It’s officially my favourite time of the year, and what better time to get back in the blogging spirit. October, November and December are always filled with so much joy and excitement and celebration, which means there’s always plenty to write about – starting right here with a last minute Halloween post, just hours before All Hallows Eve begins.
Here in Australia, Halloween isn’t a major thing. In fact, it’s barely a thing, meaning that in order to get festive and enjoy the spooky szn to your heart’s content, you often have to get creative and make things happen on your own.
This usually means organising and throwing your own parties, organising a trick or treat hour in your neighbourhood, or, if you’re a bit of a homebody/introvert/don’t-wanna-deal-with-anyone-kinda-person (haha, just me?), planning a night full of spooky fun at home.
I always choose the latter, always. I think once you reach your mid-twenties, your idea of fun shifts dramatically. I used to love dressing up and going to parties, surrounded by randos and navigating my way through sticky floored party houses, but now I’d much rather spend a night in with a few friends, drinking wine and watching The Exorcist. Hi, my name is Sharni and I DO NOT like to party.
So, how *exactly* do I celebrate Halloween without leaving my house? There’s a few key steps to hosting the perfect Halloween night in, each just as important as the last, and no costumes are required! Unless you want to, of course…
STEP 1: DECOR
Decor is a major component. Think comfortable, cosy, dark and spooky. This is different for every household and environment, but I usually turn to aircon (are you shivering from the scary film, or the fact that it’s freezing in here? who knows, honestly), lots of blankets (hang them outside in the sun the day prior so they’re fresh), a clean house, and a few spooky ornaments. Festive candles are always a bonus, as are mini pumpkins (so cute!) but not necessary.
STEP 2: FOOD
I feel like Halloween is one of the only holidays where the food isn’t the most exciting part. For Christmas there’s turkey, cranberries and gravy, for Easter there’s salmon, roasted potatoes and all of that chocolate, but for Halloween it’s just pumpkins. Don’t get me wrong – pumpkins are fab – but they don’t make me super excited. Nevertheless, I do think it’s essential to provide some Halloween-ish snacks for your spooky soirée. My go-to recipes are these Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites, Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cups, Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate and The Deathly Hallows Cocktail. In terms of actually feeding people real food as opposed to just dessert, I’m a fan of a simple pasta like this Pumpkin Pasta with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter Sauce alongside some warm bread and olives.
STEP 3: ENTERTAINMENT
Now, this differs for everyone, but I tend to utilise three forms of entertainment throughout the night.
First, while I’m cooking and feeding the cats, sitting down to eat dinner and, afterwards, tidying the kitchen, I’ll put on a Halloween-themed playlist. This Halloween playlist is filled with all of your favourite monster-themed-jams, and it’s legit, too. There’s a reason that it has almost 150K saves on Spotify!
Once dinner is done and the lights are ready to be turned down in favour of candlelight, it’s time to make your way through a few horror films. There’s classics like The Shining, Halloween, Psycho, The Exorcist, Sleepy Hollow and The Silence of the Lambs. Or, more modern horror films like IT Chapter 1 and/or Chapter 2, Hereditary, Pet Sematary and Us. Whichever you choose, make sure to lay out your snacks and desserts within arms reach and draw the curtains closed. You want it to be super dark, and you also want to make it look like you’re not home so that trick or treaters don’t come knocking. There’s nothing worse than a knock at the door when you’re watching a horror film, am I right?
After the films are finished and you’re looking to head to bed, this is when I love to listen to a spooky podcast. My favourites are Full Body Chills, Creepy and Parcast Presents: Halloween. Just one episode is enough to send me to bed feeling paranoid and terrified – basically everything you want to be feeling on the spookiest day of the year!
I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween, and I’d be interested to know how you celebrate it wherever you are in the world. Send me some pictures of your costumes and decor via DM on Instagram! I’d love to see them 👻