From time immemorial, my mother has been telling me spooOOooky tales of Halloween parties with bowls full of eyeballs and brains. The ol’ peeled grapes-and-spaghetti noodles tricks, folks, and I’m not sure why my mom told me that every year, but it's all to say that Halloween parties have been woven into the fabric of my psyche, and one day, goddammit, I am going to peel those freaking grapes. How does one even peel a grape, anyway?!
Grapes and pasta aside, you should definitely throw yourself a Halloween party. There are many advantages: not having to trek about in various temps and weather conditions in questionable ensembles, no drunk driving or cabbing or subwaying, fewer strangers with whom you might consort (in the Biblical fashion), dranks is FREEEE (or cheaper), no extravagant party ticket prices, etc., etc. There is literally no downside. Okay, maybe the prep and mess, but the pros far outweigh the cons.
You all know I'm a low-maintenance hostess (I cannot be bothered to peel a grape), so let’s keep the effort to a minimum. Stock up on some pumpkin ale and giant bags of candy corn, because it's the only acceptable time of the year to eat it, so get your kicks in now, and tint your signature punch — blood red with cranberry juice or red food coloring. And of course, Martha’s got you covered on wacky ideas to convert pumpkins into beverage cooling devices that are festive yet functional (more on these to come). Festive and functional is the name of the game in holiday hosting, so maybe invest in some gummi shot glasses?
Or make your own? Although if you ever find me stirring a bubbling cauldron of melted gummi worms, please call the men in the white jackets. And for a truly horrifying experience, make these meat shot glasses.
Remember that the first half of this party is going to be your friends putting on their costumes at your house, so it’d be nice to have things like scissors and black eyeliners available, because those bitches is gonna borrow them anyway. Just give up your bathroom; it’s gone. If you or someone else has no costume, I'll let you have my tried and true Halloween-costume-in-30-minutes-or-less — it has two components: fake blood and a shower curtain. That’s right, it’s “Psycho”! Just wrap yourself in the curtain and douse yourself in fake blood. Or fashion it into a cute little dress! Use the grommets to make a halter top. Yes, I wore this out and about the New York City streets. Dear reader, I must be stopped. With a tranquilizer gun!
So your party’s in full swing! Take some gummi and meat shots, though please, not together! Don’t forget to include your favorite Halloween viral videos. Mine are Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, Dancing Pumpkin Man, and "Anything Can Happen on Halloween," featuring Tim Curry. In my dream Halloween party scenario, there’s a giant screen playing a looping YouTube Playlist. I also think it’s a good idea to have a classic horror movie on the TV or giant projector to set the mood. Suspiria is great because it’s got stunning, colorful visuals and a score by Goblinn that'll crawl inside of your soul and never leave.
If this is a pre-party and you have a destination like a bigger party in your sights, be forceful in rallying your troops to leave and get to said destination. If this is your evening's only destination, have a costume contest with a human applause-o-meter, and reward your winners with something silly like a keg stand or goody bag of Halloween junk, or a makeout. Halloween is for sloppy people! This is our pagan holiday to let our demons and gender-bending and heebie jeebies out so we don’t lose our minds during the rest of the year. So let ‘em out!!! In the safety of your own home, where you don’t have to travel far after you wake up in a puddle of candy corn vomit. (No, don't do that!)
POLL: Hairpin Readers: What should I be for Halloween?
a) Slutty Tony Montana from Scarface.
b) Hatchetface from Crybaby.
c) Liza Minelli from Cabaret.
Previously: Movie Night.
Katie Walsh lives in Los Angeles, where she throws and goes to a fair amount of parties.
Photo via Flickr/sevenmarie