How to throw the scariest adult Halloween party

Oct 22, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. ET
Image: Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

If I’m being honest, I will tell you that I truly enjoy slasher films and torture porn. I just like scary things. Historically, I’m not afraid of spiders, blood or commitment. And as a person who likes the darker side of life, I have surrounded myself with a group of friends who also enjoy a rush of adrenaline. Halloween is our Christmas.

On All Hallows' Eve, those of us with kids have the babysitter there by 8 p.m. Those of us without kids, well, we just do whatever we want, just like any other night. My point is, we throw very scary adult Halloween parties every year. This year, I have decided to share some of our finer, highly cultivated, scary Halloween party ideas with you in case you want to come over to the dark side with us and do something different this Halloween.

You’ll need four key elements: A scary costume theme (that everyone has to come dressed as, no exceptions!), creepy looking food, visually uncomfortable party decor and an adult game that everyone has to play, because there is nothing scarier than having to interact with strangers at a party.

Theme ideas

Coming up with the right theme for your party requires you really knowing your guests. Here are the top three theme ideas broken down by the collective personality of your guests.

If your friends are creative types, may I suggest "come as your favorite murderer." This works well for couples too, if you can figure out people who murdered in pairs. Last time we did this, people came as the Menendez brothers, Bonnie and Clyde and the Manson family. That year, my boyfriend and I went as Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield and won for most creative murderer couple.

If your friends are hard partiers, may I suggest the “grossest costume contest.” People will show up looking like they’ve been eaten by worms, or with their insides on the outside. One year, a guy came looking like he was in the process of being eaten by a shark. Not someone who had been eaten by a shark, but someone who was still being eaten by one. It was very cool.

If your friends just want a simple theme, may I suggest “come as your favorite dead [president] [rock star] [celebrity].” You just fill in the blank because as long as the person is dead, it’s scary.

Creepy looking food

This is my favorite part. The amount of regular food that you can make scary is, well... scary!

  • Make a fondue, but use white chocolate with added red food coloring.
  • Witch's fingers. I make them with a very soft malleable white bread and stuff them with peanut butter and jelly, but there are other ways, too.
  • Something with eyeballs are a must. I do two. I make regular eye-sized meatballs and use a thinly sliced black olive for the iris and leave them sitting in a red marinara sauce that looks like blood. Serve that over black-ink pasta. Or you can make an eyeball dessert.
  • A jack-o'-lantern throwing up guacamole is a scary Halloween party staple.
  • Make a Q-tip box dessert — take the stick part, replace it with a mini marshmallows and add just a touch of either peanut butter or caramel to look like earwax.
  • Buy some plastic skulls, wrap them in cold cuts and place the skulls on sausage links that look like intestines.

Visually uncomfortable party decor

Sure, you can head to your nearest party store and buy a few hanging ghosts and plastic skeletons, but we like to make our home uniquely scary. We start with PhotoFunia, but you can use any app that takes your photos and turns them into “zombie you” or “dead you” or “you trapped inside a TV like Poltergeist.” Then we replace all of the framed pictures in our home with mummy, zombie and dead versions of our family and friends.

Other creative and inexpensive scary decor

  • Stuff a pair of jeans, attach sneakers, put fake blood all over them and leave this severed bottom half lying around.
  • Scrawl “Bloody Mary” three times on your bathroom mirror in lipstick. Write “don’t turn around” on the inside of the toilet seat in blood.
  • In the tub, stuff a big black hefty bag with clothing, then duct tape it to look like a body. Place fake blood around it and get one of those battery-operated cat toys that moves on its own and place it inside the bag.
  • Get creative with sheets, plastic body parts, fake blood spatter and fake flies, and don’t forget to replace all of your light bulbs with black and red ones.

Adult games to play

We go old school and play a game that we call “Celebrity,” but I’ve seen it called “Who am I?” or “Heads up.” I think there’s even a kid’s version called “Hedbanz.”

This is the game where the host places a card with the name of a scary monster, dead celebrity, mass murderer or whatever scary theme you can think of on your forehead. You don’t get to look at the card but you do get to ask one question to each party guest to determine who you are. “Am I a woman?” “Am I in jail?” “Am I dead?” might be some of the questions you’ll ask. Then you have to figure out who you are.

Another game that we like is a scary treasure hunt. Before the party, we hide all kinds of things around the house. Spiders, small rubber body parts, mini pumpkins, little skull bracelets... whatever we can get cheap at the party supply or dollar store. Then everyone gets a list of what they have to find, and whoever finds their items first wins.

You may not want to do all four of these ideas — that’s some advanced-level Halloween party stuff. But if you pick at least two, your party will be fantastically frightening and outrageously fun.

Here’s wishing you a safe, healthy and spooky Halloween!