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How to Plan a Halloween Party - American-style

Pumpkins at the ready! We discuss how to plan the spookiest Halloween party around.

A haunted circus, zombie-ridden hospital or even an undead wedding; there really is no limit to the theme of choice

When you think of Halloween, it’s usually assimilated with stereotypical costumes, cheap decorations and trick or treating. We believe this shouldn’t be the case. America celebrates this holiday like no other nation. Week-long celebrations are met with elaborately decorated homes, themed food and the enjoyment of fancy dress.

Seasonal celebrations aren’t just for Christmas and New Year’s Eve but can begin as early as October. Embrace Halloween and all that comes with it in order to provide your guests with a memorable party.


The venue is always the canvas for any event; setting the tone, design and layout of the day. This is even more important when it comes to themed events. In particular, the mystery and atmosphere that surrounds Halloween lends itself to many extravagant venues which can complement your event. 

Look for grandeur and original features in your venue to exaggerate the traditional haunted atmosphere required. To truly embrace the holiday spirit, find a unique venue such as a warehouse or castle. This will increase the fear needed to make any Halloween party a success. 

The venue will be the first impression that your guests have; get this right to set the evening off on the right foot. 


The roots of this autumnal tradition dates back to the Celtic festival of Samhain which marked the end of the summer months, when the boundaries between the living and dead became blurred. It then turned into All Hallows’ Eve and finally what we come to know as ‘Halloween’, it is a celebration of the supernatural lending itself to fun and unique decorations. 

This has led to the commonplace decorations of witches, goblins and ghosts to either scare away or welcome these spirits. However, scrap the paper decorations and hand carved pumpkins. Whilst they have a place in the family home, they won’t be suitable for a professional event. 

Raise the sophistication of your event by combining the traditional ‘scary’ decorations into an elaborate theme. A haunted circus, zombie-ridden hospital or even an undead wedding; there really is no limit to the theme of choice. 

Use your theme as the foundation of the evening and find relevant but realistic decorations to match. This can also be carried through into all elements of the event including invitations, catering, music etc. 

With a consistent theme in place, your guests will have a much better experience overall and be completely immersed. 


Halloween is a holiday for fun, so you have the capacity to be experimental with the catering choices. Beverages that look like witches’ potions or food made to look like body parts are a good place to start. 

Tricking the mind into thinking it’s eating something disgusting which then turns out to be a delicious treat is an entertaining and fun experience to provide your guests with. They will all join together in the enjoyment of experimenting the unique catering. 


Technology can play a huge part in making the event as immersive as possible. Projection mapping is an effective way to do so. Transform the walls of the venue into any space you desire. A dungeon, the night's sky filled with bats or a graveyard – you can easily fit it in with your chosen theme. 

Alternatively, use the projection mapping to add a frightening atmosphere to the event in the form of animals such as rats running across the feet of your guests, or a werewolf to chase people around the room. 


We all know the traditional Halloween entertainment of bobbing for apples or telling ghost stories. This has now moved on to more experimental performance acts designed to thrill and terrify your guests. 

From creepy circus stilt walkers to the bloodcurdling zombies, these talented acts can provide varying levels of fear to suit your event. To simply meet your guests for photo opportunities, or to terrify and thrill them; decide on the most suitable option for your attendees. Regardless, these actors will ensure that everyone participates in your event and will, therefore, improve the evening as a whole. 

If you need help planning your next themed event, contact the event consultation team

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