Looking for some ideas beyond bobbing for apples to liven up your Halloween party? From spooky scavenger hunts to a haunting game of fortune telling, these ghostly games will have partygoers under their spell.
Rumor has it that on All Hallows' Eve the spirits of the afterworld run free for one night. Now you and your party guests can get in on the action with a little ghost hunting yourselves, in the form of this ghostly scavenger hunt inspired by an idea on HalloweenHowl.com.
What you need: 10 regular-size lollipops, 10 squares of white cloth, 10 clear elastic bands, and Sharpies in red, blue and black.
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Game prep: Begin by making the ghosts. Cover each lollipop with a square of white cloth, and place a clear elastic band around the neck of each to secure the material. Using the black Sharpie, draw your best ghost face on the front side of each lollipop. Then, separate the lollipops into two groups of five. For the first group, use the blue Sharpie to print a letter on the back of each lollipop so that the group spells out "ghost." Repeat with the other group of lollipops, this time using the red Sharpie. Once the ghosts are finished, hide them in various places, indoors or out, for guests to find.
How to play: Separate guests into two teams (blue and red). The objective will be to spell out "ghost" by finding the hidden ghosts labeled with the letters in their team's color. First team to do so wins. Afterward, the ghost suckers can be given as prizes or used as party favors.
Pin the face on the pumpkin
A fun and festive take on pin the tail on the donkey, this game (found on MarthaStewart.com) gives partygoers the chance to create their own jack-o'-lantern masterpiece without all the gooey mess.
What you need: A large pumpkin, a bandanna, black construction paper, scissors and reusable adhesive, like Blu-Tack.
Game prep: Either using a template or drawing them freehand, cut out pumpkin eyes, noses and mouths from black construction paper. After you've cut out as many as you think you'll need, take each cutout and place a piece of adhesive on the back of each. Place the pumpkin on a table low enough for your guests to reach, and place the paper cutouts on the table next to the pumpkin.
How to play: Starting about 4 feet from the pumpkin, blindfold each of your guests, one at a time, with the bandanna. Spin the guest around twice and instruct him or her to walk slowly toward the pumpkin and affix the cutouts. Then remove the blindfold to let the guest see his or her creation. As a cheap and easy party favor, have guests pose with their pumpkin for a photo.
Break out the toilet paper and let your guests get creative as they put a new spin on the mummification process.
What you need: Two rolls of toilet paper per team.
How to play: Divide guests into teams of two to four people (depending on the number of guests), and give each team two rolls of toilet paper. Have each team pick one member to be the mummy. On the word "go," have the teams begin wrapping their "mummy" with the paper. First team to successfully cover their mummy wins.
We found this idea on Disney FamilyFun magazine's website, familyfun.go.com. Cast a magical spell on your guests this year as they stir up a special batch of witch's stew in a fun and competitive way.
What you need: A box of straws, black construction paper, scissors and two bowls.
Game prep: Either using templates or drawing them freehand, take the black construction paper and cut out Halloween shapes (pumpkins, ghosts, bats, etc.) about the size of a silver dollar; make 20 shapes in total. (Note: You can probably find shapes like this in a craft store if the idea of making them is too daunting. Just practice the game to make sure you can pick them up with a straw.) Before the game begins, place two bowls on a table low enough for your guest to reach. Separate the shapes into two piles of 10, and place a pile by each bowl.
How to play: Separate guests into two teams, giving each guest his or her own straw. Have each team form a single-file line 4 feet from the table. On "go," one member from each team will run to the table and, using the straw as a vacuum, try to pick up a shape from his team's pile and place it in the bowl. Once he has done so, he runs and tags the next team member in line to repeat the previous steps. The team to successfully place all the shapes into the bowl first wins.
Putting a new spin on the ancient practice of fortune telling, this fun scavenger hunt that we found on www.halloweenhowl.com lets partygoers decide their own destiny.
What you need: A small toy, a large coin, a feather, a paper heart, a watch, tape, a pen and five small tags.
Game prep: Tape a small tag to each item that says "Lucky you! This (name of item) promises you (whatever fortune)." The fortunes should read like this: small toy = lots of happiness, coin = lots of money, feather = lots of luck, paper heart = lots of love, watch = a long life. Hide the items well in either the main party room or outside before guests arrive.
How to play: Instruct guests that there are five hidden objects and tell them what the objects are. The point of the game will be to find one of those objects and, in return, receive the good fortune that comes with it. The guests who find the objects are declared the winners.