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Trick or Treat –- Planning the Ultimate Halloween Party
by: ARA
(ARA) – What better way to celebrate the night of fright than to throw a Halloween party? Whether you’re expecting mini-goblins and ghosts or thinking of hosting adult Elvira’s and Frankenstein’s, decorations, frightful food and ghoulish activities will set the right tone for a Spook-Fest fit for even the most menacing vampires.

The first step in planning your Halloween bash is to determine the theme. The theme will set the mood, determine the dress attire and influence the food you serve. Planning a movie-themed party is the most versatile and gives your guests the flexibility to dress as their favorite fright flick character. You can even incorporate your movie theme into your decorating. Borrow your friends’ DVD players and have different Halloween movies playing from the timeless Hollywood horror classics of Alfred Hitchcock to the more modern scares like Scream. James Rocchi, film critic of online DVD rental service Netflix (, suggests his five favorites to show.

* Frankenstein (1931) -- the Karloff classic

* Halloween (1978) -- retro-flavored slasher that launched a thousand imitators

* Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) -- a popular horror film classic

* Them! (1954) -- a giant insect monster movie with ‘50s camp and timeless scares

* Rosemary’s Baby (1968) -- the urban-Satanism nightmare that still chills

For additional decorations, head to your local party store and pick up all your Halloween supplies including cobwebs, jack-o-lanterns, and skeletons and serving supplies like plates, napkins and cups. While you’re at the store, pick-up a couple of CDs that you can play while you greet your guests the night of your party. Opt to skip the lights and illuminate your house with slow burning or long lasting candles.

When planning your party menu, consider the costumes your guests might be wearing and what will be easy for the dressed-up to eat and whether you want to prepare the food, have your party catered or have your guests each bring a dish. You can feature frightful hors d’ oeuvres such as “deviled eyeballs” -- deviled eggs topped with a slice of black or green olive and a main course of “guts and eyeballs” (your own famous spaghetti and meatballs). For dessert, serve orange and black themed cakes, cookies, and other sweets.

If you’ve invited the neighbors, top the night off with an outside werewolf howling or screaming contest. Award the winners with a gift subscription to Netflix so they can host next year’s Halloween party.

For the Kids

If you are hosting a party for kids or kids will be invited to the adult party, you may want to serve food that they will find fun and provide activities that are age appropriate. Since kids love to dress up, host a costume contest. Have plenty of prizes on hand so every child wins in a different costume category. If your party is on Halloween night, take the kids out to trick-or-treat before the adults settle in for their own party.

Kids love gross Halloween treats. You can turn chicken strips into witch’s fingers by adding dagger-like fingernails made of pimientos and for dessert, serve up mud cups: chocolate pudding topped with crushed Oreo cookies and gummy worms.

Provide additional entertainment with Halloween movies. For the kids, Rocchi recommends “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown;” “SpongeBob SquarePants: Halloween;” and “The Worst Witch: A Mean Halloween.” Netflix makes getting movies for your party simple. Forgo a last minute dash to the video store, only to find your Halloween favorites already rented. With more than 15,000 titles to choose from, you’re sure to find just the right ones to set the Halloween mood.

Courtesy of ARA Content


Looking for more inspiration? Here are some other suggestions from film critic James Rocchi.

Top renting horror movies (of a supernatural bent)

The Others

The Ring

Ghost Ship

The Sixth Sense: Special Edition

What Lies Beneath: Special Edition

The Mummy Returns

Final Destination

Sleepy Hollow

13 Ghosts

The Exorcist, both the original and restored version

About the author:
Courtesy of ARA Content

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