by Maggie Kruger
They’re (almost) HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
OK, we’ve still got a couple of weeks to go but it’s time to get back to planning your awesome Halloween Movie party – this week: decorations and games!
(“Maybe that last daiquiri was a mistake…”)
The first thing that springs to my mind when I think of Halloween is the image of a pumpkin, with his insides all scooped out and a scary face cut in (I have no idea why I think pumpkins are male… Return to Oz hangover maybe). You can’t have a party on 31st October without a Jack O’Lantern, you just can’t.
How to do it: Simples – get a pumpkin, cut his head off, scoop his insides out, cut out a scary face shape, stick a nightlight in the middle, put lid back on, put him in the window.
Pros: You can do some really cool faces that look proper scary and atmospheric. Stick ‘Halloween Pumpkins’ into your favourite search engine and it brings up some really useful sites.
Cons: Seriously, have you ever tried to do this? I did once when I was at college and nearly sliced two fingers off! It’s really difficult to carve a pumpkin, so please take care, and please don’t let your kids cut the faces in themselves.
Some people (me), have an abundance of cobwebs in their houses. It’s because I’m short and can’t reach the top corners with a duster, honest. So my apartment is already rocking the ‘spooky haunted house’ look. The rest of you will have to busk it.
How to do it: You can buy cobweb spray at any party shop, especially at this time of the year. Get a couple of cans and spray to your heart’s content.
Pros: Quick, cheap, easy – this is the ultimate ‘no-effort’ Halloween decoration.
Cons: Cleaning up afterwards – you’ll be finding bits of spiderweb spray all over the place for months afterwards.
The world’s your oyster with ghosts. You’ve got your friendly ghosts, your evil scary ghosts and your downright sexy ghosts … and there are as many decorations available as there are sources of inspiration.
How to do it: You can improvise with lengths of floaty white material and some scrunched up tissue paper (thank you, interwebs search engine!). Or, you can also make the world’s scariest decoration with the use of chicken wire moulded into a torso shape(with arms), covered with a shirt and fixed to the wall – Well, hellllooooo disembodied spectre coming at you!
Pros: Ghost decorations are as easy or hard as you want them to be and nowhere near as messy as the cobweb spray.
Cons: Chicken wire sculptures do take a lot of effort (although the end result is worth it); possibly unsuitable for aged relatives of a nervous disposition.
4. Bobbing for Apples
The oldest and messiest of all Halloween games, this one is great for kids and adults alike.
How to do it: Get big tub, add water, add apples, people use their mouths to get the apples out. For a grown-up twist, get people to bob for cans of beer (bottles don’t float)
Pros: Kids inexplicably go CRAZY for this game. Plus apples are good for them.
Cons: You risk wiping your make up off trying to get dry… or your make up’s going to come off on someone’s towels – make sure they’re not good ones!
5. Did you hear that?!?
This is slightly random, but really works if you do it right. Never underestimate the power of the sound effect!!!
How to do it: Download some spooky noises (there are loads online and many of them are free), or record them yourself, and create a couple of CDs filled with random spooky noises.
It doesn’t have to be continuous, in fact it’s better if the noises come and go at random. Hide a couple of CD players in quiet places where your guests might visit (the bathroom is EXCELLENT for this) and wait for the screaming to start for real!
Pros: It’s a brilliant Halloween prank, pure and simple.
Cons: Again, guests of a nervous disposition may not appreciate the fright.
Have I missed anything?
Fill us in with your favourites if I have, and see you next week when we’ll be tackling the ultimate Halloween party food menu!
Maggie Kruger fell asleep on her dad’s lap on her first cinema trip to watch Return of the Jedi in 1983, and has loved the movies ever since, even going so far as to study them at college, where she worked on a number of short films. She lives and works in London, UK, and will tell you that her favourite film is Dr Strangelove, although when pressed will also admit a certain weakness for 1980’s brat pack movies and most of Adam Sandler’s early work.Follow her on Twitter: @emmizzykay .