How to Throw a Haunted House Party

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M. Popolo, licensed to About.com

When the kids are little, Halloween parties usually revolve around cute themes like pumpkins and scarecrows. Tweens and teens, however, may prefer to see the creepy-factor turned up a few notches. Treat them to a spectacularly spooky celebration with these tips and tricks for a haunted house party.

Invitations

For a haunted house party, photo invitations are a great way to incorporate the theme. Choose a black and white image of a haunted house as the photo for your invitation.

On the side of the postcard designed for a message, handwrite or use an old-fashioned font to type your party information, along with a note that says something like “Wish you were here to share in the fear. Yours ghouly, Mr. Bones.”

Haunting the House

Turning your lovely home into a haunted house can be easier than you might think. Focus first on the front porch or entryway, as this will be the first impression for arriving guests. You can go all out with creepy decorations that range from paper cutouts to animated, electronic creatures, but all you really need to set the basic backdrop for your haunted house is some dim lighting, creepy music and plenty of cobwebs strewn about the house. Once you have staged this foundation of simple elements, you can decide what other kinds of decorations to add.

Some haunted house decorating ideas include:

  • Purple motion lights.
  • Black lights. 
  • Fog machine.
  • Gravestones on the lawn.
  • Ghosts, bats and spiders hanging from the rafters.
  • Caution tape lined doorways.
  • Creepy silhouettes in the windows.
  • Boarded up windows and doorways.
  •  "Keep Out" signs.
  • Creepy eyes pasted to hanging wall art.
  • Jack-o-lanterns.
  • Halloween yard makeover ideas

Halloween Party Food

Haunting can make creatures hungry, so make sure your menu will satisfy their appetites for both food and fear.

  Of course, just like regular teens, chances are your ghoulish guests will happily devour pizza, but perhaps they’d prefer it to be shaped like a ghost or topped with spiders.

Additional ideas for haunted house party food:

Skeleton cupcakes.

Monster cupcakes.

Black Cat cake.

Ghost cupcake platter.

Witch cupcakes.

Witch’s brew

Chocolate covered cherry mice

Mummy Dogs

Brain Jello Mold

Games and Activities

You can send them on a scavenger hunt for bones among the gravestones in your yard or let them run through the house for a game of haunted hide and seek. Or maybe they just want to hang around, tell their own ghost stories or Monster Mash the night away. Some Halloween party games may or may not appeal to teens, so talk to your own child first about what kind of party activities he and his friends would enjoy.

Some ideas to help you with your planning:

Ghost Party Games.

Skeleton Party Games.

Monster Party Games.

Halloween Games for Teens. 

Parting Gifts

A haunted house party just wouldn’t feel complete without a parting gift from the not-so-dearly departed. Nothing says, “Go forward and haunt happily into the night” like a witch’s hat or glow-in-the-dark skeleton t-shirt. More ideas for haunted house party favors include:

A CD of creepy music.

Scary movies on DVD.

Halloween masks.

Halloween makeup kits.

Pumpkin carving kit.

Witch’s broom.

Candy Hand.