The weather is chilly, leaves are turning and the days are shorter. This could only mean one thing—Halloween is near. The beauty of haunted-themed parties for preteens and teens is that you can never go overboard as long as the decorations and activities safe and age-appropriate. Ask guests to arrive in ghoulish fashion to help set the stage for your fantastic autumnal event.
Haunted-Party Theme Ideas
Channel your memories of Edgar Allen Poe and the movie The Nightmare before Christmas to give your teen a sophisticated soiree. Make the scene extra ghoulish with these ideas:
- Strategically place fake ravens so they appear as if they’re peeking out of bookcases, staring down from cabinets and guarding the food.
- Fill a hurricane vase with plastic skulls and use it as a centerpiece along with bouquets of black roses.
- Line plastic spiders on a table to make it seem as if they’re slowing infesting a bowl of food.
- Cover windows with a large black-and-white photo of a graveyard.
- Have small pose-able plastic skeletons hug flatware settings.
Spirits Welcome Here
Awaken old spirits and have ghosts haunt the halls with a séance-themed party. Design the party to be like an eerie wake and set the stage with dim lighting, flameless candles and old-fashioned pictures of people hung throughout the home. Give the gathering added grim with ideas like:
- Set out a black wreath and skulls with a message that welcomes the spirits.
- Place crystal balls on tables with black lace tablecloths.
- Set up an open-casket buffet where the table looks like the lower portion of a coffin. Serve the treats in urns and on short pedestals and cake stands.
- Play an “out of body” scavenger hunt.
- Perch fake vultures or crows near the entrance, around the buffet table and in unexpected places.
Make prom scary for the right reasons. A zombie prom is a fun way to have a co-ed party for an older teen. To make this party a hit, use the same items found at a high school, but give them an un-dead edge.
- Make a balloon arch for the front door using black balloons spattered with red paint.
- Give the boys boutonnières and the girls wrist corsages made with dry flowers.
- Place a locker near the entrance with a backpack, sweater and skeleton hanging inside.
- Make streamers with black and gray crepe paper.
- Create a “Lost & Found” box with zombie parts and party favors.
Haunted-Party Planning and Invitation Ideas
Get the party off to a spectacular start with themed invitations. Send them three weeks in advance to give guests time to find a costume:
- Use black paper and print the words with white ink.
- Hand-deliver scrolls on antique-looking paper. Use a hologram sticker to secure the scroll’s rolled paper.
- Hand out lanyards with ID badge holders that contain VIP passes to the party.
- Make personalized Halloween invitations through Wholesale Party Supplies, which you can order with matching return address stickers.
Haunted-Party Decoration Ideas
When planning a haunted party, choose a color scheme with three main colors. The most popular Halloween colors for teens are black, gray, silver, red, cream, yellow, green and brown. Wholesale Party Supplies makes decorating simple with its themed tableware, scary decorations, and creepy animated dolls, props and statues. Other ideas for your bash include:
- Lighting: Cleverly illuminate a room with glow-stick lanterns. To make one, fill a glass jar with water. Then cut off the end of two glow sticks and pour the luminescent liquid in the jar. Secure the jar’s lid and shake.
- Wreath: Spray paint a grapevine wreath black. After the paint dries, affix black vinyl snakes (or snakes that you painted black) to the wreath using floral wire. Paint the exposed pieces of wire black.
- Front yard graveyard: Make or order fake tombstones and place them in your front yard.
- Specimen jars: Cut fruits and vegetables into odd shapes and place them in glass vessels. Fill the vessels with colored water and affix a label to each one.
Make the food that you serve at a haunted party doubles as décor with these ideas:
- Juice from the lagoon: Add a couple drops of food coloring into lemonade to make it look greenish. Line the rims of clear glasses with black cocktail rimming sugar. To each clear glass, add a gummy fish and a couple spoonfuls of pre-cooked tapioca pearls that you colored red or orange to look like fish roe. Pour lemonade over the fish and faux roe.
- Finger food: Make short, thin bread sticks. Before baking the dough, place an almond sliver at each tip so they look like fingernails. You can also form the breadsticks into bone shapes.
- Brains: Cover shrimp in cocktail sauce. Create a ring on a platter using the shrimp. Then stack the crustaceans so they form a brain-looking dome shape.
While preteens and teens are good at entertaining themselves, they never back out of ghoulish hands-on activities.
- DIY caramel apples: Set out everything the young people need to make their own caramel apples, including caramel, chocolate, sprinkles and sticks. By the time the party ends, the toppings will be set.
- ‘Thriller’ music video: If your child’s friends like to dance, make an amateur music video to the song “Thriller” or other Halloween classics.
- Frightening photo booth: Set up an eerie background and have guests pose with silly and scary props. For extra fun, take pictures as you surprise guests with a loud noise or silly string.
Haunted-Party Favor Ideas
Thank your guests for their presence with party favors that they can eat or use on Halloween. Even seemingly silly party favors are acceptable for this occasion. Place the treats in black pails, favor boxes, canvas totes or personalized favor bags.
- Monster slime
- Face paint kit
- Small flashlight
- The party’s play list on a flash drive
- Rubber rat
- Fake teeth
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