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How to Host a Kickass Halloween Party

Haunted Fun For Everybody

Halloween Party
GREY Journal

If you’ve never hosted a Halloween party before the act can seem a little daunting. You want to capture the right balance of fun and spooky that makes the best Halloween parties so great. To do this, you’re going to need to do some planning ahead of time. GREY is here to make sure you don’t miss anything and have a great time.

"The One with the Halloween Party", Friends, Halloween party ideas
“The One with the Halloween Party”, Friends

1. Brainstorm

Before even heading to the party store make sure you have at least 3 ideas for a theme. Do you want to do something more ghostly? Something more movie-themed? What about fairytales? That way when you go to the store you have a backup plan in case they don’t have the decorations for your initial idea.

2. Know Your Guests

In order to know how much food to buy or how what theme will be popular, you’ve gotta know who is coming to the party. To do this you’ve gotta make a guest list. Think about how many people you want to have in your house. Once you have a general number, think about which of your guests are likely to really click or clash. Try to avoid inviting people who get too crazy while drunk, because you’re inevitably going to be cleaning up after them.

3. Make a List

Before you go to the store, you’ve gotta know what you’re getting. Now that you have a rough idea of how many people are coming you can figure out how much food you’re going to need. If it’s an adult-oriented party you’re also going to have to think about how much alcohol you’re going to need (Check out our Hidden Cocktails series for inspiration). You also may want to get some games or movies for people to entertain themselves with. Here’s a basic list of thing’s you’ll probably need to get:

  • Food
  • Non-Alcoholic Drinks
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Games / Movies
  • Decorations

4. Invite people

Whether you’re sending out invitations in the mail, email, or text you’re typically going to need to invite people at least a week in advance. Halloween season has a lot of parties, if you want people to show up you’re going to have to give people time to schedule it.

5. Helping Hands

If you’re planning an especially big event, having a few friends help you put up decorations can be a blessing. Also, if you choose to have guests bring snacks and drinks it can really lessen your own financial investment.

6. Get a Good Playlist

Having great background music is a big part of a fun night. If you’re going for a spooky theme some creepy atmospheric noises can go a long way in setting the mood. If you’re going for more of a movie-themed party you can choose pieces from iconic soundtracks and scores. Whatever theme you choose should have a corresponding playlist. Later in the evening, you can switch it out for different music if people want to dance. Your playlist can’t be too short, guests shouldn’t be able to predict what song is coming next early in the evening.

7. A Little Competition Never Hurt Anybody

To ensure your guests show up in cool costumes, you can have a costume contest. Have guests vote on who is best and give a prize to the winner. You can even have a competition divided up into different categories (Best Scary Costume, Best Home Made Costume, Best Movie Costume, etc.). You could even have prizes for any games you set up too. Here are a few games you may want to consider:

  • Bobbing for apples
  • Bean bag toss
  • Yard bowling
  • Bobbing for donuts
  • Costume contest
  • Halloween movie trivia
  • Ghost stories telephone
  • Wax museum
RELATED: Best Horror Board Games For Halloween

8. Movies are Always Welcome

Putting on a movie can be a good neutral activity to help people wind down after a crazy evening or a great treat earlier in the night (especially if kids are there). A genuinely scary movie can be great for more adult audiences, a more fun movie can play well to guests with a greater range of ages.

RELATED: The Best Halloween Party Movies

Do you have any tips and tricks for a fun Halloween party? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Madeleine Hettich
Madeleine Hettich is a graphic designer, writer, illustrator, and comic book artist. After graduating with a BFA degree (with an emphasis in Visual Communications Design) from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer before being hired by GREY. She continues to develop independent illustration and comics projects in her own time. This background gives her a unique perspective when writing about any number of topics.

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