Ghouls Night Out: Halloween Party Theme Ideas

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For some old fashioned thrills and chills, it’s hard to top a good Halloween party.  Whether your guest list is made up of mostly adults, mostly children, or both you can have a party that everyone is (ahem!) dying to attend.
To avoid looking like you simply bought out a party store, begin with a theme or at least a motif, and let your guests know what you’ve got in mind (not everything of course--that would spoil the surprise). If you want your guests to dress up in a certain way or come prepared with certain props, give them plenty of warning--send out invitations at least three weeks in advance and make sure you specify whether kids will be included. Companies like Etsy, which specialize in invitations—both electronic and paper—offer lots of killer custom options at affordable prices, so unleash your creativity.

Halloween Party IdeasVia All You

Thank Heavens for Little Ghouls:  For family fun, keep it on the light side with food, drink and decorations that are spooky but not too scary.  

  • Hollow out a large pumpkin and drop in a plastic punchbowl for cider or punch.  Carve a couple of “skulls” out of apples and float them in the punch.
  • Use wire coat hangers and other forms to drape cheesecloth into a ghostly shape.  Spray it liberally with starch.  Once your ghost is thoroughly dry you can remove it from the form and glue on black felt eyes.


Halloween Party IdeasVia The !ndy

Murder and Mayhem:  Your guests will appreciate all the gory details.  

  • Set the (crime) scene by welcoming guests with a blood splatter-shaped mat at the front door.  Craft it yourself out of a thin red plastic welcome mat.
  • Set your dinner table with test tube holders and fill up the test tubes themselves with red wine.  Go for a couple of varieties from shiraz to rose to mimic different types of blood types.
  • Dig in: lots of finger food lends itself beautifully to a gross-out makeover. Think baby carrots dressed with red pepper “nails” for severed fingers; a cheese ball sculpted in the shape of a skull, complete with olive eyeballs; arrange cooked shrimp coated with cocktail sauce inside a skull-shaped serving dish for an eerily lifelike bloody brain effect.


Halloween Party IdeasVia The Haunting Grounds

Zombiefied:  Zombies are the new black.  Choose a theme and then invite your guests to interpret the theme zombie-style.  Some ideas to chew on: Hollywood Past & Present, Rock N’ Roll Heaven, Roaring ‘20s, or Hotel California.


 Via Free-N-Fun Halloween

Halloween Spirits:  Offer your adult guests only-if-you-dare drinks and watch their reaction

  • Use a pickled beet on a cocktail skewer in place of an olive for a “bleeding heart” martini.
  • Drop a few chips of dry ice into your punch bowl for a spooky effect.  The ice is perfectly safe to drink once it’s melted but don’t put it in your mouth--it really is dangerously cold.
  • Grenadine syrup will turn any drink a satisfying gory red.  Add a few drops directly onto ice cubes for a blood-shot effect or add it to a vodka drink and then slowly pour in some Irish cream--the Irish cream will swirl around and create a weird brain-in-a-jar effect.
  • Make eyeball ice cubes by combining peeled radishes and sliced olives with pimentos in an ice cube tray.


Pre-Halloween Party:  Remember that Halloween night itself might not be the best night for a Halloween party if you are planning on inviting a lot of families with children who have their own trick-or-treating to do.  As an alternative, plan a pre-Halloween party with lots of take-home treats--carve pumpkins together, let kids decorate their own orange-frosted pumpkin cupcakes and add embellishments to their Halloween goody bags.

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