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2020’s been a real fright so far. After a year of one terrifying headline after another, Halloween is finally here to scare us in a fun way. Plus, it’s time for our favorite annual debate: is candy corn good or bad?

So, you ghouls, it’s time to take a break from ghosting each other and use that spooky energy to turn into real ghosts.

We’re here to help you create a fun-filled celebration in the socially-distanced safety of your own haunted house. Entertain yourselves with bloody good merrymaking. Gourd-ge yourselves on festive eats and drinks. File Halloween 2020 as a suck-cess. 🧛

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Illustration by Brittany England

We’ve made sure this list isn’t just fun, but easy and economical to do in your happy hollow. Keep on reading to discover:

  • bin-ghost — bingo with a twist!
  • glow in the dark ring toss
  • spiders in the web
  • trivia
  • scare-ades
  • scavenger hunt
  • tarot card reading
  • speed demon relay races
  • pumpkin carving pageant
  • virtual costume contest
  • haunted house
  • horror movie watch party
  • make ‘‘boo-gie lights’’
  • decorate your wall with bats
  • craft frankenfigures
  • dress up the windows

Plus, a list of our favorite Halloween-themed foods and cocktails.

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Illustration by Brittany England

Ready to get into the creative spirit? These DIY Halloween games are easy ways to celebrate, spookily of course.

While the picks below are kid-friendly, you can always add an element of 21+ to any of the games. Put on your sorcerer’s cap and you’ll likely conjure up how to accomplish this (wink, wink).

Fright night trivia

Trivia might not be your first thought for a Halloween game, but this year it’s a safe way to hang with friends. That’s because trivia is easily played over video, so it’s social distance-approved.

If you’re feeling ambitious and have some time on your hands, you can come up with a set of Halloween-themed questions on your own. This trivia question generator is also handy, though the questions aren’t spooky-themed. Or you can just buy a trivia card set.

Buy Halloween-themed trivia cards on Amazon!

Bin-ghost

Everyone’s old favorite Bingo gets a holiday makeover — Bin-ghost! One of the games that really is fun for all ages, the whole ghoul squad can have fun together playing Bin-ghost.

Print your own here!

Glow-in-the-dark ring toss

It doesn’t get simpler than this. Just get a few upright pumpkins with sturdy stems and a pack or two of those glow-in-the-dark bracelets or necklaces from your dollar store, and there you go. Keep it casual or come up with rules and prizes.

Find instructions here!

Spiders in the web

This game is great for young kiddos: fun but not scary. The object of the game is to walk along the web (a taped lattice on the floor) picking up as many spiders as possible until they get to the prize at the end.

Find instructions here!

Scare-ades

Ripe for laughs, this holiday riff on the classic party game of charades, is a guarantee delight, no matter the average age of your party. It’s also a very easy game to set up with only two necessary supplies: pen and paper.

Find instructions here!

Scavenger h(a)unt

Hide items (in advance) for people to find or draft a list of things for seekers to search out around your home. H(a)unters can physically collect items or just take snapshots of themselves with the objects. Go the extra mile: Make your clues in the form of riddles!

If you take this game outside of your home, practice social distancing and wear a legit face covering.

Choose from a list of scavenger hunt ideas here!

Skeleton crew?

Can’t have a big motley crew over to your place for a big bash? Not to worry. With a little advanced planning, most of these games can be played virtually with your friends and family at an online party.

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Illustration by Brittany England

Tarot card reading

Explore the mystical and unknown with a tarot card reading. Readings can mean whatever you like them to, from spooky to profound. You can use them to tell the future, help answer a question in your life, or find clarity.

Buy tarot cards on Amazon!

Speed demon relay races

If you have little ones in your house, a relay race is sure to get the giggles giggling and the feet pattering. Here are some favorites:

Pumpkin carving pageant

Fall’s most prized gourds are also a seriously under-appreciated artistic medium. Just take a look at these elaborate masterpieces! But you don’t have to be a pro to have a ball carving pumpkins.

This Halloween classic is really more about the journey than the finished product. And no matter what comes of your pumpkin, you’ll at least get to roast the seeds at the end.

Download free pumpkin carving stencils here.

Virtual costume contest

If you and your little ones are missing the fun of roaming outdoors with all the other costumed kids, consider inviting your closest pals to a virtual costume contest.

You pick winners from specific categories, like most original or most realistic, or you pick a specific character or theme ahead of time (like comic book hero or Dr. Who) and have everyone compete to see who pulls it off best.

Oh, and dressing up your pets is also strongly encouraged!

Put the haunt into your house

This one is for those truly dedicated to the spirit of Halloween: turning your boring, non-scary abode into a horrifying, shriek-inducing haunted house.

Each room can have its own motif, like a dungeon or evil enchanted forest and if you have a backyard, it’s calling to be made into a cemetery.

Find haunted house ideas here!

Netflix and shrill

Being stuck at home isn’t all bad: you can still pop some corn, curl up in a soft blanket and scare yourself half to death with a classic horror flick. Plus, you might even come out of it feeling a little more in control.

Browse horror movies here!

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Illustration by Brittany England

The old standards — sheet ghosts, batting cobwebs, jeering Jack-o-lanterns — are all great. There’s a reason they’re perennial Halloween faves, right?

But maybe this year calls for something extra special. How about some fresh ideas to spice things up this Halloween? Novelty can bring an added dose of fun and festivity to your décor in this difficult year.

So, whether you like to go total glam, folksy-kitchy, silly spooky, or 100 percent gore, here’s some inspiration to get your brain sparks popping. Have fun with it!

Make ‘‘boo-gie lights”

Anything sporting googly eyes is a winner and aren’t these lanterns cute AF? Better yet, they can easily be made from stuff you may already have lying around your castle. If not, the shopping list below is all you need.

See googly eye lanterns here!

Buy supplies on Amazon

Decorate your walls with ‘‘bats outta hell”

And onto the walls. Repetition, varying the sizes, and three-dimensionality — along with the overall monochromatic scheme — make this design pop. You could easily adapt this concept to spiders, gargoyles, or any other spooky creature you can think of.

See bats out of hell decoration here!

Shop for supplies on Amazon

Frankenfigures

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Recycle your cans, paper rolls, and leftover dolls into iconic Halloween personalities and personas. This is also a great activity to keep the young ones occupied.

See frankenfigures here!

Spook the neighbors from your windows

You don’t have to have a yard or a big front porch to make passersby jump as they walk by — your windows will do just fine. There are lots of ways to get creative with window decor, from whimsical, to creepy crawly, to gory.

Pro tip: Make it extra Halloween by lighting the inside of the window with an orange light bulb.

Shop for window decorations on Amazon.

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Illustration by Brittany England

You can eat your way through a king-size bag of candy any time of the year. But only on Halloween can you goblin down a tasty treat with as much culinary guts-o like the ones here.

Deathly hallows ploughman’s board

More than a single recipe, this is a treacherous landscape of tasty snacks. Surprisingly, this tableau of fruits, nuts, cheeses, crackers, and all the savory (and unsavory) trappings isn’t difficult to recreate. It goes to show how a bit of effort and imagination can go a long way.

Get the recipe here!

Pumpkin crisped rice treats

These guys take crisped rice treats to the next level. With the aid of food coloring, icing, and pretzels, boring marshmallow crispy squares become adorable pumpkins. Make these quick, easy sweets in a variety of sizes to create a fun pumpkin patch right on your table.

Another idea: Bag up individual pumpkin treats and distribute them to your friends.

Get the recipe!

Graveyard dip

Grab your (pitch)forks and start digging in! The base layer is a chocolatey-cheesecakey phenomena that’s then covered with Oreo “dirt.” Decorated with candy pumpkins or gummy worms gives that earthy, cemetery feel. And cookie headstones double as dippers.

It’s so divine that you may have to fight off the Grim Reaper for your fair share.

Get the recipe!

Shrunken heads pie

The skulls may be small, but the flavor is big. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This cran-apple walnut tart is part baking masterpiece, part art project.

It may take more TLC (terror-ladden carving) than other treats, but the result is worth it. Just look at those wizened little faces staring up from their pastry purgatory!

Get the recipe!

Whether you’re throwing a bash for the little goblins in your life or just trying to find some fun amidst the turmoil of 2020, it’s definitely going to be better if you’re sipping a festive cocktail. Here are some of the spookiest.

The witch’s heart

This cocktail shimmers and smokes. That should be enough magic to get you off the sofa and en route to your local supermarket.

But if it’s not, this brew’s bewitching color will surely cast a spell on you. And the yummy blackberry-apple-pomegranate flavor profile is (spell)bound to be refreshing and delish.

Get the recipe!

Sanguine-ria

This dark and murky beverage is a riff on traditional sweet and spicy sangria, but just bloodier (fruity red wine) and with floating “eyeballs” (frozen grapes). Glasses with Halloween-colored sugared rims complete the look. A bold and bawdy cocktail such as this is for the fearless.

Get the recipe!

The devil’s marg

A satanic twist on a beloved classic, this margarita will have you thanking Lucifer’s barback. (We’re sure this recipe was lifted straight from Demon Numero Uno’s very own mixology manual.) Fortunately, it doesn’t take hellfire and damnation to concoct this potion — it can be made in large quantities and prepped ahead of time.

Get the recipe!