The Haunted Hostess: Adult Halloween Party Ideas

Scary-good party ideas and recipes with grown-up twists.

  • Adult Halloween Party
    Photo: Thayer Allyson Gowdy; Styling: Miranda Jones

    Have Fun Too

    Don't let the kids have all the fun this Halloween! Here are 3 party ideas just for grown-ups with wickedly delicious treats and drinks.
  • Autumn Punch
    Photo: Thayer Allyson Gowdy; Styling: Miranda Jones

    Sophisticated Gothic Soiree

    Celebrate Halloween in style this year with a Gothic-inspired soiree. Forget jack-o-lanterns and use candelabras to set an eerie mood. Upgrade orange paper cups with black goblets.
  • Spiced Lamb Chops with Rosemary Crumbs
    Photo: Thayer Allyson Gowdy; Styling: Miranda Jones

    Spiced Lamb Chops with Rosemary Crumbs

    It doesn't all have to be sweet on Halloween. Balance the sweet with spice. These lamb chops are great for cocktail parties since you can eat them one-handed.
  • Mini Caramel Apples
    Photo: Thayer Allyson Gowdy; Styling: Miranda Jones

    Mini Caramel Apples

    Forget the big candied apples that make a mess. The kids can get away with it but you can’t. These mini caramel apples are cute and you can eat them in one bite. Dip the bottom of apples in nuts or chocolate chips for an extra crunch.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies
    Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Rachel Haas

    Tricks with Treats: Lightened Recipes

    Think outside of the candy-stuffed cauldron. These lightened recipes have fun presentations while offering bold grown-up flavors.
  • Thai Cashew Brittle
    Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Rachel Haas

    Thai Cashew Brittle

    Chocolate doesn't always have to be the star of Halloween. Crisp Thai Cashew Brittle combines salty cashews and hot chile paste. Spicy is the new spooky.
  • Chocolate Marshmallows
    Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Rachel Haas

    Chocolate Marshmallows

    These homemade chocolate marshmallows are drizzled with dark chocolate for an extra bite. Spear with Honey-Orange Marshmallows and skeleton picks for a chic presentation. Yes, marshmallows can be chic.
  • Halloween Outdoor Party Table
    Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Linda Hirst

    Outdoor Halloween Party

    Don't settle for staying in and giving out candy all night. Throw an outdoor party at the witching hour...or maybe just sunset. Create dramatic tablescapes with candelabras. Use flameless votives to line pathways once the sun sets.
  • Devilish Eggs
    Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Linda Hirst

    Devilish Eggs

    Black and red caviar add a diabolical finish to a party favorite.

  • Cheddar-and-Black Sesame Cheese Straws
    Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Linda Hirst

    Cheddar-and-Black Sesame Cheese Straws

    Don't limit orange and black to dyed cupcake frosting. Use ingredients with natural coloring like cheddar and black sesame for the same Halloween flair.
  • Vodka-Poached Shrimp with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce
    Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Linda Hirst

    Vodka-Poached Shrimp with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce

    This vodka-infused spin on a classic shrimp cocktail is just the thing to give your guests the chills.

  • Pumpkin Mini Muffins
    Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Linda Hirst

    Pumpkin Mini Muffins

    Instead of super-sized cupcakes, try mini pumpkin muffins with maple-cream cheese frosting. Display on cake stands alongside classic candy in apothecary jars.
  • Orange-and-Black Salad Platter
    Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps  

    Orange-and-Black Salad Platter

    Skip the food coloring this year and bring Halloween hues to the table in the form of a healthy salad, instead. Orange slices, black Kalamata olives, feta, and a red wine vinaigrette infuse this arugula salad with bright Mediterranean flavors.
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