These Literary Halloween Party Ideas Will Guarantee Your Celebrations Are Worthy Of Edgar Allan Poe
If you're a book-lover, chances are Halloween is one of your favorite holidays. Not only do you get to pig out on candy and eat pumpkin flavored everything like the rest of the population, but you also get to indulge in scary novels, visit authors' grave sites, and throw the perfect literary Halloween party of all time — that is, with the help of these handy tips.
I know what you're thinking: but wait, isn't Halloween already a theme for a party? Sure, you could throw a typical holiday bash with all the traditional fixings — costume contests and "The Monster Mash," black lights and cobwebs, Wrap the Mummy and Count the Candy Corn — but why be boring when you can be bookish instead? From traditional horror novels to fantastic fantasies, the literary world is full of party ideas just waiting to be implemented for Halloween.
If you're ready to ditch the dancing skeleton in favor of some serious holiday sophistication and good-old-fashion spooky fun, then check out these 9 tips for throwing the perfect bookish Halloween party. From decoration suggestions to party game ideas, this list has everything you need to pull of a party for the books — literally.
Pick a specific bad-ass bookish theme.
"Literary" just isn't specific enough. Narrow down your party theme to a particular book, author, or genre. Think "Halloween Feast at the Great Hall" or "Classic Stephen King." Include theme details in your event invite, and ask your guests to chose costumes accordingly. The more specific your idea, the easier food, beverage, decoration, and entertainment planning will be.
Decorate with a dead author graveyard.
Set the mood for guests before they even walk in the door by turning your front yard (or stoop, balcony, or hallway) into a graveyard featuring epitaphs for famous dead authors or characters. You can go serious, and research what their graves actually say, or use a little humor and creativity to make up funny slogans your bookish visitors will not only understand, but appreciate.
Spooky readings are a must.
You can't call it a literary Halloween party without, you know, actually reading some literature. Pre-select some spooky stories to share with your guests out loud. Great seasonal options include Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", Stephen King's "Children of the Corn," and Shirley Jackson's "The Tooth."
You can stage a dramatic reading, featuring costumes and candlelight mood lighting, or you can ask print out copies of your selection and ask your guests to take turns reading in their creepiest voices.
Create a book-inspired menu.
Sure, there are thousands of cute ideas on Pinterest for spooky Halloween foods, but if you're planning a literary party, your menu should be as bookish as your costume and decor. Find food inspiration in the pages of your favorite books: Pumpkin Pasties from the Harry Potter series, spider shaped desserts in the image of Charlotte, and a Witch's Brew worthy of the Weird Sisters. When you put your mind to it, your literary-inspired culinary options are limitless.
Incorporate books as decorations
Every Halloween party will include spider webs, coffins, and skeletons, but only the best literary Halloween party will include books as part of the decor. Whether you create a pumpkin out of books, display your te scary stories, or use old book pages to create a spooky banner, make sure your decor incorporates the thing you're actually celebrating at your party: books, books, and more books.
Carve literary pumpkins.
At a bookish Halloween party, traditional Jack-o-lanterns just won't cut it. Instead, your celebration deserves creative bookish pumpkins carved to feature your favorite characters, dead authors, or spooky quotes. Nothing says "Happy Halloween" like a front yard full of carved pumpkins, and nothing says "book-lover" than a literary themed one.
Create bookish games.
Traditional Halloween games are always fun — who doesn't love bobbing for apples? — but to make your bookish party really special, your activities will need a literary twist. Instead of playing a standard trivia game, try and have guests "Name That Spell" from popular books, or create a version of charades that features famous book monsters and villains. Of course, no Halloween party is really complete without a costume contest, so be sure to include it in your agenda and award the best literary dressed guest a special bookish prize.
Host a murder-mystery dinner.
If you're hosting a smaller Halloween gathering, why not make things interesting by turning your favorite genre — murder mystery — into a fun activity for everyone. Trust me, it's easier to host one than you think.
Serve potions and elixirs from the pages.
Instead of serving traditional holiday punch, opt from fun cocktails inspired by literary potions and elixirs from your favorite magical books. From Shakespeare's brews to Harry Potter's potions, Dr. Jekyll's serum to Wonderland's many elixirs, there's no end to the inspiration books can provide for unique drinks. I don't know about you, but a frothy mug of Butterbeer or a glass for Bloody Mary Shelley sounds like the perfect way to cheers the holiday.