“Is that your cat?” I asked as I scooped handfuls of candy into the younger boy’s trick-or-treat bag. The older boy, holding the cat, said, “Yup! He loves Halloween just as much as we do.”
I had been waiting all night for trick-or-treaters, but most seemed reluctant to approach my apartment which is, not kidding, behind a funeral home. But these kids had seen my lights from the street; I had orange lights in the shape of an arrow pointing to my door. As a cat lover, I couldn’t imagine a better surprise—trick-or-treaters AND a feline in one go?
I poured all the candy from my bowl into their open bags, along with some Halloween stickers for their youngest sibling who was at home. Afterwards, I was giddy with excitement. It was the first time trick-or-treaters had visited our apartment, and it felt like a total success.
I love Halloween. I love the silly spookiness, I love the candy, I love giving my normally bright and cheery apartment a gothic makeover, and I love dressing up. I throw big Halloween parties every year and organize a Halloween gift exchange at the office, too. It’s hilarious to see my friends shed their suits and ties and responsibilities to let loose. Last year, my husband and his best friend dressed like Bert and Ernie, complete with massive character heads, and had a breakdancing competition—I laughed so hard I almost snorted candy corn out of my nose!
That’s what makes Halloween so uniquely fun. Over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, there’s always so much to do; making plans and coordinating travel can get stressful. But at Halloween, I feel like a kid again, dressing up in some crazy costume, playing games, and eating candy for dinner.
This year, treat your friends to a Halloween they’ll never forget by throwing a big party featuring one (or all!) of these spooktacular Halloween party games for adults. Things are bound to get a little crazy—after all, when you have an adult metabolism and eat nothing but candy for supper, you’re bound to start feeling kind of wacky!
Hide and Spooky: A Halloween Party Game Just for Adults
“Stay completely still,” I thought as I crouched in the darkness. I couldn’t let him find me. Then, footsteps. I could hear the sound of two feet shuffling outside my hiding place. Closer, then closer still. Until, suddenly—“AAaarrGhhhHhh!!!!!” We both screamed in unison as I jumped from the darkness, me wearing a gruesome zombie mask. I thought my friend, the seeker in our game of Hide and Spooky, was going to pass out from shock.
I loved playing Hide and Seek as a kid but, in those days, I didn’t want to get caught. Hide and Spooky is a totally different ball game. Think of it as a terrifying, impromptu haunted house you and your friends put on.
How to Play Hide and Spooky
- Step #1: Decorate your house as creepily as possible, and make sure you have spooky music to play in the background.
- Step #2: Invite your friends over, asking everyone to wear a scary costume (this is not the place for cutesy outfits).
- Step #3: When everyone arrives, have each guest roll a dice to see who will be the seeker—the person who rolls the lowest number gets that role.
- Step #4: The seeker counts to 60 while everyone else hides.
- Step #5: Things get a little eery….
In regular Hide and Seek, you try to stay hidden, forcing the seeker to find you but, in this version, the point is to scare the living daylights out of the seeker. Wait until they’ve almost discovered your hiding place, then jump out, preferably while screaming, groaning, growling, or howling.
Once you’ve revealed yourself in all your gruesome glory, you can help the seeker look for the other players, meaning you’ll probably get a scare or two yourself! When everyone’s been found, roll the dice and play again. This game has all the suspense of the version you played as a kid—but with a horror element that’s best saved for adults.
Feeling ambitious (and brave)? Play the game outside at night in a forest, or get the whole neighborhood involved (maybe as part of a neighborhood-wide Halloween party and gift exchange).
A Pumpkin Toss Halloween Game Just for Adults
A mysterious green plant was taking over the corner of my yard. Was it some science experiment gone wrong? Or something from another planet, threatening to take over? Oh, wait—it was just a pumpkin patch! My mystery patch was the unexpected result of a pumpkin toss the previous Halloween. I thought I had cleaned up all the shrapnel—pumpkin seeds and goo—but apparently a few slipped my notice. But hey, I’m not going to complain about a pumpkin patch that grew itself!
As a kid, at least once during October, some local teens would ravage the neighborhood, smashing our carefully carved and painted jack-o-lanterns in the street. Ugh. Who does that!? Now, as an adult, I realize I can have my cake and eat it too—which is to say, I can have both a cute carved pumpkin to sit on my doorstep and a few that I smash into utter oblivion just because I feel like it. Isn’t being a grown-up fun?
Nowadays, I organize a yearly pumpkin toss. The rules are simple—whoever throws their pumpkin the farthest wins. But the real fun is watching the orange gourds fly through the air, only to smash apart when they land. It’s much too dangerous to have kids running around while tossing squash, so this game should be for grown-ups only.
Ideally, play on a semi-firm surface, throwing the pumpkins away from any houses (if you think a baseball can damage a window, you can’t even begin to imagine what a pumpkin can do). Don’t forget to clean up after yourselves, but if you miss a seed or two, you may have free pumpkins to play with next year!
A Secret Santa Pumpkin Portrait Carving Contest for the Adults
“It looks like it has heartburn,” my husband said, eyeing my lovingly carved but decidedly awkward-looking jack-o-lantern. Sad, but true. Carving pumpkins is an art form, and not one I excel at. But it can be fun to try to carve a jack-o-lantern that looks like a real person, and what’s more realistic than a portrait of a grown-up with heartburn on Halloween?
Because jack-o-lanterns usually end up looking far from how we initially envision them, I came up with a funny idea. What if I held a pumpkin carving contest where the goal was to carve portraits of people we actually know?
Here’s how to host a hilarious Secret Santa Pumpkin Portrait Carving Contest:
- Register with an online Secret Santa game generator so you can easily match up your party guests. Once they know who they’re providing the portrait for, they can start planning their carving.
- Have everyone bring their jack-o-lanterns to your house the day of the party, keeping them covered up. Let your guests mingle over drinks, snacks, and Halloween candy, then have everyone deliver their pumpkin portrait to the person they modeled it after.
- Now, everyone holds the pumpkin that was carved of their likeness. Let people walk around to see the masterpieces. This will be pretty hilarious because it’s almost guaranteed that most of them will be twisted, off-the-mark caricatures of your friends.
- Have everyone write down who they think did the best job of making their pumpkin look like the person it was supposed to be. Tally up the votes and announce the winner. Their prize? A selection of Halloween candy, of course!
And, if you’ve still got time to kill after voting, perhaps your pumpkin portrait party can morph into a grand pumpkin toss party!
The Joy of Halloween Party Games for Adults
I don’t get to let loose very often but, once a year, I slather my face in green paint, put on a crazy wig, cover my house in cobwebs and fake spiders, and eat candy all day long. Halloween is the best time to feel like a kid again, and I always want to help my friends capture the youthful magic of the holiday along with me.
Whether hiding in wait to scare my friends, throwing pumpkins as far as possible, or testing my artistic skills on the side of a squash, I know I will have fun on Halloween. I may not go door-to-door asking strangers for candy anymore, but as grown-ups, we can just have parties where we eat all the sugar we want, even if it is right before bed. It looks like adulthood isn’t so bad after all!
For more fun Halloween ideas from Elfster, check out our Halloween Gift Guide. You can share your costume, present, and party ideas with us on our Facebook page, on Twitter @Elfster, and on Instagram @Elfster.