I love Halloween, and I hate that “Trick or Treating” has gone out of fashion, but I understand how it can be unsafe for children while many adults don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars to give out candy to the neighborhood hordes. Luckily, if you want to have a safer, cheaper Halloween without losing any of the fun, the answer is the ever-popular HALLOWEEN PARTY!
The important thing to decide about your party is whether it’s for kids or for adults; this will help you decide what Halloween party games will be appropriate to play. There are plenty of traditional games you can use – they’ll seem new to youngsters and will bring back fun memories for the older crowd, or you can adapt other party games to have a Halloween theme, or get some great ideas here for some new ones!
Traditional Halloween Party Games For Any Age Group
For as long as there have been Halloween Party Games, there has been Bobbing for Apples. This can be fun, if not very sanitary. Another option to this game is to tie the apple stems to strings and suspend them from a doorframe or other high and secure location (a clothesline if you’re outdoors) and then have people try to bite the apple while it swings wildly. It’s a fun time – and you don’t have to share saliva! (Did that just give you a little Halloween chill up the spine?)
How about the Mummy Wrap? Divide into teams and give each group an equal supply of cheap toilet paper. Have the team select one member to be the mummy, while the rest see if they can use up the toilet paper to wrap their mummy before the other teams can.
One of my favorite Halloween party games is the “Mad Scientist” game where guests feel the “body parts” that the Mad Scientist is using to create his monster. You can line the “body parts” up on a table or counter and cover each with an upside down cardboard box with a hole cut out of the bottom. Each guest sticks their hand into the hole and feels the “body part.” Write the name of the “body part” on the outside of the box, like “eyes,” “brains,” etc. The trick to the game is to keep the lights low so guests can’t see what the real contents of the boxes are. For this game you can say the following if you wish:
*Here is his brain, which now feels no pain. (A chunk of soft cauliflower with mashed tomatoes)
*Here are his eyes, still frozen with surprise. (two frozen peeled grapes or olives)
*Here is his heart. Be careful lest it start! (a large lump of uncooked liver)
*Now we have his hair, which once was so fair! (a handful of corn silk or wet fur or yarn)
*Feel these drops of his blood. All the rest turned to mud. (a little catsup thinned with warm water)
*One hand all alone, just rotting flesh and bone. (a damp plastic glove filled with red gelatin or ice)
*Now touch his ear. He nevermore will hear! (a dried apricot)
*This is his nose. T’will never smell a rose. (a pickle, a hot dog or a soft chicken bone)
* These worms are all that’s left to feel. For them, this body was a lovely meal! (wet spaghetti)
You can also adapt traditional favorites into Halloween party games to keep the ghosts and ghouls occupied. For example, you could transform an Easter egg hunt into a Halloween treat hunt, or play pin the mouth on a Halloween pumpkin instead of pin the tail on the donkey. Older kids, and adults, would enjoy a game of charades with a Halloween theme, where all of the items acted out have to have a Halloween twist to them, such as scary movies, or books. You can adapt almost any game to cater to any age group and turn it into a Halloween party game.
Halloween Party Games for Teenagers or Adults
Teenagers are a finicky group during a party. They often feel awkward playing games in front of their friends that they consider “childish” and might say they prefer to watch scary movies, or just mingle with their friends. To liven up a teenage or adult party you do need some type of Halloween party games.
One good idea is to have a Scavenger Hunt where teenagers divide into teams and must go out door to door seeking items on their “scavenger list.” The items that must be found should be a mix of easy and more difficult things. Here’s a sample list for you to consider:
· Bubble gum
· Black fingernail polish or lipstick
· Candy corns
· Hershey’s bar
· Hershey’s kiss
· Indian Corn
· Lock of black hair
· Miniature pumpkin
· Orange leaf
· Piece of white fabric (mummy, ghost)
· Pie tin
· Pumpkin seeds
· Shot glass
· Spider web – real or fake
· Straw or hay
· Today’s newspaper
· Tootsie roll
· Tree bark
How about Making a Monster? Divide the group into two or three teams of around 6 to 8 players. Announce that each team is to create an ugly monster with a varying number of legs and arms, which are to touch the floor. The host first calls out the number of legs and arms; for example, if teams have 8 players the host might start with 12 legs and 6 arms. Give about a minute for each team to form the monster. Use a clock or stopwatch. Let each team finish if they can. Then go to the next round. Progressively reduce the number of legs and increase the number of arms. So the next monster to form might have 8 legs and 8 arms. Then 6 legs and 10 arms. Then 4 legs and 12 arms! Have fun and be creative!
Zombie Tag is an excellent excuse for teens or adults, if they are so inclined, to run around and scream. Determine a circular area. You may want to rope it off to keep kids inside or lay down a hose in a circle and be prepared to shout “out-of-bounds!” to the “zombie”. Remove any obstacles inside the circle. You can play this game indoors or outdoors. This game follows the classic rules of Marco Polo. The zombie wears a mask with a blindfold. Meanwhile, everyone has to stay within the circle while he/she wanders around with his arms reaching out like a zombie. When the “zombie” groans, all the players must groan back and extend their arms. This is how the zombie closes in on his/her victims. When a player gets tagged, she becomes the next “zombie” and gets to wear the mask.
Another fun Halloween party game for teenagers or adults is Monster Dance. Play Halloween music and have everyone dance like monsters! Monster Mash is a good song for this game. When the music stops the guests freeze in their monster positions. The first one to move gets to stop the music. This is a good game for the end of the party since you can make it last as long you want.
If teenagers are having a slumber party, they might like to wind down from activities with a “Truth or Scare” game. Form a circle with the group. You pick a person to ask, “Truth or Scare?” If they say “truth” that means you have to ask them a question about their scariest time or their greatest fear or tell a scary story. But if they pick “Dare” then you dare them to do something daring that is scary!
Don’t forget the best part, Scary Stories, told around a bonfire (or fireplace, or heck, just a candle) that will send all the party guests off to pleasant nightmares!
For any ages there could be a Costume Contest with prizes awarded for “most scary,” “best couple,” “most creative,” “most abstract,” or whatever categories you like.
Hopefully this will give you some good ideas that will help to make your Halloween Party the most memorable EVAH!