When I was nine months pregnant and ready to burst, my partner and I were invited to a Halloween party. Knowing it might be our last night out for a while without having to worry about a babysitter, we happily blackened our eyes and put the letter "P" on our t-shirts (we were the black-eyed P's — get it?). Once there, we chatted, ate a few orange and black appetizers and then... well, that's about it. It was a nice night out, but could have really used a few Halloween games to take the party to the next level.
Conversation, food and alcohol can be all a party needs, but given the festiveness and mischievousness of Halloween, it's fun to plan a few games and bump it up a little. Some games can be thrown together at the last minute; others require more preparation. A few of the more elaborate ones may dictate that the guests are aware in advance, in case they need to come in specific costumes or bring props with them.
I'm not particularly crafty (okay, I can't even cut a straight line) so for the more project-intensive games, I would need to enlist a friend or two with the prep. Allow yourself to get hokey and bring back adult versions of some of the kids' games you used to love. You may be surprised by how much your friends appreciate the chance to get silly. Why should kids have all the fun?
1Halloween Movie & TV Trivia
Your friends might know the names of Casper the Ghost's girlfriend (Wendy) but do they know the last name of the three witches in 1993's Hocus Pocus (Sanderson)? Channel your inner Halloween geek and test your friends on their trivia knowledge, seeing how much they know about scary movies and TV shows. My Ghoul Friday has a list of Halloween movie trivia questions you can use. You can even give prizes like spider rings, pumpkin pencils, or glow-in-the dark nail polish.
Everyone loves to solve a good mystery. A few weeks before the party, let your guests know that someone was murdered and they are going to need to find the killer. They can each be assigned a character and come dressed as them. The Balance has a list of free murder mystery games that you can go through to find the one that best suits your guests.
3Shot In The Dark
A classic drinking game, Halloween style. Find a classic Halloween movie and pick a phrase, an object, or an action. Each time that phrase is uttered or the object or action appears on the screen, the guests need to do a shot or take a sip. Icohol recommends that you search for a phrase or just drink anytime there's heavy breathing, screaming or blood, but you might want to prescreen the movie to make sure there is enough of each thing to get the party rolling.
4Monster Mash Dance Contest
Very little prep is needed for a dance contest except a Halloween playlist. If you want some pre-party participation, your guests can vote for their favorite song before the party and the winning song can be revealed during the dance contest. Pick two judges and the guests can do solo dances, partner dances or group dances. The best dancers win — anything from an orange and black construction paper certificate to a fake plaque to their own mirror ball trophy.
5Bobbing For Apples
If the kids can do it, why can't we? Add the challenge of having couples bob for the apple and have to get one together or according to Great Party Games, for an adult apple bob, you can even fill the bucket with wine instead of water or have an "after dip" where guests get the apple and then need to then bob for marshmallows in a pan of flour. Messy fun.
6Monster Match Up Ice Breaker
This one is great if you have a lot of people who don't know each other at your party. According to My Ghoul Friday, you should create categories that serve as teams, such as Dracula, Werewolf, Mummy, etc. Make a series of index cards, each with a word on it that fits into one of those categories. Guests each get handed an index card and they need to find the rest of the guests that have cards of the same theme. Once they have found each other, they can play some more team games.
Get your toilet paper ready for this one, as suggested by Punch Bowl. Break your guests into teams, with each team selecting one player as their mummy. The mummy stands stiffly in the center of the group as the team members wind the toilet paper around their body in an attempt to completely cover the mummy. First team with no mummy body showing is the winner.
8Themed Scavenger Hunt
Vivomasks suggests you hide a whole lot of Halloween-themed swag around your house and make teams, giving each team a list of things to return with at the end of a set amount of time. Bonus points for creative interpretations of the items on the scavenger hunt list.
9Who Am I?
Upon arrival at the party, the host tapes an index card to each guest's back. The card contains the name of a character from a scary movie or Halloween-themed movie or TV show. Guests have to ask other guests questions to help them guess their own identity.