13 ideas for a classic Halloween party that’s more than a little spooky

Halloween party trends come and go. One year you may see an overwhelming number of scary clowns (remember that bad, bad year?), the next about a thousand rats and their favorite slices, and the next all the poor lanternflies you’ve squashed in the name of ecological warfare. If you’re interested in your festivities being a little more elegant and a little less trend-forward “sewer-dwelling monster,” treat your guests to a Halloween party (and a Halloween invitation) that’s subtle, simple, and more than a little spooky. We have 13 great ideas to get you started.

Let’s see what’s on the slab

For a holiday where simulated cannibalism is often on the menu, it’s hard to know how to prepare the Halloween table. Here’s a starting place setting:

1- 4. Black candles, red wine glasses and gold-rimmed cups – Gothic glassware and table decorations will help take your dining room to the next plane, especially when presented on a midnight black table runner.

5. John Derian Raven tray – Add a touch of Poe with this decoupaged tray.

Witch’s brew

We assume you have candy well-covered. But what about the other important Halloween comestibles? 

6. Salvador Dali’s cookbook’s Dalí: Les Dîners de Gala – The master painter’s cookbook was out of print until rising from the grave in 2016, and it’s as beautiful and bizarre as you would imagine. More than just a gorgeous visual addition to your festivities, you can add a surreal twist to your evening by cooking up one of Dali’s bizarre dishes. It’ll definitely be more memorable than ripping open a big bag of Reese’s Cups. Besides, that Reese’s bag is for your morning clean up session.

7. Rose’s Grenadine – Serve your guests a sweet, spine-tingling blood-red Redrum Cocktail made of (what else) rum, tonic and Rose’s Grenadine.

Mourning attire

Costumes from a bag are not mandatory, but we do encourage a bit of dress-up, even for the grown-ups.

8.-10. Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats – Leave the fake blood and zombie makeup to somebody else. Encourage your guests to dress sinisterly chic. Think black, velvet, and these quirky cat slippers. Keep accessories on hand like faux glasses, cigarettes, and cigarette holders to help your guests feel… not quite themselves this evening.

11. Miniature witch hats – Black and orange costume toppers are a cute, on-theme addition to anyone’s inky outfit. Besides, after a few drinks, there is absolutely nothing funnier than a tiny hat.

Wicked games

Having friends around is joy enough, but it’s worth picking up a few things to keep people entertained and possessed of a partying spirit.

12. Polaroid camera – Take photos of your friends as they arrive for a fun memento mori.

14. Projector – Projecting the right horror movie on the wall will both entertain your guests and add another layer to your party’s atmosphere. Screen a stylish classic like Dario Argento’s Suspiria or a gorgeous modern throwback like 2016’s The Love Witch.

13. Ghost pinata – Bring the party to its gruesome end by letting your guests bust a ghost pinata full of tiny liquor bottles. Pack the pinata with mix of tiny bourbons and elderflower liqueurs, and let your guests take home a perfect party favor, or enjoy them as a final nightcap before they fly back into the night.


Now that you’re not so spooked by the possibility of a party, browse our adult Halloween invitations and Halloween party invites suitable for all sorts of tricks and treats. 


Every product in this post is one we personally love and can confidently recommend to our users. Paperless Post may earn a commission through affiliate links on this post.