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Check It Off: Halloween Party Essentials

So your Halloween party invitations have been sent out, your costume is ready to go and you're putting the finishing touches on that awesomely creepy life-sized mummy before your big Halloween bash.

But before your guests knock on the door and you're scrambling last-minute to find that perfect serving platter, make sure you're prepared for your big bash with our Halloween party essentials checklist. 

We've compiled everything you need to have a spooktacular time with your guests, and enjoy the most frightening holiday of the year.

✔ Mood-Setting Music

Make sure you have a playlist of spooky tunes to keep your guests in the Halloween spirit all night. Check out our Ultimate Halloween Party Playlist to get inspired. 

✔ Classic Scary Movies

If you're hosting a movie watch party, of course these will be essntial. But it's also fun to have the old black-and-white versions of Frankenstein, Dracula and Creature from the Black Lagoon playing on your TV in the background with captions. People will love the nostaglia of the films, and they make for fun decor to set the scene. Guests can grab quick minutes of the movies as they walk by.

✔ Frighteningly Festive Decoration

Halloween decor is a must to set the scene. Fake cobwebs, black lights eerie skeletons -- the more over-the-top, the better! Check out our Halloween Decoration Ideas for inspiration.

 Last-Minute Costume Favors

If your party is a costume party (or you want to add some extra fun), keep a small basket of impromptu props for guests to put on if they've forgotten their costumes. Buy cheap plastic vampire teeth, mustaches and throw in some festive hats scarves, sunglasses. Let them get creative!

✔ Party Games

To keep everyone howling with laughter all night, play a creepy themed charades, or our Decaying Corpse Party Game. You can always grab a cocktail and play some fun Halloween drinking games!

✔ #FreakyPhotos

Since most people will be sharing photos in Twitter and Instagram anyway, designate a hashtag for your event, such as #MillerHalloweenParty or #JohnsonCostumeBash and post it on a chalkboard sign to let people know. That way, when guests take photos from the night, you can browse them all at once. Plus, it adds some 21st-century personalization. 

✔ Halloween Plates, Cups, Bowls and Serving Platters

To avoid a messy cleanup afterwards, go to your local party supply store and score some themed paper plates, cups, napkins bowls and cutlery. To save some cash, you can buy some plain white ones beforehand, and paint them with some red paint to look like blood splatter.

✔ Creepy Cocktails

Serving your guests some festive drinks are a must. We love our Candy Corn Jell-O Shots and Monster Mash Mimosa. Check out all of our Halloween drinks for more inspiration. 

✔ Ghoulish Garnishes

Keep some fun baubles near the food display for a creepy effect, and feel free to garnish the chip bowl, appetizer platter and dessert tray with fake spiders, gummy worms and mini vampire teeth.

✔ Spooky Snacks


Halloween is a time to really have fun with the snacks you serve. Whip up some creepy Witch Finger Cookies or Simple Brain Dip. The creepier and gorier, the better!

✔ Devilish Desserts

It's not a Halloween party without the sweet and spooky treats! Try our Spooky Spider Cupcakes, which look great displayed on a dessert tray, or our simple Banana Ghosts.

DIY Food Tags

Of course, you'll want people to know which treat is which, so make some quick DIY food tags to label your festive treats. It can be as simple as some cardboard and markers, or printing out some designs yourself. It's also a great way to indicate which snacks are gluten-free, dairy-free or contain nuts.

✔ Halloween Candy

Just because you're not trick-or-treating doesn't mean you don't want some Halloween candy. Set out individual baggies so guests can make their own treat bags, and be sure to fill up on everyone's favorites: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, mini Kit Kat bars and fun-sized Twizzlers. 

✔ Edible Party Favors

Make sure your guests don't leave empty-handed. Make some adorable Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops, yummy Mummy Cake Pops or just hand out pre-packed bags of Halloween candy. Your guests will be thoroughly excited and impressed! 


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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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