A product of
Join our mailing list
Stay up-to-date with industry news, cool case studies, and events.

50 Halloween Party Ideas To Help Your Next Event Be A Spooky Success

Halloween Party Ideas

It’s almost time to trade in your COVID-safe mask for one that’s, well, a little more fun. From the costumes to the candy, Halloween is a low-stress holiday event that allows team members to interact in a laid-back setting as well as showcase their creativity. So for those planning on hosting a spooky shindig—in person, hybrid, or virtual—for employees, clients, or customers this year, we’ve rounded up a cauldron-sized list of Halloween party ideas to help you get into the spirit of the season.

What Is A Halloween Party? What Do You Need For A Halloween Party?

First, a quick history lesson: Halloween celebrations originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Later (after the Roman Empire conquered Celtic territories), Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a day to honor all saints. The holiday was called All-Hallows or All-Hallowmas and featured some of the same traditions as Samhain. The night before All Saints’ Day became known as All-Hallows Eve, eventually turning into Halloween.

Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas. Of course, modern-day Halloween parties have nixed the more gruesome bits of the old-school celebrations (like animal sacrifices) for cute stuff like trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, and candy.

To get you started, here’s a Halloween party checklist: 

  • Invitations
  • Games or contests plus prizes
  • Masks and funny props for the photo booth
  • A spooky music playlist
  • Halloween-themed food and desserts
  • Halloween-themed punch and cocktails
  • Goodie bags
  • Decor such as spider webs, fall-scented candles, a witch’s cauldron, tombstones, brooms, skeletons and skulls, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, and lanterns
  • Creepy entertainment and character performers

How To Make A Halloween Party Fun And Interesting

Like any event, a good theme can help you create a fun and entertaining Halloween party. It can inform your guests’ costume choices, as well as the decor, food and drink, activities, and more. For example, if you’re hosting a carnival, encourage guests to dress up as a scary clown or sideshow act. This will allow them to feel more involved in the overall festivities. Of course, the idea of Halloween itself might be theme enough, offering plenty of tried-and-true options for designing a scary soiree.

50 Fantastic Halloween Party Ideas To Host A Great Party

Looking for some wickedly wonderful Halloween party ideas? Keep scrolling to discover loads of ideas for event themes, menu items, cocktails, games and activities, entertainment, and more.

1. Plan a Murder Mystery

This whodunnit theme can include a mysterious plot line that runs throughout the party, where guests try to figure out who killed the victim. Attendees can also be assigned different characters to play; send invitations that include each attendee’s role and backstory, as well as costume suggestions. The venue can then be decorated according to the time period and circumstances of the crime. Going virtual? No problem. Try something Zoom-friendly like a Murder Mystery party like Mystery IS Murder! by A Touch of Mystery & More Entertainment Group.

Zoom screen of people dressed as different characters from a Murder Mystery
Mystery IS Murder! by A Touch of Mystery & More Entertainment Group.

2. Release A Zombie Apocalypse

In recent years, zombies have taken on a life of their own, thanks to popular shows like The Walking Dead. Take advantage of this pop culture trend and host a zombie-themed event, complete with moody lighting, creepy cocktails, and finger foods (get it?) for a bloody good time.

3. Create A Haunted House

Whether you design your own version of a haunted house or organize an outing to an already spooky venue, this classic Halloween party idea will be sure to make your guests scream with delight. If gathering online, spooky sites like the Winchester Mystery House and the Pittock Mansion offer video tours that you can rent or watch for free.

4.  Arrange a Superhero Party

From classic superheroes like Batman and Superman to newer characters like Shang-Chi, this theme offers plenty of ideas to play with, including pop art-style decor. And be sure to ask your guests to arrive as their favorite caped crusader. Superhero parties allow your guests to get in touch with their inner alter egos. Not to mention, the decor can be loud, colorful, and fun.

Overview of a large event space with neon decor
Annual Fundraiser by Corinthian Events

5. Host a Monster Music Fest

Program a playlist filled with holiday favorites or hire a virtual DJ to entertain your guests during the party. You can also plan a karaoke sing-along, if that’s your thing.

A DJ looking over his shoulder, DJ'ing  to a crowd
Virtual Parties with Live DJs by Remixologists

6. Mix Up Some Creepy Cocktails

Book a virtual or IRL mixology class and learn to make devilishly delicious cocktails as a group. You can also serve a batch cocktail like mulled wine inside a witch’s cauldron for a creepy touch, or shake up drinks with seasonal ingredients like pumpkin.

Planning a spooktacular event? Find more Halloween themed events on The Vendry.

7. Consider Simple Yet Spooky Decor

Set up a spooky scene easily by hanging inexpensive realistic-looking cobwebs dotted with spiders throughout the venue to instantly transform the space. Or rent a smoke machine to create an air of mystery to any gathering.

Neon lit backdrop of fiery flames
Halsey Presents: Gotham City by Analog Events

8. Play Games

Some bakers and bakeries offer virtual cookie decorating classes that you can book for a private group. Or you can plan your own version and arrange to have the necessary ingredients (or a shopping list) sent to the attendees ahead of time. This makes a good option for family-friendly work parties.

9. Showcase Evil Scientist Slime

Fill mason jars with ooey-gooey slime dotted with creepy crawlies such as fake eyeballs, skulls, snakes, body parts, and spiders. Then, label the jars with evocative titles to create a D.I.Y. laboratory.

10. Offer A Creepy Hand App

Give your party’s charcuterie boards a leg up or, in this case, a ghoulish hand made of cheese and prosciutto. To make, combine cream cheese with a spreadable cheese, then sculpt the dip into the shape of a hand. (Try tracing your hand onto wax paper to use as a guide.) Layer prosciutto on top of the cheese and serve with crackers and other accoutrements.

11. Garnish With Eyeballs

Add an eye-catching garnish made from blueberries and peeled lychee fruit to your cocktails for a simply scary detail. To do: Insert a blueberry into store-bought peeled lychee. Then, skewer two “eyeballs” with a toothpick and place on the glass.

A cup filled with red liquid garnished with a plastic spider, fake eyeball
Halloween Party by Two Girls & a Drink Mobile Bartending Company

12. Bring A Bloody Brain

This no-brainer dessert idea plays double duty, serving as decor as well as a sweet treat. All you need is a plastic mold shaped like a brain and gelatin (preferably something red in color). Insert a cleaver into the unmolded matter for an extra dose of fright.

13. Do ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Theme

Set the table (and the mood) with items featuring the popular Pumpkin King motif from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” This cult classic theme has become a go-to look for Halloween parties. Or simply stick to a dramatic black-and-white color scheme.

14. Make D.I.Y. Halloween Slime

Perfect for family-friendly Halloween parties, invite your guests to get their hands dirty with this activity. Set up a work station with all of the ingredients used in a traditional slime recipe, along with bowls or jars and creepy-crawly extras like plastic bugs, confetti, and squishy eyeballs. Also, provide plastic treat bags so guests can take their slimy stuff home.

15. Design An Easy Photo Booth Backdrop

Create a fall vignette with hay bales and florals like pansies, mums, and fountain grass. Or hire a vendor to supply a scary or sweet setting where guests can pose. Looking for the event to go viral? Create a hashtag so you can track the social media impact of your event.

Black, red, and gold photo booth
VIPRA's House of Temptation by Hunters Point 

16. Set Up A Swag Station For Tricks And Treats

Let your guests go trick-or-treating by setting up a station filled with tubs, containers, and trays loaded with goodies, candy, and swag, so they can take home their own treat bags that says "from me to boo!"

17. Decorate Pumpkins

Ditch the slimy, seedy mess that comes with carving jack-o-lanterns. Instead, provide your guests—both big and little ones—with decorating kits containing stickers, markers, glitter, and more, and allow them to design their own D.I.Y. pumpkins that can serve as take-home gifts.

18. Host A Pumpkin Carving Contest

On the flip side, you could host a pumpkin-carving contest between team members, either in person or virtually. If it’s a virtual Halloween party, send attendees pumpkin carving kits beforehand and then whoever creates the scariest, funniest, or wildest jack-o'-lantern wins a prize.

Man carving large pumpkins with one pumpkin that says "Great Pumpkin Luminights"
Dollywood Harvest Festival by Maniac Pumpkin Carvers

19. Make Mini Witch's Brooms

Turn some mini pretzel sticks and fruit roll-ups into cute snacks for guests to munch on. The sweet-and-salty combo is an easy and inexpensive option for D.I.Y. office parties.

20. Go To Summer Camp

Of course, ghouls and goblins don’t have to be invited to every Halloween party. Host a fall-inspired, camp-themed event, complete with lanterns and crowd-pleasing fireside fare like hot dogs and s'mores. Plus, this Halloween party idea allows for social distancing when held outside under a tent, but you can also create a similar atmosphere indoors.

21. Celebrate Fall Harvest

Another idea that’s festive without the fright, a fall harvest party can be an elegant way to celebrate the season. Think pumpkins and pumpkin spice, leaves, and haystacks. Serve up a spiced cocktail and autumnal treats like apple cake.

A large display of pumpkins an drugs and other Halloween and fall decor
HomeGoods Halloween House by The Gramercy

22. Look Back At A Decade

Searching for a theme for your Halloweeen party? Pick a decade, like the roaring '20s, and design the decor, food, and entertainment around that time. Ask guests to dress up in their favorite look from that period.

23. Watch Scary Movies

Organize a scary movie viewing party and watch classics like Psycho, Halloween, and The Shining. You can also ask guests to come dressed up as a character from their favorite horror film. You can also host virtual viewing parties via platforms like Netflix Party or Metastream for remote team members.

24. Create a Candy Buffet

Instead of a charcuterie board filled with meats and cheeses, build a smorgasbord piled high with sweet treats and creepy confectioneries for guests to grab throughout the night.

25. Host a Costume Contest

Before the Halloween party, announce the categories, such as funniest costume, scariest costume, most creative costume, etc. Then, attendees (either in person or virtual) can cast their votes for their pick in each category. If hosting online, guests can use the polling feature or private chat to vote. Award prizes to the winners.

Three people dressed up in costumes for Halloween
Hulaween 2019 by Roey Yohai Studios

26. Plan A Scary Sit-Down Dinner

Invite guests to a drop-dead gorgeous dinner party with a spooktacular setting. Decorate with black linens, dishes, utensils, serving pieces, and candleholders, as well as creepy curiosities. Serve a menu featuring spooky spreads, black squid-ink pasta, and “bloody” cheesecake with cherries. Or, elevate your decor and keep things simple and streamlined but in a dark, moody color palette.

27. Serve Up Bloody Mary Syringes

To create this spooky cocktail, simply grab some food-safe syringes and fill them with a bloody mary mixture.

28. Make Mummies In A Blanket

A simple twist on the classic pigs in a blanket hors d'oeuvre, these snacks aren’t too scary to eat.

29. Organize A Ghost Tour

Contact a local tour company to book a walking tour of a cemetery or other historical site.

30. Plan A Scavenger Hunt

Add a spooky twist to this standard team building activity by including seasonal items on the list such as jack-o-lanterns, candy corn, and more.

People huddled around a piece of paper writing
Scavenger Hunts by A Touch of Mystery & More Entertainment Group

31. Book An Escape Room Experience

This other popular team building exercise can easily translate into a Halloween activity. For example, The Great Escape Room in Chicago has multiple themed rooms where you and a team can work together to solve the mysteries - and get out of the room in time for your great escape.

A green chair and a library next to a surface with a fake skull on it
The Great Escape Room

32. Organize Virtual Team Building Activities

For remote teams, book a Halloween-themed virtual team building activity. Teams can work as investigative sleuths, following clues, answering trivia, and working together to solve problems (and build relationships!).

33. Hire a Fortune Teller

For IRL parties, book an act that offers tarot card or palm readings. You can also consult a virtual Ouija board during a digital get-together if you’re looking to invite the occult to the party.

A Zoltar Speaks fortune teller machine
Halloween 2020 by WOW Entertainment Inc.

34. Volunteer

Arrange for employees to get dressed up in costume and visit a local senior center, or work with a meal delivery service for the day, delivering much-needed treats to residents.

35. Host A Halloween Happy Hour

Whether you’re saying cheers virtually or clinking glasses in person, consider hosting a happy hour this Halloween. And remember to offer non-alcoholic options such as apple cider in addition to the usual wicked drinks.

Search our directory to find the best “haunted" ideas for your next Halloween event.

36. Plan A Dia De Los Muertos Party

Traditionally, this holiday honors loved ones who have passed and features party decor that commemorates the dead like sugar skulls, bright floral displays, and candlelit lighting.

37. Book A Beer Or Wine Tasting

Visit a brewery or winery to sample a selection of brews or vino—while in costume, of course. The beer tasting can also focus on pumpkin ales and other seasonal libations. Don't forget, you can always take your tasting virtual, and still have a hoppy time!

Woman standing over bottles of wine reading a book
Blue Chip Red Wine - Virtual Tasting by Biondivino

38. Go Glow In The Dark

Inspired by the totally tubular '80s, this party theme requires black lights, neon, and classic songs from the decade.

39. Book A Magician

A magician helps keep guests entertained with a spell-binding interactive performance. Having a magician at your event will give your atmosphere a touch of playfulness. Plus, it’s a Halloween party idea that works for hybrid, virtual, and in-person events.

40. Host A Masquerade Ball

A more elegant version of a costume party, a masquerade ball works well as a Halloween-appropriate theme for a fundraiser. Ask guests to dress in more formal attire with an ornate mask.

41. Hold A Trivia Contest

Test your team members’ Halloween knowledge with some holiday-inspired trivia (such as, where does the term “jack o’lantern” come from?) in a game show-style competition either between individuals or teams.

42. Plan A Potluck

Hosting a small-group party at the office? Ask team members to bring a favorite dish to share. Be sure to pass around a sign-up sheet beforehand, so not everyone comes with pie.

43. Channel Hitchcock

Decorate with vintage taxidermy and glass terrariums for a macabre vibe. Think (faux) stuffed ravens and long tapered candles to set the eerie mood.

44. Incorporate Rich Jewel Tones

Halloween doesn’t always have to mean black and orange. Consider decorating with rich jewel tones like deep purples and dark pinks for a warm, muted look that doesn’t scream.

Large mushroom forest installation
ARA Wonderland Corporate Holiday Party by Wild Sky Events

45. Opt For Dried Florals

Skip the fresh blooms and add dried arrangements to the space for a haunted look that’s easy to care for.

Are you planning a virtual Halloween gathering for your work? Check out our virtual team building services.

46. Think Like Willy Wonka

It makes sense to celebrate a holiday devoted to candy in the style of everyone’s favorite chocolatier. Set up candy buffet stations throughout the event space and include whimsical details like golden eggs as decor.

47. Host A Carnival

Perfect for hosting outdoors under a big tent, a carnival features plenty of games and activities to keep guests engaged. Serve up popcorn and cotton candy as snacks.

DJ booth with gold and white flowers flanked by large standing cut out lions
Jantzen 2020 Relaunch by POP! by Yaz

48. Revive The Alice In Wonderland Theme

Lewis Carroll’s iconic “Alice in Wonderland” offers up lots of inspiration for a wild array of decor and menu ideas, which is why it’s become a go-to trope for event planners. Invite guests to a tea party, perhaps asking them to come dressed as their favorite character such as the Mad Hatter, Alice, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts. Serve teas and finger foods like heart-shaped tarts, and provide games including croquet and cards.

49. Get Inspired By Rocky Horror Picture Show

Host a viewing party of this cult classic, teach guests how to do the “Time Warp” dance, decorate in vein of Dr. Frank-N-Furter's spooky castle with dark drapery and vintage knick-knacks, and serve a menu featuring themed items like lip-shaped cookies, meatloaf (in honor of the singer’s appearance in the film), and frankfurters, of course.

50. Throw A ‘Great Pumpkin’ Party

Another classic Halloween flick, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'' works well for family-family events. Consider including a pumpkin-carving contest, along with nods to the movie such as piles of leaves, buckets of apples, and treat bags.

Halloween Parties to Get You into the Spooky Spirit

Whether you’re hosting family and friends or employees and executives, these Halloween party ideas are guaranteed to create a scarily good time. And hopefully this list helped take the fear out of planning your Halloween party! Don't know where to start? We're here to help. Start searching The Vendry for great ideas, now!

Know anyone who might enjoy this post? Share it with them.
Stay up-to-date with industry news, cool case studies, and events.

Like this? Now read:

50 Corporate Gift Ideas That Can Be Customized

October 29, 2020

10 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for a Remote Celebration

October 22, 2020

10 Event Trends To Expect During This Fall’s Fundraising Season

August 5, 2021

What is a Hybrid Event? Definition, Examples, & Platforms

September 9, 2020
The Vendry is the leading destination to help you plan your organization's next virtual, hybrid, or live event
Visit The Vendry
crossmenu