When it comes round to Halloween, it seems that kids get to have all the fun. That doesn’t have to be the way though: Here’s our guide to creating your own adult spooky shenanigans!
Put up a Halloween tree
Why wait for Christmas! A Halloween tree will be a guaranteed talking point amongst guests, and is much cheaper than buying a Christmas fir, too. All you’ll need is the bare branch (the more gnarled-looking the better), and a soil or stone-weighed pot to stand it up in. After that, let your imagination run wild with the decorations: orange fairy lights, iced pumpkin cookies, rubber bats and mini orange jack-o’-lanterns are a few possibilities.
Pump out an arm-raising, hair-raising playlist
You can probably name fifty or so festive tunes off the top of your head, but how many Halloween classics do you know? Help is at hand, with plenty of pre-made playlists available on programmes like Spotify. Among the tunes we like best are Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, Doctor Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde by Serge Gainsbourg, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. If you really want to give people the heebie jeebies, record your own sound effects (slow footsteps, creaking doors, screams, knives being drawn) and have them play subtly in the background at random intervals.
Set up your own drinks laboratory
Transform your kitchen into a veritable Dr Jekyll’s lab, by setting out tasty and colourful cocktail ingredients and getting down to some serious chemistry! Bloody Marys, Brain Haemorrhages (peach schnapps, bailey and grenadine) and Green Fizz (gin, crème de menthe, lemon juice, egg white, sugar and soda) are sure-fire winners. If you don’t want to splash out on real beakers and test tubes, use jars and bottles instead. Centre stage for your laboratory, have a bubbling cauldron (or saucepan) of Halloween punch. Of course you can mix in whatever potent ingredients you want, but we especially recommend an autumnal blend of apple cider, spices, honey and rum. Yum.
Feast on frightening food
Once you’ve got a few potions inside you, it’s time to do dinner Dracula style. There are no lack of horror-related recipes out there, from David Burtka’s pork, mushroom and ginger-filled dumplings (they looks just like wrinkled brains), to Betty Crocker’s mozzarella and carrot Eyes-of-Newt, to a blast of nostalgia with one of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes (Snozzcumber, Stink Bugs’ Eggs or Fresh Mudburger, anyone?)
Have a horror movie marathon
What would Halloween be without the annual slew of slasher flicks? The cinema’s good for new releases, but it’s hard to beat the classics huddled round the TV with friends. Each guest picks their all-time fave, or if there are lots of you, all put your suggestions in a hat and pull them out to decide which movie goes next. To add a little competitiveness to proceedings, place bets on who screams the most, covers their face with a pillow the most, etc. Biggest wimp pays a forfeit!