Halloween is perhaps the third most popular holiday for parties, coming after New Year's and Christmas. With Halloween, we have the opportunity to dress up for the night and "be someone else." Of course, many Halloween parties are not costumed affairs. Either way, guests can enjoy a few Halloween-themed games.
If you are going to have games, you may require teams. One way to put together the teams randomly, thus encouraging a little mingling among guests who don't already know each other, is to have them draw words from a cauldron or witch's hat. Beforehand, write enough words on slips of paper to have one for every guest. On the slips of paper write words like: Egyptian tomb, pyramid, ankh, canopic jar, mummification, broomstick, magic wand, magic spell, black cat, etc. Everyone draws a slip of paper. All those with words that go together, such as those words relating to a mummy, are on one team. You can set up as many teams as you wish. You might have had words relating to vampires or ghosts or werewolves.
Another way to get guests talking is to play a game in which each guest must guess the name which has been taped to his back. The host puts names on everyone's back. Since this is a Halloween party, perhaps use only names of people and monsters often seen at Halloween gatherings. Consider names like: Count Dracula, Long John Silver, Frankenstein, King Arthur, Merlin, Dorothy of Oz, etc. Each guest may only ask the other guests two questions each about the name on his back. The questions must be answerable by either a "yes" or "no" only. Perhaps award prizes for the first three to guess their secret name.
Send out teams on a digital scavenger hunt. Each team will be given a list of photographs they must take. The winner is the first team to return with the digital evidence. Some examples of the sort of photographs you might require include: a picture of a black cat, a photo of one of the team member's spread against the side of a police cruiser, and a picture of two team members sitting in a tree. The photos may be required to be taken within the party house's neighborhood. Or there could be a road rally element in which the teams load into cars and drive around. In that event, you should limit the team size to four or five members.
Dress Up the Dead
This game is not for the shy and may result in some small immodesty. For the game, you will need a put-together skeleton. They can be found in the Halloween section of many stores. The skeleton can be of wood or plastic, so long as it comes apart easily and can be re-hooked together. The host "buries" the broken up skeleton under a pile of sawdust, loose dirt or hay in the yard. The first team, while being timed, must unearth all the skeleton pieces then run to where there's a hook for hanging the skeleton. They must assemble the skeleton and then, donating parts of their own clothing, dress the skeleton in a shirt and pants. The end result is a catrina from the dia de los muertos celebration. The skeleton is undressed, disassembled and reburied for the next team. The team with the fastest time is the winner.
Host a murder mystery as a play. Select players, either by volunteers or by random drawing or even have guests vote. While the players read over their parts, the rest of the guests arrange the room. Set up a row of chairs facing the party audience. This will be the "stage" where the murder mystery players will sit and perform their roles. The host keeps the game (play) moving, usually by playing one of the detective characters. At the end of the murder mystery, each member of the audience states who he/she thinks committed the murder. Whoever got it right, wins.
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