Some people get such a charge out of being frightened, and there is no better time than Halloween to have the opportunity to scare the wits out of your family and friends!
Everyone seems to be Halloween crazy. The stores are filled with spooky items to decorate for a party, and don’t even get me started on what you can find on the internet! Whether you opt for a simple get together or would like an over the top, creeped out of your skin event, there is no limit to what you can do!
First thing you need to decide is if you want a certain theme for your party (Halloween wedding party, Zombies and Monsters, etc.) which can help with decisions about decorating and food. If costumes are required, make sure you have a couple of “extras” on hand as there is usually at least one person who may not have the imagination or material to put something together. You could plan a movie night and have someone wear a brown fedora and a red and dark green striped sweater like “Freddy Krueger” to have everyone on edge as they watch A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Other recommended movies are “Halloween” (1978), The Changeling (1980), Poltergeist (1982), The Evil Dead (1981), Panic Room (2002), and of course Carrie, The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Shining are classics. Having a volunteer scream out loud at appropriate times will have the popcorn flying!
If you would like more tame movies, Hocus Pocus, Ghost Town, Gremlins, Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Zombieland, Practical Magic may be ones to consider. Murder mystery dinners are always a hit, but work better with a small guest list if supper is involved.
The invitations can be printed “theatre tickets” with “blood” on them. There are some free downloadable mystery packages online for different types of mystery dinners. Thinking of imaginative ways to create invitations can be one of the best parts of planning. Envelopes with dark red slimy goo inside, mummies made from recycled cardboard tubes and craft shop eyeballs, plaster cast severed fingers on Spanish moss, miniature apothecary bottles with cork stoppers, plastic spiders and webbing are a few things to use to have your guests marking their calendars to make sure they don’t miss your party.
A lot of people are drawn to Tarot card readings or a séance. There are professionals that can be hired to do these for a fee or you can get an old Ouija board game and have a go at it. You can create a maze for guests indoors or out. If you don’t have access to bundles of hay, a maze can be made with large cardboard boxes, rope or pvc piping. Blankets and sheets, drop cloths or tarps can be hung over the ropes or piping. Plan to have a surprise at the centre (something that moves unexpectedly would ensure there is lots of screaming coming from the centre of the maze).
Games that you could incorporate are endless. A messy (but fun) idea is to hang “body parts” made of edible items on a string and have guests try to eat them without using their hands. Bobbing for apples is an old favorite. The “Dead Man’s Post Mortem” storytelling with appropriate props is an icky game to make blindfolded guests squirm as they handle the props.
People love to scare others, so it wouldn’t be hard to find a volunteer to dress in black and walk past your windows at appropriate times making eerie sounds during the party. A neat way to make “prank” candles that mysteriously go out, is to cut your candles in two, remove a small piece of the wick from the middle, then join the pieces back together by heating the cut ends. When your prank candle burns down to the missing section of wick it gutters and dies.
How would your guests feel about picking up a drink glass that has a clip-art eyeball glued to the bottom of it? You may want to use plastic glasses! Naturally you are going to want to set your table in a unique way. Try a torn “bloody” sheet and cheesecloth for a tablecloth. Plastic cauldrons for punch, plastic or rubber hands to set on the sides of plates, coffin shaped serving trays or motion sensor serving dishes will all give your table a suitable effect. What Halloween party doesn’t have black candles in a candelabra, gummy worms crawling out of cups… and as far as food goes, everything from cupcakes with “broken glass” sticking out of them made from thin caramel, to devilled eggs that look like eyeballs…how creepy do you want to get? Anyone for string cheese that is carved to look like severed fingers, cookies made to look like tombstones, “mummy” dogs made with wieners and crescent roll dough? Potluck is a good way to go if you don’t want to spend a fortune on food, and you could make it a contest for the most unique dish.
Guests can also be asked to bring the ingredients for their favorite Halloween themed cocktail and turn it into a contest also.
Halloween is one time of year that everyone can dress up and act completely crazy and get away with it, which may be why it is so popular!