How to Have a Killer at-Home Halloween

Are you feeling a little too old for trick-or-treating this year?

Fear not—you can still get into the spirit in all the right ways by staying at home.

What do we mean? See our list below of ideas that are sure to give you the ultimate Halloween experience without taking a step outside!

1. Make a Halloween Playlist

All festive nights begin with a properly themed playlist. To get you started, here is a list of some of our fave songs to blast on All Hallows' Eve, from creepy to contemporary:

  • Michael Jackson, "Thriller"
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show, "Time Warp"
  • Rihanna, "Disturbia"
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Heads Will Roll"
  • Ghostbusters, "Ghostbusters"
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas, "This is Halloween"
  • The Ramones, "Pet Cemetary"
  • Rockwell, "Somebody's Watching Me"
  • Screamin' Jay Hawkins, "I Put A Spell on You"
  • Bobby Pickett, "Monster Mash"


2. Show Halloween Movies

You can have a movie screening in a variety of ways. If you and some close friends are set on snuggling up to some scary, or not so scary, movies all night long, consider this your Halloween-themed movie night. But, if you're looking to have a little boo-bash, use a projector to screen the movies on a big wall. You can keep the sound on low or mute the movies, which will act as wall decor while you let your playlist jam on.

Still of the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus

(Hocus Pocus via Walt Disney Pictures)


3. Throw a Halloween Bash

Grab some pals and put up some spooky Halloween decorations. An added bonus? Give the party a specific theme outside of just Halloween and make decorating even more fun. Whether you land on something specific like "Zombie Apocalypse," or go with something a little more general like "Monsters Under the Bed," tell your guests and ghouls to dress the part. Themed costumes will bring the whole look together.


4. Host a Costume Contest

Gone are the days of cheaply made costumes from the party store. Now anyone who's anyone can be found whipping together a DIY costume that ranges from accurate movie villains to food. Strut down the runway in your Halloween best and vote on prizes like, Most Edible, Scariest and Fan Favorite.

Still of Cady Heron from Mean Girls at Halloween party dressed as an "ex-wife"

(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)


5. DIY Trick-or-Treats

Now is the time to put all those pinned recipes to action. From pumpkin pretzels to mummy-wrapped hot dogs and all apps and desserts in between, bake up a storm to prepare for your Halloween bash or have friends over to host a spooky potluck. Nothing says holiday like seasonal treats.


6. Carve Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins equals guaranteed fun. Get into the Halloween spirit without leaving your home by carving silly, spooky and downright strange faces into your perfect pumpkins. If carving isn't your thing, you can still get crafty with all sorts of decorative embellishments from paint and glitter to wigs and googly eyes.

Jack-o-lanterns lit up at night

(via Shutterstock)


7. Run a Haunted House

Garage haunted houses are the highlight of a trick-or-treating adventure. While some kiddos may steer clear of your converted spot of scares, others will flock to your spooktacular event. To get started, drape black tarp or sheets along the walls to cover the clutter and to set a sinister tone. Add decorations and round up a playlist of creepy sound effects, from creaking floor boards to shrill screams.

Go a step further by displaying some "feel boxes" for your guests to explore. Paint a few cardboard boxes black, cut a hole (large enough to fit an adult hand) into one side and place all sorts of guts and eyeballs inside. Peeled grapes work best for eyeballs and cooked oiled spaghetti feels like worms, veins or guts. Consider placing a bowl of candy in the last box as a reward for touching all of those gross innards.

Still from Modern Family's Halloween, haunted house

(Modern Family via 20th Century Fox)


8. Hand out Candy

It may be simple, but handing out candy to children on Halloween is actually pretty fun. You get to see all of their adorable costumes and relish in the joy of knowing you totally made this kid's holiday special. Get more bags of candy than you think you need though, because supplies don't last long in a busy neighborhood. And, of course, save some for yourself.


THESE eerie Halloween decorations will be perfect for that haunted house that I know you're set on running. Don't forget a sign that warns: Enter at your own risk!