It figures. It was only a few days after I posted my original collection of party game ideas when I found the “Ghostly Groans” game on Facebook. Then I found games like “The Witch’s Stocking” and “Snakes in the Grass” while looking at the previews for various editions of Dennison’s “Bogie Books” on Amazon. So I rolled up my sleeves and started work on a sequel.
Diane C. Arkins’ Halloween Merrymaking has lots of unusual vintage games from Dennison and other sources. My personal favorite is the potentially messy “Sugaring the Pumpkin Pie.”
Reading Programs for Young Adults: Complete Plans for 50 Theme-Related Units by Martha Seif Simpson shows us how a simple horror trivia contest can be turned into something much more fun with “Wheel of Misfortune.” I recommend having someone record people playing this “game show” so everyone can enjoy watching it again at a later date.
Hunting games were very popular games in the days of old. “Jack-o’-Lantern Scramble,” “Owl Hunt” and “Pumpkin Hunt” all offer variations on this particular theme.
Speaking of variations, you might have played a version of “Fantoms” at a party before, only with a different name and without using costumes. The Book of Games and Parties for All Occasions by Theresa Hunt Wolcott brings us related games like “Witch’s Spells” and “The Hallowe’en Cat.”
The setup of the second “Pumpkin Game” reminds of of the classic balloon racing game, so you could easily convert it into one. Lots of traditional party games can be reworked into Halloween games with a little creativity. For example, I once created a Freddy Krueger version of “Hot Potato” where players chanted “Are you ready for Freddy?” when tossing a replica of Freddy’s glove. For safety reasons, the “blades” of the glove were made from construction paper and had rounded edges rather than sharp points. Although it is possible to play the game using non-elimination rules, I recommend the tradition method. After all, eliminating people was what Freddy was all about. But please feel free to use a spooky plush toy if you choose to play the other way.
Dollar Store Mom has complete instructions for making the fun (and inexpensive) “Witch’s Hat Ring Toss” game.
Considering how one of the names for “Picture Consequences” is “Exquisite Corpse,” it’s a must for any Halloween party. Some might question how it can be considered a game if nobody wins, but I think it’s like a game of catch: it’s just something fun to do as a team to pass the time.
“The Bogie’s Ghost Story” sounds like another fun game involving drawings. The only issue is how to keep everyone for voting for their own illustration.
Every Kid Needs Things That Fly by Ritchie Kinmont and Robert Casey has lots of games you can play with a homemade flying saucer.
Scouting magazine brings us games like “A-Haunting We Will Go,” “Black Cat” and “Haunted House.” I think that last game is more fun if you have someone making the sound effects in a hidden area rather than using a prerecorded selection of sounds.
Holiday Ideas by Youth Specialties has lots of games which are better suited for older players, like “Jigsaw Jack o’ Lanterns” and “Halloween Scavenger Hunt” (among many others). Youth Specialties also taught me about the game “Glowing Goal Toss.” Those entertaining younger guests should try the “Magic Rock Halloween Game” from The Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities for Children 3 to 6 instead.
Do you have a big backyard? Perfect Party Games by Stephen Curtis has the (you guessed it) perfect game for you: “Ghost in the Graveyard.” It also has games like “Ghosts” and “Giant’s Treasure,” which can easily be changed into something with a scarier name.
Halloween Hullabaloo: Thematic Learning Activities by Elizabeth Cole Midgley has a fun candy bar game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey: And Other Party Games by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson has “Feed The Monster” and The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun by Wendie C. Old offers “Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin” and “Witches’ Cauldron.”
Halloween Howls: Spooky Sounds, Stories & Songs by Sourcebooks, Inc. has a great replacement for bobbing for apples called “Worm Pie.” Trust me, people will choose eating gummy worms in whipped cream served on individual plates over apples rinsed in a tub full of backwash any day.
It would take far too long for me to list everything that can be found at Halloween Games and Halloween Party Games, so you should just go there and see for yourself.
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