (2007)


Synopsis: Shortly after spotting a menacing stranger beyond his backyard, a man accidentally travels back in time one hour.

Notes from the peanut gallery: Maybe more sci-fi than horror, but I’m powering through. This is proof you don’t need a big budget to craft a whip-tight mindbender you’ll still be unraveling days later.

Watch it if: You’re searching for ideas to spice up suburban life, and book club ain’t cutting it.

Don’t watch it if: You’re a stickler for quantum mechanics (you know who you are).

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)


Synopsis: Twin sisters return home from a mental hospital and try to resume their lives. But disturbances in the house — both natural and supernatural — get in the way.

Notes from the peanut gallery: As graceful and artfully rendered as any film on this list. Also, though there’s no metric to measure such a thing, I’m crowning this the unofficial king of movies with insanely creepy stuff jumping out of the background.

Watch it if: You prefer horror that unfolds slowly, like intricate origami.

Don’t watch it if: Your attention span’s default setting is “Was that my phone?”

The Descent (2005)


Synopsis: A group of female friends takes a spelunking expedition, but a sudden ground collapse leaves them trapped under the Earth with few supplies … and mounting threats.

Notes from the peanut gallery: A unique blend of gritty and campy that works to heart-stopping effect.

Watch it if: You believe one Sigourney Weaver-type character is good, but 6 is even better.

Don’t watch it if: You, or anyone in your bloodline, is the least bit claustrophobic.

Three … Extremes (2004)


Synopsis: A 3-part anthology from a trio of Asia’s leading directors. In it, an aging starlet yearns to be young, a disgruntled actor voices his displeasure, and a former circus performer gets stuck on her past.

Notes from the peanut gallery: By turns creepy, heartbreaking, and wildly fun, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to love.

Watch it if: You can never decide on just one scary movie to rent.

Don’t watch it if: One scary movie is already too much.

Honorable mentions

Martyrs, Excision, Wolf Creek, The Loved Ones, [Rec], Eden Lake, Trick ‘r Treat, Pontypool, Thirst, Black Christmas, The Devil’s Backbone, The Canal, Goodnight Mommy, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Housebound  

Have any hidden horror gems we missed? Let out a blood-curdling scream in the comments below. And remember, in case that something going bump in the night this Halloween isn’t a ghost but actually a less translucent, real-life peril, you can rely on Esurance to have your back.

Related links

The best road trip movies you’ve never heard of

Halloween car vandalism: how to protect your ride

7 movie homes you’d hate to insure

The Extreme Savings Experiment: 6 Ways to Stop Spending

National Save for Retirement Week is here. Are you prepared to retire? If not, you’re not alone. According to the Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey, only 18 percent of people are “very confident” that their retirement savings will be adequate, while just 5 percent feel “extremely confident.” But don’t despair — it’s never too soon to start saving.

In honor of National Save for Retirement Week, I’m sharing my experience with an extreme savings experiment that’s designed to amp up your saving skills. Think you’re up for the challenge? Read on.

Extreme savings experiment

At the beginning of last year, with postholiday spending fatigue and ever-present student loans, I decided it was time to adjust my spending habits dramatically: I cut nearly all my discretionary spending for an entire month. (Discretionary income is the amount of money remaining after you pay for basic needs like food and shelter.)

Sounds barbarian, right? It doesn’t have to be.

6 tips to cease spending

If you’re up to the challenge and hungry for some sweet savings, just make sure you’re really committed and determined before even attempting. This is not for the weak-willed. Here are a few things to consider.

1. Set the “rules” upfront

During your experiment, you can set the standard for what to buy and what not to buy. Think about where you spend your money. Maybe you can change your cell phone carrier, cut out your magazine subscriptions, or cancel Hulu or Netflix (gasp). You can really tailor the experience to whatever you’re comfortable with. For example, after 2 weeks, I gave in and allowed transportation fares on the weekends, especially if I was attending a free event. For me, it was about saving money within reason.

2. Pay attention to how you define needs vs. wants

During your savings period, pay attention to what you want to buy (and realize what you’re surviving without). What’s difficult for you to do without? After the experiment, try to modify your habits in order to save. For example, if a significant amount of your money goes toward restaurant tabs, find ways to cook dinner at home more often, utilize coupons, and so on.

Related link: If you need to buy car insurance, Esurance could help you save some money

3. Dig deep into your finances

Improving your personal financial health is the whole point of this exercise. While you’re at home not spending money, take the time to scrutinize your account activity and ask:

  • Where can I save more?

Explore ways to avoid or reduce exorbitantly high bills. Sometimes, calling utility companies and asking if there are any promotions can help reduce static monthly bills. And as for your car insurance, make sure you’re only paying what’s right for you. At Esurance, policyholders could qualify for one of our many car insurance discounts.

  • Am I paying for the things I’m using?

Take inventory of everything you purchased within the last month and list what could be cut. For example, consider whether you really need that monthly gym subscription — if you’re not going, you shouldn’t be spending money on it.

4. Know it can affect your relationships

From happy hours with coworkers to trying new restaurants with my husband, I never realized how much spending was tied to my relationships. Make sure to tell your friends and family about your goal. You’ll need to be confident in explaining why you’re opting out. Otherwise, your friends will think something is up when you decline every social invitation. Plus, if they know what you’re trying to achieve, they should support you. It can be a tricky thing to explain to those not in the same financial boat. And while it’s never fun to be judged, drowning in debt or living paycheck to paycheck is significantly less fun.

5. Use your own resources

Instead of buying new clothes, dig through your closet for clothes you haven’t worn lately. Check out books from the library instead of buying them. Dust off that bike and enjoy the free air and exercise. Organize everything you own and sell the stuff you don’t need. There’s probably more at your disposal than you think.

6. Get creative to stay social

You can consider this experiment an opportunity to try new things. A little research on free local events can help keep your social life somewhat alive. Your friends might even appreciate the chance to save money too. Buddy up for additional support during the experiment. My sister tried it with me so we could commiserate and hang together. (Thanks, Sis!)

A few ideas:

  • Work on that “someday” project. Novel, blog, painting, invention. Use supplies you have at home.
  • Volunteering is always free (and sometimes comes with a T-shirt. Bonus!).
  • Host a potluck dinner where everyone brings one dish and a drink of their choice.
  • Challenge yourself to use up every possible pantry item before going grocery shopping.
  • You can also try alternative gift-giving as well. For your friend’s birthday, give her 3 free babysitting sessions instead of a store-bought gift.

The results

Though I didn’t follow all the rules very strictly during my one-month experiment, I did end up with an extra $1,000 to take to the bank. I might just make this an annual tradition to get my finances in check.

Related links

4 Small Steps to a Big Money Makeover

First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide: Coming Up with a Down Payment

4 Money Pros Worth the Investment

7 Life Milestones That Call for a Review of Your Insurance

Hitting the Hay: Top 8 Hayrides Across the Country

Does your idea of a fun hayride involve a scenic ramble through a pumpkin patch behind a gentle draft horse … or a terrifying journey where danger lurks around every bend? Whatever your preference, these 8 hayrides are sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Haunted hayrides

There’s something about bare trees, dark skies, and a full moon that can make the most bucolic landscape seem sinister. These hayrides will ensure you’ll never look at a shadowy forest or rustling cornfield the same way again.

1. Los Angeles Haunted Hayride — Los Angeles, CA

Through October 31

According to legend, there’s a curse hanging over LA’s Griffith Park, which might explain the many claims of ghost sightings and spooky experiences. The old, abandoned Griffin Park Zoo would be eerie enough even without the paranormal tales — so it’s a perfect place for a hair-raising hayride. The 25-minute trail winds past creaking old cages and shadowy lairs, putting you right in the clutches of the Boogeyman.

2. Headless Horseman Hayride — Ulster Park, NY

Through November 4

Set on a 250-year-old farm in upstate New York, this hayride and haunted house consistently wins awards for quality. A scream-team of 350 actors and technicians dial the scares up to truly theatrical levels. (Watch this video for a behind-the-scenes peek.)

3. Jason’s Woods — Lancaster, PA

Through November 4

This attraction in rural Pennsylvania has been scaring the wits out of locals for over 30 years. Their Horrifying Hayride is the longest in the country. As you wind through dark woods and a junkyard filled with sharp, twisted metal, you’ll be pursued by creatures from your childhood nightmares and the ghoulish results of diabolical experiments.

4. Dead End Hayride — Wyoming, MN

Through October 31

This attraction is only a few years old, but what they lack in longevity, they make up for in scare-factor. Taking you through 40 acres of woods on the misleadingly peaceful-sounding Pinehaven Farm, the hayride itself is only the beginning. After being dropped at the gates of Sunny Vale Asylum, you must make your way along the Departed Oaks Haunted Trail and through the Site 66 haunted cornfield before returning to safety. It’s interactive, too, which means the actors are allowed to touch you (appropriately, of course — maybe just a friendly, long-nailed hand on your shoulder).

Family-friendly hayrides

If you prefer your hayrides with songs and cider rather than chainsaw-wielding psychopaths, these options are perfect for kids of all ages.

5. Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards — Media, PA

September 9 through November 5 

This 300-acre farm in the scenic Delaware Valley is open all year round, but during harvest time, it transforms into Pumpkinland with all kinds of old-fashioned fun such as apple slinging and a hay bale maze. Families can choose from 3 different hayrides: a daytime, 20-minute Harvest Hayride through the orchards, an Autumn Moon Hayride under the night sky (and ending at a campfire), or a Hayride to the Witch’s House, where the friendly witch will entertain kids with jokes and stories, followed by a marshmallow roast.

6. Craven FarmSnohomish, WA

Through October 31 

This family farm’s 20-acre pumpkin patch is the oldest in the region, and their Fall Festival is chock-full of family activities. Take a hayride through Minionville, where kids can watch for and count Minions to win prizes, and then enter a secret corn maze open only to hayride guests. After the ride, families can make their own scarecrow, check out a fun 3-D adventure where the murals on the walls of the barn come alive, or stick around for a non-scary nighttime exploration of the farm’s other 15-acre corn maze.

Horse-drawn hayrides

Hayrides behind a tractor are good fun, but a truly classic experience requires a wagon pulled by horses.

7. Papa’s Pumpkin Patch — Bismark, ND

Through October 21 (hayrides Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday)

Papa’s has been a Bismark tradition for more than 30 years and attracts some 50,000 visitors annually. A horse-drawn hayride across the prairie is just 1 of 20 family activities, including Slide Mountain (where slides of varying lengths are set up on a stack of hay bales) and a mini zip line just for kids.

8. Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch — Lodi, WI

Fall Festival runs through October 29 

Why buy a pumpkin from a store when you can pick your own? And why walk or drive out to the pumpkin patch when you can take a hayride behind a pair of big, gentle Belgian draft horses? Choose your pumpkin from the 14-acre field on this third-generation family farm and then try to solve their 15-acre corn maze, which was named one of the country’s best by USA Today.

Now that you’re in a harvest-time mood, you might want to check out these other fun fall activities. And whether you’re out on the road or at home greeting trick-or-treaters this Halloween, make sure your home and car are well protected with the right insurance plan.

Haven’t had enough chills and thrills? Read about the most haunted houses and highways around the country.

Think you may be living in a haunted house? Find out.

National Dictionary Day: So What is Bundling?

If you’ve ever purchased insurance (and for the purpose of this post, we’ll assume you have), you’ve most likely been asked if you’d like to bundle your policies.

And sure, when you’re already doling out your hard-earned dough to pay for the possibility that some texting-while-driving maniac might sideswipe your sideview mirror, you might not be in much of a yes mood.

Related link: Distracted Driving: Is It Still a Problem?

And that’s where (curveball) National Dictionary Day comes in.

Happy National Dictionary Day!

That’s right, today is National Dictionary Day and we’re honoring it with a post to demystify bundling. Because here at Esurance, we want to make insurance understandable, accessible, and as simple as possible. (Plus, we didn’t want to hit you with a term like actual cash value since a) we’ve already done that and b) today’s a holiday, not an exam).

Let’s break it down.

Bundling

According to our insurance terms glossary, bundling (also known as combining policies) is the act of obtaining multiple types of insurance from the same company. For example, you could bundle your homeowners and car insurance. Or you could combine your life, health, and homeowners insurance. And because of multiple-policy discounts, bundling can result in substantial savings for the policyholder.

But what does that mean for you?

Well, bundling your home and auto policies means your life gets easier. When you buy multiple policies from the same place, you no longer have to scramble to file a claim, pay your bills, or find important information. And, in some cases, you could even get a discount.

What can you bundle?

You can also bundle other types of policies besides home and auto. Have a motorcycle and a car? You might be able to bundle. Or maybe you own a car, a house, and a golf cart. That could work too.

Where you can bundle your Esurance car and home insurance

Right now, we offer both property and vehicle coverage in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. We’re adding states all the time, so if you don’t see yours listed, keep checking back!

And if you’d like to learn more about the policies and bundling options available where you live, give us a call at 1-844-822-0488.

Related links

Insurance Defined: Actual Cash Value

What’s Your Garaging Address (and Why It Matters)

Insurance Terms Made Easy