When you want to throw an awesome costume party, you have to go all out. From choosing creative decorations to planning a costume contest, here are all the Halloween party ideas you need to throw a bash your friends will remember long after October 31.

Creative Decorations

A good Halloween party is all about the atmosphere. From dimmed lighting to themed decor, here are some Halloween party ideas that involve getting the decor right.

  • Dark Tones:

    Forget light and bright. Halloween is all about being dark and spooky. If the place where you're hosting the party isn't naturally dark, look for ways to change the vibe. Hang dark curtains, pull out dark tablecloths, add spider webs, make bats out of black paper to stick on the walls, and drape the furniture with items that add a sense of darkness and mystery.

  • Dimmed Light:

    Hosting a Halloween party isn't like showing your home when it's for sale, so rather than turning on all the lights, use minimal mood lighting to set the stage. While you want your guests to be able to see one another and the food, you also want to highlight the dark and creepy vibe. Light candles, dim the lights, and make your party feel spooky.

  • Scary Stuff:

    What eerie decor can you work into your space? Whether it's a skeleton sitting in the living room or a smoke machine in the yard, adding a few frightening elements can go a long way toward boosting the Halloween vibe.

  • Seasonal Features:

    Just because it's Halloween doesn't mean you can't highlight some of autumn's finest features. From fallen leaves to jack-o'-lanterns, make sure you work in some seasonal elements.

The fun part about decorating for a Halloween costume party is that there are so many possibilities. If you find yourself overwhelmed with options, pick a theme and let that guide your decisions. Whether you go with Victorian haunted house or festive fall party, you have lots of opportunities to make the decor your own.

Costume Contest and Prizes

Creative costumes can make or break a Halloween party, so get your guests participating by offering prizes. Offer awards for the most creative, funny, and scary costumes in order to call attention to your guests' efforts. Then give out fun prizes, such as movie tickets, wine, or restaurant gift cards, to your winners.


The right menu will feature both cocktails and festive Halloween snacks. Go hot and spicy with tacos or enchiladas, or keep it cozy with a big pot of pumpkin soup or savory chili. For a sweet treat, make a dark chocolate cake topped with Halloween candy, or whip up some festive caramel apples. Whether you make mini jack-o'-lantern pies or a classic seasonal pie, use your Halloween party as a chance to create a custom menu that celebrates the season.


Nothing sets the stage faster than the music you play, so take the time to pick the right mix for your costume party. Here are some tips for choosing the best tunes.

  • Eerie Instrumental:

    When you want background music that doesn't interrupt conversation but adds a creepy factor, go for eerie instrumental music. Look for the type of music you'd hear in a movie scene at a cemetery—something that feels a little scary and sinister.

  • Upbeat and Fun:

    If you're less interested in scaring your guests and more interested in dancing the night away, opt for upbeat Halloween party tunes that get your guests moving.

  • Movie Sound Tracks:

    When in doubt about where to find good tunes, you can't go wrong with sound tracks to horror films. From classic Halloween movies to monster musicals, you'll find plenty of creepy party music within movies.

Make your costume party unforgettable by making the most of the Halloween party ideas listed above. From the decorations you choose to the music you play, there are lots of ways to set the stage for a spooky celebration you and your guests can enjoy.