Halloween is something people tend to throw themselves into 100%, or not think about at all.
If you're looking for an easy way to dip your toe into the water, we've rounded up a few of our favorite ways to celebrate Halloween to get you started. (Just watch out for creepy crawlies this time of year.)
If you’re already known for having the best decorations on the block or making the spookiest haunted house, there are a few ways you can step your game up this year.
When in doubt, remember - this is the one time that all things creepy take the cake.
Gather the Ghouls for a Party
Change things up and invite your guests to walk the black carpet as they arrive. Chances are, everyone will love the spooky twist on the usual glamour.
A word of caution: spooky glam is a vampire's cup of tea. If a few stop by, don't be surprised. Take it as a compliment, and pat yourself on the back for throwing the ultimate All Hallow's Eve soiree.
Perhaps a Wizard of OZ theme is more your style? Give your guests a "yellow brick road" to explore. There are plenty of options to work with from this story. Flying monkeys and munchkins can be incredibly creepy. What if the yellow brick road was haunted?
Nothing like a little adrenaline spike from getting spooked on your way in to start the party.
If the macabre and a brisk chill is more your style, feel free to dance the night away on a blood red floor. When you order an Outdoor Turf Rug from House Home & More, we include stakes to make sure it stays put.
Before winter settles in for good, why not take the opportunity to throw a gathering beneath the stars?
Did Someone Say Haunted House?
Haunted houses are the perfect opportunity to take "go big or go home" to heart. It's not a difficult DIY project to turn the space of your garage, driveway, or yard into a haunted surprise.
The black tarp is commonly used in lieu of walls to make rooms for your haunted house. Alternatively, you could use black, red, or yellow turf as a backdrop, or on the ground to change up the texture.
Once you've decided on the structure of your haunted house, it's time to start making things sufficiently creepy.
Lucky for you, there are endless quick and easy scary decorations that you can make at home.
The beauty of Halloween, is sometimes the understated scare is the most effective one. This means you can go all out on the scare factor this year, without breaking the bank.
The good old-fashioned approach to jack-o-lanterns tends to get a little messy. Taking the festivities to the back porch with an outdoor turf rug makes cleanup easy and painless.
Keep a few trash bags handy for pumpkin gut collection, then simply rinse the rug with your hose, and voila! Nice and clean.
If you have a tradition of keeping the seeds and roasting them afterward, give the pumpkin carvers a few bowls to collect the seeds in. You might already have a favorite recipe, but in case you don't, we've found a few for you to try.
For those who prefer the mess-free alternatives like paint, tape, etc., the good news is these kinds of pumpkins are increasingly popular. When you think about color schemes for your pumpkins, the options are endless.
Go glam and make your pumpkins black, silver, and red. If silver isn't your thing, gold works just as well.
Really, the color choice is all yours. Make it funky and try out some purple pumpkins.
If you see any teal pumpkins this year, the Teal Pumpkin Project has made this color the official color of food allergy awareness. This is a nation-wide project that works to help kids with food allergies have safe, non-food options so they can still enjoy the fun of trick or treating.
Scary Movies All Night Long
If it has yet to snow where you live, rent a projector and do it outside! Use an Outdoor Turf Rug for quick seating with piles of pillows and blankets. It'll feel much warmer than grass, and it adds to the fun.
Maybe it'll even bring back memories of sleepovers past when your living room floor was covered with similar piles of pillows and blankets.
Speaking of living rooms... If it's too cold wherever it is that you call home, or if the great outdoors just isn't your style, a movie night in your living room is just as fun.
There's a movie snack mix recipe, and a list of scary movie options right here.
It's super easy to make window silhouettes from black construction paper. Shadows lurking behind the curtains instantly spike the scare factor.
Use candles for spooky lighting. Those flickering flames might tremble, but what if they were to suddenly go out?
Tricks for Treats
Whether you like to make guests earn their spooky treats, or simply give them out laissez-faire, there are lots of tasty options to have fun with.
Everyone loves a good sandwich, and finger food is always a hit at parties. Small, easy to eat, and consistently yummy - it's easy to see why. But what about a sandwich that's a finger in disguise?
Desserts are a staple for any party, and with the best of the seasonal fall flavors available to choose from, there are more delightful sweet treats out there than you may know what to do with. We've rounded up a few recipes to help you get started.
For the grown-ups in attendance, creepy cocktails bring almost as much delight as a bounty of sweets will bring to the kiddos.
Don't think you'll be putting any olives in your martinis this year. It's all about garnishing your drinks with eyeballs.
Good Old-Fashioned Tricks
One of my most vivid childhood memories of trick or treating was this one house that had a seemingly innocuous leaf pile sitting in their front yard. Little did I know, someone was concealed within the leaves, waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and scare me.
Time after time, the most simple ingredients can add some major scare factor. If they're paired with the right presentation, beware. You might think you know what lies in those shadowy spaces waiting for you, but tricks abound this time of year.
Ever stuck your hand into a bowl of cold spaghetti noodle brains?
Peeled grape eyeballs? Monster pumpkin guts? It's amazing how quickly submerging your hand in a dark container filled with unknown horrors will make your hair stand straight up.
What's even more amazing is how many people fall for these deceptively simple tricks.
Dry ice makes the most unsettling fog, whether overflowing from a cauldron or sneaking across the floor.
It All Started With Samhain
Decorating for Halloween is a relatively new tradition in the United States. Halloween started as the ancient night of Samhain. An ancient Celtic tradition, it was a celebration of the harvest and marked the beginning of the "darker" half of the year, winter.
Samhain was believed to be the time when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could be most easily crossed. This is much of the reason why Halloween was long believed to be a night when evil spirits would roam about.
As time went on, Halloween became one of the biggest holidays of the year in America. After the mass emigration of the Irish to the United States in the late 1800s, these traditions and the folklore came with them.
Jack-o-lanterns started out as carved turnips, but when the Irish came to America and found how much easier pumpkins were for carving, the switch was made. And so began the pumpkin's long reign over all things related to Halloween.