How to throw a spooky Halloween party

While we can never quite predict which costumes are going to make the biggest splash, (sourdough bread perhaps?) we know for certain Halloween is going to look a lot different this year. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on hosting a Halloween party. Whether you celebrate virtually or from six feet apart, there are plenty of tips on how to throw a halloween party this year.   


Spooky and socially distanced Halloween

With any of our favorite themes below, it’s best to follow a few precautions to keep your party guests safe. If weather permits, host an outdoor Halloween party. Not only will it allow for fresh air and more room to spread out, but it can add an eerie ambiance to any Halloween theme. Really, what’s a better backdrop for a spooky soiree than the dark black sky?


Whether you’re hosting a bonfire or rooftop cocktails, set up a hand sanitizer station for guests to easily access. You can decorate the station to match the rest of your party theme, or add a festive sign to keep the mood light such as “ward off evil spirits.” As another precaution, ask your guests to wear masks, (or even better) incorporate them into their costumes. So many Halloween costume ideas can benefit from a mask; just look at Lady Gaga’s outfit changes at the most recent virtual VMAs if you need any convincing. 


Once you put these basic safety precautions in place, the rest of the Halloween party is up to you and you can tailor it to fit your own personal Hallows’ Eve style. With that in mind, we compiled a guide on how to throw a Halloween party just as fantastic and unique as you are. Once you’ve learned how to throw the party, check out our ideas for a low-key and creepy Halloween party


Venetian masquerade party

halloween invitation and masquerade party inspiration

Images: Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball. “Creep it Real” Flyer. The Birds cake topper: The House that Lars Built. Venetian Mask: Amazon.


If you love an elegant edge to your scary, consider throwing a Venetian masquerade. Or should we say, “mask-querade”? Due to its storied decadence back in the days of Casanova, Venice has long been synonymous with stylishly indulgent parties, when partygoers donned masks to protect their identity during the debauched activities associated with Carnivale. This year, take a cue from Venetians (and Truman Capote’s swans) and use decorative face masks to bring out the most spirited side of your guests.

Decor: Keep the theme elegant with a touch of gothic. Nothing says Halloween quite like an ominous black crow, which also nods to the event’s traditional masks. Topping a banister or doorway, they’ll give the appearance that they are watching and waiting.  

Wear: Channel your inner-Capote and ask guests to dress in black and white for their Halloween costume, with the addition of avian accessories, such as feathered headpieces or beaked masks. A themed dress code may seem strict, but think of it as freedom from costume decision fatigue. Anyone can rustle up a black dress. 

Serve: Capote served spaghetti at midnight, but we’d suggest getting right to the drinks and dancing. Instead, opt for one-bite appetizers, or decadent cupcakes topped with creepy crows

Office noir

bat halloween invitation and party inspiration
Images: Vera Ellen striking a pose. “Batty” Flyer. Vampire bar wall sculpture: Amazon. Black Velvet Cocktail: Gather Journal.  


If we learned one thing from the spellbinding stories of Transylvania, it’s that black goes with everything. Also, a monochrome party theme is ideal for your office happy hour, professional event, or any virtual party in which you’d prefer to keep things polished. 

Send: Let a Flyer from our Halloween Flyer collection set the stage for the most “batty” of evenings.

Decor: Have everyone dress up the Zoom room with spooky backgrounds straight out of Transylvania, think Dracula or a whole lot of bats. 

Do: Play a round of Halloween-themed trivia or stream a creepy flick together using a Netflix party. 

Serve: Share a cocktail recipe everyone can recreate at home (Black Velvets do the trick). Or for smaller teams, have drinks delivered to everyone in time for the party as a party favor  gift from the office.

A Flemish affair

Images:  Faux skull: Amazon. Hollister Hovey as Queen Elizabeth: Instagram. “Dark and Windy” Flyer.  Vanitas by Nicoles van Veerendael.

You don’t need a minor in Art History to throw an artful Halloween affair. A Dutch Masters theme provides a mix of lush nature morte and campy art school-inspired costumes perfectly suited for a cocktail party. 

Decor: Set the stage for a cocktail party that could venture anywhere from Jan Steen to Hieronymus Bosch by loading up on tapered candles, faux skulls, and piles of wilting flowers. 

Serve: Even if you’re hosting outdoors in the middle of the city, transport your guests to the Flemish countryside with a painterly platter of fall harvest fares like figs, pomegranate, and healthy chunks of cheese. Pair it with goblets of red wine. 

Wear: Add cuffs, a ruffle, or a headpiece to your ensemble, and you’ll be portrait-ready. Get crafty when you whip one up. Doilies, wax paper, or even a lampshade all work. There are enough Flemish maids, merrymakers, and muses in the history books that you won’t need to venture into Garden of Earthly Delights territory.

Creepy cocktails

adams family invitation and party inspiration
Images: Halloween cocktails: Martha Stewart Living. Severed hand: Amazon. “Poison of Choice” Flyer. Poison apothecary jar: Amazon.


If you missed the 1991 campy classic The Addams Family, step away from the computer and watch it immediately. Now, have yourself a cheeky cocktail party inspired by the creepiest, but somehow most charming, house on the block. 

Decor: Fear not, transforming your house into a whacked-out Victorian mansion is not required. Instead, give yourself a literal hand with the addition of the Addams’ family friendly, helpful severed hand, Thing. 

Serve: The Addams’ world is a funhouse mirror where up is down and pastels are a fate worse than death, so the odder the better when it comes to beverages. Pre-mix a batch of Bloody Marys for more conservative guests, and for the rest, whip up these creepy, candy-colored cocktails. Try adding Spirulina to any cocktail for a swampy look, or a dash of grenadine to make any drink “bloody.” You can’t go too far when you’re nodding to the infamous scene in the film in which Wednesday and Pugsley set up a Lemonade Stand that makes patrons’ heads explode (but, you know, in a fun way).

Wear: Wednesday’s braids, Pugsley’s black-and-white stripes, Gomez’s Salvador Dali mustache, or Morticia’s eternally chic undead Jerry Hall-esque gown, wig, and ‘tude. 

Scary movie party

Images: Halloween drink syringe: Amazon. The prom scene in Carrie. Prom sign: Amazon.  Halloween Flyer with a Carrie gif uploaded by the user.


The ’70s are back in a big way. Host a vintage horror movie marathon for a low-key Halloween party that’s easy to plan and very hard to fall asleep after. 

Decor: Prom queen pink and red. Have fake blood on hand for guests to play with as they please, and hang a kitschy senior prom sign to drive it home.

Wear: Prom-gone-wrong-chic. Think Carrie (the original, not the remake, which went wrong in none of the right ways), and ask guests to come in old-school prom attire, then award a tiara and crown to the best costumes. Hold the pigs’ blood.

Serve: Bloody cocktails or “Bloody Carries,” which are Bloody Marys that can move things with their minds.

Goth dance party

Images: Fashion at the Funeral: Vogue Paris. Arrangement by Meta Flora. “You Ghost Girl” Flyer.


This one’s for The Weirdos, or the secret weirdo in you. Halloween can be celebrated in 1,000 creative and engaging ways, but sometimes, you just want to dance. So throw yourself a howling dance party with a tongue-in-cheek Goth theme. 

Play: Channel the moody teen witches in The Craft with a playlist fit for a coven. 

Wear: Anything from 90s attire to Hot Topic teen, as long as it’s black. Heavy up on the eyeliner and nail polish, also black. Whatever one might wear to a Marilyn Manson concert is a safe bet. 

Do: Take your dance party outdoors under the string lights, or host virtually from your own creepy adobe. 


Now that you’ve learned how to plan a Halloween party for adults, bewitch your guests with our new Halloween Flyers that are completely free and easy to share in text, email, or ancient spell. You can also discover our full collection of  Halloween invitations that will suit any type of party.

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Hero image: Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball.