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Choose the date (and choose wisely!).
Set the time.
Create an invitation (remember to include where, when, what time, directions if necessary, whether or not costumes are welcome (or required), if you want people to bring a dish or beverage to share, or if its BYOB, what (if any) activities are planned (costume contest, haunted yard or room, etc.), and whether or not little ghouls and boys are welcome. This not only lets people know whether or not to get a sitter, but also gives an indication of what kinds of costumes are appropriate.
Draw up the guest list.
Plan the menu (simple, creative, or scary?).
Decide whether to not to have a costume contest, and decide on prizes.
Send out the invitations and collect RSVPs.
Complete your grocery shopping, decorate the house, run through a final checklist to ensure youve got everything you need, and prep whatever food or make-ahead dishes you can (trail mix, dry goods, etc.).
Consider what time it gets dark where you live. Its much more fun to go to a Halloween party in the dark, rather than while its still daylight.
Think about duration. If youre fine with guests lingering until the wee hours, then you can leave the ending time open-ended. However, if you prefer to get your beauty sleep, you may want to put an ending time on the invitations. Four hours is plenty for a Halloween party anything longer would be considered more of an open house (which may be ideal for parties held on Halloween night itself) and in that case, expect people to come and go as their evening allows.
Mailing invitations (especially for an informal gathering such as a Halloween party) really isnt necessary if you have email addresses, you could use a free service like Evite.
The simplest way to create your Halloween feast is to use normal party foods and assign them creepy names for the evening. For example, BBQ chicken wings become Bat Wings, a simple brick of cream cheese surrounded by red pepper jelly can be shaped to easily become bleeding skull, deviled eggs become devilishly dreadful, and a simple punch becomes mummys blood.
"Finger Sandwiches" are easy to make: Purchase a pre-made breadstick dough at your grocery store. Separate the breadsticks per the regular instructions and lay on cookie sheet. Slice pepperoni rounds into quarters. Use pepperoni pieces on one end of each breadstick, fitting the rounded edge out. Bake breadsticks as directed. Split while still warm along the length of the bread stick, but do not disturb the pepperoni. Once the breadstick is almost cool, stuff with the creepy hotdog worms. Now you have creepy witches finger sandwiches.
Eyeball Eggs: Use your favorite deviled eggs recipe, then decorate as follows: spread out three or four thin strings of pimiento for a red, bloodshot look. Use a slice of black olive for the center of the eye and use two small slices of green olive to form a pupil similar to a cat. Let the black olive show through.
Have a costume contest! Give out candy or a small prize to the winner. Bob for apples too. It is a fun fall game that everyone loves! Play music and dance. Just let people have some fun on their own!
Hope this helps,