Halloween may be known for trick-or-treating, but today more adults are using the occasion to celebrate their own love of everything that goes bump in the night. With the holiday being observed on a Friday this year, you can be sure there will be a few invites coming your way.
-- Monster mash: If you're hosting a costume party, be sure to indicate it on the invitations. The spirit of friendly competition and promise of prizes will definitely ignite imaginations.
Scary sights, scents and sounds all add to the Halloween party mood. Add frightening sights and sounds with creepy music and a classic horror film playing in the background. Scented candles and incense can also add to the atmosphere.
-- Decorate ... whatever you possibly can: Why just create a haunted house when you can offer up a horrific office? Add a Halloween inspired screen saver to your computer, mount a seasonally appropriate hanging on your office door or even have a bowl of candy on your desk.
-- Share a scare: If you can't be with a friend or family member who you typically share the spooky holiday with, there is no need to worry. The newest cards for Halloween focus on the themes of fun and fright, but they do so with a little something extra, including new sound cards that reflect the creepy atmosphere that the day is all about.
Create a spooktacular display on a budget
One of spookiest set pieces in a haunted house is the array of old belongings that have been long-since abandoned. With a fresh eye, a little creativity and a few inexpensive craft supplies, everyday items can become positively diabolical.
-- Clear the slate: After removing accent pieces that clash with your Halloween theme, replace them with candles, vases, and throws that fit your new color palette. Then utilize natural elements from your own back yard, such as filling a clear vase with twisted tree branches or fall leaves.
-- Rework and repurpose: Unwanted items that otherwise would have been discarded can have a new life as innovative Halloween decorations. Drippy taper candles in tarnished silver holders create an ominous atmosphere. Old white sheets can be made into ghosts or create an abandoned look by using them as drop cloths for furniture.
-- Choose accent pieces that you love: Set the whole room off with classic Halloween decorations that make a great impact. Accenting with simple touches such as a creepy candelabra or a witch's cauldron is the icing on the cake ... or the fangs on the vampire, as the case may be.
Tips and trends to make the holiday frightfully fabulous for kids of all ages
Just how big is Halloween? It comes every year on Oct. 31, but retailers start decorating and selling costumes as early as August in preparation of the thrills and chills the holiday brings.
Why so early? Well, acc-ording to the National Retail Federation, Halloween has become a $5 billion business, and one that is growing rapidly in popularity among adults. No longer a kids-only holiday, more than 85 percent of people ages 18 to 24 years old took part in the festivities last year.
The fascination with Halloween has created multiple opportunities for children of all ages to celebrate in a wide variety of ways. From hosting a fright night costume party for adults to celebrating with an old-fashioned afternoon harvest party with the kids, Halloween offers a unique occasion for everyone to get in on the fun.
"Celebrating Halloween is a great way to escape everyday worries and let your imagination run wild," said Chris Riddle, American Greetings Halloween trend expert and unofficial "Mr. Halloween." "It's the one day of the year that you get to wake up and be someone else. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?"
The Halloween experts at American Greetings offer the following tips to ensure a perfect Halloween celebration, no matter how you plan on getting in on the fright-filled fun.
Retro Halloween celebrations
Many of our Halloween traditions remind us to savor those last warm breezes before winter sets in and enjoy the natural art that occurs as the leaves change. With the Halloween season synonymous with change, why not reflect back to enjoy some of the activities you loved as a child?
-- Host an old-fashioned gathering: An afternoon party is an excellent way to connect with young children who are still fearful of ghosts and goblins. Serve classic snacks like apple cider, Halloween-themed cupcakes and roasted pumpkin seeds.
Vintage games like bobbing for apples, pin the nose on the pumpkin and guessing how many candies are in a jar are easy games for the younger crowd. Both parents and children can participate together in a pumpkin carving contest or a treasure hunt.
-- Enjoy the outdoors: Check with your local parks and community calendar listings to see if there are any ghost walks offered. Enjoy a crisp fall day by going on a hayride and selecting your pumpkins together for carving.
-- Cozy up inside: If the weather isn't cooperative for an outdoor fall celebration, it's still easy to bring the season into your home with
a fun Halloween-themed craft. Try a modern approach to pumpkin decorating