15 Scary Halloween Party Ideas That Will Haunt Your Guests

Scary decoration on table for Halloween banquet

Many Halloween parties really aren't very scary and instead are centered around socializing, eating, and simply having fun. There are some party hosts, however, who aren't satisfied with this type of party. If you're interested in creating a Halloween party that is sure to raise the hair on the backs of your guests' necks, then check out these party ideas. The following can be adapted to suit the location and your guest list.

Have a Party in a Scary Haunted House

If you really want to scare people, a haunted house will certainly do the trick. You don't need a real abandoned home to have a party; you can make your own haunted house instead. Pulling off this scary Halloween party will take some pre-party planning, and you'll need quite a bit of help. If you do it right, however, your guests may talk about your party for years to come! These tips can help.

Location

The best place to create a haunted house is anywhere you can. Consider using a basement, garage, or even a barn. Make the room or building as dark as possible, then strategically add dim lights where needed. To achieve nearly total darkness, cover the windows completely, and for added effect, drape the walls with black fabric. This same fabric can be used to create "rooms" within the large space.

Layout

One of the best ways to scare party guests is to confuse them. Create a labyrinth of rooms in which guests are easily turned around to confuse their sense of direction.

Decorations

If you have enough forethought to begin planning your Halloween party immediately after the previous Halloween, you may be able to find great deals on scary supplies like props and costumes at department and specialty stores. If not, you can spend a small fortune stocking up on realistic looking props, so ask friends and family if you can borrow any Halloween decorations and props they might have. Fog machines, dimly lit jack o'lanterns, and cobwebs are must-haves to create a terrifying atmosphere.

Participants

If you really want your haunted house to be scary, you must have willing participants to play the parts of ghouls and goblins. Ask friends and relatives to dress up in scary haunted house costumes and station them throughout the house. Caution them not to actually touch the people who wander through the house, although they can use soft items like feather dusters to gently brush the ankles of unsuspecting guests.

Music and Sound Effects

Choose one or two scary soundtracks with spooky sounds and music to play continuously throughout the night.

Food and Drink

Have tables set up throughout the haunted house with food and drink for guests, who are likely to work up an appetite with all that screaming.

Party in a Haunted Forest or Field

Scary hooded man standing in a field of corn wearing a plague doctor mask looking at the sky

If you really want to know how to make the scariest Halloween party ever, then consider hosting the party outside. One great outdoor Halloween party idea for adults is to create a haunted forest or field much like you do a house. Keep these tips in mind.

Location

If you are using a field, cut a path through tall grass and have a few guides positioned with flashlights to guide the way. This works great in a cornfield as well if you cut down the cornstalks to create a maze.

Participants

Position costumed "spooks" throughout the field or woods so that they can jump out and scare unsuspecting guests. For an added touch of terror, position one "spook" at the end of the path with a chainsaw. (Remove the blade of course!) Each time a group of people approaches, he should crank the chainsaw and chase them back to the starting point.

Food and Drink

Keep food simple by allowing guests to roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a bonfire. Set up tables with chips, brownies, cookies and drinks so guests can serve themselves.

More of the Scariest Party Ideas Ever

If you don't want to incorporate a haunted house, forest, or field into your party, consider the following ideas to make your event extra scary.

Let Guests Feel Like They Are Being Watched

There's nothing quite as scary as feeling watched, especially at a spooky Halloween party. Ask a few friends to dress up like spooks and instruct them to wander in and out of the party, stopping to stare at guests but never speaking to anyone. You can even have them peek through windows from outside.

Turn Off the Lights When They Least Expect It

Even if your Halloween party guests aren't afraid of the dark, they'll still get nervous if the lights randomly go off. Have someone pull the main breaker on your electricity at a pre-planned hour. Act frightened and dismayed, as if you don't know what's happening. Be sure to comment that streetlights and the neighbor's lights are still lit. For some extra terror, have a few friends crawl around the floor of the room, grabbing ankles. You can also turn off the lights, use only one dim light or flashlight, and invite party guests to take turns telling ghost stories.

Let Them Know They're Doomed

Fortune Teller With Crystal Ball and Smoke

Everyone is afraid of a dark or scary future, and you can terrify your guests with some predictions of doom. Place a "fortune teller" in one room, dim the lights, and let guests take turns getting their fortunes told. Consider adding ill omens to your decor, such as broken mirrors, black cats, and other signs of bad luck.

Make a Chilling Atmosphere

No matter where you choose to hold your scary party, it's important to make the place feel really scary. Put some scary sound effects on the stereo and dim the lights. To make the party really terrifying, use a fog machine to create a chilling ambiance in the home.

Create a "Zombie Room"

Set aside a room off the main party area and cover it with chains, locks, or yellow caution tape. Have some friends dressed as zombies stand on the other side and rattle the door as if they are coming out. At a point later on in the party, have the door burst open and the zombies begin to circulate in the room.

Hang Some Super Gross Cobwebs

Running into a cobweb is scary, but running into a slimy cobweb is guaranteed to freak everyone out. Wet some strings and hang them from the ceiling in a dimly lit room. As the guests walk around, they will be brushed in the face with slimy "cobwebs" adding to their fright.

Plan a Terrifying Halloween Party Menu

Halloween spread with skeleton centerpiece

Don't forget to make the party food as scary as possible. Toss some fake body parts such as fingers, toes, and eyeballs into snack dishes. Make sure they get buried slightly so they aren't easily seen until they get added to a plate. You can also create a buffet table using a fake skeleton to display sliced deli meat in the creepiest way possible.

Have People Randomly Disappear

If you know some of your guests will need to leave the party early, tell them to keep that early departure a secret. Then, after the guests have snuck away, casually ask people about them. You can even enlist a friend to help make the disappearances super scary.

Get Your "Ghost" Kids to Terrify Everyone

A 7 year old little girl dressed up as a Ghoul or Ghost inside of a dark creepy cypress swamp, surrounded by huge cypress root

One thing that's universally terrifying to adults is scary-looking children gliding silently around the house. If your kids are up for the fun and won't be too scared themselves, have them dress as ghosts or zombies and randomly walk past doorways without speaking to or looking at anyone.

Let Them Wonder if the Treats Are Worth It

Halloween is all about trick-or-treating, but what if you indicate that there's a "trick" cost of the treats on the buffet table. Next to each goodie, place a sign that gives its cost in future tricks. One the buffet table, hang a banner or large sign reading, "Is it worth it?" Even if you never play any tricks, guests will be creeped out, anticipating what might happen.

Plant Scary Surprises in Guests' Coat Pockets

Collect everyone's coats in a closet or on a bed when they arrive at your Halloween party. While guests are otherwise entertained, take a few minutes to slip scary fake spiders and slimy rubber snakes into their coat pockets. They may not discover these creepy toys until after they leave, but it will help them remember what a terrifying experience they had.

Break Out the Ouija Board

Ouija Board On Dark Background

If you've ever used a Ouija board, you know how scary it can be. You can make it even creepier by telling ghost stories just before the session. Light lots of candles too. When you're in the middle of trying to communicate with the spirits, have a friend surprise everyone by bursting into the room dressed as a ghost.

Create a Fake Radio Announcement About the Zombie Attack

Before the party, take some time to record an audio that sounds like a news announcement about a zombie attack. Warn people to stay inside and lock the doors. Then, in the middle of the party, interrupt the music with the announcement.

Horrifying Halloween Parties

Creating a scary Halloween party is easy if you use your imagination and ask for lots of help from family and friends. Don't be surprised if your party guests beg you to host another Halloween party next year!

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15 Scary Halloween Party Ideas That Will Haunt Your Guests