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How to throw the ultimate Halloween party
How to throw the ultimate Halloween party
The spooky season is drawing nearer, and if you're thinking of celebrating Halloween at home then there are some paranormal preparations you need to make! Throwing a Halloween party requires a lot of groundwork before the day even arrives in order to create the proper spine-chilling atmosphere, but don't worry - Spotlight is here to help. As your local themed party specialists, we know how to throw a great event, and Halloween is no exception. Check out our guide to find out everything you need to do to throw the ultimate Halloween party at home, from demonic decorations to horrifying Halloween costumes!
The more preparation you can get done before Halloween the less you have to do on the day. This will allow you to enjoy your Halloween party without stressing, so try to do as much beforehand as you can!
Choose your type of spooky
The first thing you want to do is decide what kind of Halloween party you want to have. Do you want to have a free for all where guests can come dressed as anything? Maybe a horror movie theme where people come as their favourite slasher character? Or a magical Halloween where only witches, wizards and sorcerers can come? Whatever Halloween party ideas you choose, make sure to give your guests plenty of warning to ensure there's time to source or create costumes.
Not only are invitations a handy way for your guests to have all the information they need on hand, but they are also a fun chance to get creative. For ease of creation and use, you can choose to send your invite digitally - either pull the information into a document and email it or get creative with a digital image program and send it via email or social media. You can also choose to go old-school and either print out or hand make each invitation by hand and then mail it to your guest's home address.
While the date for Halloween is always the 31st of October, you may like to celebrate on the closest weekend day to this date if it falls during the week, so it is still important to have usual details like time, date, address and RSVP information on your invitation. If you have a specific Halloween theme, make sure to include it here as well!
Plan your Halloween party foods
The food for a Halloween party is a fun way to help set the mood - spooky snacks like zombie cupcakes, a bewitched bundt cake or a chocolate graveyard cake all look terrifying and taste delicious! Many lolly shops also sell Halloween-themed lollies like worms, teeth and bat-shaped treats, which are great for topping up lolly bowls.
Halloween party foods like lollies, chips and drinks you can buy in advance, but baked goods should be made the morning of so they're nice and fresh.
Plan your Halloween games
Party games are a staple at any celebration, but when it's Halloween you want to make them a little scarier than usual. Here are four of our favourite scary games to play on Halloween night:
- Scary movie scavenger hunt - horror movie lovers will have a blast testing their knowledge of famous scary movies in a scavenger hunt. It involves hiding movie props around your home, then tasking your guests to find as many as they can and write them down. Whoever finds the most, wins! Props you can use include a hockey mask (Friday The 13th), a bloody knife (Scream or Halloween), a TV showing static (Poltergeist), a red helium balloon (IT), a raggedy ann doll (The Conjuring/Annabelle) or a VCR tape (The Ring).
- Hidden box challenge - this gruesome game is sure to get your guests squirming! You'll need three empty boxes with lids made out of an opaque material that can hold liquid, like styrofoam. Cut a hand-sized hole in the lid. Fill each box with a creepy substance, then ask your guests to reach in blind and guess what is inside! Many household items can feel horrifying when prepared correctly - try using peeled grapes in water for eyeballs, cooked and cut spaghetti noodles in soil for worms and oval-shaped stress balls covered in liquid soap for brains!
- Zombie race - if you've got space outdoors, this is a great one for competitive guests. Set up a small course in your yard and add some obstacles. Players must race around the course to the finish line, but there's a catch - they have to shuffle like a zombie! If players break their shuffle and look too 'alive' they have to freeze for three seconds before they can continue.
- Halloween crafts - if you are in the mood for a quieter Halloween, then having a Halloween crafts session is a great way to get crafty while staying on theme. For six of our favourite Halloween crafts, check out our article here!
Buy your Halloween party decorations
Set the scene on Halloween with some Halloween party decorations. Think of decorating your home from top to bottom:
- Ceiling - you can hang banners, garlands and special decorations like small cages, chains and ghosts from the ceiling. Dangling bats, witches, spooks and crows are all great options for hanging from your roof, but sure make sure that they are high enough that people with pointy hats and large costumes can pass by safely underneath.
- Walls - spooky signage and flat buntings are perfect for hanging against the walls of your home. You can also find Halloween 'scenes', which are large paper or fabric depicting spooky vistas that are perfect for setting the tone in your home.
- Furniture - decorate your home furniture to really give your home a haunted house feel! Fake cobwebs are a great choice for this, as they can be draped over lights, chairs, tables and even unused appliances to create an air of stillness and disuse. You can also cover large couches and chairs in sheets dotted with fake blood to further immerse your guests in your haunted house.
- Table setting - if you will have guests sitting down to eat, you may like to create a Halloween tablescape. Classic Halloween colours of purple, orange and black and great choices for a tablecloth, but make sure your plates and decorations are different colours from the table cover so they stand out. A spooky web-style table runner, jack o' lantern candles and bowls of spooky treats are all great ways to set the scene - consider purchasing or decorating plates with Halloween iconography to create a cohesive look.
- Floor - while you don't want your guests tripping as they move around, a few creepy props on the floor can work to great effect if placed carefully. Place a rubber rat just next to your couch, fake spiders atop your bathroom tiles and a severed rubber hand behind your TV to keep your guests guessing about what is and isn't real!
Outdoor Halloween Decorations
How you present the outside of your home on Halloween can determine how many trick-or-treaters you get, and it's also a spooky way to welcome your guests to your Halloween party. You can start putting up Halloween decorations a few weeks before the date, which is especially helpful if you have decorations in mind that can be a little tricky to put up. Fake gravestones and bones look great in the front yard - try putting a half-risen zombie or skeleton in the ground with just its head and arms poking out to really give your guests a scare!
If you have one, decorate your front porch with jack o' lanterns and spooky banners. Because this area is undercover you can also add mannequins, spooky plushies and any other decorations you need to stay dry. Add a large spider and webbing over your front door to 'welcome' your guests into your haunted mansion!
Pick your music
There are plenty of Halloween tracks out there you can use to set the tone of your Halloween party. Commercial tracks like 'Thriller' (1982), 'Zombie' (1994), 'Heads Will Roll' (2009) and the Ghostbusters theme song (1984) are all great fun to dance to! For a more sombre background soundtrack, find the official soundtracks from your favourite horror movies and have them playing in the background instead.
Other Halloween entertainment
There are other passive ways to can entertain your guests on Halloween that require very little effort from you, but should be planned and organised before the day. Other Halloween party ideas include having a scary movie playing quietly in the background, using animatronic decorations to create spooky movement in the corner of people's eyes or having a cheeky family member's role during the night be to jump-scare people!
Choose your costume
The last thing you want to be doing on Halloween night is running around trying to find a costume, so have yours ready to go early! Spotlight has a huge range of adult and child Halloween costumes available for purchase online or in-store, or you can get creative and make your own! And don't worry if sewing isn't your strength - check out this guide on how to make a costume out of cardboard!
Picking your costume for Halloween is one of the most important decisions you can make for the spooky season, so it's important to figure out any extra accessories or themes you want to wear early. Are you dressing up the whole family in matching pirate costumes, is your friend group wearing matching Squid Game costumes, or are you splitting up the party into Hogwarts houses in Harry Potter costumes? Whatever your costume desires - whether they be inflatable costumes, wigs, makeup or accessories - Spotlight will have what you need.
Now that you've prepped everything you can, the big day has arrived - it's time to get spooky! Here's what you need to do on Halloween day itself:
Finish making any food
If you were waiting to bake any food, get this done first thing in the morning, as most desserts need to be cooked and totally cool before you can decorate them. If you are setting foods that can deteriorate if left out too long like fruit platters or ice creams, keep them chilled until they're needed.
Prepare your home
Set up your space with all your decorations, music and game stations, as well as your Halloween tablescape if you are creating one. Put away things you don't want guests to see or use, like kids' toys and electronics, and make sure there is plenty of clear space for dancing if that's what you have in mind. Test your music to ensure all speakers are working, as well as any electronic decorations like animatronics and lights.
Get your Halloween costumes ready
Leave getting dressed in your Halloween costumes until the end, as you don't want to risk getting food on your costume or damaging it during the setup process! If you want to add some makeup to your Halloween costumes, check out our spooky makeup tutorials here!
Enjoy your spooktacular Halloween party!
The last step is to enjoy the party you have created! We hope you found this guide helpful in creating your Halloween event - for everything Halloween, check out our scary section online or at your local Spotlight store.