Thinking of hosting your own Halloween Party? For a night of bewitching fun, read on to get your party haunted!

The most economical décor will be provided by disguised partygoers.  Have guests to come dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes for decor that doesn’t cost a dime! BUT in the spirit of the season, transform your home into one haute haunted house. Want decor with spooky sophistication? Check out Grandin Road, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1 and Cracker Barrel Country Store.  Setup festive vignettes –gloves popping out of a box a la the Meunsters, plush black widow spiders in cobwebs, assorted witch hats scattered nearby a self propelled broomstick. – you get the picture.  And if your budget allows, begin outdoors. Festive props such as spooky willow trees or a gang of ghosts set the stage before your guests even step foot inside your “haute”-d house.  

Keep house lights to a minimum and opt for candlelight placed about the party scene using gothic candelabra (add cobwebs for dramatic effect)  and sconces with flickering flames mixed with black lights (perfect for a dance area).

A spooky soundtrack is a must. Purchase a Halloween mix CD, or splurge for a DJ.
Give out prizes for the most creative, scariest and silliest costumes. If your crowd is game, you can also organize activities such as bobbing for apples or Monster Mash Limbo.

A “BOO”ffet is perfect. You don’t have to go overboard on the theme when it comes to food, but do mix in a bit of kitsch with the canapés. A few ideas for spooky eats, Translyvanian ghoulash served in a cauldron or pumpkin and butternut squash soup in test tubes, toasted Nori bat wings, finger sandwiches cut into spooky shapes, pumpkin risotto , deviled eggs and moldy cheese balls. For dessert, Old lady finger cookies, “terrormisu”, and  ghost pops are great options, and you can’t celebrate Halloween without an assortment of candy!

Give your bar a mad scientist vibe by using glass beakers, dry ice and vintage bottles finished with festive labels. Glue inexpensive plastic spiders to the base of stemmed glassware, and serve a signature spellbinding cocktail like the black widow (the layered two-tone presentation is great!). And remember to also offer non-alcoholic drinks like virgin Bloody Marys and Clementine Izze iced in a pumpkin-shaped cooler.

Tips from a Pro:
* For an eerie entrance to your party, place a fog machine behind the door, and have guests greeted by the Grim Reaper.

* Kick it up a notch by hiring a fortuneteller for entertainment

*Hosting a big bash that requires staff? Have everyone dressed in the same costume to make it easy for guests to identify who they should talk to if they need a drink or have a question

*Have a few extra costumes on hand in case someone forgets to wear one.

* When replacing labels on self-serve beverages, be sure that you provide a way for guests to know what it really is that they are pouring.

Eat Drink and Be Scary!!