They are night zombies!

In the spirit of Halloween (and because it's an awesome song), I am listening to Sufjan Stevens' They Are Night Zombies right now. You should totally take a listen; it'll make you feel all ominous! And I love feeling ominous!

I am a Halloween junkie. Like, big time. I think it's because, as a kid, the idea of getting all gussied up and being whoever I wanted to be, combined with CANDY and staying up late, meant that life was totally perfect. I would get so excited I could barely sleep!

One time I cried, though. I accidentally slammed my brother's hand in the van door, and I felt really bad. But that's beside the point.

Every year, I get totally amped up and ready to plan our annual Halloween bash. It's the fifth year that I've put together a legit Halloween party, and I have to say, it is just so much fun! Halloween is totally not just for the kiddies! Adults like booze and candy. Best of both worlds all at once!

Some things at our halloween parties are pretty standard. Every year I create at least two new 'features' for the evening, and find a way to incorporate them into the night of fright. The first year, I made paintings of frightening creeps!

I hated this movie and thought it was dumb, but he's still creepy.
If you don't know who the guy on the right is, I don't want to be your friend. (hint - he was a Gentleman from Buffy's "Hush")
Obviously a painting is a painting and you paint it. But I thought for some of you who are looking for fun things to put together, I could share some of the simplest and most effective elements of my halloween parties!

I got the idea from a tutorial online.
Find out how to make your own potion bottles, here.

I also created the creepiest surprise for guests when they opened the fridge:

Head in a jar. SCARY!
Yeah. That's pretty freaky. You can find out how, here - other than some fiddling, it's really pretty easy!

It's just so much fun to be a total creepo! Oh yeah!

Snacks are totally essential. My favourites include witch finger cookies, witch hat cookies and a jello brain. They go pretty quick, and they're relatively simple to make.

It's really hard for me to get photos on the big night because I'm so busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to be ready before the guests arrive.
 In the photo above, you'll see:

Marshmallow bones Martha's recipe here
Those marshmallow bones were harder to make than I'd thought, but they were super,super tasty! I made them to go with hot chocolate, but then I didn't make hot chocolate because I ran out of time. But they were yummy anyway. I will, however, NEVER make them again. Wasn't worth it. Have you made marshmallows from scratch before? My arm almost fell off! That would've been a costume!

Sugar skulls Dollar Store Craft recipe here
These were awesome. I have some friends who don't enjoy alcohol, so I prepared these for those guests would would prefer tea. Sugar skulls are also part of the festivities involved in Day of the Dead celebrations, which take place November 1 & 2 in Mexico and other places around the world. The great thing about these skulls is that they're tasty and easy (and they also will go with my costume this year). The other great thing was my friend's face when he thought it was candy and popped one in his mouth. He ate a spoonful of sugar. Mary Poppins would be proud.

Black & Red Candied Apples Recipe is here
I really, really, really wish I'd gotten a great shot of these apples. They were fantastic. A lot of work (I've never made candy or candied apples before, but the black ones, and the real sticks were an awesome touch. They looked incredible), but so wicked on the table. No one ate them. Not one person ate them. Seriously. Most people paint their faces and stuff on Halloween and I don't know if you remember eating candied apples as a kid, but those suckers are messy. So, though they looked ridiculously amazing, I wouldn't make them again because they weren't enjoyed by anyone (and then I had the responsibility of saving the world and eating them all myself the next day). 

Witch Hat Cookies Betty Crocker 'recipe' here
This 'recipe' is absolutely ridiculous. You don't cook anything. You just assemble. And so, I am making them again this year! haha! I think this year I'm going to bring in a twist and use those tasty Mint Girl Guide Cookies. Otherwise, I will eat them all myself, and that would be bad. These cookies are super tasty (obviously) and fun!

Witch Finger Cookies Witch Finger Cookies at Allrecipes.com
 Okay, so these cookies.. these cookies are the best halloween cookies in the entire world. Seriously. They are super easy to make, they have a really great flavour (kind of a cross between a shortbread cookie and a cracker) and they look SOOOOOOOO good! People love then because they look so awesome. Make these, make these, make these.

And then, a failedish attempt at a giant Jello shooter BRAIN! The only thing is, the jello didn't really set because of the alcohol in it. I'd read a bunch of difference recipes, but it just didn't really do it, for some reason or another. So I'm not going to tell you how to make it, since it didn't work and it looked weird, so people weren't really into it, and man, booze isn't cheap. This time I'm sticking with Jello. I'll drizzle a little grenadine, stick it on a cake stand and jam a butcher knife into it for serving.

Oh yeah! And one thing not pictured here which you really HAVE to do is vodka gummies!!! All you do is get some gross gummy worms and pour in some vodka. Yep. That's all you do. Let them sit in the fridge overnight and serve 'em the next night. It's like Jello shooters, 'cept WAY better!!

Tips for halloween parties:
1. Chips are good. They soak up booze, and they're tasty, tasty! Get the flavoured ones. No one wants plain chips at a party.
2. Salsa is kinda gross looking, so I highly recommend it.
3. Do not buy wrapped candy. You will forever be picking up errant wrappers, and you will start to hate the guests you threw the party for.
4. Have games that don't stop the party. You know the clothespin game at showers? It's a winner because you don't have to stop what you're doing in order to play. Make the key word "no". If people are caught saying it, the catcher gets all of their clothespins. Murder mysteries, like the wink game are awesome, except that I assign a murderer who hands out toe tags with deaths written on them. Then, the guests have 5 minutes to act out their death. Last one standing, wins!
5. Move things that are breakable from anywhere that a big costume could knock it over. no one wants to be the person who knocked over your urn of Aunt Cathy. It's just not kosher.
6. Area rugs in the house? Roll them up! ROLL THEM UP! Costumes are large and cumbersome. This means drinks and treats can easily be knocked into, or knocked over. Really poopy with an area rug down. Or, if you have legit carpeting throughout your house, get a cheap area rug. Trust me. It's better than spending the day after with a steam cleaner. Seriously.
7. Don't dress is a skimpy outfit. Since things get spilled and knocked over, you're going to be leaning over to clean stuff up, and be the hostess with the mostess - save your guests from a flash.

These little tips and tricks, my friends, and all for you to make life wonderful. Halloween is wonderful, and your life should be, too! Do you throw halloween parties? What do you do?

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