by Annette Naif

The Halloween season is upon us and everyone is starting to plan their frightening festivities. Whether you are a seasoned veteran and looking to spruce up your annual party or you have always wanted to throw a Halloween party and decided this is the year to do it, we have some great tips for you! Check out our favs to ensure your party is full of thrills and chills.

1. Create a creepy atmosphere, inside and out.

As with every holiday, everyone has their own traditions and customs. Some choose to stay classic and go for the black and orange theme with pumpkins and harvest-like décor. For those who want to be a little more spooky but keep it classic at the same time, they stick to the old fashioned frights: ghosts, goblins, and witches. Some people really get into it and go more modern and add in some fog machines, strobe lights, and sound effects. You can theme your atmosphere on your favorite scary movie, favorite spooky character, turn your house into 1313 Mockingbird Lane, even pretend you are the Addams Family for a few days! The point is to get creative. Go with what works best for you, there is no right or wrong answer. It’s your party – you can spook anyway you want to.

2. Serve up spooky snacks.

With some great party supplies, creative displays and creepy names, you can make anything spooky. Apothecary jars are a great way to display food as a magical potion or lab experiment. Hollowed-out pumpkins make great bowls, cotton candy spider-webs, and of course sprinkle candy corn wherever you can! You can easily take everyday party foods and give them Halloween-themed names to really get in the spirit. Spaghetti can be “Zombie Brains,” you can use green jello and candy to create “Ghost Vomit,” chicken wings become “Bat Wings,” and a spooky punch served in a cauldron looks just like a “Witch’s Brew,” – add some dry ice and you have fog. The possibilities are endless!

3. Do the Monster Mash.

Every great party needs a rockin’ playlist – even Halloween. Of course there are your typical Halloween songs, including: “The Monster Mash” & “Ghostbusters” & “Thriller”, but you can get even more creative. Add in “Werewolves of London”, “Witchy Woman”, & “Highway to Hell”. Keep it upbeat and fun and you can’t go wrong!

4. Show a classic thriller.
Although most of your guests won’t sit down and watch the entire thing, it’s a great way to set the mood and spark a conversation about spooky childhood memories. Everyone will be able to discuss their favorite scenes and the ones that scarred them for life! The soundtracks can also provide plenty of screams, shrieks, and ghoulish sounds to add to your atmosphere.

5. Consult a crystal ball. 

Hiring a fortune teller is a great way to provide some entertainment and start some fun conversations. You can have her set up in a corner of the room or even a separate area (sometimes they prefer a little more privacy), and your guests can take turns having their fortune told, palms read or even get a tarot card reading. It’s a very unique touch and will have your guests talking about your party for weeks!

6. Have a costume contest.
 Halloween is a great excuse to be someone or even something else for a day! Costumes allow your guests to get really creative and make for awesome event photos. If you are inviting families, you can suggest that each family dress according to a theme. This can be a little more challenging but it’s always worth it to see what people come up with. You can give awards for Best Celebrity Costume, Best Monster, Best “Homemade” Costume, etc.  Be sure to take plenty of pictures of everyone, especially the winners so you can set the bar for next year’s competition!

7. Welcome the Great Pumpkin!

It is the harvest season – so go crazy! Pumpkins are a great way to decorate and there are so many ways to get creative with them. You canpaint them with spooky or funny faces, carve them to create Jack-o-lanterns, hollow them out and fill with ice to make a cooler for drinks, give mini-pumpkins as a party favor, place a ton of pumpkins around your yard and let the children choose one from the “pumpkin patch”, write on them, bedazzle them, dress them up in costumes, the list goes on and on!

Happy Halloween!

WE’D LOVE FOR YOU TO SHARE THIS IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE BUT PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING COMPLETE INFORMATION: Event Planning Expert, Entrepreneur, and Coach, Annette Naif, Owner & Creative Director of  Forté Events NYC and publisher of the E-Zine, “Forté Today.”

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About Forté Events:

Forté Events is a strategic event design and production firm specializing in corporatenon-profit, and social events worldwide.  Based in Colorado Springs, CO, and New York City this company produce events worldwide from Fortune 500 clients to families and charities. Forté Events specializes in helping clients attain their goals, realize return on investment, and achieve the most unique, creative experiences.

About Annette Naif:

Since 1986 Annette Naif has been designing and producing custom events.  Helping clients create their unique signature style that translates into a memorable experience has been Annette’s passion from the beginning.  Annette spent a number of years producing events for Sebastian International followed by 15 years in the motion picture industry where she helped coordinate numerous productions for film and episodic television programs. Since then she’s been running her own event design company, coaching other event planners and now leads the New York City branch of Forté Events.

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