16 Halloween Party Games For Celebrating at Home
Halloween is the perfect excuse to tap into your wild side and have some hair-raising fun. As kids, trick or treating was the real star of Oct. 31 – but festive activities like bobbing for apples and participating in a costume contest were a close second. And as adults, Halloween party games might just be the highlight of the night. Who doesn’t love bobbing for apples, competing in a costume contest, or even taking part in an eerie murder-mystery party game? These festivities are so fun and really only come around once a year, so you don’t want to miss out. If you’re looking to celebrate Halloween night with your own spooktacular soiree this year, these Halloween games (which include some virtual options) will guarantee an eerily good time for you and your invitees. Aside from all the frights and delights, you’re sure to have, the best thing about these adult Halloween games is they’re all super cheap, and in some cases free! Now you can spook your guests to your heart’s content without scaring your wallet in the process.
So read on for our list of the best Halloween party ideas for adults, and get excited for a scary-good night!
– Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes, Lauren Harano, and Melissa Santoyo
Spooky Game Idea: Themed Scavenger Hunt
If you’re looking to instantly bring fun and adventure to your party, look no further than a themed scavenger hunt. Once you’ve scattered themed items around your venue, divide guests into teams and provide them with the list of items they’ll need to find. Whichever team finishes first can then be treated to a nice, cold adult beverage!
How to do it while social distancing: If you aren’t going to be having people at your house this year, fear not, because you can still have a themed scavenger hunt virtually! Before you hop on a Zoom call or a group FaceTime, make a list of things for each person to find around their house or neighborhood. Have each person go out and find the items (like a jack-o’-lantern, a candy bowl, witch decor, etc.), and make sure to have them snap a photo of everything they find. The person who finds everything on the list first (with pictures to prove it) wins!
Spooky Game Idea: Horror Movie Trivia
If you and your guests are horror movie fanatics, you won’t want to miss out on the fun that comes along with a game of trivia. From classic horror films and scream-fests to scary movies that just hit the box office, the options for trivia quizzes are endless. Plus, there are a ton of printable horror movie trivia games you can download online for free.
How to do it while social distancing: For this Halloween party game, tell everyone to dress in their best pyjamas, pop some popcorn, and get their game faces on. Send each person a link to the printable horror movie trivia game you want to play (or you can make your own and send that out), and get ready to play no matter how far away they might be.
Spooky Game Idea: Apple Bobbing . . . With a Twist
Relive your childhood Halloween memories with this fun game. However, if you want to take the bobbing to the next level, swap out the water for white sangria!
How to do it while social distancing: Tell each person who’s participating to fill up a medium-sized bowl or pot with water and a few apples. Then, have everyone set up their cameras far enough away from the bowl of water with apples in it so their computers or phones don’t get wet, but close enough to where you can still see the action. Have one person be the judge, and see who can snag an apple first!
Spooky Game Idea: Trick-or-Treat
Who says trick-or-treating is just for kids? In this Halloween party game, place miniature drink bottles filled with different concoctions on trays or in bowls around your venue. Guests can then freely pick up any of the drinks to enjoy, but they won’t know whether the drink is a trick or treat until after their first sip. The “treat” bottles can be some sort of alcoholic beverage, while the “trick” ones will simply be juice or water. You can also play this adult game with jello shots, too!
How to do it while social distancing: For a virtual party, send out fun drink recipes to all those who want to participate in this game, and tell everyone to make their favourite concoctions. Once those are made, tell them to get out juice or water that’s a similar colour to the drinks they just whipped up. Have your “guests” pour the cocktails and nonalcoholic beverages into multiple shot glasses and mix them up so they don’t know which is which. They can pick their poison throughout the night, and if you’re all on a video call, people can vote whether they think the shot will be a trick or a treat.
Spooky Game idea: Doughnuts on a String
For a deliciously hysterical time, hang doughnuts from a string or ribbon and have guests stand under the sweet treats with their hands behind their backs. Then, count to three and see who can eat the entire doughnut the fastest, without letting it fall from the string. Get ready for some hardcore belly laughs but remember, no hands allowed!
How to do it while social distancing: Playing this game virtually is just as fun as playing it together. Have each person tie a doughnut to a string, and tell them to either hang it from the ceiling or have someone taller than them hold it. Time everyone and see who can eat their sweet treat the fastest.
Spooky Game Idea: Magic Potions
Remember the good ol’ game of Truth or Dare? Well, this is basically the adult version. Here, you will write down questions or dares on tags and attach one to each drink. Whether it’s a cocktail, shot, beer, or mocktail, after each guest has enjoyed their beverage they must do what the tag says!
How to do it while social distancing: Start a Zoom call and tell each person on the line to make themselves an array of drinks. These can include cocktails, shots, ciders, and juices. Once those are made, go around from person to person and have them choose a drink. Once they drink it, pick a question or dare out of a hat, and make them do whatever it says. Bonus points for creativity!
Spooky Game Idea: Halloween Bingo
For a party game that’s a bit less demanding – yet one that can be just as thrilling – why not sit down for a few rounds of Halloween bingo? You can find lots of cheap or free printable bingo cards online, too. Once someone has yelled “bingo,” treat the winner to a special spooky cocktail!
How to do it while social distancing: Send each person who wants to play a round of Bingo a link to the game online. Once everyone has the game pulled up or printed out, you can begin! Whoever wins can get a virtual gift card.
Spooky Game Idea: Fill the Pumpkin
A Halloween card game filled with thrills and chills? Yes, please! For this game, make sure you have a plastic pumpkin (or any other container) that doesn’t leak. Spread out a deck of cards face down, and assign different rules to each card. For example, each time someone draws a “king,” that person must take a sip of their drink. Or each time a person draws a “queen,” they can make someone else drink. The rules are up to you to decide, so have fun and be creative! Just remember to assign certain cards to be the cue for people to pour shot-size portions of their drinks into the pumpkin (or container.) Finally, when someone draws the “ace,” they have to drink whatever is in the pumpkin. As you can probably imagine, this game works best when everyone is drinking different kinds of beverages.
How to do it while social distancing: To play this game while socially distancing, you must make sure everyone has a few different drinks on hand. Think beer, a cocktail, and a seltzer. Then, begin drawing cards! Each person must fill their “pumpkin” up with a different drink when someone draws the card that you assigned for that specific action. When someone pulls an “ace,” everyone must drink what’s inside of their pumpkins. Good luck!
Spooky Game Idea: Halloween Charades
Looking for a game idea that will have your guests rolling with laughter? Say hello to Halloween Charades. Come up with a good number of Halloween-themed clues and write them down on tiny pieces of paper. Split your guests into two groups, and take turns with one person acting out each clue for their team. Whichever team has the most points at the end wins. From Halloween candies to scary movies, the options for clues are endless!
How to do it while social distancing: Set up a Zoom call and make sure everyone has their cameras set up so the other people on the call can see them. Since the players can’t just grab a scrap of paper like usual, you’ll need to have someone sit out of each round so that person can assign the charades to each group without spoiling the game (via text). Once each team has their charades cards, the game can begin.
Spooky Game Idea: Halloween Jinx
Kick your party up a notch with Halloween Jinx. In this game, choose certain words or phrases (for example Halloween, October, costume, scary, etc.) that are taboo to be said throughout the night. Whenever someone hears a guest using this word or phrase, they must yell out “Jinx,” causing the person who mouthed the banned word to take a drink. The more people have to drink, the trickier this game becomes. At the end of the night, the winner is the person who has used the forbidden words the least number of times.
How to do it while social distancing: Call all your friends up on Zoom and have a virtual night together. You can watch scary movies, play games, or have a Halloween-themed dinner party, but make sure everybody knows beforehand what the taboo words of the night are. Then, if someone says one of them while on the call, make them drink!
Spooky Game Idea: Guess the Villain
Guess the Villain is a fun ice-breaker and a great way to get people talking to each other. When guests first arrive, attach a name of a villain onto their backs without revealing who the specific villain is. Then, the guests will go around asking other people questions attempting to guess which villain they are. Whoever guesses correctly first wins!
How to do it while social distancing: To play this game if you’re not all together, you have to switch things up a little. Instead of not telling the person which villain they are, each person has to choose which character they want to be, and the guests have to guess from there.
Spooky Game Idea: Murder Mystery
There isn’t a better time of year to play a murder mystery game than Halloween. While this game will require a bit of preparation before the party, trust us, it will certainly be worth it.
Send guests specific character profiles in their invitations, and ask them to come prepared to act out who they are at the party. Then, once everyone arrives at the murder scene – aka the venue – guests will ask each other questions trying to find out which character is the murderer.
How to do it while social distancing: Send each person their specific character profile before everyone hops on a Zoom call. The people on the call must guess who the murderer is by asking them questions and cracking the mystery.
Spooky Game Idea: Nightmare Before Christmas Operation
Remember the thrilling game of Operation you used to play as a kid? Well, this Nightmare Before Christmas Operation ($32) is the Halloween-themed version! If you and your friends are lovers of high-intensity board games, put on your scrubs and enter Dr Finklestein’s lab where you will operate on the Boogie Man. But be warned, it will take a steady hand to get rid of Oogie’s “crawling flesh, spider veins, snake eyes, and more!”
How to do it while social distancing: Each household would need a Nightmare Before Christmas Operation game to start. Once everyone is on a Zoom call, you can have each person take turns in the game. Whoever loses has to take a drink.
Spooky Game Idea: Scary Treasure Hunt
To start this spooky hunt, divide your guests into small teams, and provide each with a clue that will essentially get them closer to the hidden treasure. For a more challenging hunt, include a Halloween-themed puzzle or riddle that needs to be solved in each clue. Don’t be afraid to plant both tricks and treats along the way. This will keep the thrills alive! If you’re having a hard time coming up with the final treasure, remember you can’t go wrong with an ice-cold bucket bubbling over with Champagne!
How to do it while social distancing: This Halloween party game is best to play with people who live close to you. Make sure each person wears a mask and socially distances, and you’ll be good to go. Set up the treasure hunt outside for best results.
Spooky Game Idea: Pop-Up Mad Laboratory
Get ready to gross out your guests with this thrilling party game. Here, you’ll fill up boxes or jars with funky-textured foods (peeled grapes, spaghetti noodles, or cold hot dogs are all great starters), and let your guests guess what’s inside by using their hands to feel around. But be prepared, there will most likely be lots of squeals!
How to do it while social distancing: If the weather allows for an outdoor gathering, set up housemates on blankets, picnic style, and have a gory treat for each blanket to experience. Going virtual? Have a creepy food competition instead! Everyone can make a drink or food item with a Halloween twist, and whoever has the most creative (or disturbing) treat wins.
Spooky Game Idea: Don't Forget the Costume Contest!
Is it really a Halloween party without a costume contest? While this technically isn’t a game, a great way to capture the creative costumes (and fun memories) of the night is to set Polaroid cameras around the venue, or even set up a DIY photo booth. You know, if you’re looking to flex your creativity muscle. From scary props to moody lighting, your guests will have an spooktacular time saying “cheese” and posing!
How to do it while social distancing: There’s no denying that everyone loves to dress up! Carve out a time for a Zoom or FaceTime call, and tell your friends to dress to impress.