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28th October 2015

Hallowe’en Party Tricks and Treats

How to hold a party that will haunt your guests for weeks

All Hallow’s Eve is fast approaching and the swarm of girls in cat ears is impending. The chances are if you have not yet typed the phrases ‘Halloween costume ideas’ or ‘cool halloween decorations’ into Google, you’re already behind, or just not entirely bothered. Either way, there is nothing to fear this Hallowe’en, for I have bravely scoured the depths of Pinterest to provide the “spookiest” party and predrink ideas. Let’s face it, cotton wool and bin bag creations just don’t impress anymore.

The first thing to consider when hosting a party is the music. Where there’s music, there’s people. The creaking floorboards and wailing ghoul soundtrack may have been a hit in 2003, but sadly it won’t make you popular now. Generically, you will be saved the stress of music selection by a cool kid that enjoys playing DJ. The trick here, however, is to not become too reliant. Everyone needs a break once in a while- even your politely head bopping guests. The easiest recommendation is to download a free music app like SoundCloud and play a Halloween mix. I’ve suggested SoundCloud but Spotify playlists can also be used. Spotify tends to broadcast a lot of adverts during peak usage time, so unless your guests enjoy boogieing to the ‘Spotify Premium’ ad be wary. Otherwise, consider upgrading to Spotify Premium as students can get a reasonably cheap subscription.

Some may say that the next important aspect of a party is food. These people are presumably not students.  The next important thing is always alcohol. The drunker people are, the more social they will become; it’s called ‘liquid confidence’. One sure fire way of getting people talking is drinking games. Drinking games such as ‘alcoholic apple bobbing’. Contrary to its inferences, this game does not involve plunging your face in vodka. That would be wasteful and more than a little dangerous. No, in this version of apple bobbing, the apples have numbers carved into them. These numbers then correspond to the number of shots you must drink. Although this game will certainly get people laughing, it will also ruin their facepaint or makeup. This game is therefore designed for the already tipsy; for the ‘why not?’ phase of drunkenness. In the interests of health and safety it’s suggested that those approaching the ‘room spinning’ or ‘sharing entire life story before sobbing’ phases be escorted towards the nearest sofa. Drink aware, and all that.

Now, it’s time to think about your decorations; keep it cheap and easy. Although, a pumpkin looking sick is, well, sick; you can do better! My advice would be to pay particular attention to the rooms that guests will be in most. If you have a big kitchen, focus your attention there. After all, you’ll always find people in the kitchen at parties. That applies to bathrooms and smoking areas too. Something as simple as using coloured light bulbs or placing plastic spider trails across doors  will make all the difference. My personal Pinterest favourite was the novel idea to cut eye shapes into empty loo roll tubes and place them in trees with a glow stick inside. The image of glowing eyes looming over visitors outside seems almost too good to miss. Another top tip was to stain white hand towels with red hand prints. This, of course, alludes to the execution of a gruesome murder. The obvious suggestion, however, is to have a nosey on Pinterest yourself and get ‘pinspired’. It’s astonishing how much can be made with loo roll.

Finally, playing the role of party host can be a daunting venture, particularly when there are things like green face paint and synthetic blood to contend with. So to avoid the risk of smudges and other unidentifiable marks gracing your walls (and resulting in a hefty chunk out of your deposit), it may be practical to cover them with some trendy Halloween tablecloths. These plastic tablecloths can be purchased from any Poundland and are a simple yet protective way to decorate the walls.

Now for the food: although making all the Halloween inspired delicacies featured on Buzzfeed may seem like a good idea to begin with, in practice it involves pizza on the ceiling and a deep sadness in your heart. Remind your guests of their childhood parties and stick to the easy clean version of a standard crisps and cheese square buffet.  Yes, the pumpkin-being-sick nacho spread may be aesthetically pleasing, but in this case you’re signing yourself up to more trouble than it’s worth. You can’t and shouldn’t do it all. Ultimately, your deposits need not be put in danger. There is a vast difference between clearing up crisp crumbs and chiselling lasagne off the sofa. That tomato stain will haunt you forever.

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