5 Halloween Party Theme Ideas
Halloween is right around the corner, which means ghoulish costumes, spooky decorations, and all sorts of scary festivities will be front and center.
It’s also the perfect time to throw a party. But it doesn’t have to be the usual run of the mill dress-up party scores of people have attended year after year.
There are lots of ways to create a unique party everyone will be talking about for years to come – and you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Here’s a look at five fun Halloween party theme ideas that will liven up the festivities this Halloween season.
1. Host a Halloween Costume Contest
One of the cornerstones of any respectable Halloween party is having guests dress up. Who doesn’t want to put on a costume and pretend they’re someone else for a few hours?
Lots of people, it turns out. If you have guests on your list likely to balk at dressing up, raise the stakes by making it a Halloween costume contest party with the winner or winners getting cash prizes.
Similar to purchasing Superbowl squares, you can have all the guests contribute a little bit of money to the cash prizes to increase the winnings. You can even award prizes in different categories, such as best costume, worst costume, best last-minute costume, best couple costume, and funniest costume.
If people know they can win something, it may be all the motivation they need to dress up for your affair. The more people that come in costume, the more competitive the contest will be.
Add a talent category to the mix to amplify the fun and laughs. Choose three judges, set up a table and some buzzers, and let the games begin.
Be sure to alert your guests about the contest in advance. This will give them time to get competitive and work on a contest-winning costume. Encourage trash talking – all in good fun, of course – to build excitement ahead of your event.
2. Make It a Scary Movie-Themed Affair
Halloween is all about the ghoulish and grotesque, and what better way to honor that than to throw a scary movie-themed party? Pick your favorite horror movie and decorate your home with elements inspired by it.
For example, for the hit movie “It,” you could strategically place red helium balloons throughout your home to create a creepy vibe and conjure up dread. A single red balloon floating on your front porch can set the mood for what’s to come inside.
You could also take elements from classic movies like “Friday the 13th” or “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and incorporate them into your home decor. Nothing is creepier than going to the bathroom to find a bloody handprint towel to dry your hands with. You can download scary music from the movies and have a constant stream of horror films playing on your TV screen.
For added fun, have your guests dress up as their favorite characters from horror movies. You may be surprised by who they choose, and it can provide some great conversation starters.
3. Take It Outside
You can’t hold your Halloween party in a cemetery without the proper permission and permits, but you can throw a bash in your backyard. Something about being outside in the dark near Halloween adds to the spookiness, whether you’re entertaining adults or children. Sure, it may be cold, depending on where you live, but some portable heat lamps and a fire pit should warm the crowd right up.
To set the ambiance for your backyard party, place homemade or cheaply purchased tombstones and other creepy decorations throughout your yard. Keep it dark, with just enough light that guests won’t fall or get hurt. Solar path lights should do the job. If you have a screen and projector, play scary movies in the background or stream eerie music through a wireless speaker.
Bear in mind that there are risks when going the outside route for your Halloween party. The weather may not behave, so choose a rain date or be prepared to move the party indoors. Another option is to rent tents, but that can get costly.
If children are attending the party, set up an outdoor craft table with easy-to-do Halloween crafts. Dollar stores and craft stores have lots of cheap craft kits that will keep children busy for a while. You can also set up trick-or-treating stations throughout your yard for children (and adults with a sweet tooth). To make things a little scarier, have guests sit around the fire pit and tell spooky stories that are appropriate for whoever is in attendance.
4. Throw a Pumpkin Carving Party
This type of party isn’t ideal for hosts who dread a big mess, but it can be a lot of fun for you and your guests. To save money, have your guests bring their own pumpkins while you supply the carving tools, tea lights, and plastic tarps to protect your home. Make sure you have plenty of paper towels or rags on hand, big bowls to collect the seeds, and templates for the less creative pumpkin carvers in your group.
Set a time limit for the carving and let the fun begin. You can keep the food and drinks light since people will spend most of the time carving their pumpkins. Once they’re done, clean and roast the pumpkin seeds or give guest individual bags to roast at home. When everyone is done, line up the pumpkins, fill them with tea lights, and get the camera out. The pictures are great to share on social media and can be used as your thank-you card if you’re inclined to send one.
5. Have a Ghost Masquerade Party
The allure of a masquerade party is you aren’t sure who is behind the mask. While those parties can be held year-round, make it more Halloween-themed by hosting a ghost masquerade party. Invite guests to dress up in white sheets they can customize to fit their personalities. Guests can then spend the night trying to figure out who is under the sheets.
You can carry the ghost theme throughout the party by decorating the house with white balloons, serving ghost themes treats, and conjuring up a special spooky cocktail (you can find plenty of neat recipes online). Not the crafty type? Hit the local discount store to stock up on ghost decorations, napkins, and plates.
A Halloween party is the perfect opportunity to get creative with your theme. If you want to create an affair people will take about for years to come, then follow the above tips.
But keep in mind that, ultimately, the best parties are about the company you keep. Don’t stress the small details too much. Instead, have fun planning and then relax and enjoy one of the most creative and spooky times of the year.