By Kate Heyhoe
What is Halloween without a party? Here are our tips for a devil of a party—all it takes is a few standard supplies, a raid to the pantry, and your own vivid imagination.
We start with some "spirited" adult Halloween Cocktails (that demand a designated driver), while our Haunted House tour of The Body Shop and our Zombie Meatloaf make wicked party themes for any age group.
What type of music to play? Golden oldies like Monster Mash, Michael Jackson's Thriller and tracks from The Rocky Horror Picture Show set the tone, and if you can find any of the old Arch Obler radio shows, you'll have entered classic cobweb territory. I found a 45-minute tape of horror sounds and music at K-Mart (no, not in the Martha Stewart collection, but close).
If you find the right music, then set up a few rounds of "Scared Stiff." It's like musical chairs, but instead of sitting down when the music stops, players must freeze. The first person to move is 'killed' and the game continues until only one warm body remains.
Your guests will also go batty for party games like "Skeleton Hunt"—where you hide dummy pieces of anatomy throughout the Haunted House. The person to collect the most in a given time period wins. You can use real bones—like turkey drumsticks—that have been cleaned and dried. Other ideas are clay or Play-Dough hearts, livers and spleens, or simply wrap boxes with tags on them indicating the contents ("Fragile: Frozen Bat's Feet"). Another variation uses a ticking alarm clock as the beating heart, wrapped in a cushion to muffle the sounds and placed in a box, as the token for a special prize.
Anyone remember that classic Twilight Zone episode, "The Jar"? There was this huge glass jar filled with something squishy—mysterious but indiscernible. The locals would sit around every night speculating on what it contained. Brains? a fetus? an alien...? Create your own version of "the jar"—or several versions—and distribute them around the house. Use items like old socks, colored water, vines, pieces of leather, marbles, pickle jars, etc. As host, you can dress and act like Rod Serling, in a darkened room with those glow-in-the-dark star stickers pasted on the walls and ceilings, then tell your guests a creepy store about the reclusive widower that used to live there, leaving these jars in the basement when he died. Then ask them to speculate on what might be in the jars and what might have happened to his wife and kids. Be sure to "age" the outside of the jars with dust, mud, fake cobwebs, scratches, etc.
Finally, for some table decorations, peel and carve apples into heads with faces. Let them air dry for a few days and they will turn into distorted, wrinkled, shrunken heads. I know: where do we get all these disgusting ideas!? As I said before, imagination is the key to a most successful and eerie Halloween party. And as a final piece of advice, don't forget the garlic: it's our favorite ingredient all year round and we've yet to meet any vampires, so it really must work—another indication that garlic is truly good for your health.
Holiday and Party Recipes (by holiday and date)
Copyright © 1997-2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created October 1997 and modified October 2007
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