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HAUNTINGLY GOOD HALLOWEEN PARTY IDEAS FOR TEENS
Ok, let me get this pun out of the way… are you looking to host a spooktacular Halloween party for teens? And now, let’s acknowledge the challenge… teens can be a tough crowd to please. They may well not want to go trick or treating (or you may not want them to), but they still want to have fun at Halloween.
If you are wondering how to host an epic party that your teen and their friends will love, I’ve got you. I’ve hosted many Halloween parties, so here’s my list of Halloween party ideas for teens that guarantee they will have fun. The list includes fun ideas for themes, make-up and costumes, decorations, party food, games and activities.
LET’S GET THIS HALLOWEEN PARTY STARTED
IT ALL STARTS WITH A THEME
Setting a theme for your party is a great way to create an immersive Halloween experience that will be the stuff of memories for years to come. It also helps everyone come up with a costume at a time when some teens might be a little hesitant or unsure of themselves.
I’ve put together a list of Halloween party themes as part of my Best Party Themes roundup. Here are the top five; pop over to the post to see the rest.
- The Last of Us (HBO TV Series)
- Dead zombie pop stars
- Ghouls night in
- Iconic horror movie characters
- Stranger Things
Since social media plays a rather significant role in teens’ lives, you could suggest they create a unique hashtag or Snapchat filter for the party to post on the night and after the party.
FRIGHTFULLY GOOD DECORATIONS
Set the mood of your party through some well-chosen Halloween decorations. Use eerie lighting, cobwebs, and decorations that tie in with your theme.
Here’s a list of Halloween decoration ideas to get you started:
- Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins – real or ornamental
- Spider webs
- Skulls and skeletons
- Mock-up ghosts with sheets
- Fake spiders and bats
- Fog machine
- Black lights
- Orange and black balloons
- Bloody handprints and footprints
- Classic horror movie posters
- Halloween-themed string lights
Use mood lighting to create a truly creepy Halloween ambience, dim the lights, or if they don’t dim, turn them off altogether and use strings of Halloween-themed lights and novelty lights.
Alternatively, use a black light and encourage everyone to use neon make-up and/or costume elements. I’ve got a post on how to create a Neon party that might come in useful.
Use a fog machine to create a spooky, mysterious atmosphere. You could use it by the entrance to the party or around the refreshments area for added impact. Do make sure to follow safety precautions.
SPOOKILY GOOD MUSIC PLAYLIST
A really good Halloween-themed playlist of spooky music will go a long way to setting the atmosphere for the party.
Here is a list of ideas to add to your playlist. I’ve included classics and more recent hits.
- Thriller by Michael Jackson
- Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
- Black Magic by Little Mix
- Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
- I Put a Spell on You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
- This Is Halloween by Marilyn Manson
- Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell
- Disturbia by Rihanna
- Highway to Hell by AC/DC
- Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
- Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Superstition by Stevie Wonder
- Black Magic Woman by Santana
- Zombie by The Cranberries
- Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo
- The Addams Family Theme Song by Vic Mizzy
Money-saving tip: Take out a free 30-day trial of Amazon Music Prime to play the playlist for the party without interruption from adverts.
HALLOWEEN PARTY ACTIVITIES
There are varying thoughts on whether teens should go trick or treating. So, if trick or treating is off the table, you will need to come up with some alternative fun activities to keep everyone amused.
Here are some easy-to-implement ideas for fun party activities and Halloween-themed games.
1. HALLOWEEN GLOW UP
Organise a Halloween Glow Up for your teen and their friends, where they can get together and transform themselves from regular teens into fancy Halloween characters.
Create a Glam Station with a selection of make-up and hair products useful for creating spooky looks.
Add an element of competition and excitement to the proceedings by holding a best glow-up contest.
2. FRIGHTFULLY GOOD COSTUME CONTEST
Alternatively, put the focus on the costumes and hold a fancy dress contest. You could create a runway for everyone to model their creations and involve everyone in the judging through voting.
Have prizes for different categories, such as scariest, funniest, and most original outfits.
3. HORRIBLE SELFIE BOOTH
Designate an area of the party to be a photo booth. Either make your own or buy a Halloween Selfie Booth Kit like this one.
4. SCAVENGER HUNT
If they’re not trick or treating, give them a reason to venture out of the house and show off their costumes by creating a Halloween Scavenger Hunt.
What you need: Clue sheets for all the players.
How to play:
Brainstorm a list of clues. Stick to simple clues or go cryptic, or even create riddle clues.
Divide the party guests into teams.
Set a time limit and then start the hunt. Challenge the players to take photos of the things they find if they can’t / shouldn’t actually bring them back.
Tally up the scores at the end of the game based on which team managed to find the most things and declare a winning team.
Pop over to my roundup of brilliant Halloween Party Games For Teens for some Scavenger Hunt clue ideas.
5. HAUNTED HOUSE COMES ALIVE
Now, this idea is a big one, but if you’ve got the will to do it, it will be epic! How about you transform your home into a haunted house, complete with creepy sound effects, scary surprises and frightfully fun challenges?
Here are some ideas for themes for a haunted house:
- The Abandoned Mansion
- Zombie Take-Over
- Carnival Of Horrors
Use decorations like jack-o’-lanterns, spider webs, skeletons, and creepy cloth to create a spooky atmosphere. You can also add tombstones, cauldrons, and Halloween-themed string lights to enhance the effect.
Create scares that will make party guests jump out of their skin with animatronics, props, and special effects like fog machines, black lights, and strobe lights.
Use fake blood, fake severed limbs, and other gruesome props to create a sense of horror.
Create a super creepy atmosphere by playing a creepy soundtrack. Think along the lines of creaking doors, howling winds, and ghostly moans. Or you could play horror movie soundtracks on a loop.
Rope in friends and family to play the role of ghosts, zombies or assorted other scary characters, and get them to stay in character for the duration of the party. You could even have them hidden around your home, ready to freak out party guests.
6. ESCAPE ROOM
Turn a room in the house into a Halloween Escape Room.
What you need: Design clues and puzzles that are Halloween-themed, and set a time limit.
How to play:
Decide on a Halloween-themed scenario for your escape room. Here are some ideas:
- Cauldron Of Hope – The party guests must find the ingredients for a potion to break the curse that is keeping them in the room.
- The Mummy’s Tomb – The party guests must solve clues and puzzles that enable them to escape the tomb they’ve found themselves in before the scary mummy wakes from the dead.
- Zombie Invasion – The party guests must find a way to escape before they are captured by bloodthirsty zombies, solving clues and puzzles to find a way to freedom.
Put together a series of clues and puzzles that will lead the party guests to find their freedom. Use Halloween-themed props and puzzles like riddles, cryptograms, and jigsaw puzzles to create a challenging and immersive experience.
Create interactive elements like hidden compartments, secret codes, and locked boxes to add an extra layer of challenge and excitement to the escape room.
7. HORROR MOVIE MARATHON
How about hosting a Horror Movie Marathon party? Put together a playlist of classic Halloween movies or movies from a horror movie franchise to play back-to-back through the night.
Here are some ideas for scary movies to play:
- Hocus Pocus
- The Conjuring
- The Addams Family
- The Craft
- The Sixth Sense
- The Exorcist
- The Shining
- A Nightmare on Elm Street
- The Ring
- A Quiet Place
- Get Out
- Blair Witch Project
8. PUMPKIN DECORATING CONTEST
How about organising a pumpkin decorating contest? I’d suggest going for no-carve pumpkin decorating to avoid any accidents! Here’s a roundup of some gorgeous no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.
Hand out mini pumpkins and supply paint, brushes, and other art supplies.
FUN HALLOWEEN PARTY GAMES
1. MUMMY WRAP
Mummy Wrap is a super easy but fun game. Pair off your guests and provide each team with a roll of toilet paper. One team member must wrap the other in toilet paper as quickly as possible to create a ‘mummy’. The first team to finish wins a prize.
2. PUMPKIN BOWLING
Pumpkin Bowling is another easy-to-set-up but fun game to play. Set up a pumpkin bowling game by using mini pumpkins as bowling balls and paper cups or soda cans as pins. Guests can take turns knocking down the pins to win the game.
3. HALLOWEEN TRIVIA
If you fancy having a game that’s a little more sedentary, you could organise a Halloween Trivia quiz.
What you need: Print out lists of Halloween trivia questions (and answers!)
- Halloween History – the origins and history of Halloween, including traditions and customs.
- Horror Movies – classic and contemporary horror movies, including actors, characters, and plot details.
- Halloween Literature – spooky stories, poems, and books, including works by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley.
- Halloween Music – Halloween-themed songs, including classic tunes like Monster Mash and retro hits like Thriller.
- Halloween Traditions – how Halloween is celebrated in different parts of the world, including cultural traditions and customs.
- Halloween Science – spooky science, including the science behind ghosts, zombies, and other Halloween creatures.
- Halloween Pop Culture – Halloween-themed TV shows, cartoons, and video games, including popular characters and storylines.
- Halloween Facts and Figures – random trivia questions about Halloween, including statistics, fun facts, and bizarre traditions.
4. HALLOWEEN CHARADES
Play a frightfully fun twist on the classic game of charades with Halloween-themed prompts. Think along the lines of famous horror movie scenes, iconic horror characters or spooky phrases.
5. MURDER MYSTERY GAME
These Murder Mystery games are brilliant fun to play and perfect for teens to flex their brainpower solving.
6. TRUTH OR SCARE
Play a Halloween version of ‘Truth or Dare’. Rename it ‘Truth or Scare’, and make sure the dares are all spooky and Halloween-related, giving everyone a good fright.
7. HALLOWEEN WOULD YOU RATHER
Use my list of good Would You Rather questions for Halloween to get a game of Would You Rather started.
HALLOWEEN FOOD AND DRINK
A Halloween party isn’t complete unless there’s lots of themed food, snacks and drinks. Stick to finger foods that are easily grabbable. Here are some scary, creepy and frightfully delicious ideas:
HALLOWEEN CHARCUTERIE SNACK BOARD
Put together a Halloween Charcuterie Board choc with some of the following:
- Cut cheese, fruit and vegetables into spooky shapes with Halloween-themed cookie cutters.
- Drape cuts of cold meats zombie-apocalypse style..
- Pile up chocolate-covered pretzels and popcorn sprinkled with Halloween-themed seasoning like pumpkin spice or cinnamon.
- Add some toffee apples for a sweet and sticky treat.
- Splodge on some dips and spreads like pumpkin hummus or spinach and artichoke dip.
- Then scatter Halloween candy, like candy corn, candy eyeballs, gummy worms and Halloween-themed M&Ms
SCARY BAKED BITES
Serve ghost-shaped cookies, marshmallow treats, or mini sandwiches by using a ghost-shaped cookie cutter.
How about creating ‘Mummy Dogs’ by wrapping hot dogs in strips of pre-made croissant dough to resemble mummies.
Create a spider’s web pattern on pizza using cheese or sauce. Or create monster face pizzas using sliced meat, olives and vegetables.
The BBC has a roundup of 11 delicious Halloween Mocktails that you could serve at the party.
HAUNTED HOT CHOCOLATE
Warm up your party guests with a cauldron of hot chocolate. Serve in themed cups and offer spooky toppings like whipped cream ghosts, edible eyeballs, and gummy worms.
HALLOWEEN CANDY TREATS
I’ve put together a roundup of easy Halloween party food ideas for kids that you might find useful. It includes a bunch of easy-to-make recipes for creating scary-looking but delicious Halloween-themed food.
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, she has used her experience as a mum to create useful guides to organising family life. During that time, she has found the most joy in creating lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.