A Haunt Happy Halloween Party Plan


Phyllis Cambria

exclusively for


Atmosphere      Activities    Refreshments    Gifts/Favors 


 "Monsterous Message in a Bottle"

·          Type the Halloween party invitation on a piece of smudged, wrinkled paper, one that's been burned around the edges or one that had words cut out to look as if it were a ransom note.

·           Insert the invitation into a clean, empty plastic soda, water or salad dressing bottle.

·           Attach a sticker adorned with a skull and cross bones on it and the word "Poison."  Add an address sticker.

·           Mail from the post office. (Be sure to mail one to yourself first to determine the length of time it takes to arrive and its condition.)

 Other Inviting Ideas:

·           Encourage your guests to come dressed in costume.  Provide costume hats , wigs  and/or masks  for those who don't.

·           Provide name, address and phone number of local thrift or vintage clothing stores for costume hunts.

·           Insert your invitation into a cardstock Halloween frame that can be later used to house an instant Polaroid or digital photo you take of guests at your party.

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NOTE:  For small children, decorate more "cute" than "creepy."

 ·          Put a "monster" at the front door to greet guests or someone dressed as Lurch from "The Adams Family."

·           Greet your guests with creepy haunted house sounds.

·           Hang ghosts (made from white balloons and cheesecloth or lightweight, filmy fabric) or skeletons  or spinning skulls  from trees to blow in the breeze.

·           Create your own "tales from the crypt" with a variety of oversized scene setters that can turn a room into a haunted forest , graveyard, , peeling plaster , cornfield setting , or weird wooden room  to turn even the most friendly room into a frightening forum.

·           Light up the night for fright with a creepy collection of Halloween monsters  or monster novelty lights.

·           String a glowing spider fringe  from your doorway or windows to warn guests to enter at their own peril.

·           Put reusable glass grabbers  in "Get Out" warnings or scary skeleton, cats, bats or raven designs on all of your mirrors and windows.

·           Replace your artwork with a ghoul gallery to make your own haunted mansion.

·           Create "Victim Wanted" posters with clipart or on your computer and insert an instant or digital photo of arriving guests and spread around your space. Special Film Prices

·           Use decorated dried gourds, apples and Jack-o-Lanterns for centerpieces.

·           Battery-operated lights are a much safer option than candles in pumpkins.

·           Remember the scary trees  in the "Wizard of Oz"? Here's a chance to add your own spooky seven-foot versions in your own yard.

·           Place pumpkin candles in out-of-the way places (and away from anything flammable) to add glow and gloom.

·           Suspend a huge spider web  from the ceiling complete with the creepy crawlers to creep-out guests.

·           Dangle wet black strings inside your darkened doorway so that when guests enter, they think they're running into a spider web.

·           If you have a door which opens out, rig a spider, skeleton  or skull to the inside of the door so that as the guests enter and close the door, the creepy creature will drop right in front of their faces.

·           String a fringed Halloween banner  across a wall.

·           Tie orange and/or black feather boas  to chair backs as décor and a party favor.

·           Frame your doorway with a seven-foot stack of inflatable pumpkin towers.

·           Hang a witch piñata over your party site for décor and a game.

·           An adorable ghost and pumpkin door cover will give young treat-or-treaters more giggles than gore. But if you want to scare your guests, then a motion-activated groaning skull will be the talk of the town.

·           A collection of spider  or jack-o-lantern  candles on your piano or buffet table will add creeps and grins.

·           Short on time?  Buy a complete Halloween decorating kit .


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·           Make signs with monster movie titles and monster names for both decoration and a word match game.

·           Let your guests get creative by supplying them with a plain mask  to decorate or keep some fully-designed masks on hand for your "costumed-challenged" guests.

·           Play "Pass the Skull" or "Pass the Eyeball" , a creepy variation on hot potato.

·           Dunking for apples is a lot of wet fun, but for a dryer version of the game, string apples by their stem from a doorway and let guests try to take a bite without using their hands.  See who can do it the fastest.  (A new apple for each person, of course.)

·           Blindfold guests to take a whack  at your windblown witch or perky pumpkin piñata.

·           Karaoke is always fun, but play these Halloween hits  and your sing-along will be a frighteningly funny experience.

·           Make a fire in your fireplace (or bundle everyone up to sit around your outdoor barbecue) and tell ghost stories. (If you can't think of any, buy ghost story books from your local book retailer or borrow some from your local library.)

·          For less mess than carving pumpkins, have a gourd or apple carving contest. Or, let guests use paint pens or cut out pieces of felt and use glue guns or glue sticks to decorate their pumpkin.

·          If part of your party plan is for guests to go trick-or-treating in the dark, make it a safer experience by providing them with festive, fashionable and/or frightening LED lighted costume accessories or neon glowing light party products .




·           Children will love playful pumpkin design or molded plastic Halloween design plates , while older kids and adults will get a scream out for the spider web , neon skull , cemetery , or simple black and orange designs .

·           Want to give a shot that will shock? Pour your favorite beverage into one-ounce monster shot glasses or 14-ounce monster mugs .

·           Even the most basic beverage will take on new appeal with glow-in-the-drink neon "ice cubes" .

·           Add some "light" to your liquor (or non-alcoholic brew) service with glowing 10-ounce beverage , one-ounce shot wine , pilsner , martini  glasses or mugs .

·           Wrap any bowl or glass with orange and black leis  to make them into instant Halloween holders.

·           Spear horrible hors d'oeuvres with frightening finger nails  instead of toothpicks.

·           Serving any food from an inflatable pumpkin bowl  will instantly add Halloween howls.

·           A neon Halloween centerpiece is a quick way to add a boo-tiful touch to your table.

·           Wrap witch or pumpkin beads as napkin rings. Or, use frightening fangs  as your napkin holders.

·           Use a plastic cauldron and dry ice to serve your Halloween red or orange punch.  Rim the cauldron with gummy worms or bugs. (For a really creepy ice centerpiece for the punch, fill a plastic glove -- free of talcum powder -- with dark green water.  Tightly tie the end of the glove.  Lie flat in your freezer until frozen.  Slide the frozen hand out of the glove.  As it melts in the drink, the green food coloring will turn the punch into an even more ghastly brew and the hand will become even more frightening floating and dissolving into the concoction.)

·           Turn terra cotta pots into bowls or use plant trays for platters. Paint Jack-o-Lantern designs or use felt squares to create odd-shaped "pumpkins." (Since these are often not properly fired for food containers, be sure to line them with foil or plastic.)

·           If Halloween parties are an annual thing, invest in a fanciful, heavy-duty, vinyl and felt-backed Halloween tablecloth .



Party Favors and Prizes:

·           Instead of sweet treats, give guests some Halloween trinkets such as a spider tattoo bracelet , rotten "Billy Bob" teeth , witches beads , pumpkin beads , glowing skull beads  or orange and black beads  or a Halloween derby  for adults.

·           Kids will love finding Halloween stretch figures , stickers jewelry , toys  or Halloween candy treats  in their trick or treat bags or as party prizes or favors.

Halloween Banner

·           Don't forget to send the guests home with an instant photo of them on their "Victim Wanted" posters.

·           Best Costume Prize: A book of ghost stories or their own howling Halloween CD  will keep guests screaming long after the party ends.

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