In Depth: Lauren’s Annual Halloween Party Extravaganza

junkyardarts October 1, 2011 2
In Depth: Lauren’s Annual Halloween Party Extravaganza

lauren halloween

I love Halloween. Luff. Luv. LOVE.

I love candy, spooky stuff, bats, hayrides, carving pumpkins, homemade spiked apple cider, wool blankets in the dead leaves, animal skulls (as demonstrated by my home decor), movie marathons, and I love black.

Most of all, I love hosting my annual Halloween Party for all my friends.  So I figured, why not let you guys in on some of my tried and true ideas for hosting an awesome Halloween party yourselves and get some inspiration going?

Let’s do this!

First, let’s discuss decor.  The easiest way to set a spooky/moody Halloween scene is to just light a shit ton of candles and turn off all the lights, like so:

mason jars and tea lightsMason jars are super easy to use and you probably already have them in your house.  Pick up some cheap tea lights and you are set.  Otherwise, put tea lights in other clear or colored jars, or even take some mini pumpkins and carve out a hole in the top to set the tea light in like these guys did:

pumpkin and tea light

Ok, now that you’ve got the lighting down, move on to other details, like cutting paper silhouettes of spooked cats and ravens and stick them in unsuspecting places:

best_of_halloween09_witch_cauldron_silhouette_xl

halloween decor

doorway-haunt-1009-de

dead people

rats on the stairs

(thanks to these guys for inspiration)

Throw around some $1 spiderweb that you can pick up at any drug store during the season, make a flag banner with some construction paper and string (“Happy Halloween, Jerks” always works), and it’s game on.

***

Now that you’ve got the space set, you need to feed your guests. And for boozing it up, which is easy.  Get a lot of beer, and Woodchuck Hard Cider has a great Fall blend that is perfect for a Halloween party and the rest of the season.  But I love to also offer:

Homemade Mulled Cider

spiced cider

I do this in my gigantic croc-pot but you can do it in a large pan on the stove as well.  Get 2 gallons of fresh apple cider from either your local farmer’s market or grocery store and pour it on in.  As it is getting nice and toasty, add your mulling spices in a tea strainer if possible.  These include cinnamon, nutmeg, whole cloves, and orange rind.  If you don’t have a strainer ball, you can just dump all that stuff in the cider and deal with any ‘pieces’ you might get in your glass.  Let it simmer for about 45min before serving, as to allow the spices to really integrate into the cider.

Serve with AppleJack for a boozy kick, or serve warm and virgin with some whipped cream on top.  Delish!

My favorite snacks to make are super easy, and can be made in large quantities!

Wiener Mummies 

party-food-baby-mummies-lisa-b-flickr(pic from)

Take a mini wiener, wrap it in puff pastry or croissant rolls from the grocery store.  Wrap small strips around the wiener and leave a space for the eyes.  Bake. Use 2 drops of spicy mustard for the eyes. Adorable AND delicious!  I make it every year and it is always a huge hit (and you can eat like, a million of them).

Zombie Brainz

zombie-cat

This couldn’t be easier.  Just make a ton of weirdly shaped pasta until it’s just about done.  Drain. Put in a huge pan with a ton of pasta sauce, smashed up hamburger, coarsely chopped sausage and bacon.  Toss in some parsley, chives and green onions for good measure.  Then a ton of cheese.  Bake till bubbly.  Serve.  It looks gross but tastes like brainzzz…I mean, delicious.

Guacamole

barf guac

Um. It’s smashed up avocados with onions, chives, tomatoes and some lime juice.  It looks gross if you have it coming out of a barfing pumpkin for effect.  Otherwise? It’s ok just to have it in a jar and label it “snot” or something like that. (pic from)

Alien Fingers

alien-fingers-halloween-party-food

Easy again.  Take some asparagus, wrap it in either bacon or prosciutto  and stick that sucker in the oven on broil for a few minutes with diced garlic, a bit of lemon juice and some pepper.  You’re entering yum-junction now. (pic from)

Bloated Roaches

Sounds so gross, looks kinda gross but tastes awesome.  Take some dates, stuff-em with some blue cheese, walnuts and cooked bacon pieces.  Bake for a bit until the date is nice and crispy on the outside.  BOOM.  Bloated, delicious, roaches.

And now for the dessert.  You can go the fancy way:

poison-apples

graveyard pudding

witch cupcakes

bat-cookies

brain cupcake(pics courtesy of)

Or you can do what I do and just get a ton of mixed bags of mini candy bars.  It’s all anyone really cares about anyway, right?

***

Now, I’m not into the costume party thing.  I’m far too lazy.  What I’m into is having friends over, eating too much, drinking too much and watching a TON of horror movies.  Here are some of my favs:

Doghouse

While one of the main characters is a bit of a douche who bitches about feminists – despite the lack of any women arguing for equal rights…- this is a lot of fun. Zombie chicks. Lots of gore. And no super-machines to save the day (thank god).

PontyPool

SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD!! An intelligent zombie movie that leaves much to the imagination as nearly 100% of the movie happens in this tiny radio booth. Suspenseful, smart and genuinely creative – see this ASAP

The Forth Kind

This movie scared the shit out of me. Mostly because it billed itself as ‘true’, with real footage and dramatizations. Of course – it isn’t true. But the performances are so powerful in some of the scenes that you believe it is. And that makes it fucking scary.

and finally: Poltergeist

A classic. Still one of the best Halloween movies out there.

Of course, there are newer movies (these guys are what we watched at our last party) and anything from Masters of Horror, natch.

So now you know how to host a funtastic spooktacular Halloween party!! Go forth, my ghouls! Enjoy the night and kick the crap out of any kids who toss eggs at your house!

Much Love,

Lauren
The High Junkness

2 Comments »

  1. Emily October 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm -

    Great article Lauren. I am in love with those rat silhouettes.

  2. Jodi Firth October 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm -

    LOVEY DOVEY all of these great ideas! I’m crazy for Halloween anything and want to try ’em all. Thanks Lauren! XO