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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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!
- 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.
- Witches Blood – any red cocktail or punch, fall apple sangria, or fruit juice.
- Witches Brew – hot mulled wine, or green Midori and champagne cocktail.
- Green goblin punch – green Halloween punch, Gatorade or Kool Aid.
- Slime – classic sherbet punch (green lime sherbet + ginger ale).
- Toxic Sludge or Toxic Waste – lime sherbet punch, green Gatorade or Kool Aid.
- Swamp Water – the cloudy brown color of apple cider is terrific, or spiced apple pie cocktail.
- Mud Puddles – Apple cider, or hot Kahlua and coffee.
- Magic Potion – Fireball shots.
- Bloody Mary – this drink seems like it was made for the holiday! Make a spicy sriracha bloody mary for an extra kick.
- Ghoul-Aid – any flavor or color of Kool Aid.
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.
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.
Dinner Menu Tips
Set up a food buffet separately from the seating area, or have different themed stations throughout.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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:
For a colorful and whimsical design, set up a monster theme dessert table and use paper bags to hold snacks and popcorn.
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.
I hope you put some of these Halloween party ideas to use and have a frighteningly good time for all!