How to Have a Scary Slumber Party
When we say scary slumber party, you might think it needs to be Halloween. But all the fun of a fright night doesn't have be saved only for All Hallows' Eve. The elements needed for a fun spooky sleepover can happen whenever you want. You don't only watch horror movies on Halloween, do you? oneHOWTO shows you how to have a scary slumber party where you can go as spooky and frightful as you like. The only thing your scary slumber party must have is fun and here's how to have lots of it. We're also talking about spooky fun rather than genuine scares. If anyone's going home with tears of fear rather than tears of joy, it's not a successful party.
Set the scene
The fun of a scary sleepover starts before anyone arrives. Setting the scene means making your regular old homely house into a spooky world where frightful creatures could be lurking round every corner. Halloween decorations generally have the same themes - jack-o'-lanterns, witches, plastic bats, etc. Getting these out of storage can be a lot of fun, but it also limits you a little bit.
Why not go for another spooky theme? The classic go to Halloween home is of course the haunted house. Since you're doing it in your own house anyway, see how you can make a regular ole home into something much scarier. Hide creatures behind cupboards so that when kids open them up they get a fright. You can buy the creatures at any good party store or make your own with some Halloween masks and papier-mache.
Escape the room is a fun activity which is growing in popularity. It is where you are locked in a room with a group of people (minimum of 2) and you have to solve clues to be able to escape. These are often riddles as well as logic and puzzle games. If you wanted to incorporate an escape the room game into your scary sleepover, that's great. But here we're going to use them as inspiration for decoration:
- Psychiatric hospital - one of the classics is when you are in an asylum and you have to escape the disturbed patients (and often the even more disturbed doctors). Put old medical equipment around the house. Have people dress up as surgeons and be liberal with fake blood splatters. One of the creepiest decorations is when you see medical experiments in jars, so make a version of these if you can.
- Creepy circus - with all the face paint and contortionists around, even the regular circus can appear a little creepy at times. Increase the creep factor and make your house into a spooky tent.
- Devilish dungeon - a creepy dungeon in an old castle can be a really effective environment for a spooky slumber party. Fake chains on the wall and dark corners with scary creatures work great. You may even find some of the inmates are watching you.
- Terror temple - the "old ancient burial ground" scene is a classic in horror movies, so it could work for you too. An Ancient Egyptian pyramid, a jungle temple or any other sort of hallowed place can be a breeding ground for spooks and scares. Of course, you may find a mummy lurking around the corner somewhere.
There are lots more ideas, but really you can make anywhere haunted if you want to. Find all the creepy things you can and put them around the house. An overall theme works great, but just having all the creepy things you can find is fun too.
Like any slumber party or sleepover, you're going to need something to eat. You don't want an all night party with terrible food. You want an all night party with terror-ful food. Set up a big table with all the treats and make sure everything can be eaten as it is. If you have lots of people around, you don't want to be cooking for individual plates. They may take a little preparation, but here are some fun spooky treat ideas:
- Marshmallow eyeballs - take a bag of marshmallows and attach chocolate buttons with frosting for the iris. Use colored frosting for the pupil.
- Chocolate severed fingers - using red colored frosting and almond slivers, make these from chocolate covered finger cookies.
- Brains in a jar - add a little blue food dye to some mashed potatoes, put in a piping bag and make potato brains.
- Spaghetti guts - this could be as simple as spaghetti bolognese in a spooky bowl.
- Mummy cookies - gingerbread cookies decorated with white frosting to look like mummies
- Mummy hot dogs - wrap hot dogs in pastry strips and bake so you have a sausage roll which looks like a mummy. Add googly eyes if you wish.
Cake pops, truffles, cookies and other sweet treats are great because you can decorate them in red colored frosting, green colored frosting or black colored frosting. Shaping them like skulls, monster claws or anything you can think of will provide spooky and terrifying treats to enjoy during your scary slumber party.
When I was younger I remember seeing my older brother watching Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare with his friends. It was during the day, but they had the curtains closed watching with their 3D glasses. Even seeing them watch the movie was spooky. It can be a great way to set the mood for a scary slumber party.
You can build up to it if you want to have more active fun beforehand while people have energy. That way, those who want a scare can be on the edge of their seats while the rest can doze in front of the TV.
However, if you all watch a scary movie near the start of your scary sleepover, it might help set the mood. As your guests suspend their disbelief in the movie, it might transfer to real life. This means if you play spooky games afterwards, people might be more inclined to get into the spooky swing of things. It could also mean, however, they get so into scary movies, they might just want a horror movie marathon for the rest of the night.
Games can be a really fun part of any sleepover, but this is even more so at a scary slumber party. Once everyone is in the mood (with a movie or simply from your awesome decorations), then you can play any number of spooky games.
- Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board: we're starting with a classic. Someone lies on the floor with the others seated around them. They all try to lift her using only their fingertips. Then they start to chant. You start by saying "S/he's looking ill!", then "S/he's looking worse", followed by more chants of worsening state. You stop these chants after "S/he's dead!" Then, you start a new chant "stiff as a feather, light as a baord". The people around keep chanting as the person lying down pretends to be dead. Then you try to lift the person up again. The result depends on how well you have tricked yourselves.
- Seek and Kill: this is a fun game of hide and seek, except the seeker is a deranged killer! You can have fun dressing the person up and even hide their appearance before the game to make the reveal even scarier.
- Midnight Man: this is similar to seek and kill, but involves more hiding than just running around. Be careful though, good hiders can make this game last all night.
- The Withered Corpse: this game involves sitting in a circle with everyone blindfolded. You hand around different bowls with creepy feeling items inside. You could use spaghetti guts from before, eyeballs and whatever you have which might feel gross and creepy. As the participants are blindfolded, you can also have another person scare them with creepy sounds and tickles.
- Ouija board: this is a classic which many people still believe to be a direct conduit to the next life. Scare yourselves by making each other think the glass moves of its own accord.
- Sara Sarita: this is a game originating in Mexico where it has sent many children insane for the remainder of their lives (or so they say). Two people sit facing each other and hold a coin each. They say "Sara Sarita, can I enter your game?" and then throw their coin behind them. If the two coins are both "heads", you can, if they are both "tails", you cannot and if they are one of each, it's a maybe. Keep playing until you enter the game, then ask the girls yes or no questions. Beware! When you want to finish the game, you have to get a "yes" answer from the girls. If you don't get a yes, but finish the game early, you will be haunted forever!
These are just a few of the fun scary games you can play at a spooky sleepover, but if you want more check out our article on fun scary Halloween games.
If you have an eye out in charity shops and thrift stores, you might come across something called the Atmosfear board game series. These games come with a video (most are VHS, but two have a DVD) and a board with regular board game pieces. The players follow the video and use the commands. It is a very specific spooky slumber party game, but if you get your hands on one, it's one of the best.
Tell a scary story
While a scary movie allows great filmmakers to treat you to a lavish scary story, sometimes the best scares are with a live performance. You can have everybody crowd around in the dark and set the mood for a good scary story. It can be about anything you want, but there are some things you need to consider if you want to make it effective. Fortunately, oneHOWTO has a comprehensive guide about what you need to do for a great scary story to tell at a sleepover (or anywhere else for that matter).
While these games and activities are for indoors, one of the scariest things you can do is go out into the night. If it's not Halloween, then trick or treating is unlikely to be welcomed by the neighbors. Also, if you have young kids, they shouldn't be out unchaperoned.
However, as you don't have to be having your scary slumber party in October, you can play creepy games outside in the dark. This may be later as the summer light stays longer, but sometimes tiredness can really make the spooky experience even more fun. A candy hunt or a game of seek and kill outside can be really spooky if you let it be. Just remember that safety is always a priority of scares, so make sure you know the environment and don't allow any games where people could actually get hurt.
Follow these steps and you should be on your way to a really spooky scary slumber party. Just remember, if you make it too scary, there may not be many sleeping at this scary sleepover.
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