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For those of you who host a Halloween party, pls share details!

How many people do you normally invite?
What % shows up?
Age group?
How long is the party normally?
Do you require guests to wear costumes?
Are they normally good sports about it?
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth?
When do you send out invites (if you do)?
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that?
Is your food themed too?
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor?
How much in advance do you start decorating?
Do you have entertainment?
Do you organize games?
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps?
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going?
This year's theme?
What are you working on this year?
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones?
Fave materials to work with?
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear?
Past year(s) themes?
Fave theme so far?
Fave prop you've ever made?
Things you'd like to improve upon this year?
Do people think you're crazy? ;)
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back?
 

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How many people do you normally invite? None
What % shows up? None
Age group? None
How long is the party normally? None
Do you require guests to wear costumes? Nope
Are they normally good sports about it? YES
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? None
When do you send out invites (if you do)? Never
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? I buy
Is your food themed too? Nope
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? Exterior
How much in advance do you start decorating? 3 weeks
Do you have entertainment? I listen to Ipod and also have TV on to watch football
Do you organize games? Nope
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? Outdoors
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? none
This year's theme? Don't believe in themes
What are you working on this year? bigass skull
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? Yes and Yes
Fave materials to work with? Free
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? Basement, attic, shed, garage, rv pad, behind shed
Past year(s) themes? none...not a theme guy
Fave theme so far? No theme is my favorite theme
Fave prop you've ever made? horse and funeral carriage
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? My attitude
Do people think you're crazy? nope not crazy...many other adjectives though
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? if you don't invite, I guess you can't invite back.

My thoughts: When you throw a party it's about pleasing others...when you build a haunt, it's about pleasing yourself.....and I've found that I can't do both.
 

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I usually invite 7 people.
All show up.
Age group is early 20's to 60's.
The party is usually 4 to 5 hours.
The parties are themed and yes, they have to wear costumes.
Everyone actually gets excited about the costume suiting the theme.
I always do a formal invite ... part of the fun.
I send the invites out up to 30 days prior to the party ... but I send out an email a couple months in advance to find out if there are any problems with the date and it give them time to get the outfit together.
So far I have not asked the guests to bring anything ... but that may change due to a bad year.
My food is themed ... mostly just Halloween type food ... but last year I did a mystery menu.
I go more crazy for interior ... live up in Canada ... usually have snow for Halloween.
Decorations physically go up a week before the party. We celebrate Thanksgiving in the first or second week of October.
Entertainment is usually the pictures from the last party cycling on the tv ... I did have a psychic 4 years ago.
Yes, we do have games ... two years ago it was a murder mystery ... last year it was the menu and then afterwards a few games.
I live in a cold climate.
Our party is now an annual thing. Have been doing it for 3 years.
My theme this year is WITCHES BALL. It is usually a Witches Luncheon but we decided that every 5 years we would invite our significant others and have a ball.
This year I will try to make my living room/dining room look like a ballroom.
I use props from previous years but I do make props to suit the theme.
I use a lot of foam board and cardboard.
I have a room under the front entry that we call Harry Potters Room and the garage and shed in the back yard.
I used to just do a dinner with the family members, then 4 years ago started the Witches Luncheon ... the first one was luncheon with the witches dressing out of the box ... the second was a Haunted Hotel theme ... with a murder mystery while we had lunch ... the third was Enchanted Forest ... with a mystery menu.
I love the Witches Luncheon ... it is the females in the family and sometimes a friend ... it is a bonding experience and everyone loves to participate.
I really liked my table for the Enchanted Forest Witches Luncheon ...
This year ... although I have to really be careful on the budget ... I want to make sure all the walls are covered and it looks as good as it can.
People do not think I am crazy ...
My guest do appreciate the Luncheon ... look forward to what the next years theme is going to be.

I hope I answered all the questions ... hope more people add their Halloween party ideas. Aways fun to see what others do!
 

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For those of you who host a Halloween party, pls share details!

How many people do you normally invite?

Everyone.

What % shows up?

Impossible to calculate. One family drives several hours to get here.

Age group?

Birth to 1 year past death. I have to draw a line somewhere, once things start falling off, it becomes unsanitary.

How long is the party normally?

5 ish to whenever.

Do you require guests to wear costumes?

Nope

Are they normally good sports about it?

Yep

Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth?

Yes, yes, and yes. Flyers sent to 400ish houses nearby, facebook and word of mouth for further away.

When do you send out invites (if you do)?

Flyers about a week out, variable on the others.

Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that?

Kids present, BYOB, I provide food.

Is your food themed too?

Hell no.

Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor?

All outside.

How much in advance do you start decorating?

A week.

Do you have entertainment?

Define entertainment.

Do you organize games?

No. Maybe. There's pumpkin carving. Lots and lots of pumpkin carving.

Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps?

Cool to cold climate and all outdoors anyway.

Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going?

This will be year 7.

This year's theme?

The Bone Mother.

What are you working on this year?

The Bone Mother.

Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones?

Yes and yes, though strong tendency to sell old ones in favor of making room for new.

Fave materials to work with?

My own concoction with ideas taken from monster mud and Mr Chicken's methods.

Where do you store your props/Halloween gear?

In the yard year round.

Past year(s) themes?

Harvest themed

Fave theme so far?

Harvest themed.

Fave prop you've ever made?

Trevor. 16th century French style cadaver tomb that hid a fog chiller inside.

Things you'd like to improve upon this year?

New story/atmosphere.

Do people think you're crazy? ;)

Yes.

Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back?

Yes, yes.
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 15-20 people
What % shows up? almost all of them
Age group? 3-60
How long is the party normally? 7pm-whenever
Do you require guests to wear costumes? no
Are they normally good sports about it? yes
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? I try to send invites, but also do Facebook invites as well
When do you send out invites (if you do)? I let people know 8 weeks in advance
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? BYOB but I provide all the food
Is your food themed too? sometimes
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? interior
How much in advance do you start decorating? a month
Do you have entertainment? ehh not usually, just some music
Do you organize games? sometimes
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? usually indoors, but if the weather is nice, we like to have a bonfire
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? annual
This year's theme? undecided
What are you working on this year? I feel like I am so behind already, I have no yet started on any projects
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? both
Fave materials to work with? I love paper!
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? basement
Past year(s) themes? Zombie Apocalypse
Fave theme so far? Vintage
Fave prop you've ever made? creepy light fixture
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? adding more props
Do people think you're crazy? yes
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? yes
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 40-80
What % shows up? 150% (friends of friends etc)
Age group? 10-80
How long is the party normally? 7pm - ???
Do you require guests to wear costumes? yes
Are they normally good sports about it? everyone loves it
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? formal
When do you send out invites (if you do)? a month before
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? we supply it all.
Is your food themed too? Some of the desserts/drinks. But not the entrees etc....
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? both
How much in advance do you start decorating? I take a week off from work the week before.
Do you have entertainment? my son dj's
Do you organize games? yes
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? inside usually, too hot/muggy outside until after 9pm
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? not annual, keeps people excited that way in case there is one!
This year's theme? not quite defined but carnival thing....
What are you working on this year? still working out details and shopping at garage sales/thrift shops to see what catches my eye
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? both
Fave materials to work with? i love the faux painting
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? behind couches,garage, secret trunks,closet, under the bed. Basically everywhere, but I sell a lot of it after halloween. I just keep the basics.
Past year(s) themes? oleander hills (cemetery), nuclear fallout, tortuga tavern (pirates), black death (bubonic plague)
Fave theme so far? i know I am a knucklehead- but I LOVED PIRATES
Fave prop you've ever made? my tortuga tavern sign, my plague masks, my pirate table centerpieces
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? i love lighting, always trying to improve without breaking the bank or giving myself a migraine
Do people think you're crazy? Define crazy :)
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Yes
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 40 to 70 people
What % shows up? 85% if not more. We have an open invitation to invited guest to bring friends
Age group? 16-80 16 to 21 can't drink they can be DD's and My parents come and my dad will be 78 this year.
How long is the party normally? We start at 6:30 and it's til whenever
Do you require guests to wear costumes? Costumes are required...but we have never had a problem with no one dressing up.
Are they normally good sports about it? Yeah everyone has fun with it. We have a costume contest so everyone has fun.
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? We set up a facebook page a few month in advance so people can start planning and then a month and a half before the party I send out formal invitations that I hand make.
When do you send out invites (if you do)? A month and a half before the party
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? We have some Jello and Pudding shots, 2 specialty drinks, pop and water. Other than that it's BYOB
Is your food themed too? Not really but sometimes we give the food names that go with the theme.
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? We decorate both crazy lol
How much in advance do you start decorating? A little over a month before the party. We start decorating the outside and then move to the inside.
Do you have entertainment? We use an Ipod for music
Do you organize games? We do try to have 1 to 3 games and a costume contest
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? I'm in Ohio and the weather is always a crap shoot. The last couple years we have gotten wind and rain for the party. So we mostly have inside, but we always leave it open to have bon fire!
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? This year will be the 4th annual and hopefully many more.
This year's theme? This year our Theme is Haunted Mansion (not Disney)
What are you working on this year? There are lots of things lol Some of the big things are cemetery post, a grandfather clock, A fake fireplace and temporary expansion for our garage.
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? We do both.
Fave materials to work with? Cardboard lol
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? In our basement and garage
Past year(s) themes? First year was a little of everything, carnevil and bloody asylum
Fave theme so far? Carnevil
Fave prop you've ever made? My Entrance Archway
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? The room in our 2 car garage for our guest
Do people think you're crazy? Some...probably, Others No because they know Halloween is like Christmas for me.
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Yes and we get new people to invite every year.
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 50-70
What % shows up? 80%
Age group? All ages
How long is the party normally? 7 p.m. to whenever
Do you require guests to wear costumes? No, but it's encouraged
Are they normally good sports about it? Yes
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? email
When do you send out invites (if you do)? August teaser with date and last day of Sept. invite
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? Cater food, hire bartender
Is your food themed too? No
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? Interior for sure, not exterior
How much in advance do you start decorating? Planning next one as soon as it's over, building April-Sept. and decorating Oct. 1
Do you have entertainment? No
Do you organize games? Sometimes a scavenger hunt for kids
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? Indoors but a fire outside for those who want a break from the festivities.
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? Two on and one off (when it's every year, the numbers start to dwindle)
This year's theme? Arkham asylum (superheroes/villains - a big departure from the usual horror themes
What are you working on this year? Too many to name
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? Both
Fave materials to work with? Thrift store items, cardboard, spray paint
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? Basement
Past year(s) themes? Zombie apocalypse, Classic Universal monsters, haunted hotel
Fave theme so far? Haunted hotel but Universal monsters a close second
Fave prop you've ever made? That's hard to pin down. https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/my-halloween-creations/ Probably my Frozen Jack Torrance scene.
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? Always looking for ways to engage the guests and up my game from previous year
Do people think you're crazy? They think I'm creative
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Yes
 

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How many people do you normally invite? In the range of 20-30
What % shows up? about 90%. Most come and go throughout the night
Age group? 21 and over. I usually serve alcoholic beverages
How long is the party normally? Around 6 hours. Usually starts at 8 and goes until 1am
Do you require guests to wear costumes? Of course!!
Are they normally good sports about it? Yes! Most of my friends like Halloween
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? I'll make invites because it's part of the fun but usually most know I'm having a party before October comes by word of mouth. Then when October rolls around I make a fb page
When do you send out invites (if you do)? October 1st!
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? I take care of most of it. I do allow my guests to BYOB and sometimes one or two people will bring food
Is your food themed too? Definitesly! That's part of the fun!
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? Interior. I have an apartment so there's not TOO much I can do outside
How much in advance do you start decorating? October 1st!
Do you have entertainment? Not usually. Just music and lights for dancing!
Do you organize games? Usually do Tempt Your Fate game
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? Mostly indoors but I have the balcony available for people to go out and sit
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? It's becoming annual. I've only done it one year so far
This year's theme? Haunted Carnival/Side Show
What are you working on this year? Large Prize Wheel for Tempt Your Fate game
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? Both. Reuse a lot but always make something new each year
Fave materials to work with?Foam and paint
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? In my large walk-in closet
Past year(s) themes? Just "Standard Traditional Halloween" theme
Fave theme so far? Only had one theme so far
Fave prop you've ever made? All my yard tombstones
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? Time management when getting prepared for the party
Do people think you're crazy? Some do. But when they see the results of my craziness at my party they understand!
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Yes! Most were hoping I have a party again this year!
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 30ish
What % shows up? 90%
Age group? 30-50
How long is the party normally? 7 to about 2 ish
Do you require guests to wear costumes? YES!!
Are they normally good sports about it? Yes. Most know I love halloween and the work I put into the party, so they have no problem with a costume
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? This past year we sent formal. Previous years was facebook only
When do you send out invites (if you do)? We set up facebook event 2 months before and invites go out about 2 weeks before
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? Considering BYOB for this year but we've always provided and people always brought some.
Is your food themed too? YES!
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? Interior. We do very little on the exterior.
How much in advance do you start decorating? About a month
Do you have entertainment? no
Do you organize games? just tempt your fate
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? In Canada so all indoor
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? #5 this year
This year's theme? Pirate
What are you working on this year? Haven't thought about it yet!
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? Make new ones but none of my stuff is as elaborate as others here
Fave materials to work with? Paint
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? Cold room
Past year(s) themes? Last year was the only with a theme and it was Insane Asylum
Fave theme so far? Insane Asylum ;)
Fave prop you've ever made?
Things you'd like to improve upon this year?
Do people think you're crazy? Probably!
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Yes and yes!!
 

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How many people do you normally invite? around 30.
What % shows up? almost everyone shows up most of the time.
Age group? most guests are in their 20s (like me) but we also have some older family members there, 40s-60s, so a bit of a mixture.
How long is the party normally? we host a quiz night that usually starts at around 6:30 and ends at about midnight, but some guests always stay longer after the quiz is finished.
Do you require guests to wear costumes? we strongly prefer it.
Are they normally good sports about it? yes, i don't think there's ever been anyone who didn't dress up.
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? i invite people in person and on Facebook.
When do you send out invites (if you do)? usually a month or so in advance.
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? we supply food and cans of soda, and usually one alcoholic drink like punch, but they bring their own alcohol.
Is your food themed too? it is vaguely themed. for example, last year we had a banquet for our gothic vampires theme, this year is fish and chips for pirates theme, haha.
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? depends on the theme. our zombie theme was mostly outdoor, vampires was all indoor. pirates will hopefully be both.
How much in advance do you start decorating? some themes have practically been done all on the night before and on the day, last year we decorated weeks in advance.
Do you have entertainment? not really.
Do you organize games? we have a quiz night.
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? i live in Australia, so it is warm, but we host indoors.
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? this will be our fifth year, but the second year we decided to do a different party later in the year instead of Halloween, as my extended family had their own Halloween party that we were attending.
This year's theme? pirates!
What are you working on this year? this theme is going to be quite prop heavy, so a lot.
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? we reuse whatever we can, and buy/make a lot of new stuff.
Fave materials to work with? i don't know if i have a favourite, haha.
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? usually in the garage.
Past year(s) themes? our first year was just general spooky Halloween stuff with a witch's kitchen / haunted woods vibe, second year we didn't do Halloween, third was zombies, fourth was gothic vampires
Fave theme so far? last year's vampires was the best so far. i felt like i was in my element with that theme, but i'm really looking forward to trying out a pirate theme.
Fave prop you've ever made? i have no idea. i'm not really that proud of any of my props so far, haha.
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? just to be more organized really and make this setup bigger, better and more detailed than any of our previous ones.
Do people think you're crazy? people don't really celebrate Halloween here so some think it's a bit weird, especially when i tell them i've been working on this years party since last year, haha.
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? my guests always give great feedback. it makes it all worthwhile when the night ends and i hear people say "aww, it's over already?" and "what's the theme for next year?". we've only ever had one guest taken off our invite list.
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 200
What % shows up?120
Age group? 18-60
How long is the party normally? We start at 8 and end whenever the last one leaves. Average is 5 hours
Do you require guests to wear costumes? yes
Are they normally good sports about it? Not only good sports about it, but all of our guest have amazing costumes
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? Facebook private event
When do you send out invites (if you do)? We post about 6 weeks ahead of the date
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? We do everything. We provide beer, wine 2 mixed drinks, water and soda. We also do a full food spread. Some people bring beer.
Is your food themed too? The food itself if not, but the name of the food is themed for the holiday
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? Interior
How much in advance do you start decorating? 8 days before and the days are usually 14 hours. We do the whole house. We move out furniture, cover walls and hand a lot of things. Very immersive.
Do you have entertainment? We have a tarot reader come out
Do you organize games? We have a scavenger hunt that guests can do if they want to. We just set it up and let them go.
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? We are in Florida, so it is usually sweltering!! We try to keep the costume contest outside. We have drinks inside and out and all the food is inside.
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? Annual and we have been doing it for 8 years
This year's theme? We don't do an overall theme, but every room has its own theme. We do 12 rooms/areas
What are you working on this year? Fabricating a large spider
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? Mixture of both. We reuse a lot and sometimes we will completely repurpose a prop. Our electric chair that we made had been used as a voodoo throne and a torture nail chair. We always do 1-2 new rooms which usually require a couple of new props.
Fave materials to work with? Whatever I can get my hands on!! I do a lot of paper mache, fabric draping, wood
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? I store 30+ boxes at my friend's attic for a bottle of Mount Gay Rum and a mani/pedi for his wife.
Past year(s) themes? Zombie, voodoo, clown, The Shining, Misery, Nightmare on Elm Street, Spiders and creepy crawlies, Clockwork Orange, Beetlejuice, mortuary, serial killer artwork, hallway to hell, Kidney harvesting, dead dollmaker, and many more!

Fave theme so far? Our recreation of the Shining. We use a real axe and knock a hole in the bedroom door
Fave prop you've ever made? My full-size working guillotine
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? Nothing really. We always pull it off.
Do people think you're crazy? Not now. They have sooo much fun. We are the event of the year in our circle
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Now they are. We got to the point where 300 people were showing up. We did a great purge of the invite list and got it back down to only our closest friends.
 

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How many people do you normally invite?
60-80
What % shows up?
90%
Age group?
20's-late 50's
How long is the party normally?
6 hours on average
Do you require guests to wear costumes?
YES
Are they normally good sports about it?
Of course, we're not gonna throw you out if you don't have one.
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth?
Mostly we set up an event page on Facebook, but this year we're doing formal invites as well.
When do you send out invites (if you do)?
A month before
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that?
We take care of everything
Is your food themed too?
No, most of our energy is usually put into the atmosphere and decorations.
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor?
Both
How much in advance do you start decorating?
A month prior...usually first weekend of September.
Do you have entertainment?
Just a music playlist that I mix and burn every year myself...a mix of classic Halloween songs, dance, and top 100 remixes.
Do you organize games?
No, but this year we will! Have plans on doing a scavenger hunt styled game for guests to play throughout the night.
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps?
Ours is moderate and usually cool in October. Everything is indoors though, with escaped relaxed seating outside.
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going?
Yes, and roughly 8 years!
This year's theme?
Gothic Graveyard!
What are you working on this year?
Lots of prop builds to pull that gothic style of a graveyard into the home.
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones?
A bit of both, if they can work with the current theme.
Fave materials to work with?
HOT GLUE.
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear?
Attic...garage...closets.
Past year(s) themes?
A couple years with no theme, then Feast of Fright, A Night In Hell House, The HallowBall, The Macabre Menagerie, Cirque Du Inferno
Fave theme so far?
Cirque Du Inferno...but we try and top ourselves every year so each year becomes our favorite.

Fave prop you've ever made?
My spinning planchett devil Ouija board
Things you'd like to improve upon this year?
Atmosphere and scare factor.
Do people think you're crazy?
YES.
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back?
YES AND YES!
 

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How many people do you normally invite?
We don't really keep count because we do an open-house & just send a big group message to everyone we know via FB, email, word of mouth, text & phone calls
What % shows up?
We live farther away than most of my family, so about half of who we invite at least stops by
Age group?
All ages
How long is the party normally?
Some people come early, in the daytime, so the little kids can walk among the scary decorations & get used to them. Some people trick or treat in our neighborhood & use our house as a home base. Others give out candy at their own homes and come by our house later, and some just stop by at the end of the night before we take our decorations down.
Do you require guests to wear costumes?
No
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth?
No formal invitation, but when I create a FB group page, I post photos there of last year's event
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that?
It's an open house so we normally make a big batch of white chicken chili & meatballs, along with snacks & some desserts & candy. Other people bring stuff too - hot pretzels with dips, veggies & dip, cupcakes, etc
Is your food themed too?
yes & no - we might decorate things like cakes or cupcakes but not everything has to be themed
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor?
We do a big yard haunt but I also decorate inside & put out buffet tables that are decorated for Halloween
How much in advance do you start decorating?
We have so much now that I start with inside stuff earlier than I used to. My goal is to start inside stuff by late September, finish inside stuff by early October, and then put up outside stuff starting about Oct 15th. Some stuff won't go outside until the day of Halloween
Do you have entertainment?
No, we do a fire pit, have lots of food & drinks, and some games for the kids but other than that, no
Do you organize games?
Not really. Kids just play when they want to
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps?
We're cooler - SE Pennsylvania. We have the fire pit in our driveway & most people hang out there & come inside for food
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going?
yes, it's an annual "thing" now. LOL! As we've gotten more stuff, we've had an open invitation for people to come by & see our decorations, but now that we provide food, more people come. Ha ha!
This year's theme?
We don't have a theme other than Halloween, but it's possible this could change in the future as our kids get bigger if they want to host additional Halloween parties for their friends that are not on Halloween night. I could see myself easily getting into themes!
What are you working on this year?
Last year I got my first witch prop - this year I want to make her a shack!
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones?
Both! I try to make our display 'flow', so we have a graveyard area, a cornfield/scarecrow area, and now a witch area on the outside. Inside my goal is sort of sophisticated creepy, like the Addams Family mansion. Suggesting a weird family with a background of witches lives there, KWIM?
Fave materials to work with?
Can't have too much paint & spray paint, and I loved playing with Drylok & spray foam last year for the first time!
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear?
Everywhere I can! Mostly crawl space basement & in our outdoor shed.
Fave prop you've ever made?
Probably the witch cauldron I did last season. I was very inspired by others here.


Things you'd like to improve upon this year?
Pretty much like to improve everything, in a way. Always tweaking the layout, the details, the setup, the lighting, the best way to have people approach the door, etc. I really want my witch area to look good this year.
Do people think you're crazy? ;)
yep!
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back?
Yep! I think everyone has fun & probably would come back every year if it wasn't a big drive for them. But, even if we had no guests over, we'd probably still do this. Our TOTers love it and it's just fun to do. Our kids have a great time "helping" (they are 4 & 2, so mostly they just make a mess), and I think we sort of have the reputation of "that house" in the neighborhood, which we love!
 

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How many people do you normally invite? Around 50 get mailed paper invitations; usually many more invited via Facebook event
What % shows up? Hard to calculate, but we had at least 50 last year
Age group? 25-40 mostly; plus some family members of various age
How long is the party normally? 5-6 Hours
Do you require guests to wear costumes? No, but it is encourages
Are they normally good sports about it? Yes, everyone is great
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? Formal to some, Facebook for everyone else
When do you send out invites (if you do)? October 1
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? We make pumpkin beer, but usually everyone brings more drinks. Last year we picked up Hawaiian BBQ for everyone, but it was too costly to do again.
Is your food themed too? No
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? Exterior Lighting
How much in advance do you start decorating? October 1
Do you have entertainment? Just music and movies
Do you organize games? We haven't, but considering for this year.
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? Nor Cal :cool:
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? Yes, 7 years this year
This year's theme? Red/Black
What are you working on this year?
  • Improved exterior lights
  • Yard decorations; possibly including projection
  • Syncing music video playlists to surround sound
  • Games/activites

Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? We have added a bit each year as we had time/money to do so
Fave materials to work with? Plywood and digital projection
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? Garage
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? More props/decoration
Do people think you're crazy? Few know the extent of my obsession; my wife knows I'm crazy.
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Yes and yes.[/COLOR]
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 75+
What % shows up? about 60%
Age group? 28-40
How long is the party normally? start at 7pm, end when the last person leaves. Usually end up in the pool/hot tub later on in the night.
Do you require guests to wear costumes? strongly suggested
Are they normally good sports about it? yes
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? facebook, word of mouth, text messages and sometimes I will do scary invites to mail.
When do you send out invites (if you do)? we do a save the date in June, for the party in Oct.
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? we supply all drinks and themed foods. However, I am doing a themed food contest this year.
Is your food themed too? yes
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? Interior, we live in Vegas and people are shady.
How much in advance do you start decorating? August/September
Do you have entertainment? Just our group of friends. Hired bartenders one year.
Do you organize games? Not usually, but have played the Halloween version of Twister, called Tangled. Good times.
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? Both, Oct gets chilly. Turn the heater on the pool/spa
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? Been doing it since 2009, missed last year as my husband was out of town for work in Oct.
This year's theme? No theme, just fun. Each room is themed I guess. Kitchen is Chop Shop/Butcher Shop, Entry way is laboratory, living room is clowns, bar is babies and zombie babies. Back yard is cemetery. Front has lights and a few characters, usually the Butler to greet and then Hanibull to scare from the start
What are you working on this year? New cemetery columns and signs, 3 ft tall babies, pumpkin head.
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? both depending on time.
Fave materials to work with? starting to use foam sheets, cardboard seems to be easy.
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? in our attic and office. our new house will have a separate 1 car garage for them.
Past year(s) themes? don't usually do themes.
Fave theme so far? n/a
Fave prop you've ever made? hmmm, I usually buy. I have great ideas but lack the time to get them done.
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? be more organized, take more photos and do inventory.
Do people think you're crazy? YES YES and YES
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Yes, they look forward to it yearly. Last year when we didn't have it, people were upset.
 

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How many people do you normally invite? 10-20 friends
What % shows up? Last year I think only 3 people bailed, most people show up
Age group? 25-32
How long is the party normally? 4PM - Midnight
Do you require guests to wear costumes? I can't force anyone, but we only had 2 curmudgeons last year. Everyone else dressed up. I incentivise with prizes.
Are they normally good sports about it? Yes, again, aside from the 2 curmudgeons.
Do you do a formal invitation, email or just word of mouth? I use facebook and email.
When do you send out invites (if you do)? I send out the facebook invite and email at least 1 month prior. I put a lot of work into my party, so I want people to show up.
Do you do BYOB and potluck or do you take care of that? I cook just about everything. This year I'm thinking of borrowing my parent's costco card to make things easier. As for booze, I tell my friends that I will provide very basic booze. I get some budweiser beer, some cheap red wine, and, some cheapish/medium priced gin, but I tell my friends to bring the rest, since booze is more expensive and people have more specific tastes since my friends are alcohol snobs. I mulled wine and cider though.
Is your food themed too? Yes, in a way. I got creative with the names and labeling and presentation. Examples: Mac 'n' cheese was cheesey maggots, I had dips that were different poultices (tzatziki was poultice of fire, ranch was poulitce of ice); i did cups of dirt that were "grave dirt samples"
Do you go more crazy for interior or exterior decor? I live in a duplex, so all I could do was put pumpkins out and a little skeleton coming out of the grave. I can't get too fancy. Interior decorating, I try to go all out now, I look on websites in the summer to spread out the spending and to catch the occasional summer sale.
How much in advance do you start decorating? At least 1 week before, if not more, since I try to do something spooky each weekend of October, I want to make sure I'm ready ahead of time.
Do you have entertainment? Music, videogames, board games, card games. The music is fun people request music from horror video games, horror movies, or just goofy halloween music. We do a costume contest and I give out little prizes. Then I always have a card table set up for serious board gamers, and I have all my horror videogames out in case someone wants to play something. I recommend the board game: betrayal at house on the hill. It is a haunt-themed game that involves a nice mix of random instances and careful implementation of strategy an dcoop.
Do you organize games? I make announcements after we eat. "If you want to play videogames, I'm starting them up here" "If you want to play a board game, we're starting a group here" As host, I do not really part-take in the games, but I help get people settled. We also play mafia, which is fun.
Do you live in warm climate and have activities outside or just indoors for those of us with cooler temps? I prefer to keep everyone inside. It does tend to be cooler, but not cool enough for bugs to be 100% gone. Plus I don't have my own backyard.
Is your party an annual thing and how many years has it been going? This upcoming year will be my 3rd annual halloween party. I always put it the weekend before halloween so my more party-going friends can still do their halloween night bar crawls, but still come to my costume party.
This year's theme? I haven't decided. Last year was the Corrupted Alchemist's Atelier.
What are you working on this year? I'm playing on a few ideas. Many of my friends are chemists, including myself, so I was thinking mad-scientist themed, especially because the local craft store near me has science props for halloween up already. But I was also thinking of the "Mad Mystic/Sorceress' Soiree" because I can recycle a lot of last year's stuff. If I go Mad-Scientist route, I'll probably end up doing more food prep, but if I go the Mystic/Sorceress' Route, I'll do more decor prep and activities like tarot cards and fortune telling stuff.
Do you make new props each year and/or reuse old ones? I live off of my mere chemistry teacher salary, so I try to reuse props when possible. I do plan on making a cardboard grandfather clock this year though.
Fave materials to work with? Cloth, I do a lot of drapery to alter the lighting; Glass bottles with mysterious labels and liquids, Paper and paint. I have not done any serious prop making yet.
Where do you store your props/Halloween gear? In big rubbermade containers in the basement or in bags.
Past year(s) themes? My first year had no theme other than let's watch mystery science theater 3000, play boardgames, and eat "spooky" food while in costume. My 2nd year, again, it was the Corrupted Alchemist's Atelier.
Fave theme so far? The Corrupted Alchemist theme was so fun, I'm trying to resist doing it again and perfecting it.
Fave prop you've ever made? None, just artfully using the objects in my house to be spooky and mystical.
Things you'd like to improve upon this year? This year, I want to budget and plan my menu better. Last year, my Mac 'n' cheese was such a hit it ran out mid-way through (people kept sneaking seconds) and I had to stop hosting to make more, haha. Most of my friends are guys with hearty appetites, so I'm thinking of hitting up costco's frozen appetizers (which are of rather high quality) and their ready-made dips and platters. I still plan on making my mac 'n' cheese, but I've decided to make a huge batch the day before and then make a 2nd batch as I normally would the day of. that way, if we run out, I can resort to the batch made the previous day.
Do people think you're crazy? I mean, crazy people tend to clump together, I'm no more crazy than my close friends. However, my co-workers think I'm crazy, as I always make the costumes for the whole science department. I take Halloween very seriously.
Are most guests appreciative and are most invited back? Because my party is small, they're my close friends that have been invited every year. This year I'm opening up my house to some coworkers and some of my boyfriends' friends now, so we'll see how that goes.
 
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