Halloween Dinner Party Plans

Your Front Yard is Your Calling Card

Throwing a Halloween dinner party? Looking to create stunningly macabre place settings that will wow your guests? Here are a few ideas that are sure to help create an upscale eeriness to your haunted evening.

Your driveway and front door are your welcome mats and by creating a dramatic effect as guests approach, you offer a hint of the spooky fun to come. Lining your driveway with a plethora of brightly colored leaves is a great start. Along the sides of the drive, place large hurricane lamps with floating tea candles in them. Pipe haunted music into the drive from an obscure place and drape your front door with cobwebs. Perching owls and ravens from the gutters will add to the dramatic effect. Your front lawn can be transformed into a graveyard by setting headstones into the grass. In front of each, place a large mound of dried leaves. If you want to be even more authentic, lay a 6 by 3 foot sheet of plastic and create mounds of dirt on top of each. Top each mound of dirt or leaves with a skeletal head and stick skeletal arms and legs out of each grave, assuring that no two graves look alike.

Carving intricate jack-o-lanterns is always impressive. You can find pumpkin carving kits at almost any chain retailer such as WalMart or Shopko, many pumpkin farms, and just about all the Halloween party stores. Placing one on each of your front steps, in your front garden or in your kitchen window will really liven up your entry way.

The Haunted Dining Room

To create a macabre dining experience, drape your dining table under a blood-orange tablecloth over which a black lace, spider web cloth should be laid. Black taper candles make the perfect centerpiece when burning inside an antique candelabra. If you’re going for a more dramatic effect, affix a scene setter to your table. If it is longer or wider than your table you can either cut it to size, or fold it under and tape it underneath the table. Get a piece of plexiglass cut to fit your table top and lay over the scene setter so that the spooky images are staring up at guests as they dine. This is particularly impressive if you can find scene setters featuring faces appearing as if they are trapped beneath your table!

If you happen to have a light fixture or ceiling fan above your dining table, drape thin wisps of cob webbing from the blades or fixture into which a few small black spiders should be inserted. You may also consider hanging small black bats from fishing line at various lengths. Two or three will suffice. Try and get bats that are actually hairy and pliable. They are far more realistic than the plastic ones.

Serve beverages from thicken leaden goblets or seasonal goblets featuring skeletal faces or skeletal hands around the stems. If serving cold beverages, consider inserting items such as gummy worms, plastic spiders and other bugs into ice cube trays before freezing. If serving beverages from a bunch bowl, fill plastic, non-latex, non-powdered gloves with water. Tie off the open end and place in freezer until completely frozen. Peel the glove off when done and insert into bunch bowl. Drape edges of punch bowl with gummy worms.

Using napkin rings such spiders or skeletal hands will create a scary effect.

Be sure to play Halloween themed background music at just the right level to add to the eerie ambience and keep your lights dimmed about half way. You want it bright enough to see what you’re doing but dim enough to give people the chills.

Bringing a bit of the outside in can be fun, especially if your dining room has hard surface flooring instead of carpet. Using dry leaves only, cover the flooring under and around your table with dried leaves. Create the effect of the forest by adding branches and gnarly dried twigs to large vases around the perimeter of your room. From these branches you may hang bats, spider webbing, or place crows or owls. Affixing corn stalks to the back of each chair using floral wire or black ribbon also helps to add to the crisp, outdoor effect.

Creating place settings for each guest is a great way to organize seating and give each person a keepsake from your party. Fashion small gravestones from preshaped Styrofoam or wood. Paint stones gray or black. You can add your own touches such as, R.I.P Jack, or Here Lies Sinister Sarah… Gravestones can be laid on the plates, or set upright at the head of the place setting. Another creative idea is to place your name cards between a set of vampire teeth. To increase the quality of the presentation, simply spray paint the teeth silver or apply an antiquing stain.

Nothing creates a “witchy” atmosphere quite like burning cauldrons of dry ice, but simply setting out a bunch of smoking pots isn’t very creative. You can up the “wow” factor by simply arranging your pots to varying heights. Set pots on small straw bundles or milk crates draped in black. Be sure to feed the dry ice with water regularly to keep the pots smoking. You can also find cauldrons that will smoke automatically in most Halloween party stores. In between your cauldrons, consider setting small skeletons, severed hands, vases filled with black roses or other creepy accoutrements. You might also feature shrunken heads, gooey eyeballs or bones under glass domed cake platters or in mason jars filled with water. Add a few drops of red food coloring to up the "icky" factor.

Hopefully you’ll have found some ideas you can use this Halloween. Happy Hauntings!

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© 2011 Jaynie2000

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