Everything You Need To Throw A Halloween Party With A Transylvania Twist

Sure, any ol' ghoul can throw a monster mash. But check out our list of Halloween party must-haves to see how to turn it into a graveyard smash.

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Halloween’s probably our favorite holiday—at least, if we’re not counting National Spaghetti Day—and there’s no better way to celebrate than by throwing a big party. It’s a great excuse to dress up in a ridiculous costume, play some games, and eat an assortment of brain-shaped foods. Of course, to throw a really great party, you need appropriate decorations. We searched Amazon to find the best affordable Halloween party gear, and we came up with quite a few gems. If you’re preparing to throw a monster mash of your own, here’s everything you’ll need to get started.

1. Nothing says Halloween like butcher’s knives and…cutting boards, we guess?

Here’s the perfect Halloween gift for the bloodthirsty cannibal who has everything. This personalized cutting board celebrates the dark holiday with eco-friendly bamboo construction. That’s right; you can eat the neighbors and save the environment at the same time. Pick from a variety of limited-edition etchings, and supply your family’s last name for a special touch. We’d recommend skipping that part if you or the recipient are lying low for any major unsolved crimes.

2. Make no bones about it; we’ll take sugar in our coffee.

There’s room for one final fright when you serve your guests their dessert coffee. Pick up this set of stainless steel sugar spoons and stick one in the bowl. Your guests will toss in a few scoops and stir…only to realize, as they draw the spoon out, that they’ve been using a skull for a coffee spoon! Or, rather, they’ve been using a spoon-shaped kind of like a skull! Either way, the scare should run right up against the edge of a lawsuit, without quite crossing over. Hopefully.

3. Hoo hoo who’s ready to party?

The only thing scarier than the hoot of an owl on a moonlit night is the hoot of a skeleton owl at your own Halloween party. We can’t help with the sound effects, but we’ve got you on the decorations. You might remember Crazy Bonez as the company that brought you life-size plastic skeleton rats, cats, and even snakes. Well, they’re back at it, this time with an undead owl decoration that’s ideal decor for any fright-fest. Set this little creep up on the bookshelf and watch your guests back slowly out of the room. It’ll be a hoot!

4. Injectable gelatin desserts? Now that’s creepy!

It’s not a party without gelatin desserts, are we right? If you want to get really wild this Halloween, you could even try pudding shots…but we can’t condone that kind of decadence. Anyway, give your dessert table a darkly medical tinge by serving up your gelatin and pudding in big plastic syringes. Have fun squirting gunk in each others’ mouths, and play the Haunted Hospital vibe right to the hilt. Note: Not for intravenous use.

5. “Whaddaya got there, Dracula, a cold glass of sweet tea?”

We don’t care what the rules of the Buffyverse say; real vampires should only consume blood. If you’re a purist like us, be sure to invest in a few of these blood-bag drink cups. They’re realistic enough to preserve the vampiric illusion. Choose a set of 5, 10, or 20, depending on how many Draculas you expect at your party. This set comes with a handy-dandy filling syringe, too, so you won’t have to get cherry cola all over the kitchen while you’re putting the refreshments together. No more Draculas with soda cans. We’re talking to you, Whedon.

6. “And the skelly goes to…”

Everybody loves a costume contest, but what’s a contest without a prize? This ghoulish statuette makes a memorable award for your contest’s first-place finisher. It features a skeleton (duh) with his head in his hands—literally—cast in brilliant gold (okay, fine, gold-painted plastic). For under $7, it’s a nice pickup to bring some added pizzazz to your Halloween shindig. Everybloody will love it.

7. Add some ghoulish fun to your refreshments table.

Cola tastes great, but it isn’t exactly scary. Halloween parties must be scary—or at least give a nod to the nightmarish. These soda-bottle stickers are freakier than the amount of corn syrup in your favorite 2-liter soft drink. Offer your guests a taste of “Ye Olde Spider Venom” or the “Zombie Virus” itself. Just place these graphic stickers over the original label on your party beverage and let the fun begin. Best case scenario: The guests are too frightened to imbibe, and you get to keep the soft drinks for yourself.

8. Light your way through dark dance floors with bracelets that emit a ghostly glow.

Lots of people are afraid of the dark. Good. That makes it easier to set the ambiance at your next Halloween party. Of course, you can’t have people walking into each other and stubbing their toes on the fireplace. You do need some light. Hand out these glowing LED bracelets at the door and get this party started. (You should probably provide other light sources, too. In fact, you definitely should not depend on LED bracelets to light an entire darkened house. That is not safe.)

9. Who can wield these Medallions of Horror?

There’s no Halloween costume in the world that can’t be improved by a glowing LED necklace. This set of 15 plastic medallions covers all the bases of the season’s freakings. You’ve got your angry Jack-O-Lanterns, your friendly ghosts, and even your…pirate ships? We guess pirates are still scary. At any rate, these flashing LED pendants add an ambient glow to any darkened party room. Kids love them, too. Toss them into trick-or-treat bags or hand them out to your party guests. That should be enough to keep the evil spirits at bay.

10. Candy alone can be too much of a good thing. Here’s a party favor that’ll fill the gap.

Remember Slinkies? Oddly enough, we could ask that question to everyone going back to our great-grandparents…but we’re asking you. It’s hard to explain how a bit of plastic spring can be so satisfying, but in an age of fidget spinners, maybe there’s no mystery there. You can’t give your guests candy alone. You’ll make them sick! Supplement their goodie bags with these Halloween-themed “Magic Springs.” We can’t call them Slinkies for reasons of copyright law, but you know how they work.

11. Don’t be afraid of assembling the goody bags.

This kit does it for you. It’s a 100-piece set of glow-in-the-dark Halloween toys, including creepy-crawly plastic bugs, eyeball-themed bouncy balls, and slip-on witch fingers. And did we mention it all glows in the dark? It all glows in the dark. This grab-bag has pretty much everything you’d want for a primo Halloween favor bag. It’s all non-toxic, too, although we don’t recommend eating any of it. Come to think of it, these probably aren’t great for small children or anyone with a taste for glow-in-the-dark plastic. For everyone else, though, they’re great!

12. Maybe we won’t have a second serving after all…

Serve up your Halloween dinner on a set of porcelain salad plates that feature lovely designs reminiscent of Morticia Addams’ finest lace. The designs include a skull, a black cat, a haunted mansion, and a witch in flight, all in the style of “Wiccan Lace.” We’re not sure what separates Wiccan lace from regular lace, but either way, these designs are gorgeous. These are well-crafted, reusable dinner plates that will last you year after year. Shoot, you don’t even have to save them for just Halloween. Break them out early on October 1 to celebrate National Lace Day.

13. Serve up your Halloween candy with vintage flair.

Halloween is all about candy. Sure, there are the chills and thrills, but most of us could take those or leave them. Candy, on the other hand, is the real must-have item. Why not give your guests what they’re here for with a little bit of style? This vintage Halloween candy bowl depicts a grinning cartoon cat (black, of course), seated inside a half-headed Jack-O-Lantern. The result is more whimsical than scary, but as long as your guests get their sugar fix, they’ll be happy either way.

14. Ding dong, the witch is dead—but the cupcakes are still delicious.

Aren’t you sick of conventional Halloween cupcake toppers? We’ve seen enough pumpkins, skulls, and shrouded ghosts to last us a thousand Samhain Eves. However, until today, we’ve never seen a cake topper like this one. They’re essentially little plastic witch legs. There’s kind of a Wizard of Oz vibe here, with the feet and legs of a sticking out witch (possibly of a wicked nature and eastern location), but the connotation is more that these witches dove right in. Either way, this will take your party treats further than the same old skull toppers (or aforementioned spider rings) everyone’s seen before.

15. “Excuse me, where’s the little ghoul’s room?”

The bathroom: It’s arguably even more important than the kitchen for a good party. Still, when you have a bunch of elaborately costumed strangers in your home, you don’t want to spend all night pointing out the restroom door. This full-sized door cover takes care of the job for you with a little wink. Mr. Bones is relaxing on the throne, reading his favorite newspaper. Your guests will get the gist.

16. We’d hate to meet the spider who made these webs.

Artificial spider webs are to Halloween what silver tinsel is to Christmas. Now, ask yourself: Where do you find your tinsel? It’s not like you can pop on down to the Town Tinselry after work. Nope, you’ve got to go to Amazon. The same is true for your Halloween webbing. This manageable package from Fun World stretches out into more than 800 feet of cobwebs! With that kind of volume, you and a friend could hop into a two-person spider costume and still pose at scale. Now, where can we find a two-person spider costume?

17. Everything is spookier by candlelight…

But who needs the fire risk? Plus, there’s all that wax to clean up when the party’s over. You can always go for LED candles, but they never look quite real enough for the creepy ambiance of a Halloween party…at least, not until now. LED Lytes Candles are made from real wax, with a genuine dripped-over texture. They just don’t have the dangerous parts, like the wick and the flame. They’re little flickering LED bulbs that imitate real candlelight perfectly. Even better, they won’t blow out when the seance reaches its climax.

18. “Worst of all were the eyes, the flashing eyes in the dark.”

Scare the tears out of your party guests by setting up these Peep n’ Peepers lights up in every dark corner. Just don’t tell them they’re called “Peep n’ Peepers.” That name kind of ruins the mood, when you think about it. These sets of LED-powered flashing eyeballs have adjustable eyelids, so you can make them as silly or as threatening as you like. They flash at intervals, giving the impression of strange blinking creatures in the dark. Yikes!

19. Build a truly spooky selfie station.

Look, no one under the age of 30 is coming to your party if you don’t have a selfie station. Here’s a simple, low-cost solution. It’s a 5-foot-by-7-foot drop cloth that you can hang from your professional-quality light stands…or just tape to the wall for the duration of the party. This backdrop depicts a set of open gates that beckon you into a creepy, fog-choked cemetery beyond. In short, it’ll look great on Instagram!

20. Why stop with a selfie station when you can make a whole room into an unsettling set piece?

We’re assuming you don’t live in a crumbling gothic mansion. If you do, please disregard this entire item. If your walls, like ours, are more Sherwin-Williams than château-chic, this temporary wallpaper will do the trick. It comes in two pieces and covers a good 40 feet of wallspace. Stick it on to create the illusion of a proud castle fallen on hard times…or maybe an immortal owner who’s biding his time for a dark age to come.

21. Keep it simple, skeleton.

Sometimes the simplest ways are still best. This black-and-orange striped table cover would be at home at a thousand Halloween parties past. But there’s a reason it’s a classic. This one is designed to cover your standard folding party tables, famous from generations of elementary school gatherings. You’ll recognize the feel of the slippery, thin plastic from your own childhood—or, if you are, in fact, a child now, you’ll make a holiday memory that’ll last a lifetime. Also, you shouldn’t be making online purchases without your parents in the mix. Come on, kids!

22. Direct traffic (gruesomely, of course).

These bloody footprints and bloodstains work wonderfully for directing guests to the bathroom, kitchen, or any other key party area. Simply peel the back and apply to any smooth surface. For extra horror, try tossing a few on the ceiling. They feature a strong adhesive that’s safe on most materials, including ceramic tile and wood, and they’re fairly realistic. For under $11, you get 63 pieces—more than enough to make your home look like a crime scene (but, uh, in a good way).

23. Indulge your inner arachnophile with this ring toss game.

Every party needs games. This inflatable ring toss is surprisingly fun, and it looks pretty adorable, too. The legs have different scores; play for a high score or elimination style (think darts, but with a giant spider). It’s great for partygoers of all ages, and it’s made from high-quality plastic. For extra fun, throw a handful of real spiders onto it (note: Please don’t actually do this).

24. Drinks taste better when you sip them from the hand of death.

You can quote us on that. This bundle comes with a dozen skeleton-hand glasses, spider webbing, and a bundle of Halloween-themed napkins. Serve your guests a putrid punch or coffin cooler, then marvel at the high-quality craftsmanship. It’s almost like they’re made of real human bones…but they’re not, of course. That would be illegal. We checked. We should note that these glasses are fairly small; they hold about two ounces, according to the description, so plan accordingly.

25. Cast a spell on your partygoers with this fun banner.

Printed on eco-friendly paper, this banner bears the words “Drink Up, Witches,” implying that your guests should, in fact, enjoy the prune juice and goat’s milk that you’ve set out for them. Surely, you’re not serving anything else at your Halloween party. The glittering gold letters are suspended on a lightweight string, so you can easily hang them on walls, branches, or anywhere else (you know how banners work, right?). The manufacturer also offers a 100 percent satisfaction money-back guarantee, so if you’re disappointed with your purchase, you won’t have to place a hex on the seller.

26. We can’t think of a good zombie popcorn pun, but give us a second.

Okay, let’s see…Orville Dead-enbacher? Yeah, that’s what we should have said. Every party needs some food, and these miniature popcorn boxes add a little undead flair to your snack table. They’re intended for popcorn, and they’re made from cardstock, so you probably wouldn’t want to put anything heavy in them, but if you want to fill them up with cow’s brains or blood pudding—you know, typical party fare—be our guest. Each order comes with 24 boxes. Note that they’re fairly small; each measures 3” × 3”× 4”.

27. Glittery things can be scary, too.

Come to think of it, glitter is pretty terrifying stuff. Try to apply it on your own, and you’ll find yourself picking little sparkles out of your carpet for the next several decades. These hanging decorations let you enjoy the glitter without the mess. You get an assortment of skulls, spiders, bats, and crows, perfect for adorning your party room. The product description notes that it’s perfect for “Halloween…or any other themed events,” but let’s be honest: If you’re using these for something other than Halloween, you’ve got real issues. Each pack comes with one “chandelier” piece and 28 other hanging cutouts. For around $11, it’s a pretty fantastic value.

28. These punch balloons are perfect for kids’ parties.

Granted, they’re great for adult parties, too, but you’ve got to be a kid to truly appreciate the wonder of a punchable balloon. Each pack comes with 16 balloons: eight jack-o-lanterns, four skulls, and four vampire bats. They’re made with high-quality, durable latex, and they’re ideal party favors for younger guests. For extra fun, fill them with about 80 percent helium to make them float mid-air. The rubber material has a slight synthetic odor, so unwrap them a few days before the event to give them time to air out (so to speak).

29. This cute party dress has a macabre flourish.

At first glance, it’s a cute little cocktail dress adorned with flowers; look closer, and you’ll see the skulls and crossbones. Muhahaha. It’s made with soft satin, and at under $30 (prices vary with sizing), it’s an outstanding value. We really love the big black bow-tie design and the halter neckline. Per the user reviews, the sizing is accurate—which is unusual by Amazon standards—and a stretch panel on the back allows for a comfortable fit. Pair it with a petticoat, and you’re ready to shake your bones on the dancefloor.

30. Make sure that your party isn’t dead on arrival.

Nobody really sends paper invitations anymore, and that’s a shame. Sure, you can save a few bucks by inviting your friends on social media, but if you really want to throw a classic party, take the extra step and send out a few postcards. These coffin-shaped cards help your guests plan for your shindig, and they perfectly walk the line between cute and grim (it’s a pretty wide line, now that we think of it). Each card has places for date, time, place, details, and an RSVP. They’re printed on durable cardstock with a matte finish. You also get a set of eye-catching blood-red envelopes.

31. This toilet topper isn’t great for arachnophobes.

Peel it and place it onto the top of your toilet lid (not the actual seat). It shows a variety of venomous spiders climbing out of the commode—or into it, we suppose. That depends on your perspective. In any case, it’s sure to scare the pants off your guests in the one room where that’s actually appropriate. After the party, it removes easily without leaving any residue. One reviewer notes that it’s “not very realistic,” but in our book, that’s actually a plus. Be sure to check the sizing; if you’ve got an especially large toilet, this sticker might run a bit small.

32. Enjoy a candlelit party without the fire hazard.

If you’re sticking fairly close to this list, you’ve got an assortment of paper decorations, faux cobwebs, and other highly flammable stuff. Candles probably aren’t the best idea. Fortunately, LED candles exist, and they’re the next best thing to actual flame. This 12-piece kit gives you plenty of soft light for a Halloween party, and they’ve got built-in timers to prevent the batteries from running down. Not that that’s much of a concern—each provides about 60 hours of light on a single CR2032 battery. The LED “flames” flicker, providing a realistic effect, and they’re still quite useful when the holiday’s over.

33. What’s a Halloween party without a nice serving of brains?

Maybe we should say, “braaaaaaaaiiiins.” This plastic mold lets you make your own brain-shaped gelatin molds, perfect for freaking out kids or eliciting a light chuckle from adults (man, we’ve become way too jaded). Add in your favorite flavor of Jell-O, and you’ll have a jiggly, slightly horrifying snack. This line from the product description sums up the appeal nicely: “What’s the best way to freak people out? Serve them a gelatin brain.” We certainly can’t argue with that. Note that the same manufacturer also offers heart-shaped and hand-shaped gelatin molds, so with a bit of creativity, you can make an entire organ-shaped Jell-O buffet.

34. When you really want your party to “crush it,” this prop is awesome.

It’s an officially licensed piece of Wizard of Oz merchandise, and more importantly, it’s a hilarious conversation piece. The two stuffed legs stick out from underneath any heavy object—we recommend tucking them under a piano or kitchen appliance. They feature the ruby-red slippers of the Wicked Witch of the East. Dress up your dog as Toto—or simply throw on Toto’s “Africa”—and you’ve got a great theme party going. These are a simple accent, but you’ll find yourself bringing them out every Halloween from now on.

35. If you’re really looking for something grim, these asylum scene setters should do the trick.

The kit includes “two large wall posters of a long, bloody hallway in a decrepit sanitarium with the images of a vacated wheelchair and corpse on a gurney, accented by assorted cardstock cutouts of rats, knives, murderous nurses, ‘Psycho Ward’ signs, and more.” What better way to show your party guests that you’re actually certifiably committed to spooking them with the most elaborately decorated Halloween party ever? While the wall decoration is a horrific masterpiece, we really love the cardstock cutouts, which look great propped up in windows. If you’re trying to fill up some empty wall space, this kit is the ghastly touch you need.

36. After seeing It, we’re all a bit coulrophobic.

Coulrophobia, by the way, means an irrational fear of clowns. We’re pretty sure that phobia doesn’t technically exist—no fear of clowns is truly irrational. In case you’re living under a rock (or in the depths of a haunted sewer), the 2017 film It brought clowns back into the mainstream. The main villain, Pennywise, is a figure of unspeakable evil, so naturally, someone made a cardboard cutout of him in all his demonic glory. We recommend setting it up right by your front door; as guests arrive, you can film their reactions.

37. Start your own coven with these witch caps.

You know that someone is going to show up at your party without a costume. Maybe they’ll have a nametag with their name on it, and they’ll say that they’re “going as themselves.” Lame. Seriously, what’s wrong with people? You can’t take five seconds to get a cheap costume together? If anyone tries that trick at your party, you’ll be prepared. Order a set of witch caps, and if someone shows up in their street clothes, hand them a hat. Now they’re going as “the wicked witch of being boring at parties.” Maybe they’ll think twice next Halloween.