- Holidays and Celebrations
Easy Haunted Theater Halloween Party
Chills and Thrills in Your Haunted Theater
Halloween is upon us and suddenly you realize you want to have a Halloween party. You are probably thinking it is too late to put together a party.
Fear not! You can throw together a Halloween party with very little time and just a little effort. Turn your family room, living room, media room, or finished basement into a haunted theater! It's quick, it's easy, and it's fun!
Too late to send invitations? We live in the electronic age. Text, email, or call your guests and tell them what, when, and where. Let them decide if they want to wear costumes or not. Are your guests asking if they can bring a dish? Tell them yes! It will make your preparation time even less.
A Halloween Haunted Theater party can be adapted to any age bracket. Just choose age appropriate movies for your guests to watch. Make it a double feature with an intermission for a trip to the refreshment table or the restroom. You can even "dig up" some spooky surprizes to keep guests in the Halloween mood.
Set the Stage
If your TV is mounted on the wall, arrange chairs and sofas into rows. Otherwise, arrange the chairs and sofas into a half circle so everyone can see the TV. Drape old, solid colored or white sheets, or dropcloths on the furniture. Place folding tables near the seats to hold refreshments. Hang some paper bats or spiders from the table. Cover them with black cloths.
Replace regular light bulbs with black light bulbs. Pick up inexpensive packs of spiderwebs and stretch them around the room. Old panty hose works well too. Just tear a hole and keep pulling until you have a fine mass of webs. Close all curtains, blinds, and drapes.
Set up folding tables at the far end of the room for refreshments or use the kitchen or dining room as a "lobby" where guests can get their refreshments. Cover the tables with with inexpensive black, plastic tablecloths. Use carved pumpkins and non-drip candles as centerpieces.
There, you are done! Your Haunted Theater is ready to receive customers!
Keep your shopping to only two to three stops to save yourself time. You can find black table cloths, Halloween themed plates, napkins, cups, black lights and spider webs at discount stores and anywhere Halloween items are sold. You can find sheets or dropcloths at Goodwill or Salvation Army stores. Have a shopping list with everything you need on it so you don't have to make multiple trips.
Usher In Your Guests
Dress up like an usher-a dead usher. Make your costume from an old suit coat or sports jacket. Turn the jacket inside out, so the silky lining is showing. Make epaulettes by spray painting lengths of rope gold, or use old curtain tie-back tassels and attach them to the shoulders of the jacket. Wrap reflective tape around the cuffs and hem of the jacket. Add a pair of black slacks, black shoes and a flashlight to show guests to their seats.
Make a flat-topped hat out of cardstock. Wrap it around your head to fit then tape ends together. Lay the circle down on a flat piece of cardstock and trace the circle. Cut it out and glue or tape it to the top of the hat. Punch holes in the sides for string and tie it onto your head.
Give yourself a ghostly face by mixing water and cornstarch to form a paste. Rub the paste on your face and let it dry.
Image: A darkride's ghostly usher by Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts.
Keep your refreshments simple and you won't get frustrated if you are running out of time.
For beverages serve cider and iced tea in old coffee makers or pitchers with spouts so they look like pop dispensers at the theater. Mark them with creepy name cards like Zombie Fluid and Witch's Brew.
Serve popcorn in paper, striped popcorn bags. Throw in some gummy worms for gruesome fun.
Place defrosted chicken wings in the broiler for 20 minutes or until the skin is crunchy. Then toss them in your favorite barbeque sauce and call them BBQ Bat Wings. Yum.
Make pizza bites using round crackers, sauce, and cheese. Make faces with olives, pepperoni, or mushrooms. Pop in a toaster oven until cheese is bubbly. Or, put out all the fixings and let guests make their own. You don't have to heat them up.
Dip one half of a peanut shaped, peanut butter cookie in white chocolate. Place mini chocolate chips on the white chocolate for eyes. Let the chocolate set up. You now have peanut butter cookie ghosts!
Fill treat bags with gummy worms, gummy spiders, foil covered chocolate eyeballs, wax fangs, and other creepy candy you can find.
Decorate store bought, unfrosted cupcakes with orange or white frosting. Draw three circles on the frosting with tubed frosting, starting with a small circle in the middle. Then take a toothpick and draw a line through the circles from the smallest circle to the largest to form a spiderweb.
Image: The Girl Who Ate Everything
Order pizza, submarine sandwich trays, chicken wings, or Chinese Chow Mein noodles instead of making refreshements, to save yourself time. Give them weird and ghoulish names, like Bat Wings, Handwiches, Bloody Goo Pie, and Regurgitated Intestines.
Little Kids Haunted Theater Movies
Animated films are usually the best choice for kids. Silly, not-very-scary won't give kids under the age of seven nightmares.
Thomas helps his friends solve the mysteries on the Island of Sodor.
I love Eloise. She's so delightfully funny. This animated film follows Eloise through the Plaza Hotel as she attempts to find out who is haunting its halls.
My five-year-old niece laughs her head off watching this video. Roo has a new playmate, Lumpy, who is exicted about his first Halloween, but Tigger bounces along to shake things up.
During intermission or before or after your movie, play games like Hangman, Charades, What Monster Am I?, or Movie Trivia. Hand out little prizes like candy, magnets, and pins, or go big and get movie theater coupons for prizes.
Here are my picks for Halloween movies for kids seven to twelve.
This is my favorite animated Halloween movie. Three kids try to find out what's going on in the Monster House. Some scenes make you jump.
Jack Skellington gives up his crown as King of Halloween to replace Santa Claus. Creepy.
Victor is practicing his wedding vows when he unwittingly "marries" a corpse. Intense scenes melded with humor.
Tweens and Teens
Some of these movies may be too intense for some tweens.
This series was first shown on the Nickelodeon channel during its early years. Mostly geared toward tweens, many of the stories are creepy and weird.
One of my favorites. Nicole Kidman and her children have moved into an English countryside manor that appears to be haunted.
I'm a Potter fan. Any Harry movie will do, but this one is downright scary.
If time is really short, rent movies from a movie rental box or store or borrow them from your local library. The library is free!
A Hitchcock classic. Unnerving.
Another Hitchcock classic. Some of the special effects look corny now, but it is still a creepy movie.
Hitchcock fans rejoice. You can have it all in this collection and scare your friends too!
Some historic theaters hold haunted events to raise funds. Image by Wordpress.
One of my favorite paranormal movies. No slashing and hacking, but it will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
The first and the best of the series. Starring a young Jamie Lee Curtis.
B Movie Favorites
Horror fans will want this for their collection.
Which is the most terrifying monster?
Some of the best movies from the master of written horror.
From an investigator's point of view, this movie is campy, but everyone else will be scared...to death.