Halloween decorating & party guide

Creative jack-o'-lanterns, no-carve pumpkins, and surprises from the kitchen

Gothic Halloween party ideas

Killer punch, classy finger bites, and Gothic decor that breaks free of jack-o’s for a sophisticated soiree

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Create a spooky vibe

Create a spooky vibe

Danger zone: Fake cobwebs “make your house look a little dirty and haunted,” says Oren. A mass of them strung across a staircase or bedroom door is a clever way to let guests know the area’s off-limits.

Haunted mansion: Replace your artwork for the night with these lenticular portraits (Colonel Whiplash; $15; kmart.com), which appear to move as you walk by.

Spooky switch: Swap your regular lightbulbs for red ones, available at most hardware stores.

Refresh your playlist: “If I hear ‘Thriller’ at another Halloween party, I don’t know what I’ll do,” says Oren, who asked L.A. DJ Patrick Belton to put together a playlist that’s “a little groovy, a little indie, with a bit of goth.” Her five favorites:

  • “Voodoo” by Godsmack
  • “Little Ghost” by The White Stripes
  • “Season of the Witch” by Karen Elson
  • “Blood” by Band of Skulls
  • “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

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