Halloween party games for kids are easy to come up with, but
Halloween party games for adults? Not always as easy. 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 cool Halloween games to take that 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?
1 Halloween 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. 2 Murder Mystery
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. 3 Shot 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. 4 Monster Mash Dance Contest
Very little prep is needed for a dance contest except a
Halloween playlist, as per Time Out NY. 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. 5 Bobbing For Apples Louis Quail/Corbis News/Getty Images
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. 6 Monster 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. 7 Mummy Wrap
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. 8 Themed 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. 9 Who 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, as explained on Punch Bowl. 10 Halloween Punch Pong
It's your college
beer pong game, but with orange punch, as suggested by Funtober. Similarly, you could play quarters with the punch. Or use pumpkin beer. Or really any beverage that you'd like. 11 Spooky Charades
Play the classic party game with a super-spooky twist.
Halloween charades only uses ideas that are related to the holiday, such as skeletons or jack-o-lanterns, instructed Good Housekeeping. Best of all, you could even play a version over Zoom, in case a socially distanced Halloween party is in the cards this year. 12 Scary Board Games Carlos Guimaraes / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
If you and your friends are into board games, then there are plenty of options that suit the Halloween season. In fact, some of the
best horror board games include One Night Ultimate Werewolf, in which villagers try to find the wolf in their midst, and Mysterium, in which a ghost and psychic mediums work together to solve a murder, according to Bustle. Whether you’re into subtly spooky themes or straight-up monsters, there’s a board game sure to fit your party. (Also, there’s always the option of dusting off the old Ouija board and seeing what messages pop up.) 13 Trick-Or-Treat Shots
If your party includes some adult beverages, then add a little trickery to the menu. Create a
round of identical shots, half cut with apple juice, and the other half made with pickle juice, explained Cosmopolitan. Have everyone choose a shot at random, and hope you get the sweet version. If you need more inspiration for spooky beverages, check out the easy Halloween drinks on Bustle, including a poison apple cocktail and a zombitini. 14 Truth Or Dare
Bring back this classic game from childhood. For a
grown-up version of Truth or Dare, per Popsugar, write down questions to answer and dares to perform on tags and attach them to a variety of drinks. In order to enjoy each drink, your guest has to first perform the dare or respond to the question. Feel free to use your favorite party drinks, or serve some non-alcoholic Halloween drinks as noted in Bustle, such as spiced cider punch or a blood orange martini. Make the questions and dares as silly or bizarre as you like to suit this particular party group. 15 Pumpkin Carving Contest
Granted, this one will get a bit messy, but you can enjoy it either in-person or over a socially distanced Zoom call. After your guests have finished their spooky creations, give out
pumpkin carving contest awards for cutest pumpkin, scariest pumpkin, or any other category, suggested Luvze. Alternatively, have your guests decorate the pumpkins at home and then bring them to the party (or online meet-up). Or try another twist with a little bit less mess: pumpkin painting. 16 Spooky Movie Drinking Game
For a low-key party, stream your favorite scary (or simply spooky) movie with a group. Check out the
horror movie drinking games from Drink When, and take a sip every time someone says “Camp Crystal Lake” in Friday the 13th. Best of all, these games work just as well over an online meetup or even a Facetime call. 17 Throwback Halloween Game 18 Halloween Touch Box
This classic Halloween game is just as spooky for adults, promise. Fill a box with things like cooked noodles, peeled grapes, or tiny sausages and ask the party-goers to
identify everything by touch alone, said The Spruce. Honestly, even something as innocuous as an orange slice or some pretzel sticks can seem spooky if you aren’t expecting it. Have everybody use a blindfold to make sure nobody peeks. (To make the game safer for 2020, consider giving every guest their own touch box, and encourage plenty of hand-washing.) Although the celebrations might be a little more distant this year, it’s still possible to enjoy adult games at your Halloween party, whether it’s in-person or online.