Spooky ideas for your best Halloween party yet

With Halloween around the corner, the ghost or goblin in you might be yearning for a scary night of tricks or treats. After all, Halloween offers a fun excuse to be silly and an even better excuse to have some fun with party planning. But beware—it can cost you. By October 31, Canadians will spend approximately $1.5 billion on Halloween-related paraphernalia. If you want to impress your guests without spooking your bank account, here are a few helpful tips.

How to decorate

When it comes to decorating for your party, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a blow-up Frankenstein. Homemade decorations can be easy. Try decorating with “pumpkin heads” skewered with candy or fruit kabobs. They make great decorations and the skewers can double as finger food to serve your guests. Stuff plastic gloves with treats and hang them from doorways, make bat cut-outs, and spread cobwebs around the house. When it comes to Halloween, anything goes, just think body parts, blood, and spiders if you’re trying to scare your guests.

What to serve

Punch or poison: If you’re hosting a “grown-up party,” everyone will look a little less scary a few drinks in. Keep things interesting and on theme with a big bowl of punch. Serving one alcoholic drink along with a few virgin mixes is a cost-effective way to quench the thirst of your party-goers. Mix 5 ounces of orange vodka, 15 ounces of orange juice, 3 ounces of Blue Curacao, 2 ounces of lemon juice, and a few splashes of soda water for a festive orange punch. Triple the recipe, add a few candy worms, and serve it in a witch’s cauldron to really spook your guests.

If you’re hoping to serve wine, beer, or other liquors, cover their traditional labels with homemade poison, toxic, and caution labels to keep things creepy. Even better, try making your own pumpkin beer keg!

Creepy finger foods: Finger foods are a great way to save on time and money when preparing for your Halloween party. And with everyone decked out in costumes and engaging in all the fun you’ve planned, there will be no time for them to sit down to an elaborate meal.

Mummies in blankets: Cut hot dogs in half and wrap thin strips of dough around them. Once you’ve baked them add a couple of drops of mustard for eyes. Be sure to serve with “blood,” otherwise known as ketchup, for dipping.

Healthy fingers and dip: Cut your favourite veggies, cheese, and bread sticks to look like fingers. Almond slices make for great nails. Serve with your favourite type of hummus or dip.

Witches’ brooms: Alongside traditional Halloween cookies, cupcakes, and jars of candy, homemade witches’ brooms are a cute and festive treat. Simply unwrap mini peanut-butter cups and pierce them with a pretzel stick for a sweet and salty dessert.

How to keep everyone entertained

Costume contests, scary music, and a good game of murder mystery are all great ways to keep your guests pleased, but below are a few more unique ideas.

Pumpkin decorating contest: Don’t just leave your guests to compete with knives and spoons. Purchase a few mini pumpkins along with bowls of gems, glitter, beads, studs, paint, and any other dollar-store finds that can be used to craft little pieces of art.

Make a photo booth: These days just about everyone has a camera phone on hand, so create an area in your home where your guests can showcase their costumes and strike a pose. Put together a fun background and add creepy lighting and props.

Horror movie trivia: Make your own game by creating a book or deck of cards with questions and answers from popular thrillers.

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