Halloween is among our favorite times of the year. It’s when we have the excuse to dress up like vampires, witches and deranged murderers, reveling in the company of similarly-attired friends. Throw in a few extra ingredients and it can be one of the best nights of the year.
But what exactly are those extra ingredients? How can we make sure that the ingredients we select are of the highest possible quality? Let’s take a look at a few of them in turn and see if we can find out how to combine them all in order to make this year’s Halloween the best yet.
The best place to start is probably an obvious one. Dressing up is an important part of Halloween. In fact, it’s an indispensable one. Any Halloween party where people simply wear their normal clothes cannot justly be described as a Halloween party. Something will undeniably be missing.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to secure yourself a great Halloween costume. Through the internet, we’ve access to an enormous variety of different outfits – ranging from simple classics like vampires and witches to more unusual offerings like giant vegetables.
These costumes are available to suit a range of budgets. If you’re after something enormously elaborate, you can get it – there are some officially licensed high quality replica costumes from films like Batman and The Avengers which retail for many hundreds of pounds. If, on the other hand, you’re after something a little more reserved – a simple, elegant mask, for example, then you can get that too.
Alternatively, you can really get into the spirit of the season by creating a costume yourself. You can take this as seriously as you like; some Halloween costumes are hugely elaborate, while others can be as simple as a sheet over the head. Fortunately, the internet offers a wealth of instruction on how to create the perfect costume – YouTube alone is bursting at the seams with information on how best to use liquid latex to make convincing zombified flesh, how to make convincing blood from syrup and all manner of other tips and tricks.
With just a little invention and patience, you can create a costume that will upstage all of your fellow revelers. So what are you waiting for? Get to it!
Food and drink
While costumes might be an important part of a Halloween party, the right menu is an important part of any party. If your Halloween party is to measure up, it’s got to include its share of weird and wonderful snacks and treats for your guests to tuck into.
In order to be appropriately ‘Halloweeny’, the food you offer up will need to be a little bit on the weird side. Just take a look through the sweet section of your local supermarket and you’re sure to find luminous green and orange variants of your favorite confectionary – from toxic-sludge inspired Crème Eggs to seemingly radioactive packs of crisps.
It would be easy to simply stock up on these items and fill a few bowls on the kitchen table, but you can also take matters into your own hands by doing some cooking of your own.
You can recreate the strange effects of the shop-bought Halloween treats by introducing a little food colouring into your baking. In this way you can create some appropriately freakish-look snacks. Halloween ingredients like pumpkins will go nicely on the menu, as will favorites like toffee apples. Naturally, you can complement all of this with some weird-looking alcoholic drink – maybe served by a hideous witch from a bubbling cauldron to round off the Halloween vibe even more.
Which brings us rather neatly onto the next component in our perfect Halloween party.
One of the most important parts of a Halloween party is creating the right atmosphere. We’ve already seen how you might do this with music and costumes, but perhaps even more important than making sure that your venue is appropriately decorated.
Of course, no Halloween decorating session would be complete without mention of the ubiquitous pumpkin. There are hundreds of different ways to do a carving, but your objective should be to create something that, when lit from within, gives the impression of a sinister glowing face in the darkness.
But even the most enthusiastic hobbyist can’t hope to decorate an entire party from scratch. For this reason, it’s worth investing in some of the work of the amazing designers out there. This diamante skull, from renowned designer Gisela Graham, is just perfect for Halloween – and what’s more, it will serve throughout the year as part of a slightly-macabre interior. Alternatively, you can go for something a little more classic. Decorations like theses hanging spiders have been delighting Halloween revelers for decades – they create precisely the sort of creepy atmosphere that the occasion requires.
Halloween is as much a celebration of music as it is anything else. It comes with just as many popular songs as Christmas – ranging from the genuinely sinister to the cheesy and campy. Your choice of music is something that will be almost entirely informed by personal taste – the chances are that you already know what you and your guests like to listen to and that you already have a playlist in mind.
But your choice will also depend hugely upon the sort of Halloween party you’re looking to put on. If you want something terrifying, then you might want to play an atonal racket from a drone band like Sunn O))), or some pipe organ solo that brings to mind the mountains of Transylvania.
If you’re like most people, however, you’ll want something that people can dance to, which means that Halloween classics like Michael Jackson’s Thriller are almost obligatory. The last few years have also seen an upsurge in 80s nostalgia and riding that wave has been a slew of synth-dance acts like Perturbator, whose music is ideal for creating that John Carpenter-esque Halloween atmosphere.
Of course, where there’s music, there should also ideally be dancing. This is where you have an opportunity to unleash some eye-popping moves onto the dancefloor – and so if you’re into dance in a big way, you’ll likely be looking to impress.
Youtube is a source of instruction on how exactly to perform those creepy Halloween dances. If you know what you’re doing, you can learn the dance from Thriller in a short space of time – all you need to do is put in a little practice!
Part of the joy of Halloween is getting together with a few friends and watching some appropriate cinema.
If you’ve got a children’s party planned, then you’ve got a much smaller catalogue to choose from. You’ll want film which are appropriately ghoulish and scary, but which aren’t going to traumatise your guests. This means that gore-drenched horror section of your Netflix account is best left abandoned in favour of spooky classics like The Nightmare before Christmas or Ghostbusters.
If you’re hosting a gathering for a more mature audience, then you might want to secure some more mature rated movies. Fortunately, you’ve a much broader range of films to choose from. You might want to show some classic films, like the original Halloween, with its sinister atmosphere and electronic soundtrack. It might, on the other hand, be that you’d prefer to watch a more modern film.
If you’ve grown disillusioned with the horror genre, then Halloween is a great time to rediscover it with some of the critically-acclaimed offerings from the last few years. These include psychological films likeThe Babadook, and the terrifying It Follows, both of which ramp up the tension to almost unbearable levels. Or you might want to head back to the past and rediscover classics like Braindead and Army of Darkness. Whatever your taste in films, there are thousands of them out there to discover.
But if you’re hosting a jovial gathering where people are likely to be loudly talking, dancing, singing and generally unwinding, then combining that with a cerebral, multi-layered film might not be advisable. It might be that, while you like a good film as much as the next person, you’d rather not have your cinematic entertainment distract from the main fun of your Halloween party. That being the case, why not project a silent classic like Nosferatu onto a spare wall of your venue? You’ll be able not only to enjoy the creepy ambience created by a masterpiece of the genre, but you’ll be able to dance to Michael Jackson, eat pumpkin pie and drink beer while doing so. We can think of few better ways of celebrating All Hallow’s Eve.