Tag Archives: Halloween party

The Creepy Tradition of Krampus, the Child-Stealer

Krampus has crept out of its origins and into the American popular imagination.

Lump of coal, move over: Krampus Day is one punishment you’ll grow to love.

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Missing Halloween? Don’t fret (and DEFINITELY don’t be bad): December 5 is the day Germany expects the demonic Krampus to visit hell on mischievous children everywhere.

Fun, Family, Food, Fear: Hurrah!

Give your child a cute toy and a kiss this Dec. 6. (Or chase her all over the place – it’s up to you.)

You heard that right. It’s not just a creepy movie or nouveau tale – the myth of Krampus goes back centuries.

And yes, kids do believe the beast-man is coming this December to either set kids straight, or take them back with him to the place of eternal nightmares.

Believe it or not, this is all celebrated in good fun. Costumes, games and as special winter carnival are all part of the Krampus tradition in parts of Europe.

Who Is Krampus?

Krampus was made popular by the 2015 movie, but the legend has

Horrific costumes and fab food are all part of the festival of krampuslauf.

been around for centuries. Central European tradition says that this beast is half-man, half-goat – and it comes every December 6 to stuff misbehaving children into his hideous hell-sack and spirit them away.

Once almost certainly used to keep kids in line, the myth of Krampus is big fun for young and old today. There are holiday cards, toys and even a Krampuslauf (or “Krampus Run”) with adults in costume chasing frightened kids through Alpine towns.

Ho, ho, ho….ly hell, we say. But for its eager annual participants, the day is big fun, with food, dancing, laughter, and of course, screams. (We’re all in for that last part!)

Coming to America

Krampus cards are ho-ho-horrific.

Though the Krampus movies didn’t earn much in the way of green, they did open this ages-old belief to a more Western imagination.

Looking to celebrate? Dress up in something scary (horns are a must), cook fun Bavarian foods, have some beer, and chase the kids everywhere while they shriek like crazy. (Don’t worry – you can pay for their therapy later.)

De-traumatize the little monsters just a bit with a light-hearted children’s Christmas movie afterward and hand out yummy treats.

And remember: be good! We don’t want to hear about how you got stolen away in the dead of night. That would mean you couldn’t come back to have frightening fun with us in October 2019!

 

 

“Little Halloween” is April 30! Host a Witch Party

 

Image credit: Modern Moments Designs

We know. 364 days is such a loooong time to wait for the next phantasmically fantastic Halloween.

We’re right there with you. That’s why we’re absolutely stoked about Walpurgisnacht.

German for “Walpurgis’ Night,” it’s named after St. Walpurgis and yeah, it’s a thing. Francian abbess Walpurga is said to have cured lung diseases, household pests, and believe it or not, even rabies.

She’s also said to have battled witchcraft.

And that’s where the fun comes in. For centuries, Northern and Eastern Europeans have celebrated the end of April each year with a feast in honor of the sainted abbess Walpurga. And they do it with a bang! Dressed in witch costumes, celebrants light bonfires, feast, and march through town in a sinister parade that’s all in magical good fun.

Here’s how to split up the long, hauntless year with something truly terrifying…and fantastically fun. Read on for your Walpurgisnacht party tips.

Invite Your Coven

There aren’t many (or possibly any…we haven’t dug any up so far) Walpurgisnacht party invitations. However, any of these written in creepy calligraphy will do:

  • Select tarot cards such as the Empress, the Magician, the Heirophant
    The Everyday Witch Tarot makes a deck of perfect party invites.

    and any of the four queens to represent magical, witchy personalities. Write the party information on the back of each card and send them out. Or try anything from a deck like the Everyday Witch Tarot – they’ll make amazing keepsakes.

  • Grab some black stationery and white ink and try your hand at calligraphy. Google for a crash course. Add some witch’s hats and spiderwebs along the border for flair.
  • If you’re able to hand-deliver party invitations to a close-knit group, write them in paint marker on witch’s hat headbands.
  • If you’d like, be a modern witch and send invites out via email or a party invitation service.

Dress the Part

  • Create your own witchy garb using any black, red or green clothing or material. A black or gem-colored dress for women or black shirt and black jeans for men are perfect. Witch things up with your splash of color as a cape.
  • Of course, you’ll want a hat. Hunt local consignment shops, since you’re buying off-season. For ultimate savings, ask a friend if she has an old costume hat, or if her daughter or son has one, and borrow. Your “thank you” is an invitation to the party.
  • Don’t have anything thrilling to wear? Spice up your look with mystery by using face and body glitter. This works for both men and women – go for it!
  • Try some sexy makeup. Here’s an awesome tutorial for some real witchy fun:

Deck the Haunted Halls

Credit: Pinterest, Catch My Party
  • Hang cobwebs. Everywhere. And we mean that.
  • Place candles around the party area and dim the lights. For safety, you may wish to use battery-operated flameless candles.
  • Drape a black or orange tablecloth over the main party table.
  • Place a decorated witch’s hat in the center as a centerpiece; cover it with glitter for extra glam.
  • Serve snacks out of plastic cauldrons from the dollar store; if you can’t find any at this time of year, check online for steals or dig through your garage for serving dishes from Halloweens past.
  • Drape black cloth scrap pieces over windows and mirrors. Pin back for creepy, witchy curtains.

Find Some Freaky Foods

Pinterest is your friend here! We found a freaky few; links are attached.

Crank Up Some Magical Tunes

Whip up your own magical playlist to set the mood. Need some ideas? Here are 40 of them! (We LOVE this playlist.)

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Now that you have all the ideas, go ahead and make your party magic. Remember: if you have an idea, send it to us. We may feature you in an upcoming article on halloweenalliance.com!

 

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Mummy Meatloaf

Meatloaf is delicious no matter how you slice it (see what we did there?). Add bacon and a sweet, tangy glaze and now it’s a monster of a meal!

This super-fun recipe is one the kids can help with and is simple to prepare, yet it makes a perfect, creepy centerpiece for your party table. Here’s how to make your own bacon-wrapped mummy meatloaf for your Halloween party table.

Ingredients:MEATLOAFmonster meatloaf raw

  • 2 lbs. ground beef OR 1 lb. ground beef + 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (reserve several slices for eyes & teeth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 4-6 slices bacon

GLAZE

  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 T. brown sugar barbecue sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together all Meat Loaf ingredients except for bacon. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Place loaf in baking pan and press into the shape of a face (with lower half narrower than upper half).
  4. Mix together Glaze ingredients. Pour over loaf and spread until evenly coated.
  5. Add onion slices for eyes and teeth.
  6. Wrap bacon across and around loaf as shown. If you wish, tuck the ends of the bacon underneath the loaf. We left a piece or two out so it would give a cool “unraveling” effect.
  7. Bake 60-75 minutes, until loaf has reached an internal temperature of 160F.
  8. Cool 20 minutes before serving.

mummy meat loaf

 
 

Secrets of a Great Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costume

Jealous of your friend down the street who always seems to come up with the most creative and unique Halloween costumes? Looking for the “wow” factor in your Halloween costume this year rather than going as the color green (again)?

If you’re ready to dive into the costume venture of your life and catapult yourself into fame and fortune with the best do-it-yourself Halloween costume in the world (or at least get a few compliments at the Halloween party), there are a few things to consider before you begin.

  1. Consider your audience. Will you be going to a costume party with some close friends, or just trick-or-treating door to door? Do you need to keep it kid-friendly? What are the interests of those around you? Going as the main character in your favorite show to a party where no one has seen it won’t earn you the recognition your efforts deserve. You can save yourself a little trouble by thinking about what your audience will appreciate.
  2. Seek inspiration from the world around you. Be observant as you walk around during the day and ask yourself, “How could I turn this into a costume?” as you look at everyday objects. Inspiration can strike at any time!
  3. Be prepared to put in some time and effort (and maybe a little money too). Even if your DIY costume ends up being relatively inexpensive and easy to put together, you’ll probably end up putting in some hours on this — if not on the actual costume assembly itself, at least in the thought and creative process.

Elements of an Awesome DIY Costume

So, now that you know a little better what you’re getting yourself into, let’s look at some of the characteristics of the most successful DIY costumes. The best DIY costumes are:

  • Creative: In order for your DIY costume to be a hit, you have to be unique in some way. I’m sorry, but the whole witch or black cat routine isn’t going to work here. Think outside the box. Or maybe think differently about the box—cardboard boxes make for some great costume possibilities. (Love Rubiks Cubes? Dress up as one!) Your costume has to be something people don’t see on every other street corner while they’re trick-or-treating in order for you to stand out from the ghoulish crowd.
  • Easily Identifiable: If you’re going for something a little off-the-wall, you have to make sure it’s still in the ballpark as far as recognition value goes. How will people recognize your genius if they don’t know what you’re supposed to be? The most effective DIY costumes are those that others can identify immediately or within a minute or two (for costumes that are more subtle in their meaning). “DIY” doesn’t have to mean “elaborate,” but the costume has to be faithful to what you’re trying to represent in order for people to recognize and appreciate your costume masterpiece.
  • Resourceful:It’s great if you have the money to rent a costume or buy all the expensive supplies for a detailed costume, but generally people appreciate the clever use of readily available resources. Paint and cardboard and a little ingenuity go a long way. How about a clear plastic garbage bag with some colored balloons? Voila! A bag of jellybeans! Use what you have on hand and get creative.

    DIY Halloween Costume King Kong
    Photo: Ericka McConnell/Halloween Celebrations
  • Timely: Capitalizing on current pop culture crazes or current events can score big laughs and lots of “That’s so cool!” comments and pictures with smartphones. For example, dressing up as the lady on the Progressive Insurance commercial has been popular these past few years.

Think of a Theme

Now that we’ve named some characteristics of great DIY costumes, let’s look at some of the categories that they seem to fall under to really get the creative juices going.

  • Technology: Some of the most brilliant/clever DIY costumes I’ve seen fall into this category. For example, what about being a Facebook wall or YouTube channel? You’ll get some comments for sure—especially if you have a marker handy for that purpose. If you have a little tyke in tow, why not outfit their car seat with this iPhone getup? iLove it.

    ipone baby costume
    Image credit: IngaMun on Flickr
  • Food:This category provides some great fodder for DIY costume ideas. I love this DIY deviled egg costume—a food and a pun all in one!

    food costumes deviled egg
    Image credit: txkimmers on Flickr
  • Everyday objects: Salt and pepper shakers are a little bit cliché, but it’s going down the right track. How about Pepsi and Coke cans? Or a washing machine with clothes inside?
  • Puns: Love wordplay? Transform it into a brilliant costume that will dazzle and amaze your friends. Or at least it will make them snicker. Hi-ho the dairy-o; what about the Farmer in the Dell?:

    farmer in the dell costume
    Image credit: Coolest-homemade-costumes.com

One of the greatest things about Halloween is that it provides so many opportunities to be creative, even for the normally non-creative types. So don’t delay—get out there and make yourself a Halloween costume to remember.

About the Author

Emma Rae Curtis researches and writes about everything Halloween, from costumes, to party ideas, to makeup and more.

Healthy Halloween Treats – It Doesn’t Have To Be Candy To Be Delicious

If buckets full of candy at Halloween leave you shuddering and your dentist rubbing his hands in glee, then you need to get into healthy Halloween treats for your kids. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s tasteless or that your neighbourhood kids will shun your home during ‘Trick or Treat’. Healthy eating and healthy treats can be just as much fun as store bought candy, as well as being a lot easier on your pocket and your health.

These treats are great for a Halloween party you are hosting, for a school snack, or to give out to the kids and their parents you know (give packaged goodies to trick or treaters you aren’t familiar with.)

Yummy Mini Pizza Mummies

mummy pizza

Image Credit

Pizza is always a treat, and you can make mini pizzas that are healthy and look scarily like the head of a mummy. Spoon a small amount pizza sauce onto small rounds of pizza dough and use small olive slices to make the eyes. The mummification of the mini pizza comes in the careful placement of cheese strips across the ‘face’ to resemble the mummy wrapping. You can make up a tray of Pizza Mummies and bake them in an oven at 350ºF for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is all melted.

The great thing about making healthy treats is that your kids can help you in the kitchen and your Halloween festivities can turn into a fun filled afternoon of cooking with Mom.

Frightening Freaky Cheese Fingers

monster fingers

Image Credit

A real spooky treat that children will gobble up in seconds. Using a white cheese like Mozzarella is perfect for this Halloween treat. Cut finger sized sections of Mozzarella cheese and carefully carve out the lines to represent the joints below the nail and the first knuckle. An adult should always perform this task, as you’ll want to use a sharp paring knife to get the best effect. Cut a small ‘finger nail’ out of a green pepper and use a dab of cream cheese to stick it onto your cheese finger. Absolutely a smash hit with kids and the only drawback is you’ll probably run out of them quickly!

The Phantom Toast

This is probably the simplest healthy Halloween treat ever. You can’t have a Halloween party without ghosts, or in this case toasts! Simply toast some bread and cut out a ghost shape when it is cool. Lather on some cream cheese and add a couple of olive sections for the oval mouth and scary eyes. Kids love working on this one as much as they love eating their ghost shapes.

‘Dem Bones, ‘Dem Bones…

gingerbread bones

Image Credit

If you’re looking for sweet treats that are still healthy, and want to avoid cake and other candy, then why not meet in the middle with Skeleton Gingerbread. You can buy gingerbread cookie dough or even ask your bakery to create you a batch of gingerbread shapes without any decoration on them. When you get them home, you can use white icing or frosting and then pipe a skeleton onto the gingerbread for a sweet but relatively healthy treat.

Caring for your children means watching what they eat all of the time. You can create wonderful healthy treats for any holiday celebration. Getting your kids involved in the kitchen with you means so much more than a quick trip to the candy store to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Using Scary Halloween Sounds, Inside And Out

 

Halloween is a scintilatingly spooky time for young and old alike. Whether you go trick or treating, host a costume party or just decorate for friends and neighbors to see, everyone loves to get in on the festivities.

And one way of really amping the holiday atmosphere is with music and with frightening, classic sound effects.

Choosing the right music for your festivities is easy and fun. Here’s how to get that haunting atmosphere – and get those screams!

Children’s Parties

For a child’s costume party, you don’t want it to be too scary. Depending on the ages of the kids, choose music that will make it very definitely Halloween-ish, but still fun.

“The Monster Mash” has always been a big hit with the kids. So are funny tunes like “Purple People Eater” and classics such as “Ghostbusters.”

For sound effects, use soundtracks of different scary noises such as witches cackling or bubbling cauldrons. Even the sound of the wind blowing and creaking doors is enough to make the little ones get goose bumps.

Adult Parties

Halloween Party by RaviN
Halloween Party by RaviN/Flickr

For an adult party you can go for a much bigger “creepy” factor. For instance, if you have an organ in your house or a piano that could use some tuning, put it in a secluded spot and have someone play strange music very loudly.

You can also use recorded CDs. Have them playing throughout the party. How about an adult-scale Halloween music mix? Or truly chilling sound effects?

You can get some friends in on the sound effect action, too. Have people hide throughout the house and occasionally let out a blood curdling scream. They can also be outside the house by a partially opened window, or behind trees to scare people as they approach.

For party music, try a compilation that includes “Dragula,” “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and other rock classics.

Outside The House


Scary house, by Ali West/Flickr

Perhaps you want to have a haunted walk. It’s easier than you think – it all starts with the perfect setting.

Whether there are lots of trees to walk through, or a deserted path, make sure the sounds are there. An owl hooting, yowling cats, and don’t forget the chainsaw. And of course, nothing makes your hair stand on end like being alone in the dark and hearing a chainsaw start up behind you.

Creepy laughter is always good in this setting as well. Ghosts moaning and the howling of wolves will keep you watching your back.

Set up speakers throughout the yard if you have a walkway where people walk to your house. This can be done for trick or treaters as well. It makes the advance to your door much spookier.

Sometimes the unexpected can be scarier than playing what your guests expect. For instance, a solemn flute player slowly playing a dirge on the flute, or maybe a record that just keeps skipping and skipping. The footsteps of someone running through the woods screaming and out of breath will make anyone move a little faster toward safety.

The options are endless to how you can incorporate the perfect music into your setting. Just look around you and think what would make it super scary to YOU, then have fun with it.

Jonathan McDonald is a choir director and loves to write content for holiday sites. He recommends www.christmassongs.org as a great reference for all Christmas song lyrics, including funny Christmas songs.

Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes

Time’s ticking! Need to scare up cheap and easy Halloween costumes fast!?

Never fear! Fast, inexpensive Halloween costumes are hiding in your closet right now. Here are a few favorite easy Halloween costume ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Mummy: Wrap up your costume in a flash. Use gauze, a white sheet fabric torn into strips, or toilet tissue (if you’re really in a pinch). This costume may require an assistant. Cover every part of the body from head to foot. But do make sure your mummy can see through their bandages.

Ghost: This age-old costume is a classic. All you need is an old white sheet with holes cut out for the eyes. To further dress it up, plastic chains (purchased at Lowe’s or another hardware store) give an authentic lost-soul look.

Witch: Good witch or bad witch, the choice is yours. Witch costumes are incredibly easy Halloween costumes. Almost every girl has a black dress. And any black dress will do. You can create a cone shaped hat with fabric or construction paper. They’re also readily available for purchase and usually very inexpensive. The witch’s hat is the most convincing part of the costume!

Bad witches might want to break out the green eye shadow to create the typical evil green face of a witch. Good witches might prefer sparkles. You’ll need a broom, and possibly a cat, as accessories.

TV Personality or Reality Star: These are easy costumes for adults with a sense of humor. You need not dress as an actual reality star. You can make up your own name and back-story. But with so many crazy personalities out there, an actual star is fun too. Be sure to wear a name tag.

Reality stars generally love flashy things, so break out and scour through every name-brand in your closet. If your items still have the price tags on them even better (don’t take them off).

Accessories for this costume would include: A bottle of champagne, a Rolex watch, the zirconium or glass equivalent of 5-carat plus diamonds, 4-inch stilettos, false eyelashes, fake tattoos, and a huge ego.

Roman God/Goddess: Perhaps one of the easiest costumes ever is the Roman God or Goddess. You’ll need a white bed sheet that you can tie into a toga. An extra piece of purple, red or gold fabric draped over one shoulder is a nice addition (but optional).

A crown made of grape or laurel leaves is a must. You can create this from fake or real leaves and spray it gold or leave it natural. Braided hair and hair worn in an up-do is perfect for girls. Guys can comb their hair (provided they have hair) forward for the Cesar effect.

easy pirate costumeZombie: Raid your closet for old work clothes with holes already in them because you’ll want to make more rips and tears before it’s over. Zombies are the living dead, so play up the makeup. Dark makeup around the eyes and very pale skin are hallmark. Evidence of the fatal injury is also a good way to use makeup. Red lipstick can mimic the look of blood.

Priest: This Halloween costume is simpler than you might think. A black pair of pants and black shirt are the foundation. Next, use a white piece of fabric to create a collar that can be fastened over the shirt collar. A rosary or cross is the perfect accessory. If you don’t have one, make one. Borrow a necklace (beaded is best) and add a cross made from found sticks.

Pirate: Pirate costumes are great for both guys and girls. The primary part of every pirate costume is a frilly white shirt (guys may have to borrow this from a female in the house). Next, a pair of pants that are either black, brown, or if you’ve got them, black and white stripped are great for men or boys. Women and girls will look authentic in a long black or solid colored shirt.

Accessories make a big difference when it comes to pirates. Bandanas on the head work for both guys and girls. Scarves or sashes tied around the waist also work for both genders. Both boys and girls pull off the look with black eyeliner. Other additions include: a parrot, a gold hoop earring, a sword, a gold tooth, and rustic necklaces or jewelry.

A pirate booty bag attached to a waist sash or carried in the hand is the perfect accessory for the little one to carry their candy loot!

Baby: This is so easy, even a baby could do it! Just wear your pajamas. If you can conjure up some guts, make a towel or sheet into an oversized diaper.

A baby bottle, pacifier around the neck, bonnet, or hair in pigtails complete this funny Halloween costume.

Hillbilly or Hobo: Even if you don’t have a banjo, you can still dress as a hillbilly (no offensive to banjo players – I love the banjo!)

Most hobos and hillbillies that I’ve encountered have a limited number of teeth (so black out a few), dress in oversized overalls complete with patches and flannel shirts.

Wear boots if you have them and tuck your jeans or overalls into them. A straw hat is another good choice.

Hobos and hillbillies often have a long piece of straw or wheat hanging from their mouth as an accessory. If you want to be a scary hillbilly carry a fake axe or shotgun, but if you don’t have one of those in your closet, carry a sack of goods bunched up in a bandana and attached to a large stick (of the backyard variety).

You’ll find more ideas for inexpensive Halloween party themes and cheap Halloween costumes here.

By Jennifer Scheffel (themed-party-ideas.com)

The Terrible Chase Zombie Game!

Looking for a zombie game? Here’s how to have a Zombie Chase at Your Halloween Party!

This zombie game is no ordinary race, because everyone knows that zombies carry a deadly zombie virus. If you’re attacked, you will become a zombie. That mere scientific fact makes this a race for your life.

Both teens and adults will agree: this zombie race game is to die for. But beware: death is only temporary in this freaky and fun romp, so watch out!

It takes a little preparation to create a frightfully good chase, but don’t let that scare you. It’s well worth it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • To distinguish whether guests are zombies or humans, have one group wear green ribbons and another wear orange ribbons. Attach with safety pins. Or get elaborate with green T-shirts or a mask for each zombie. TIP: If using masks, try a half-mask so all players have the same visibility.

Halloween Zombie Chase Game

  • “Checkpoint Flags” (simple colored strips of construction paper will do).

 

  • Space to have a race course such as a large back yard or neighborhood block.

 

  • A facilitator: someone to hand out ribbons, masks or T-shirts and tell humans and zombies when they can start.

 

  • A map if the course if very involved.

The zombie chase is a race from a start line to a finish line.

Start with four humans to every one zombie. You’ll determine who will play which by a draw. Make it fun: for example, if you’re using the ribbons method, place four orange ribbons to every green ribbon in a bowl and have participants grab (and cross their fingers).

Ready? It’s on! The object of the chase is for humans to make it from the start line to the finish line, gathering all the checkpoint flags along the way, without getting tagged by a zombie.

Checkpoints are set throughout the race (see illustration for an example). Humans must visit each checkpoint to gather a colored flag (construction paper is fine, but you could also use cloth).

Each checkpoint should have a different colored flag. The checkpoints are safe zones where zombies cannot attack humans (“Base”…or you can always call it Woodbury).

Once a human has been tagged by a zombie, the virus acts fast. The zombie who tags the human gives the new zombie either a T-shirt or ribbon. This new zombie’s mission becomes infecting more humans.

All humans get a short head start (even just a few seconds). The amount of time for the head start is determined by the length of your race. The longer the race course, the more fun it will be.

The first human to make it to the finish line with all of his or her checkpoint flags wins. The zombie wins if all humans become infected!

Enjoy – and watch your step!

By Jennifer Scheffel of themed-party-ideas.com

Hanging Halloween Votive Holders

Dripping with ghoulish slime, these votive holders add spook to any Halloween setting. Hang from porch rafters or in tree branches in the front yard to help cast a creepy light over trick-or-treaters and party-goers.

Look for inexpensive globe light covers at charity shops and home improvement resale stores like the Habitat Re-store,  or at your local hardware store.

You’ll Need:

  • Rimmed glass jar or globe covers (replacement covers for porch lamps)
  • Green or black glass paint
  • 12 gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Votive candles

Halloween Votive Holders Halloween Votive Holders

  1. Cut three lengths of wire for each votive to the length you require for hanging, around two feet is ideal. Using the needle nose pliers, form a small hook at the end of each piece.
  2. Cut a fourth piece of wire long enough to wrap twice around the neck of the glass globe. Wrap once around the neck, inserting each of the hooked ends of the hanging wires so that they are evenly spaced around the neck. Wrap the wire a second time and twist the ends to secure in place.
  3. Twist the tops of the hanging wires together and then form into a larger hook for hanging.
  4. Pour a generous amount of glass paint along the top rim of the cover, making sure it coats the whole of the rim. Continue to apply paint so that it drips down the inside of the globe in globby streaks.
  5. Hang the glass in a warm place to dry.
  6. Once dry, insert a votive candle into the bottom of each globe, light and hang in place.

Halloween Votive Holders

10 Great Themes for Your Halloween Party

1. Harry Potter Party

Enjoy this Halloween by dressing up as characters from the Harry Potter series! Deck your house out in Hogwarts type décor such as medieval style cutlery, plates and pick your favorite Hogwart’s House to help create a color theme for your party.

Example: Green and Silver for Slytherin House, Red and Gold for Gryfindor House, Blue and Bronze for Ravenclaw House and Yellow and Black for Huffelpuff House. This would make a great theme for kids or Harry Potter fans!

2. True Blood Bash

Have a bloody, sexy bash this Hallow’s Eve by having all of your guests come as the cast of True Blood. Make sure you get your staple characters: Eric Northman, Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton, Lafayette, Tara and Sam Merlott.

This is more a theme for adults, especially considering the content of the show itself (*clearing throat*). If your guests are over 21, feel free to serve deliciously bloody cocktails and serve Louisiana cuisine. You could also have a dual theme with faeries and vampires if you want to stir things up. This could broaden food and drink options. Whatever you do, enjoy and don’t drink and drive!

Twilight Theme Party

3. Twilight Party:

If you’re a big fan of the Twilight saga, having a Twilight themed party may be the way to go. Dress up as Bella, Edward, Jacob and others this Halloween and serve saga inspired food and drink. Imagine a Bella Bloody Mary! If possible, consider having your party outside near some greenery to get the Forks, WA atmosphere. This party theme is suitable for all ages.

4. Underworld Themed Party

Deck yourself and your guests out in leather and boots. Come equipped with fake weapons as Selene, Kraven, Lucian or Michael Corvinus. Silver and blue make a great color scheme for this! If possible, hold this party in a mansion or large house and dim the lights for that otherworldly effect.

5. Ferngully Fairy Dinner Party

Dress up in earth-friendly clothing and serve all raw foods and organics! Fruity cocktails and vegan or vegetarian foods. This is a great idea for people who are vegan or vegetarian and want to enjoy the evening in spite of a sometimes limited or strict lifestyle. Decorate your home in paper lanterns or hang up some string lights. Eat your delicious treats and drink on soft cushions or set up a picnic in the backyard.

A bonus environmental theme party would, of course, be Avatar. Check out a great Avatar theme party setup here.

6. Zombie Party

Turn your house into Zombie land, literally! Dress up as your favorite celebrity, historical figure or yourself, zombified. Serve decaying flesh (Spaghetti or Lasagna), a banana brain cake for desert, and Zombie cocktails!

masquerade Halloween party

7. Mysterious Masquerade Ball

Dress up in your finest on this special evening formal wear and match it with a Venetian mask! Cater for a high class meal and uptown cocktails. If you can, opt for renting out a banquet hall and orchestra for traditional waltzes and ballads. Also, check out a Phantom of the Opera theme party.

8. Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Are you an Alice in Wonderland fan? Love the Mad Hatter or Queen of Hearts? Have a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party complete with traditional tea wares, tea cakes, tailcoats and pinafores! Hang pastel paper lanterns and enjoy your party in the backyard on a picnic table with a blue picnic table. Whatever you do, be sure to serve a Un-Birthday Cake!

sparta 300 party9. We Are Sparta!

Enjoy a more traditional party theme and dress up as Greek Gods & Goddesses or the cast of Sparta. Drink wine, cheese and bread and rare luncheon meats. Enjoy them with blue and silver or red and gold theme décor. Have the movie 300 playing in the background.

10. Comics & Superheroes Party

Pick your favorite comic book character or super hero and decorate your house or a banquet hall in bright comic style colors! Theme your drinks to give your specific super hero abilities! Serve up some kryptonite for your enemies!

10 Creepy Cocktails for your Halloween Party

These Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Drinks are Killer

Thanks to our guest contributor for these fab recipes!

This Halloween is approaching quickly and like many, I love to dress up and either attend a party or host one of my own. Many ideas come to mind about what my costume will be, how to decorate my home and most importantly, what drinks to serve!

Although at best I can only be considered a social drinker, I love to enjoy thirst-quenching themed cocktails, non-alcoholic and alcoholic, on my most favorite holiday of the year. It’s for this very reason that I have collected a great list of my favorite drinks that can be enjoyed by anyone over 21 and some that may be enjoyed by all.

Although the directions and ingredients are listed, feel free to get creative and garnish your drinks with the ultimate complements: Gooey Flavored Eyeballs, Vampire Jelly Teeth, Flavored Slime, Etc.

For added fun, use a Halloween-themed cocktail shaker (Amazon has some cool choices). Leave the shaker out where guests can see; it’s one more thing to add to the spooky ambiance.skull cocktail shaker

Scream Soda (Alcoholic)

This alcoholic cocktail will make you scream in delight! A nice amber colored drink filled with dark, mysterious spirits is perfect for your breaks in between dancing to the Monster Mash!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Oz. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 5 Oz. Lemon Lime Soda

Directions: Combine all ingredients with ice into a tall glass and stir until mixed thoroughly. Garnish with small pieces of lemon and lime.

*Any lemon lime soda is fine; 7Up, Sprite or Sierra Mist work well or their Diet counterparts work well as a lower calorie alternative!

The Black Widow (Alcoholic)

Are you newly single due to the “untimely” death of your significant other? Was your lover tragically murdered? Are you dressed to kill? If so, this is the perfect cocktail for you! This is a great cocktail for all those who are murderously marvelous and looking for an extra stiff drink.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Oz. Blavod Black Vodka, Chilled
  • 3 Oz. Chilled Cranberry Juice

Directions: Fill a small martini glass (or your glass of choice) with ice. Pour the Cranberry Juice over the ice. Gently lay the Black Vodka over the juice. Serve.

*Garnish with marschino cherries soaked in corn syrup (simple syrup/agave nectar syrup are healthier alternatives) with red food coloring.

Swamp Water (Alcoholic)

Have you ever been lost in the swamp and coerced by faeries to drink the swamp water? Next thing you know, you and your friends wake up 3 days later underground, covered in vines and no recollection of how you got there? If you want a uniquely flavored drink that promises to take you up the beanstock and into a Grimm Faery Tale, this is the drink that will make it happen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Oz. Spiced Rum
  • 10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lime
  • 2 Oz. Club Soda
  • Splash of your choice of Dark Cola

Directions: In a your glass of choice, combine the lime juice, mint and sugar. Smash together to bring out the mint’s juice and break up the leaves. Add ice to your glass, then pour the rum over the ice.Add club soda and cola to give it that slimey swamp flavor!

* Feel free to add your choice of Ghoulish Garnish such as Blackberries or whatever you like.

The Ghost (Alcoholic)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Oz. Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka
  • 1/4 Oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1/4 Oz. Half & Half
  • 1/4 Oz. Simple Syrup

Directions: Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake until mixed thoroughly and strain into your choice of glass.

* For extra fun, add white chocolate garnish to the rim of the glass and freeze your glass of choice to get the steamy, foggy effect.

Zombie Punch Bowl (Alcoholic)

Zombie punch is just like any average, everyday viral infection and it’s ready to turn all unsuspecting victims into flesh-eating zombies! Bring out your primal instincts this Halloween with Zombie Punch!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Fifths Dark Rum
  • 2 Fifths Light Rum
  • 1 Fifth Bacardi 151 Rum
  • 2 Pints Triple Sec
  • 3 Quarts Lemon Juice
  • 1 Quart Grenadine

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl or pitcher with ice. Let chill for an hour in a refrigerator without ice or out with ice. Make approximately 80 Servings.

Vampiro (Alcoholic)

The ultimate refreshment for any immortal creature of the night. No need to breathe, just down this drink to revitalize your energy and enliven your supernatural senses once again!

Ingredients:

Syrup:

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 2 Inch slice of Ginger, unpeeled

Cocktail:

  • 4 Cups White Tequila
  • 2 Cups Lime Juice, Strained
  • 1 Cup Triple Sec
  • Cubes of Ice, As needed or desired
  • Thin sliced Lime to be used as garnish

Directions:

For the Syrup: Bring all syrup ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Strain and refrigerate til chilled.

For the Cocktail: Combine the Tequila, 2 Cups Hibiscus Syrup, & Triple Sec in a pitcher. May be refrigerated a day ahead of time, then served the next day.

To Serve: Fill a shaker with ice and add vampiro cocktail as desired. Shake well. Strain and serve straight up or with ice and lime garnish.

Alice in Nightmareland Drink (Alcoholic)

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to take a trip down the rabbit hole? Have a delightful tea party with the one and only Mad Hatter? Now you can, with a dark twist! Experience the night life of Wonderland with this curious and curiouser cocktail!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Part Blue Curacao
  • 1 Part Jagermeister
  • 1 Part Kahlua

Directions: Pour all ingredients over ice or into a shot glass.

Ghoulish Graveyard Punch (Non-Alcoholic)

Want to call spirits and ghouls to party with you and your kids on Hallow’s Eve? If not, you can still enjoy this delightfully green spritzer while watching scary horror flicks or hosting a family Halloween party! Whatever you do, this will be a ghoulishly great addition to your night!

Ingredients:

  • Lime Slices
  • 1 Liter of Lemon Lime Soda
  • 5 Tablespoons of Lime Grenadine

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a pitcher  and serve over ice in single glasses or place all ingredients in a punch bowl for self serving.

Harry Potter Butterbeer (Non-Alcoholic)

I don’t know about you, but I am HUGE fan of Harry Potter! Millions of kids around are all big fans and with good reason. As a complement to any Harry Potter theme costumes or parties, this drink is sure to be a big hit! If nothing else, it tastes delicious and will bring a smile to any child’s face at the magic involved in this Harry Potter Butterbeer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pint Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Butterscotch Extract
  • 1/4  Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Quart Apple Cider
  • Apple Slices (Optional)

Directions: Beat together ice cream, butterscotch extract, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon with a mixer until well distributed. Pour into a container and freeze. When ice cream mixture has refrozen, heat apple cider in a pan until steaming hot. Put one-three scoops of ice cream mix into a tall glass. Pour hot cider over ice cream mix and add apples if desired.

Alienade Drink (Non-Alcoholic)

This drink is out of your world! Literally. Made for humans and extraterrestrials alike and encompasses the greatest tastes in the milky way!

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-12 Oz. Glass of Lemonade
  • One Drop Blue Food Coloring
  • One Drop Green Food Coloring
  • Ice Cubes, as needed

Directions: Add ice cubes to a glass and pour desired lemonade into glass. Add one drop of Blue food coloring and one drop of Green food Coloring. Stir to distribute color. Enjoy!

Make Fake Blood (+ Brains and Pus!) in Minutes

Credit: Pinterest, CraftersExChange

Fake blood works great to decorate your haunted house, your Halloween party or even as a game of Dunk Tank (replace water with blood). Every great Halloween setup gets even spookier with a little faux blood tossed around.

Use this non-toxic recipe to make blood, pus (eew!) and more this Halloween. Here’s how to get started.

Step 1:  Prepare Your Ingredients

You will need:

  • 1 c. corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. tap water
  • Food coloring (4 drops +/- as needed)
  • A sprinkling of cornstarch

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

Credit: ourpastimes.com

Mix the corn syrup, water and food coloring together to create that icky, semi-coagulated consistency you want. (Rubbing hands together with glee…) It’s the cornstarch that gives a “clotted” look, so start off with a minimal amount and add more until you have it just the way you want it.

If you would like to make more blood simple double the ingredients. Example: 1 cup corn syrup to 2 cups corn syrup and ½ cup water to 1 cup water plus corn starch to your desired consistency will do the trick.

Step 3: Enjoy and Have a Very Bloody Halloween!

If prepared under clean conditions, this concoction should be safe to ingest (though precautionary measures mean we can’t technically recommend that). Drip your “blood” onto decor (see below) or splatter it on the walls of your walk-through to terrify visitors. Enjoy!

Make fake blood for Halloween

Other Slimy, Gooey Gross Decorations

Fake pus gooey liquid for HalloweenTo Make Pus:

You will need white hand lotion and water. Mix just a little water into the lotion to make the lotion runny. Add 1-2 drops of yellow or blue + green food coloring and stir well to give a particular sickly look.

DO NOT INGEST.

Uses: This is a great option for those of you who will be zombies, aliens or deranged hospital escapees this Halloween. Add your basic makeup first, then drip the “pus” over your made-up look.

To Make Slime:

Mix water, 1/2 c. white hand lotion and 1/2 tsp. lime gelatin powder together. Stir very well. Add cornstarch to get a more opaque look. Refrigerate to get a more solid slimy consistency.

Add 1-3 drops of green food coloring if you want a really deep green look.

DO NOT INGEST.

Uses: This is another good option for Zombie costumes and Alien costumes or for haunted houses featuring these creepy themes.

To Make a Bloody Skull

Credit: Pinterest, My Customize

First, you will need to purchase a novelty skull. If you can’t find one at your local dollar store just yet, try online.

Make cherry or strawberry gelatin according to package directions. Cool slightly but not until it has thoroughly solidified. Mix in some corn syrup. Refrigerate for allotted time on package. For a deeper red, add a few drops of red food coloring before refrigerating.

Once solidified, push pieces of the red gelatin onto the skull. Hang the skull in your haunt and watch as the gelatin slowly melts and slides down the skull.

If you’d rather, you can use the basic blood recipe instead and drip this over your spooky skulls.

Again, DO NOT INGEST.

Uses: This is a great decoration for any haunted house or outside decorations for your home. Just beware the mess! Don’t hang it over your furniture or anything else that may stain.

Brain Mold:

You will need to purchase a brain cake/pie/gelatin mold. Depending on the colors you want, mix those gelatin flavors together.

Example: If you want a green and purple zombie brain, add green food coloring and mix blue and red food coloring into the gelatin mix.

Prepare gelatin per directions. Refrigerate. Pop out of mold once it’s done and place on a creepy serving platter.

If you want a more string-like look, add cooked spaghetti noodles and add to your gelatin mix with the mix prepared and just slightly cooled, then refrigerate. Add pasta sauce to the noodles for bloody brains.

Note: You may also use this as a cake mold or meat mold (meatloaf). Both work wonderfully for deliciously gross fun!

Uses: A great centerpiece for any Halloween party, a delicious treat for the kids or a great decoration for your Haunted House or walk-through.

Oh yes, and it’s great to eat, especially if you’re a zombie!

Brain mold for Halloween

Halloween Bar Essentials

If you’re hosting a Halloween Party for the over 21 crowd, a bar is a must, and with a few tweeks to your regular drinks cart, you can be Halloween ready before the first cork is popped.

While spooky, creepy and downright frightening cocktails are always fun to concoct, basic bar essentials can also have that Halloween vibe. Try these quick ideas to make your bar spooktactular this year!

Spiderweb Wine Glasses

Add some temporary spook to your every day wine glasses by making your own glass clings. Draw spider webs with glossy puff paint onto plastic page separators and allow them to dry completely. Once dry, these webs will easily peel off and cling to both plastic and glass wine glasses, high balls and shot glasses. After the party, simply peel off and toss, or store back on a page protector for next year.

Eye Ball Ice Cubes

macheesmo.com
macheesmo.com

The perfect addition to your Halloween martinis, these ice cubes can be made by popping pimento stuffed olives into your regular ice cube tray, covering with water and freezing. Pile your eyeball ice into a bowl on the bar – part drink ingredient, part decoration!

Blood Rimmed Glasses

This looks especially bloodcurdling on martini glasses but can be used for any style of glass. Mix a few drops of red food coloring into light corn syrup and pour onto a plate. Twist the rim of an inverted glass slowly on the plate before pulling up and letting most of the excess drip off. Flip the glasses right side up and let the “blood” dribble slightly down the side of the glass.

halloween bar EssentialsHalloween Wine Bottle Labels

This subtle but fun addition to your bar will have your guests doing a double take. Type up a few ghoulish labels on your computer and print to size on antiqued or good quality paper. Use a glue stick to adhere right over the existing wine bottle label and line them up on your bar.

Silhouette Party Invitations

 

The following is a guest submission that’s eerily beautiful. Create your own spooky silhouettes with the instructions below.

Silhouettes have the uncanny ability to be classic and elegant or creepy and dark, depending on the subject matter and the skill of the artist.

What’s so cool about Halloween silhouettes is that they can be both creepy and classic at the same time. This makes them the perfect centerpiece for an elegant Halloween invitation!

While silhouette clipart is can be purchased on disk or for download, creating your own silhouettes is surprisingly easy. All you need is a digital camera and photo editing software.

Getting Started

For an invitation, tall and narrow silhouettes work best, but don’t stop short at faces in profile. Look around your house and yard for images that would suit a silhouette. A leafless tree or a side shot of your porch, a witches hat hanging on a coat hook.

Import your photo into your photo editing software and use the magnetic lasso tool to select only the parts of the photo you want to remove from your silhouette.

Be sure to keep in as much detail as possible, crooked little branches and curvy doorknobs add interest and depth to your finished image.  Delete the background from your photo and use your paint bucket tool to turn the remaining parts black.

dark and stormy tree
The dark and stormy tree
Select areas of the background with the Lasso or Magic Wand tool
Delete the selected background
Finish everything up

Once you have a basic silhouette, it’s time to add it to your invitation. Decide on the finished size of your card and size the silhouette to fit. Most silhouettes will look best if the bottom of the image extends to the very edge of the card.

Add your party information using the text tool, centering it in the remaining space on your card.

Done! Wait for that flood of RSVPs, and you have a party waiting to happen!

silhouette Halloween party invitation

Halloween party invitation

Should You Have Your Halloween Party Catered?

 

Image credit: catchmyparty.com

The following inspiration was shared by guest contributor Liz Trementozzi. Thanks, Liz!

Halloween parties are always fun events to attend.  With everyone dressed up in various costumes and makeup, it can be a wild ride even for the more timid among us.

But beyond all the trick-or-treating, costumes, and decorations lies an important aspect of your event: the food and who will provide it.

Choosing to hire a caterer can be an intimidating process for those who are not familiar with the process.  It is always best to do as much research as possible before signing any contracts.  In fact, the more caterers you interview, the more informed you naturally will become.

There are two main advantages to hiring a caterer:

Saves Time

Credit: thehouseofsmiths.com

If you know you have your hands full, and are confident you do not have the time to prepare all the food yourself, then a catering company can help.

Your caterer will give you various options for what kind of foods you want to be served.  All you have to do is select what you want and they take care of the rest.  This greatly reduces anxiety and stress as the pressure is off of you and placed instead on the company you are hiring.

Quality of Food

Assuming the caterer has a positive reputation, you can rest assured at the quality of the food which will be delivered.  For example, many of their featured foods they have made many times before.  These are professionals who know how to get a job done.

However, there is one main disadvantage: cost.

For those who rarely entertain and rejoice at the idea of handing the responsibility to a company, this may not be a road block, but for those who often do their own entertaining, it can be hard to give the job to someone else.

It is easy to save money by providing the food yourself – if you have the right know how and tools.  For example, some people who entertain frequently will buy many of their foods such as meat, in bulk.  They then cut the meat into smaller portions and freeze.  When party time comes, they pull out only what they need.

They also have specific equipment which makes entertaining easier by investing in heavy duty appliances such as home food slicers, or meat grinders.   A food slicer can be used to slice slabs of meat (and other foods) into deli thin slices perfect for sub sandwiches or for deli roll ups.  A kitchen meat grinder can be used to grind large amounts of solid meat chunks for making meatloaf, meatballs or fresh hamburgers.

By purchasing in bulk and with a decent amount of pre-planning, those who fit this level of party enthusiast will undoubtedly save themselves the cost of hiring another company to do what they can very well do themselves.

Therefore, it really depends on where you feel comfortable, and what your priorities are.

Going the Catering Route

If you do choose to work with a caterer, here are some questions you can ask yourself which will help in the planning process.

Credit: http://blog.hwtm.com

1. What style of food presentation do you want to have?

Do you want to prepare an entire event with appetizers, a main dish and then dessert?  Or do you prefer to offer a number of various smaller entrees and finger food?  Perhaps your setting would be better with a nice variety of  desserts.

2. What is the size of your party?

For smaller crowds, a full meal may be a nice choice if you plan on hosting the event yourself.  But for larger crowds where guests will be mingling around showing off their costumes, a more relaxed buffet style meal might be appropriate.

A caterer may have different methods for charging for their services.  They may charge per plate, or per food item – make sure to ask.

3. Do they provide their own servers?  And is this required?

Some caterers will be happy to simply prepare and deliver the food, rather than hassling with finding servers.  On the other hand, if the party is a large formal event, the option to hire some servers may be the more logical decision.

4. Does the caterer offer special food items specific for your event, in this case Halloween?

If they do not, they may be excited at the opportunity to try something new and creative.  This also gives them the ability to add this “new” menu item to their list of experiences.

If they do agree to create a new menu item, make sure to arrange a tasting so you can taste a sampling prior to the party – at least a few weeks so if any alterations are to be made, they have the time to do so.

If they do not make special customizations, request that you have permission to provide some of your own theme specific foods such as cookies, cupcakes, etc…

5. Do they provide chairs?

This is important because it may not cost much to have the caterer bring an extra 10 or 20 folding chairs for your guests.  It is always a good idea to have ample seating at your party.

If concerned you will have too many empty chairs, then simply store some of the chairs in a spare room, and pull them out when needed.

6. Who does cleanup?

In other words, will the caterer be in charge of taking out the trash, cleaning up dirty plates, vacuuming etc, or are you expected to do this yourself?  There may be extra charges for this too, so make sure to ask.

By taking into account these various considerations, you will be closer to making a decision if hiring a caterer for your Halloween party is appropriate – and if so – determining how involved the caterer will be.

Never be afraid to discuss your questions, concerns or thoughts with your caterer.  If they are unwilling to work together, take the time to take a step back and shop around.  It could be the difference between a stressful event and a stress-free event!

This article was contributed by simpleitaliancooking.com, a website devoted to Italian food recipes and kitchenware reviews.

Halloween Game Idea – Ghost Hunting!

 

We welcome guest contributions and are pleased to share this game idea. Scare up some fun this Halloween with Ghost Hunting!

As a youngster, I participated in a cool game that I just KNOW would make a great addition to any party, kids or adults – so I’ve decided to share it!

It’s goofy enough to get in some good laughs, and kids will go wild with fun with this awesome idea. I call the game Ghost Hunting, and it involves you, a ghost, and some stomping just for good measure.

On spooky, creepy Halloween night, it’s just you and your ghostly ally against the rest! For best results, have at least five players. The more the merrier!

What You’ll Need

  • String
  • Black marker
  • Glow stick bracelets or necklaces
  • Glow-in-the-dark balloons/white balloons and a black light

How to Play

  1. Each player grabs a balloon and blows it up.
  2. Next, draw the creepiest ghoul face you can muster. The scarier the face, the more likely your opponents will wet themselves, and therefore give you more time for stomping! Also, don’t forget to name him. Something not too out of the ordinary…Dexter, William, Casper, anything you wish.
  3. If by any chance your little friend should fall due to the enemy during combat, you are obligated to call out your ghost’s name and ask why. I shall demonstrate for you… “POP!! No, Dexterrrrrrrrr!Whyyyyyyyyy???!!!!”
  4. Next, tie your scary teammate to your ankle. Don’t have too much string between the two of you, or he will be near impossible to defend. However, you don’t want him right on your heal either, unless you like bleeding heals 🙂
  5. Finally, throw on some glow sticks to avoid crashing into each other, and hit the lights! If using a black light to make the white balloons glow, turn that one on now. If you start feeling something touching you but don’t see any glow sticks nearby, stay calm, you are merely being groped by an actual ghost. So be sure you all decide on a safe word before you hit the lights…tee hee!

Rules

  • No grabbing or holding any opponents.
  • No non-ghost allies.
  • No covering your ghost.
  • Once your ghost has passed on to the next world, you must sit out. Do not attempt to stomp anymore ghosts.
  • The partner of the last ghost standing wins!

Variations

  • Have multiple ghosts attached per game. Three on the same ankle for example.
  • Team ups. Four vs. four for example. (Two Ghosts and Two Humans.)
  • No glow sticks. (This is a more dangerous version, and therefore more awesome!)

Happy ghost hunting, and happy Halloween!

Banana Brain Cake

Your guests will be delightfully disgusted to see you serving a brain on a platter. Easy fondant icing helps you create a brainy surface that looks realistic. The fun begins, though, when you slice into it and banana pudding oozes out! Bring out your inner cannibal with this tasty idea.

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes white cake mix
  • 8 inch diameter stainless steel bowl
  • 8 inch cake pan (if you’d like to make things even easier, use a brain-shaped mold)
  • spray oil, like Crisco or Pam
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 box instant pudding (banana pictured)

Baking the Brain . . . Cake

Preheat the oven as directed on the cake mix package and mix in a mixing bowl according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Spray the stainless steel bowl and the cake pan with oil.

Pour some batter into the stainless steel bowl, leaving 1-2 inches at the top.

Pour the remaining batter into the cake pan (it’s OK if it’s very thin).

Place the bowl and the pan into the oven and bake until done. You’ll have to check the batter in the stainless steal bowl with a clean knife or toothpick. Insert it in the center and if it comes out clean it’s done. It will take longer to cook than the batter in the cake pan, so check every ten minutes until done.

Cool both cakes completely for at least an hour.

Assembling the Cake

Mix the pudding according to the manufacturer’s instructions and let chill.

Use a bread knife to hollow out the cake that was cooked in the bowl, within 2 inches of the edges of the bowl.

Fill the recessed area with pudding.

Carefully place the flat cake from the pan into the bowl on top of the pudding, sealing up the cake with the pudding.

Invert the entire cake onto a plate and remove from the bowl. You should now have a dome cake.

Making the Fondant

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, corn syrup and vanilla. Use a drop of red food coloring to give it a fleshy peach color. If it looks to pink to you, add just one drop of yellow. Remember, it will lighten a lot when you add the powdered sugar.

Add up to 2 pounds of powdered sugar until it forms a smooth solid ball that stays together.

Roll out and flatten the fondant using powdered sugar to prevent sticking. When it’s 1/4 inch thick, divide in half and lay the first half over the top of the cake (roll further if it doesn’t quite fit).

Take the other half of the fondant and roll several long “snake” rolls by hand and lay them on top of the cake in a squiggly pattern to create brain matter. Be sure to delineate between the two brain halves. If you used a mold, follow the contours.

When the cake is covered, use a wet paintbrush to polish the top surface and give it a sheen

Cake can be served immediately, or store chilled. Mmmm, chilled brains for Halloween!

    

You’ve Got the Right Stuff – An 80s Theme Party

 

LOOK THE PART: It’s easy to find iconic pieces without breaking your Halloween budget. Click to get this costume.

Over thirty years later, you may no longer have to fight for our right to par-taaay, but that doesn’t mean you should stop! Throwing an 80s theme party is a fun way to be nostalgic, whether it was for your teen years or your childhood.

While you may still be reserving judgment on the collective wisdom of mullets and shoulder pads, these iconic fashion statements make for easy to find the perfect 80s costume.

Read on for totally tubular ways to hang with your dudes and dudettes at your very own 80s theme party.

GO NEON: Your party says “80s” the minute you hang something that’s, like, totally blinding. Click for info.

80’s Party Decorations

When it comes to the 80s, you have a few popular directions for your decorations.

  •  80s style is a combination of neon colors and those classic geometrical shapes. Get some neon bulletin board paper and cut it into bold geometrical shapes (triangles, circles, lines) and hang these from the ceiling and around the room.
  • Drape some lace. Do up your living room like a Madonna video with lace and red roses. Totally rad!
  • A third is one we like to call ‘Solid Gold.’ Premiering in the early eighties, Solid Gold was a popular television program that featured dancers breaking out to hit songs. Like a hangover from the 70s, the original set was all about beige carpets and gold and black accents. You can channel that Solid Gold look into your party room with black and gold decorations.
  • Add a touch of authenticity by decorating the walls with posters from bands like Duran Duran and Wham! You can easily make these by printing poster images large-scale at a local print shop.

Like, Totally Don’t Forget the Atmosphere, Dude!

To add to that 80’s flavor, play DVDs of 80s music videos and movies quietly in the background.

Simply throw on a Devo video, start up the dry ice, rent a few inexpensive laser lights and you’ll turn your living room into a certified time machine!

Party Activities

  • 80s Karaoke: Rent a karaoke machine and encourage guests to sing their favorite song from the era of new-wave and glam metal. In minutes, you’ll have guests belting out Depeche Mode, The Clash, and Def Leppard.
  • Guess The Hair: Print off a few pictures of classic 80’s hairdos (Mike
    HAIR’S TO YOU: We totally feel a metal ballad coming on.

    Score from A Flock of Seagulls, David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider, Robert Smith of The Cure, Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, or Sid Vicious’s mohawk) and blank out the faces. Award a prize to the party-goer who can guess the most mystery hairstyles.

Wall of Shame: If your guests are older, ask them to bring a picture of themselves in the 80s or send one in advance by email. Pin each picture to the wall and offer a prize to whoever can match the most party-goers to their 80s counterparts.

Rubicks Face-Off: Set up a few easy-to-solve Rubick’s Cubes (take a new cube and only shift it a few times). Stage a Rubick’s Cube competition with prizes for the fastest solver.

Drinks and Refreshments

While it’s hard to make a theme menu based on the 80’s, you could set out a few classic drinks that were hugely popular at the time, including wine coolers, Jolt Cola, Fresca and Tab.

While you’re at it, throw some Nerds, Pop Rocks, Big Chew bubble gum and other novelty candies that hit it big in the 80s in bowls around the room.

1980s Costumes

Stop! It’s partytime. Click for this costume.

You can dress up in full 80s garb with items from your own closet! An oversized sweatshirt with the neck cut out, stretch pants, white pumps and leggings will turn you into

Flashdance while a pastel blazer, t-shirt, and pleated khakis will transform you into Miami Vice. A leather jacket, tight jeans, and chains will make you a punk rocker.

Another costume option is to dress as a specific 80’s icon like Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, Pat Benetar, Madonna (circa Like a Virgin), Tammy Faye Baker, or even Magnum P.I.

Whether you base your costume on a famous person or a general 80s style, you can get creative in your own closet or buy costumes from online retailers, including wigs of classic 80s hairstyles and mullets.

Party on, dude. And remember – stay gnarly!

Savory Severed Monster Fingers

 

Severed fingers with rotted black fingernails . . . hungry yet? A twist on the traditional pigs in a blanket, these delicious digits are simple to prepare, yet they look wonderfully gruesome on an appetizer platter.

Dig in to this phreaky phalanges with the fun recipe below.

Monster Finger Ingredients

  • 2 cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough (each can should make 8 crescent rolls)
  • 1 16-oz package of cocktail smokies (cocktail weenies)
  • sliced almonds to use as nails

“Digit”al Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, use Pam or olive oil spray in a light mist over entire top surface of pan.
    3. Open one can of crescent rolls and unroll the dough.
    4. Place one triangular piece of crescent roll dough on the cookie sheet.
    5. Put a cocktail weenie in the wide end of the dough triangle. Roll the dough around the sausage. You should have one layer of dough covering it completely with no edges peeking out. This is the base of the finger – you will still have some crescent roll dough left over.
    6. Roll the remaining dough to form the rest of the finger, tapering it at the end and rounding it off so it looks realistic.
    7. Put an almond slice on the end of the finger. Tuck the edges into the dough so that it looks like a fingernail.
    8. Use a knife to score “wrinkles” into the knuckle.
    9. Put the fingers in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Point this platter in the direction of your ghoulish guests, and enjoy!

Rat Stew in a Pumpkin

This “Rat Stew” is complete with legs, tails, whiskers, eyes and entrails. This Halloween recipe is actually for a scrumptious Mediterranean stew, baked in a real pumpkin for a stunning presentation.

If anyone thinks they have identified the “rat legs” as chicken, simply give them an evil smile and say, “Well, they say everything tastes like chicken, right?” Even though it may look complicated, this is an easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 lb chicken wingettes (mini-drumsticks, for the rat legs)
  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage links
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 of a 6.75 oz package of maifun rice sticks (these are very thin Asian rice noodles, for whiskers. You could also substitute angel hair)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • Black olives, for eyes
  • 1 8-10 lb pumpkin

Directions

    1. Open the top of the pumpkin. Scrape out the insides.
    2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    3. Mix 1/4 cup flour, salt, pepper, paprika and thyme together. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of this mixture for thickening the stew.
    4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Dredge the chicken wingettes in the remaining flour mixture and brown them in the skillet with the oil.
    5. While the wings brown, slice sausage into tails. To make tails, cut each sausage in half vertically. Then, cut each of these halves in half lengthwise. Cut the sausage halves into thin slices that taper to a point at one end, like rat tails. See the illustration.
    6. Chop bell pepper into long thin strips (think entrails). Also, chop onion and mince garlic.
    7. After chicken has browned, transfer it to the pumpkin.
    8. Heat sausage, garlic, pepper, and onion in skillet until sausage is browned and vegetables are soft.
    9. Put sausage and vegetables into the pumpkin with the chicken.
    10. In a bowl, combine broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Pour into pumpkin.
    11. Place pumpkin on a strong baking sheet and brush outside with olive oil.
    12. Bake for an hour and 45 minutes at 375 degrees.
    13. Remove pumpkin. Break rice sticks into 3-4 inch long pieces and add to the pumpkin stew. If necessary, mix reserved flour mixture into a paste with a little bit of water and add to stew to thicken it.
    14. Return the pumpkin to oven for another 15 minutes.
    15. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, and season stew with additional salt and pepper if necessary. You can either add the black olive “eyes” directly to the stew or serve them on the side as a garnish. When serving stew, make sure to scrape some of the pumpkin meat off of the side.

Yum! Not too much rat in it. Just five or so. Enjoy!