Good Life

Fright night: How to throw the perfect Halloween party

At your Halloween party, you can use food and drinks to continue your theme.
At your Halloween party, you can use food and drinks to continue your theme. Photo provided

This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday, which happens, well, once in a boo moon. That’s cause for celebration. Here to get you started are a few tips and resources to help make your party extra spooktacular.


Just starting now? Well, you better get moving if you want to bring your macabre masterpiece to life. Internet invites are your friend. Sites such as and offer quick, free ways to get the word out. Facebook lacks the flair and creativity of a bona fide invite, but it makes up for it in ease of use. And, chances are, that’s how you’ll get the fastest replies.

Think-outside-the-coffin themes

Political party: What’s more horrifying than the current state of American politics? Well, almost nothing, some might say. Use this theme to make a political statement and rib your friends seated — politically — across the aisle. Put the presidential debates on loop to add fright to the night.

“The Walking Dead”: AMCs hit post-Zombie-apocalypse series just returned with season 6, and still boasts monster ratings. So, chances are, you won’t need to do to much explaining to find a group of friends ready to transform into Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Maggie and Glenn. Want to delight with fright? Tell your guests that walkers are welcome.

Harry Potter: Perfect for witches and wizards of all ages. Impress your guests with traditional treats like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and Butterbeer.

Goosebumps: This popular children’s horror fiction novella series just hit the big screen with “Goosebumps,” starring Jack Black. You, too, can bring life to your favorite characters.

Thriller: I can trace my roots of being terrified to one instance: watching Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. The gory ’80s costumes are sure to be a hit, completed only by the pop icon’s hit song pulsing in the background.

Looking for something a little more traditional? offers these themes that’ll never die.

• Halloween house party

• 80’s horror movie

• Sexy

• Dead rock star

• Not-so-scary (for kids)

• Dress up from the neck up


Store-bought spooky accoutrements can be a real time-saver. But, there are plenty of resources for you DIY-decorators out there. You might spend twice as much buying supplies, but you’ll have four times the fun! That’s a net positive. Sites such as Instructibles, Pinterest and should be your place to start.


You’re sure to score originality points for crafting a creative costume by hand. But, if holding a pair of scissors and a sewing needle sounds like your version of a nightmare, there are plenty of local and online retailers vying for your business.

Party City spokeswoman Olivia Abbazia says Halloween keeps their stores pretty busy, especially when it falls on a Saturday. She said the store gleans costume ideas from pop culture, analyzing “ the latest fashion trends and Hollywood blockbusters to determine the year’s biggest costume trends.” Big hits, she says, come from “celebrity-inspired costumes — such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Beyonce — to new movie releases — like ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ — and hit television shows — ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ and ‘SpongeBob Squarepants.’ “

Abbazia says top kids costume ideas include:

• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

• My Little Pony

• Nickelodeon’s “Paw Patrol” cast

• “Despicable Me” characters

“Halloween is a great opportunity for kids to dress up like their favorite characters,” says Abbazia.

For moms, she suggests “mommy and me” items for those who want to celebrate in matching style. “ ‘Mommy and me’ looks inspired by Disney include dressing as a Disney villain, like Ursula, Cruella De Vil and Maleficent,” she says.

For men, Abbazia says, the force is strong with Star Wars characters ahead of the Dec. 18 release of “Star Wars: Episode 7 The Force Awakens.” Superheroes are also very popular, she says.

Some top sellers for couples, according to, include:

• Peanut butter and jelly

• Plug and light socket

• Perfectly paired wine and cheese

• Adam and Eve

• Fork and spoon packed together

For men:

• Star Wars Jedi Robe

• Batman: The Dark Knight Rises

• Where’s Waldo

• Robin Hood

• Roman Gladiator

For women:

• Rubie’s Despicable Me Minion Costume

• Princess Leia

• Maleficent Black Christening Gown

• Wizard Of Oz Adult Dorothy Dress and Hair Bows

• Minnie Mouse Classic Costume

Food & Drink

Take a deep breath, you’re almost there. The hard work is done, so have a little fun with the food. But don’t get carried away. Everyone wants a bit of brains, not the whole head Plus, you want to mingle, not go head-first into the oven. So, try for small treats. Bonus points if they fit your theme. Pinterest,, and Martha will get you cookin’.

Groovin’-from-the-grave tunes

Set your party off to the right beat. The iconic radio station KROQ has compiled this vintage-punk-heavy playlist that could be just the audio backdrop you’re looking for. Here’s a sampling from their list.

• “This is Halloween,” Marilyn Manson

• “Halloween,” The Misfits/AFI

• “Dead Man’s Party,” Oingo Boingo

• “Surfin’ Dead,” The Cramps

• “Halloween,” Dead Kennedys

• “Pet Cemetery,” Ramones

• “Psycho Killer,” Talking Heads

• “Scarecrow,” Strung Out

• “Among the Dead,” Tim Armstrong

• “Dracula,” Gorillaz

• “People are Strange,” The Doors

• “Bark at the Moon,” Ozzy Osbourne

• “Phantom of the Opera,” Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

• “Frankenstein,” New York Dolls

• “Werewolves of London,” Warren Zevon

• “Monster Mash,” (cover) Misfits