A Halloween Costume Party in our New Old Home

Each year, for almost my whole life, I have hosted a Halloween party of some sort. Sometimes they are at our home, while others have been hosted in old mansions or inns. This year, the Mr. and I hosted a Halloween costume party in our new old home.

I wanted to get this post live in time for anyone who is still looking for some Halloween Party ideas and I still have more photos to add.

To host a party, one must start with inviting people and I like to create invitations that set the stage. Here is our invitation. For guests that are not close by, I emailed their invitations. For those close to us, I either did a ring and run for fun, left it on doorsteps, handed out, etc.

halloween invitation
ring and run Halloween Invitation

Here is what I did with some of the invitations. They were rolled up, tied with orange and black ribbon, and adorned with a sparkly spider. This particular one was left at the home of friend for her to easily find when she or her husband got home from work.

The photos below show the transition from pre-Halloween party decor, which is a bit more simple, to the night of the party when I really have a lot of fun.

Elegant Halloween Decor Country dining room

Being in a new home is both exciting and challenging during the holidays, especially when it comes to entertaining. Finding just the right spot for a bar, trying to figure out where guests will mingle most (other than the kitchen), and making sure walkways are lit.

This Halloween costume party came with one additional challenge…. A Nor’ Easter was blowing through with torrential rain and heavy winds causing a large number of guests to cancel with each passing hour. It was understandable, especially from those who had a one to two hour drive. Those who did make the drive expressed how horrible it was out and how they had very little visibility. Even our neighbors drove to our home due to the heavy rain. I was just glad all made it safe and sound.

Throughout the night, about 30 brave souls came and went; with several stating they will see us at our Christmas party. Note to self… It looks like the Mr. and I are hosting a Christmas Party.

ravens on fireplace mantle halloween decor

Black Ravens watch over the dining room table.

black and purple halloween decor

I’m asked often how I keep garlands on mantles, especially when they are narrow. I have several tricks of the trade. One is to use common strip hooks when tacks or very small nails can’t be used, like when I create holiday displays in public historic homes. In my own home, I use tacks and very small nails with a string tied from one end of the mantle to the other. This way I can weave garland or attach items with wire or paper clips.

Since we still have some unpacked boxes and I could not find my floral wire, I had to use paper clips around the Raven’s leg that was then hooked over the string.

decorating a mantle
attaching garland to mantle

You can see in the photo above how I wrapped the paperclip around the leg then the string. Last thing you need to have happen at a party is to have your garland pulled off by accident when a guest walks by.

rat skeleton in glass candle hurricane

The rat that did not get away. For this, all I did was push a rat skeleton into a candle hurricane and called it a day.

elegant halloween decorations country living dining room

I kept our dining room table fairly simple until it was time to start placing items for the buffet, which I usually start a few days before an event.

hutch decorated with black and white halloween decor

Playing off of our black and white plates, I used black, white, and silver Halloween items on our country hutch.

country hutch decorated for halloween black and white decorations
Photo by Amanda Howard

Photo by Amanda Howard

halloween decorating in an old home
skull under glass for halloween
New England country living room halloween decorating

The benefit of not having any window treatments up yet is that I was able to use cheese cloth and netted fabric draped on most of our windows. I cut and pulled the fabric to make it look aged and spooky.

baking Halloween Cookies

While baking, I like to have a little company, so this rubber rat was brought in to oversee the process.

baking halloween sugar cookies
witch boots for Halloween Decorating from Michaels Craft store

The moment you realize your nail polish matched witch boots.

Michaels craft store witches boots for halloween

I first purchased these boots at Michaels Craft Store to put on the skeleton, that was on the dining room table, but when I did, it creeped me out a bit too much, so they were set next to our fireplace.

feathers for decorating

In our living room, I placed a black iridescent feather garland along the mantle with colorful peacock feathers tucked in. The photo below does not show it very well, but it looked like eyes were staring back at you when you looked at it. Simple, but fun. We also had a few green bottles with candles going, but by the time I took this photo, they were taken away or put out.

elegant fireplace halloween feathers on mantle
skeleton used for appetizers halloween party

Since the Halloween party was “ A night of Eerie Elegance, I used a lot of our silver for both the hot and cold appetizers.

skeleton used for crazing table at halloween party

A grazing buffet (a new term I recently heard and just had to use) was set using a skeleton as a base. You can thank Pinterest for this idea! I made sure to have tongs close by for guest to use.

The plan was to have red wires on the tongs and a red Christmas bulb was going to be put on the skeleton’s nose to represent the game of Operation gone bad, but alas, I did not have time.

skeleton on dining room table for appetizers

At the skeleton’s head, I had a cream cheese cracker spread that was pressed into a brain Jello mold at his feet, there was a container of Feettballs (meatballs) with “sauce” . Those were a hit. The table also included TOEtollinis, pinwheels, and other one to two bite foods.

halloween buffet with skeleton
halloween buffet

I am still working on the posts for the foods served, so if you are interested, please check back soon. Many of the recipes were created for the first time, for the party. Some were a great success like the spicy crab appetizers above and a crumbled brownie and cookie dough trifle that was created because the brownies stuck to pan. Some of the were not a hit, so I made note of what to create next year and which recipes need to be modified or thrown into file thirteen, aka the trash.

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This Apple Cider Punch was a hit! As promised earlier, I will post my recipes soon and this will be listed. Not only is it perfect for Halloween, it would be delicious served for Thanksgiving too.

As I mentioned earlier, a Nor’ Easter was blowing through, so all my plans for part of the party to be held in our courtyard was laid to rest. Pun intended since I was going to make it our graveyard. Oh well, a few of the stones made their way onto our staircase with faux Spanish moss and chains. It was certainly not what I had planned, but sometimes you just have to roll with it and have fun.

The photos below were taken the morning after the party, hence the daylight.

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gravestones on stairs Halloween decor
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halloween decorations in home
New England Halloween Decor
glowing skull
halloween fireplace decoration
Dunkins Donut Coffee

I was going to fill my large coffee urn, but when I saw the numbers of guests lessen due to the storm, I decided to put out the Keurig and some pods of Dunkin Donuts coffee

Dunkins Donut Coffee and Keurig
coffee buffet
Tavern Halloween Decor
Halloween Decorations
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Halloween Costumes

I feel horrible that I did not take more photos of costumes or the party itself, but I was having fun chatting away with company and showing some of them around our mini construction zone.

Before I show you some of the costumes, I wanted to share a tradition we have in our family. At each Halloween party, there is a designated space called “Linda’s Party Pooper Room”. It started many years ago when I hosted a costume party and far too many showed up with costumes for one reason or another (I heard some really funny excuses). So, being the perfect hostess that I am, (cough - cough), I pulled out the many bins of costumes and had those without costumes, go into the room and come out in something, even if it was just a hat. Did I mention it is usually the men that don’t dress up??? Well I tell you, some of the costumes that came out of that room had us laughing hysterically and a new tradition was born. We had men come out of the room as Betty Boop, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, an Army man with fairy wings, and some with just ladies wigs.

As you may have noticed on the Halloween party invitation, this year guests were asked to wear a costume OR black cocktail attire. Since EVERYONE came dressed for the occasion as requested, I am glad to say no one was banished to Linda’s Party Pooper Room. Dang! There is always next year.

costumes for the party poopers

Just a few of the Halloween Costumes worn to our party.

halloween costume

Yup, it’s me, and did I mention the Halloween party was also my 53rd birthday? Yes young ones…. women our age still wear high heels! And yes… my feet were killing me by the end of the night.

Photo by Tracy Mowchenson

Photo by Tracy Mowchenson

Your ghost and ghostess the Davises.

Halloween Couples Costume ideas

Some how burglars made it through the front door! I hope that is money they are bringing us.

Halloween Couples Costume Ideas

Love this couple and their costume (my daughter and her boyfriend). Yukon Cornelius and Clarise

Photo via Amanda Howard

Photo via Amanda Howard

Spiderman costume

Spiderman came to our party!

Reindeer costumes

Two cute deer meeting for the first time.

Photo by Amanda Howard

Photo by Amanda Howard

Photo by Amanda Howard

Photo by Amanda Howard

Two of our friends before arriving at our home. How fun!

Two of our friends before arriving at our home. How fun!