This is THE best way to handle the situation that would also be fun.Have a contest for most frightful dish. We did this once and everyone wanted to participate. We gave the winner a small prize (halloween themed kitchen mitts and towels). So for about $5 for the prize we got about $80-100 in free food that I didn't even have to cook!!!!
Everyone did fun halloween food that I never would have had the time for. Trust me it worked!!!!