How to Have an Old-Fashioned Halloween Party - Party Games, Food, Decorations
The location of your Halloween party is key. Depending on how many guests will attend determines the amount of party space needed. A fitting place could be your house or a restaurant party room, but an old-fashioned farmhouse is the ideal site for a Halloween party. The wide fireplace and the simple furnishings are in harmony with old-fashioned Halloween traditions. The most appropriate decorations are boughs of maple, beech, and pine, flaming leaves and berries, rosy-cheeked apples and golden pumpkins, with garlands of pine and the feathery wild clematis. Carved jack-o'-lanterns and candles set in apples for candlesticks furnish light enough in addition to a roaring fire.
Party Theme ...
Choosing a theme for your Halloween parting is an easy way to encourage guests to arrive in a costume. The hard work of choosing what to wear is minimized. It is not advised to throw your party on the actual night of Halloween so your evening festivities are not constantly interrupted by trick-or-treaters at your door. Don’t forget to announce your theme when you send invitations to let guests know that they must wear a costume to participate in the fun. It would be a good idea to have on hand a stash of extra costumes and accessories to hand o ut to those uncooperative partygoers. Typical themes are monster parties, 1950s rock and roll, or a ‘80s-themed bash. Be creative and have your own 1920s Halloween party with inspiration from Boardwalk Empire or the Great Gatsby. You can find lots of costume ideas here >>
If you are going with the time-honored spooky Halloween theme begin by dimming the lights and adding carved jack-o'-lanterns or candles set in apples for candlesticks. When you make a jack-o’-lantern it will be easier to mount the candle if you cut out the bottom instead of the top. Cobwebs, bats and gloom go far toward giving the proper effect, as do props like fog machines and strobe lights. A closet near at hand can be furnished as a witch's den with drapes of black or gray muslin, made very dusty and covered with cobwebs. Spider webs and bats hung near the ceiling will enhance the scariness of the atmosphere.
Fun and Games ...
A gypsy tent set up in a corner is always an entertaining addition to a spooky Halloween party. A dark-eyed fortuneteller dressed in the garish dress of a gypsy queen and possessing a personal knowledge of the circumstances and characters of the guests and the wit to use it, can disclose mysterious and attention-grabbing facts when telling fortunes. Likewise, be sure to place some Ouija boards and tarot cards in isolated corners so your guests can entertain themselves with fun.
Bobbing for Apples ... You Are Never Too Old
In one corner, guests can bob for the elusive apples merrily floating in a low tub of water; this is one of the most traditional Halloween games for all ages. All this activity requires is a large container or tub of water filled four to six inches from the top rim (to prevent the water from sloshing out) and several apples. Obviously you need two guests willing to get their faces wet in a race to catch the bobbing apples. A less messy game could have guests sail walnut shells carrying tiny candles in a similar tub of water, to see whose ship will have the misfortune of sinking first.
Eerie Halloween Trick
A "witch's cave" may be improvised by transforming a small room into a forest of greenery, lighted only with blue tinted lights and jack-o'-lanterns. The witch, dressed all in black, her gown decked with mystical figures, toy spiders and serpents, and wearing a pointed hat with lifelike serpent coiled around it, will add to the uncanny effect. She presents to each one who desires to consult her, a tall lighted candle and a paper funnel, through which the inquirer must try to extinguish the flame by blowing through the funnel after "making a wish." If the attempt is successful, the wish will surely come true. Before trying, this seems extremely easy, but after the third attempt one must relinquish all hope. The explanation of the difficulty is that the funnel must not be held directly opposite the light, as the breath follows the sides of the funnel. To blow out the light the funnel must be held either above or below the candle.
Halloween Party Treats
The menu for an old-fashioned Halloween party should be of a somewhat rustic nature—cold boiled ham with several salads, apples, various nuts, popped corn, maple sugar, gingerbread, doughnuts and crullers made in the shape of initials, fruits, and cider. A bowl of punch or lemonade (spike it if you wish) should be wreathed with vine leaves. An assortment of Halloween treats such as spider cupcakes and meringue ghost cookies spread out on a table draped in spider webs adds a finishing touch to the Halloween party festivities.