Fed up with last year's dodgy "sheet-with-holes-for-eyes" ghost costume?
Looking for something different?
You've come to the right place!
Tasteless is the key word here.
Outside the house, greet your guests with a few tombstones (engraved with your friends' names, of course) placed at strategic intervals. (Cardboard cutouts are fine).
And don't forget the all-essential wreath of dead flowers and garlic strands hanging over the devil's head doorknocker to entice callers in.
For the more faint-hearted among you, light the pathway to the house with pumpkin jack o'lanterns. Switch the Big-Ben door chime to the Death March, and don't forget to hang a few rubber bats at inconvenient head height from the porch. Spray on a few cobwebs, and, voila! Instant kitsch!
Inside the house, remember, dim is in. Lower the lights to create an eerie atmosphere, or better still replace them with red or black bulbs which'll soften the impact when 7 identical Count Draculas glimpse one another across the room.
Place candles at strategic intervals in carved pumpkins, (be careful to place them well out of reach). Throw old sheets over furniture and hang glow-in-the-dark skeletons from the ceiling. Remember to light essential passageways (to the toilets or the bar, depending on your priorities) with strings of glowing pumpkins or skeletons.
The gloomier the better. Black edged is a classic, otherwise, various jollier versions can be downloaded from the more children-friendly web-sites
Here's your chance to transform yourself into that wacky, wicked, spooky, sexy person you always wanted to be. Wanton witch?Sex-starved vampire? Nibble a few necks and see what happensâ€¦. Forget Viagra, dimmer switchers have been known to work wonders for the libido. So dust off your fishnets and squeeze into that rubber body suit you've been hoarding at the back of your knicker drawer. Find our Halloween costumes here.
Food and drinks
A few tastefully displayed body parts on the table will whet your guests' appetite. Floating dismembered members in the punch is always a good idea (fill well-washed latex gloves with water and freeze). Freeze black pitted olives into ice-balls (eye-balls?), and drop into Bloody Marys.
Be unusual with your usual party food:
Bloody popcorn (mix a little red food dye in with the butter.)
Ghoulish green avocado dip with plenty of chopped tomato. Serve with hellishly fiery corn chips.
Tombstone sandwiches: cut them to shape (eat the leftover bits yourself!)
For the smaller guests, ice cream with bloody sauce (raspberry or strawberry), and green jelly with gooey worms will go down well (drop the gummy worms in the jelly as it is cooling).
And to use up all that leftover pumpkin? Pumpkin pie or soup, of course!
Go through your old record collection for horror classics such as Monster Mash, Thriller, or Rocky Horror. Otherwise, download some creepy music or spooky noises from the web
Or, you're never too old to make a fool of yourself!
Start with a costume contest, and give prizes for best, most unusual and scariest costume, and a special prize for the costume that took absolutely no effort to make.
Mummy wrap. Buy up the cheapest toilet roll you can find. Divide your guests into groups (one as the mummy) and the first team to wrap the mummy wins.
Apple bobbing. Classic Halloween game. Float apples in a bowl of water and try to fish them out without using your hands. For a less messy version, hang apples from the ceiling and without using your hands, try to take a bite.
Pin the tail on the Black Cat. Great for smalls. A variation on 'pin the tail on the donkey'.
Hunt the body part. Hide sealed boxes around the house, marked with 'long intestine' or 'gall bladder'. Leave cups of chopped liver and pureed tomato, etc for your guest to find. The one to find the most within a certain time wins.
What's in the Box?. Line up a row of boxes with a hand hole in the top. Place things inside which are scary to touch. Bowls of peeled grapes, jelly with lumps, something furry, latex gloves full of cold water and covered in slime. Prepare for the screams.
For very small children a walk around the garden in the dark is enough to get them hanging onto your hand tightly.
Or why not save yourself a lot of trouble, and have a Halloween night film fest? Turn the lights down low, pop the 'bloody popcorn', download a few films and have a fright-night in.