keithjennison October 12, 2009

How do you throw a Halloween Night party to reflect your interests and character? Film buffs may choose a horror movie night, the artistic may host a craft party, socialites may organize a block party and the refined may opt for an elegant dinner party.

There are almost limitless options for expressing your creativity, while entertaining your friends for some trick or treat. To take the stress away, plan ahead, decide upon a budget, pick a theme and ask others to bring things if need be.

Halloween
Comedian (“Strangers with Candy”) and Entertainer Extraordinaire, Amy Sedaris, recommends hosting a Halloween Night Movie Party. “The fun of the party to me is the movie I’m featuring,” says Sedaris, who personally recommends classics like Dracula and Frankenstein, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, The Trilogy of Terror, The Bad Seed, and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Of course, there are countless movies from which to choose.

To create the in-home theater, she moves the TV to the center of the room and arranges cushy beanbag chairs and furniture around it so everyone can see. Then she places food trays around the room in accessible spots.

She serves meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn because “you don’t have to see it to eat it” and she also highly recommends pumpkin pie dessert and pumpkin seed snacks. She likes to start the Halloween fun with a pumpkin carving activity too.

Drinks can include a Bloody Mary, a Berry Rum Punch, Sangria or a witch’s brew. Sedaris also recommends sending out invitations that look like a movie ticket or film reel, draping red velvet around the room, playing elevator muzak, setting up 25-cent concessions booths and throwing a few of the more traditional Halloween decorations around. “Entertaining alone is one of the most creative and rewarding experiences I can think of,” she concludes.

of Halloween
Perhaps you’d like to plan a formal Halloween Costume Dinner Party. This is a great idea and works well if you’d like to make it a themed event. For instance, you could request that everyone dress up as pirates or in turn-of-the-century vampire/Renaissance costumes.

For the best results, do a little research ahead of time and find adult costume sites to direct your guests to visit. www.epicurious.com offers a full selection of Halloween recipes for you to choose from. While it may sound like a Herculean task, imagine the example it will set for the children and how the renewed sense of community will bring your neighborhood together!

An easy October 31st festivity is to plan a “Murder Mystery Party” by using one of the many boxed game sets out there. You’ll typically receive character and costume suggestions for each person, music and decoration ideas, of Halloween, music suggestions and scripts.

Halloween fun
Check out www.dinnerandamurder.com, www.acemurdermystery.com, www.tailormademysteries.com, www.mysteriesbyvincent.com or www.host-a-murder.com for starters. Some kits allow hosts to download all the materials they need, while others offer more person-to-person party planning advice.

There are also murder mystery kits you can buy at game stores, notably the Bepuzzled brand “A Taste For Wine and Murder,” which comes with recipes, character booklets, invitations, a CD, secret clues and costume/decorating advice. It might be easiest to begin with a desserts or movie party this year and gradually add new elements as the years go by.