8 Scary Halloween Themes for Your Event
1. Classic horror movie
For this theme, take inspiration from classic horror films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, or Frankenstein. Whether your event is centered around one film or you mix in multiple, encourage your attendees to dress up as their favorite characters. As some extra motivation, consider hosting a contest for the most creative costume. Offer prizes like discounted tickets to future events, free merch, etc. You could also test your attendees’ Halloween film knowledge with a round of trivia on your chosen movie theme, stirring up a little friendly competition to really top the night off!
Get creative with the blood-sucking details of this theme to really bring your event to life. Think of all the lore associated with vampires, like strings of garlic or the need to avoid sunlight, and incorporate them into your Halloween decorations. As one idea, setting up a serving station of cherry, strawberry, or any red-colored beverage labeled with different blood types can add a hilarious touch that’ll have attendees pretending like they’re vampires. As another, having your venue dimly lit with the windows boarded up can be a fun play on the idea that vampires burn in the sun.
3. Mad scientist
Fallen test tubes, microscopes with obscure substances, beakers filled with luminous liquids – the possibilities of this theme are endless! Set up your scene of chaos with these lab-related decorations, plus some dimmed or flickering lights. At the entrance, use caution tape to section off your check-in lines as you scan people in with your ticket scanning app. When serving food, consider writing your menus out on notebook-styled sheets with the frantic scribblings of a scientist around the edges. Plus, for a more immersive experience in your mad scientist’s lab, hook up a fog machine, hand out lab coats to each of your attendees, and turn on some black lights to really make all your chemical concoctions pop.
There’s something naturally unsettling about clowns that can make a carnival one of the perfect scary Halloween themes. From the tiniest woman in the world to double-headed snakes, decorate your venue with the wonders of the world that one may witness at a creepy hometown carnival. On top of the more traditional carnival acts, create some spooky wonders of your own. Invite real paranormal talent like mediums, psychics, or other people with unique abilities like contortionists. And don’t forget those classic carnival games! Include games that'll really pull this theme together like balloon darts, whack-a-mole, and fish bowl toss to win some awesome prizes.
5. Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allen Poe is widely known for his tales of terror, so if you’re a literature fanatic, this theme is the one for you! Teleport your attendees to the 1800’s by decorating your space to match the era. Be sure to include dark birds and aged book paper to reflect Edgar Allen Poe’s writing! Encourage your attendees to dress according to the time period to further transport them into the Victorian era. Fine-tune your event’s details with references to some of his popular pieces, like decorating with ravens from “The Raven” or serving wine from Amontillado to reflect his short story “The Cask of Amontillado.” To keep your attendees engaged throughout the event, host short activities throughout like trivia, crossword puzzles, or scavenger hunts related to your Halloween theme.
This is one of those adult Halloween party themes that’s just so frightening, people will want to go with a large group of friends – which means more ticket sales! Blood, bones, and butcher knives with plastic tarps draped along the walls can make for the perfect entrance to your haunted slaughterhouse. Consider adding signs inside your event of different butcher cuts or directions for butchering an animal. Halloween event safety always comes first, so ensure all seemingly dangerous items are just harmless props and are secured in place.
7. Zombie apocalypse
The world may be ending, but the party has just begun! Let your guests choose whether they want to come in their best zombie defense gear or in their scariest flesh-eating zombie costume. Offer up appetizing zombie cuisine like jello eyeballs or brain cake. To make your event space look like the apocalypse has begun, use pieces of a manikin dressed in tattered clothing with bite marks to scatter around your venue. Then, dance the night away to Halloween-themed music like “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and even recreate the iconic dance moves from his music video!
Put the “trick” in trick or treat with this spine-chilling Halloween theme! Incorporate simple illusions like creepy eye-following pictures or gravity-defying objects to make your event seem possessed or allude to a supernatural presence being around. You can even set up a seance table with candles and Ouija boards to add a bit of eerie flare. Consider posting videos of your freaky setup to TikTok and other social media platforms to get your attendees morbidly curious about your event!
As you begin your Halloween event planning, be sure to incorporate your theme into your haunt marketing strategy and on your event’s ticketing page too. An intuitive ticketing platform like Ticketleap makes setting up your event listing super simple. Create a free account within minutes and start selling tickets to your next spooky event today!