Halloween Party Ideas

Whether you’re hosting an adult soiree or a family friendly gathering, these Halloween party ideas will help bring it all together. These are some of my favorite ways to add festive touches through décor, food and fun. And they range from creepy to cute!

photo collage of Halloween themed food and party decorations.

Get ready to host the best Halloween party ever! These spine-chilling decorations will scare the wits out of your guests, and the food and drinks will have them creeped out!

But don’t worry, these tips are simple enough, any ghoul can do it!

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Set the Mood with a Theme 

Make your party a theme within a theme! Obviously Halloween is the main theme but you can go even deeper by focusing on a single style or idea. You can have guests dress up in specific themed costumes too.

  • Traditional – go all out with traditional decor using black and white and orange. Or, add in some purple and green. Drape spider webs and creepy spiders.
  • Whimsical & Colorful – especially cute for kids parties; decorate with primary colors and whimsical touches, such as googly eyes and mop head monsters.
  • Vintage Inspired – shop thrift stores for inexpensive props. Look for empty frames, old candles or chandeliers. Use old books and mirrors that have a vintage look.
  • A Bit of Glam – incorporate Gothic Glam decor, or use gold or silver spray paint to give your decorations a gilded look. Add some bling with rhinestones or glitter.
  • Classic Horror Characters – Frankenstein, Mummy, Dracula, Werewolf. 
  • Haunted Heroes – super heroes or famous people.
  • Zombies and Graveyard Ghosts – any dead or undead character.
  • Devilish Decades – dress in your favorite era or time period.

Set the Scene with Decorations

Turn your home into a haunted house with these easy decorating ideas. Set the mood for the evening with spooky decorations that are easy to create.

  • Put on an old black and white horror movie to play on the tv with the sound off. My favorites are the classics like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932).
  • Play creepy music to set the ambiance. Or combine the film and music experience and put on the 1925 silent version of Phantom of the Opera. The music is haunting throughout so it sets the vibe in the room, and the visuals are stunning.
photo collage with Halloween decor in a home.
  • Drape sofas and chairs with white sheets to look like an old abandoned manor house.
  • Place a witches broom in the corner, along with a pointy hat.
  • Hang bats or attach them to walls in a flight pattern.
black frames on wall with Halloween theme silhouettes.
  • Create a Halloween silhouette photo wall with black frames and lace or spider web details.
  • Place a life size skeleton in a strategic location like sitting at a desk or table, or near the entrance.
  • Stretch spider webbing across frames, photos, mirrors and doorways. Add some plastic spiders for extra effect.
  • Hang some spooky fabric and creepy cloth across an open doorway so it creates some mystery as to what is beyond it. 
Halloween themed decorations in photo collage.
  • Incorporate Tarot cards or a Ouija board into the decor, or hire a fortune teller for the night!
  • Strategically place creepy decor on tables, bookshelves and in the bathroom. Spiders, black cats, rats, ravens, skeleton bones are all fabulous!
  • One of my favorite decorative items is a rustic candelabra with dripping candles. Use battery operated for safety. Even better is a hanging candelabra that’s sitting on its side as if it’s been ripped from the ceiling long ago.
photo collage with Halloween skull decor.
  • Place a skull under a cloche and surround it with moss. Attach creep crawly bugs and spiders to the cloche using Glue Dots.
  • Use books and stack them to help elevate other items. You can typically find witchcraft themes, ghost stories, or short stories by Edgar Allen Poe this time of year.
  • Replace regular light bulbs with colored ones. Red makes everything look deathly, green is creepy, while a black light will make white fabric glow.
  • Designate a photo area by hanging creepy cloth as a backdrop. Take the extra step to take photos using an instant camera. It’s so much more fun than iphones!
front porch decor with pumpkins and potted mums.
  • Line the steps to your home with carved pumpkins that are lit with battery operated candles.
  • Place a fog machine just outside the front door to welcome your guests.
  • Create a cemetery in your garden bed, or front yard with headstones, skeletons and bones.

Easy Tricks for Instant Treats

These are simple things you can do that require almost no extra time or effort, but the extra detail makes an impact.

  • Candy Eyes turn sweet treats into creepy ghouls and goblins and monsters. Chocolate chips are another good choice for eyes.
  • Capers make terrific eyes on savory snacks; stuffed olives are another good eyeball choice for salty items.
  • Reese’s Pieces or Halloween M&M’s, served alone or added to cookies or brownies.
  • Food coloring can turn any cupcake or cake into a holiday dessert. Use green, orange, purple or black to tint the icing.
photo collage with Halloween themed bowls with snacks inside.

Serve chips, popcorn, and snack mix from Halloween themed bowls. Use themed platters for serving party appetizers on.

Themed Food Names

Give fun names to ANY food or drink and it’s instantly Halloween themed. Just add labels or place cards with the name of the item. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • “Buckets of sludge”spanakopita cups.
  • “Mold” – spinach dip or blue cheese with crackers.
  • “Devilish eggs”deviled eggs.
  • “Spider eggs” – caviar served on potato chips or Pringles with sour cream or creme fraiche.
  • “Witch fingers” – breadsticks, green beans, shortbread witch finger cookies, chocolate dipped pretzels.
  • “Monster eyeballs”bourbon meatballs, lychees with Luxardo cherries inserted.
  • “Bat-wiches”Halloween party sandwiches cut into shapes using cookie cutters.
  • “Goblin dip” – cold Lipton spinach dip in a bread bowl.
  • “Guts in a cup” – sweet & sour sauce chicken appetizer phyllo cups.
  • “Broken spines” – tortilla pinwheels, ham and cheese puff pastry pinwheels, ham & pickle wraps.
  • “Scene of the crime”charcuterie board.
  • “Monster mouths” – apples with peanut butter and peanut “teeth.”
  • “Blood and guts” – big pot of southwestern chili or cheesy baked spaghetti and meat sauce.
  • “Ripped flesh” – slow cooker creamy chicken chili.
  • “Mummies” – use white cheese slices cut into strips to make mini mummy pizzas or turn pigs in a blanket into mummy dogs.
  • “Haunted graveyard” – make individual Halloween dirt pudding cups, or make it in a large dish and top with Halloween candy decor.
  • “Black cat kibble” – easy cat themed trail mix is great for a black cat theme.
  • “Ghosts and ghouls” – Peeps ghosts floating on top of drinks or placed on cupcakes.

One year I created a macabre display for serving chili at our Halloween party. I stuffed a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt with towels and other fabric to fill out the clothes. I laid them on a table to look like a body and added a skeleton head at the end. I nestled the crockpot of chili into the shirt area to look like “guts” and buttoned around it. It was such a hit with the guests!

photo collage with science lab themed cocktails.

Themed Drinks

Turn any drink recipe into a Halloween theme with fun serving ideas and names. Check out my festive Science Lab themed bar for decoration ideas and shopping links.

  • Use beakers and flasks for glasses.
  • Serve shots in test tubes.
  • Hang vampire teeth on the side of a glass, attached with red decorator gel or icing.
  • Add floating eyeballs in punch.
  • Cover bottle labels with Halloween themed labels.

Halloween Drink Names

See my complete list of Halloween drinks with names and serving suggestions. Here are some highlights.

RELATED: Add pizzazz to a drink by using shaped silicone trays to make themed ice cubes. Skull and crossbones look very cool floating on top of our black magic cocktail, while keeping it nice and chilled.

green punch with floating ice hand inside.

Monster hand. Fill a large latex glove with water, tie it closed and freeze it. Once frozen, remove the glove, being careful around the thin fingers, and float the icy hand in the punch bowl to help keep it chilled.

PARTY TIP: Use tonic water to fill the glove and then light the room with a black light. The tonic water gives a blueish glow under the black light!

Dinner Menu Tips

Set up a food buffet separately from the seating area, or have different themed stations throughout.

picture collage with chili bar and girl with walking tacos bag.
  • Set up a chili bar with lots of options. Incorporate walking tacos for the kids and use small bags of Sunchips as well as Fritos!
  • Serve crock pot spaghetti meat sauce for a crowd. Make a simple swap using black pasta instead of white pasta to create a monstrous dish.
  • This cheesy Halloween chili is hearty and delicious for a party. Make a double batch for a crowd.
photo collage with pickle ham appetizer and cheese chili.
  • Serve simple appetizers with Halloween themed picks.
  • Add breadsticks to the meal, starting with refrigerated breadstick dough. Cut them to look like witches brooms, or roll the ends to look like bones. Dip in “bloody” marinara sauce.
  • Make pizzas and lay slices of cheese on top to look like a mummy. Use pepperoni or olives for eyeballs.
  • Incorporate seasonal produce for a Halloween dinner party. It tastes better and the price is lower in season. 

Adult Halloween Activities

Let the booze flow with some classic games with a wicked twist.

  • Costume party. Give prizes for most creative, funniest, best couple or best overall. Let guests do the voting and have a prize to give to the winners.
  • Bobbing for booze. Float airplane bottles of various liquors and let guests dunk after it.
  • Eyeball beer pong. Use eye “balls” to play beer pong with.
  • “Trick” or “treat” shots. Spin the spinner to see who takes a drink. 
  • Pick Your Poison. Spin the spinner but instead of it landing on a person, have different shots in place. One person spins to see what shot it lands on.
  • Halloween scavenger hunt. Head outside and find Halloween themed decor or items in the neighborhood. Give a list of items to find. Participants can take photos of the items for proof.
  • Guess how many. A classic kids game can be fun for adults too! Just add small items to a jar and let guests guess how many are inside. Fill it with candy corn, M&M’s, Red Hots, etc.

PARTY TIP: Some of the games that are popular for kids can be just as much fun for adults…with a grownup twist, of course!

Ideas for Kids

If you’re inviting the whole family to participate in the party, you’ll want to have some specific ideas ready for the children.

Set up spaces with tables, snacks and activities geared just for them.

Activities for Kids

  • Make or decorate haunted gingerbread houses.
  • Decorate small pumpkins with markers or paint.
  • Have a costume contest.
  • Play old-fashioned yard games.
  • Guess how many. Place small items in a jar, such as candy corn, M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces, and let guests guess how many are inside.
photo collage of Halloween snacks for kids.

Kids Snacks

Create a simple festive dinner for the children. Serve fun Halloween themed food like monster mouths, mini mummy pizzas, mummy hot dogs, and chocolate cherry mice.

English muffins cut in half are the perfect base for individual pizzas. They’re ideal for small hands and small appetites.

photo collage of Halloween themed drinks.

Kids Drinks

  • Ghostly milk bottles – Place a 2-inch craft foam ball on top of the milk bottle and drape the whole thing with cheesecloth. Punch out 2 eyes from black paper with a hole punch, and glue on. Place the ‘ghost’ on the table to display.
  • Dress up orange soda bottles with mini witch hats and printable labels. Embellish the hats with ribbon and a tiny pompom on top.
  • Make lollipop ghosts by draping cheese cloth or white fabric over Dumdums or Tootsie Pops. Tie the fabric just below the candy and use black marker to draw eyes.
  • Cut a slit at the base of Peeps ghosts and hang one off the side of a cup.
  • Serve butterbeer for a delicious drink that’s also dessert.
  • Serve orange colored Russian tea in round glasses and draw jack-o-lantern faces with markers. Use a Magic Eraser to remove it or use glass markers.
black and orange themed Halloween dessert table.

Kid’s Sweets Table

  • Set up a Halloween candy table that’s filled with a variety of both edible and non-edible treats.
  • Follow a theme or color scheme to make it more festive. Black and orange makes a fantastic traditional set up.
  • Hang spooky fabric on the wall for a backdrop.
  • Make a centerpiece using a haunted house table decor item.

Here are some things to include:

  • Reese’s Pieces and Halloween M&M’s.
  • Gummy Worms and Gummy Eyeballs.
  • Simple candy corn snack mix, popcorn, and chips.
  • Candy or caramel apples. Stick a gummy worm on the hot caramel before it sets.
  • Glow sticks and vampire fangs.
colorful monster themed treats table for kids or Halloween party.

For a colorful and whimsical design, set up a monster theme dessert table and use paper bags to hold snacks and popcorn.

photo collage with Halloween themed snacks and treats.

Party Favors

Edible take home favors are my favorite. Use fun packaging that you can fill with items from the party table. Small tins, boxes, paper sacks, or cellophane bags are all good vessels.

PARTY TIP: Fill glass jars with Halloween candy and let guests fill small paper sacks to take home as party favors.

I hope you put some of these Halloween party ideas to use and have a frighteningly good time for all!

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14 Comments

  1. What a wonderful collection of Halloween party ideas! I love all the unique and different themes – it makes it easy to create anything that suits your style.

  2. Thank you chris … our peers are sooo talented , especially around the holidays !! thank you for putting this all together for us !!

  3. Oh, what a great surprise to see my Halloween party featured here – specially being in such good company!! So glad you liked it, the beakers were a big hit! Thank you, Chris!

  4. Thanks for including my Spooktacular Spider party in this incredible round-up! I’m loving the black and white trend too, I may just have to try that one for a girls night Halloween party! 🙂

  5. Thanks Chris for sharing my Gold Snow White “Bitten” party! So exciting! LOVE seeing all this fabulous work in one post! Let’s people see what fun and unique ways we can design Halloween parties! GREAT IDEA!

  6. these are all so great! awesome inspiration…need to do a halloween party next year for sure.

  7. Thank you so much for including my girly + bright themed Halloween party, Chris!! Love all of these amazing tables!