Set up the candy so that you can reach up through it to scare the kids: make a table out of a box and put an old sheet on it for a table cloth. Put a large plastic pumpkin or bowl in the center, to put the candy in. Get under the table and cut a hole for your arm up through the table, cloth and pumpkin. Hold the candy still with your hand until the kids are ready to pick, and then reach up and grab their hands!
Have someone hide and video all this.
Have “answering the door” contests to see who can 1) scare the kids the most or 2) do the best job acting like the person of their Halloween costume. Tell your friends ahead of time, so they can practice. They can get really tricky if they want, popping out from behind things on the porch or laughing hysterically to scare the kids.
Make one of the kids “hold a dead eyeball” before their group gets candy! Peel a bunch of grapes and put them at the bottom of a deep container that you can’t see through, like a pitcher.
Make older kids do tricks before you give them candy. This is a largely forgotten part of Trick or Treat! Before you hand out the candy, say, “What’s your trick?” When I was a kid, we always had a trick ready for this. If they don’t, then ask them if they know any magic tricks. If they don’t, then suggest a cartwheel or a summer-sault.
Set up a haunted house in your garage or living room, if you know your neighbor kids well enough that they would go through it. Make a maze out of sheets hung from ropes so all your friends can pop out and go “Boo!” Have other friends pose as corpses or mummies and suddenly come to life.
For atmosphere, always have a scary movie playing like “Blair Witch Project,” “The Shining” or “The Exorcist.”
Have a party theme for a costume contest like “Come as your favorite dead person,” “movie villains” (The Joker, anyone?), “pirates” or “Wild Wild West.” Be sure to tell everyone this theme ahead of time. Friends scrounging costume stores and thrift stores for costumes together is part of the fun!
Take everyone at the party Trick or Treating–but just go to the houses of people you know. They will think it’s funny to see all of you. Strangers will just be annoyed at a bunch of adults trick-or-treating!
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