Halloween is an annual holiday that is celebrated on October 31st. It originates from the Christian All Saints Day and the Celtic festival of Samhain or possibly from the Roman feast of Pomona (the Goddess of fruits and seeds) or the festival of the dead called Parentalia. Most believe that it is derived from the Celtics but today, it is pretty much a secular tradition filled with rich tradition such as watching scary movies, pulling pranks, haunted hayrides, murder mystery parties, Jack O’Lantern carvings, Halloween
dance parties, haunted houses and trick or treating. The name Halloween literally means ‘summer’s end.’The Celtics believed that on this night, the two realms (this world and the otherworld) allowed spirits to pass between them – both dangerous and harmless alike. Wearing masks became a tradition by the Celtics to ‘ward off’ these spirits, thereby affording the mask wearer some protection on this Halloween night. Also, the Celtic tradition holds that Samhain marks the best time to store food for the upcoming winters and livestock slaughtering became more common during this time. Bonfires were lit to burn the carcasses. The name ‘Halloween’ comes from the 16th century referring
to the Scottish ‘All Hallows Eve’ which means the night before ‘All Hallows Day’ which is
another term for ‘All Saints’ Day’ which is November 1st which is a Western Christian
holiday in honor of the Saints.
The most successful parties tend to have two neighboring rooms as well as
a restroom/ bathroom /loo /privy / water closet – or whatever you call the
room with a toilet. The restroom is a necessity but the two ‘party rooms’ is
absolutely not mandatory. A fun Halloween party can be held in a tiny apartment in a small kitchen if you have the right people there!
If you have two adjacent rooms to host your Halloween party in, it is preferable
to have one area where food is available in a buffet style set up. This
area should be well lit and decorated in fun Halloween décor. The more
décor that you have at a party, the more your guests will get into the
Halloween spirit. This will encourage guests to mingle while eating.
A second location should be available (a neighboring room) where it is darker
– possibly with a black light and fun neon Halloween décor. The music
should be playing in this room and possibly a television playing a scary
movie without the sound on. This will encourage fun conversation and
dancing (if there is room). In this room, you can lighten it up to play some games when the time is right.
Even if your guests are 90 years old, everybody should be encouraged to
wear a costume. There are plenty of costumes that you can make with items
in your home and closet so there’s no real need for anyone to spend money.
However, if the money is available, it is worth the fun to be someone else for a
night! Give a costume contest with various categories such as ‘most
unique’, ‘best couple costume’, ‘the funniest’, ‘the scariest’, etc.
Halloween games are a must! ‘Tis the season for a good murder mystery
party followed by fun party games. People never truly grow up – that’s
where the term ‘inner child’ came from! It doesn’t matter if your guests
are 50 years old, they’ll still have fun competing in silly challenges.
Encourage everyone to show their inner child and have a blast!
You cannot have a party without at least offering appetizers. You can,
however, ask that each guest is to bring a fun Halloween dish if you want
to share the expense of the party with your friends. This must be disclosed
at the point of invitation – don’t wait until the guests have already RSVP'd
to spring it on them that they must contribute a dish to the party! Same
goes for a BYOB – let it be known up front!
For a Halloween party, it is always fun to present your appetizers, dishes with
fun Halloween names. Make cards with creepy dish names and place in
front of each dish/appetizer on the buffet table.
You’ve got to have audio effects in one way or another for both the trick or
treaters and for your party guests. My Mystery Party sells the ‘Party of 2’
Monstrous Halloween Dance Party Mix which contains a thunderstorm track,
monster ambiance and fun Halloween Dance Party songs.
You absolutely need some type of music or sound effects. If you choose
music, it should be Halloween themed and upbeat and energetic such as the
Party of 2 seasonal CDs. You’ll want a variety of Halloween songs, both light-
hearted and scary. You’ve got to have lively music or it will be a bore! Also, in
between songs, you can play a thunderstorm ambiance track or an eerie monster sound track for a fun effect.
Light some festive, seasonal – maybe pumpkin scented or fall scented – candles – out of the way of guests and where guests might place things such as a jacket or purse. .
Digital cameras are relatively cheap nowadays so purchase a few and post them around the party area and encourage your guests to capture as many party memorable moments as possible. After the party, you can upload these pictures for everyone to share on sites such as Facebook, etc.
For Halloween – the theme is Halloween. But if you want to spruce it up each year with a new title and themed décor, party food, etc. Here are some suggestions. A mad science lab, a barnyard spooky hayride, witches and wizards, goblins and ghouls, zombies, vampires, and a haunted house.
Why do party favors just need to be for kids? A lot of adults are going home to kids later so give out a fun party favor bag full of silly Halloween party favors, candy, etc.
Watch Dr. Bonnie on San Antonio Living discuss a few simple DIY Halloween tricks:
Murder Mystery Party Choice for Halloween: