Young kids love Halloween for the trick-or-treating, and teens may adore the gore, but when it comes to hosting an adults-only bash for this haunted holiday, the spooky needs to be sophisticated. Unfortunately, ghoulish glamour gets pricey quickly when you opt to rent spooky props and hire a caterer. Luckily, savvy party planners can save cash via a few hours in the kitchen, some smart thrift store shopping, and a little creativity.
Bake a Batch of Spider Web Cheesecakes
Bowls of bulk candy simply won’t do for a high-class Halloween party, so add some creepy class to the affair by whipping up a few white chocolate cherry cheesecakes embellished with a spider web design.
Begin with an Oreo crust for a spooky black color, and then simply follow the instructions for a white chocolate cheesecake with cherry swirls. Finally, drag a knife lightly through the cherry swirls on top before baking and you’ll wind up with a spider web effect when it’s done.
Display whole cakes decorated with a single candy spider on top to accent the effect, or splurge on a candy spider for every serving. And don’t forget to slather the slices with a cherry sauce dripping like blood.
Less is more for decor at fiendishly formal affairs, so stick with one or two dramatic decorations, such as a deathly black chandelier adorned with blood red candles and wispy faux spider webs. This dastardly decoration can be created at home with almost any old overhead light fixture and a can of black spray paint.
Pick out an ornate hanging chandelier with multiple bulb sockets facing upward, then spray paint the entire light fixture black, including the bulb sockets and wires. Then twist a blood red taper candle with a one-inch base into each bulb socket, hang it in place and adorn with a few faux spider webs.
Just make sure to attach all faux webs as far away from the lit candles as possible to avoid a fire hazard.
The best Halloween decorations are those designed to give guests a good scare, especially if you can catch your guests unaware. The macabre mirror does just that as a simple light trick reveals a scary face behind the glass. While this may sound like a complex special effect, all it takes is a large gilt picture frame with intact glass that’s been covered with a one-way mirror film. Then get a scary mask, such as this (pictured) Phantom of the Opera man, and a lamp to illuminate the mask.
Set up the one-way mirror in a dimly-lit room, with the mask and the lamp placed behind it. The gilt frame will appear to hold an ordinary mirror while the lamp is off, but flip the switch and the unsuspecting viewer’s reflection disappears while the scare behind the mirror is revealed.
Work the lamp switch manually to control when the scare occurs, or hook the lamp to a timer set to turn on and reveal the scary face inside from time to time. Not only will guests delight in getting scared by the face themselves, they’ll be sending unsuspecting newcomers to check their appearance in the macabre mirror all night long.