17 Halloween Party Games and Ideas For Adults
For kids, Halloween is all about trick-or-treating, but for adults, Halloween parties are the star of the show. Just dressing up in your scariest, sexiest, or funniest costume and getting together is fun enough, but what really makes an Oct. 31 party shine are the Halloween party games. There are so many options for adult Halloween games and Halloween activities for adults that can make a party truly memorable — from classics like charades (with a spooky twist) to holiday specials like a costume contest.
But between throwing together the perfect DIY costume or a seamless group costume for three, finalizing the guest list, and cooking up some clever Halloween appetizers, you may not have time to come up with a plan for Halloween party games. Luckily, we created this list of fun adult Halloween games to help you out. Some require a little prep ahead of time, but others can be pulled together with no forethought or planning whenever there's a slow moment in your Halloween get-together. (And just in case you're having a mixed-generation party, there are a few games in the mix that are OK to play with kids, too.)
One pro tip for anyone planning on playing Halloween party games this Oct. 31: make sure your Halloween costume comes with an appropriate game face.
— Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes, Lauren Harano, Melissa Santoyo, and Mirel Zaman
Halloween Party Game: Horror-Movie Trivia
If you and your guests are horror-movie fanatics, you won't want to miss out on the fun that comes along with a game of trivia. From classic horror films and scream fests to scary movies that just hit the box office, the options for trivia quizzes are endless. Buy a Horror Trivia Card Game ($11) on Amazon, or there are a ton of horror-movie trivia games you can play online, or download and print, for free.
Halloween Party Game: Apple Bobbing
If you've got little ones at your party, you can keep it PG and fill a bucket with water and apples for apple bobbing. But if it's adults only, swap out the water with white sangria instead.
Halloween Party Game: Themed Scavenger Hunt
Scatter themed items around your venue, divide guests into teams, give each team a list of clues, and set them off. Whichever team finishes first can then be treated to a nice, cold Halloween cocktail or an adult goodie bag. (This one is way more fun when you can hide clues outside and play in the dark — but indoors works, too, especially if you can set some mood lighting.)
Halloween Party Game: Who Am I?
Another party-game classic that's ripe for a Halloween twist, "Who Am I?" simply requires that you give guests cards or sticky notes written with classic Halloween costumes. They stick them to their foreheads without reading, then talk to other guests and try to guess which costume is written on their heads by asking their conversation partners strategic questions and trying to pick up on context clues.
Halloween Party Game: Trick-or-Treat (With a Twist)
Who says trick-or-treating is just for kids? In this Halloween party game, place miniature drink bottles filled with different concoctions on trays or in bowls around your venue. Guests can then freely pick up any of the drinks to enjoy, but they won't know whether the drink is a trick or treat until after their first sip. The "treat" bottles can be some sort of alcoholic beverage, while the "trick" ones will simply be juice or water. If you're feeling really sinister and your guests are on board, fill the "trick" ones with something foul-tasting, like a horseradish smoothie.
Halloween Party Game: Murder Mystery
There isn't a better time of year to play a murder-mystery game than Halloween. While this game will require a bit of preparation before the party, trust us, it will certainly be worth it.
Send guests specific character profiles in their invitations, and ask them to come prepared to act out who they are at the party. Then, once everyone arrives at the murder scene — aka the venue — guests will ask each other questions trying to find out which character is the murderer.
You can write your own murder mystery and tailor it to your party guests, or buy one online that's ready to go. Masters of Mystery has Halloween-themed murder mystery games you can buy, like Vampire Ball ($25, originally $38) set or even Rocky Horror ($25, originally $38).
Halloween Party Game: Magic Potions
Remember the good ol' game of Truth or Dare? Well, this is basically the adult version. To play, write down questions or dares on tags and attach one to each drink. Whether it's a cocktail, shot, beer, or mocktail, after each guest has enjoyed their beverage, they must do what the tag says. You can give people the option of opting out — but make sure it comes with a deterrent, like a requirement to wear a "shame" placard for an hour.
Halloween Party Game: Fill the Pumpkin
Seat your guests at a table around a leak-proof plastic jack-o'-lantern, and spread out a deck of cards around the pumpkin, keeping them face down. Assign random rules to each card. For example: each time someone draws a "king," that person must take a sip of their drink; each time a person draws a "queen," they can make someone else drink; each time a person draws a "2," they have to stop using any word that starts with the letter T, and if they slip up, they have to drink.
There are just two musts: one card has to call for guests to pour a shot-size serving of their drink into the plastic pumpkin, and the "ace" must require whoever pulls it to drink the contents of the pumpkin. (As you can probably imagine, this game works best when everyone is drinking different kinds of beverages.)
Halloween Party Game: Halloween Jinx
Kick your party up a notch with Halloween Jinx. In this adult Halloween game, choose certain words or phrases (for example: Halloween, October, costume, scary, etc.) that are taboo to be said throughout the night. Whenever someone hears a guest using this word or phrase, they must yell out "Jinx," causing the person who mouthed the banned word to take a drink. The more people have to drink, the trickier this game becomes. At the end of the night, the winner is the person who has used the forbidden words the least number of times.
Mummy Wrap Game
This Halloween party game is a blast for kids or competitive adults. You'll just need a few rolls of toilet paper and to split your party guests up into teams. Each team or pair will need to choose a person to dress up as their mummy. Either you or someone else will need to be an impartial judge. From there, you can take the game in a few different directions:
- Speed: Have the teams race to see who can wrap their mummy fastest using two rolls of toilet paper. The firts team to run out wins.
- Coverage: Set a timer for two minutes, and have the teams race to wrap their mummy. Whichever team covers the most of their mummy — with the least amount of clothing or skin showing — wins.
- Blindfolded: Split your guests up into pairs: one will be the mummy, and one will do the wrapping. The person who's wrapping gets blindfolded. Have the pairs race to wrap their mummy while they can't see. Whoever does the best job wins.
Halloween Party Game: Doughnuts on a String
For a deliciously hysterical time, hang doughnuts from a string or ribbon and have guests stand under the sweet treats with their hands behind their backs. Then, count to three and see who can eat the entire doughnut the fastest, without letting it fall from the string. This is a game everyone can enjoy — get ready for some hardcore belly laughs.
Halloween Party Game: Halloween Bingo
For a party game that's a bit less demanding — yet one that can be just as thrilling — sit down for a few rounds of Halloween bingo. You can find lots of cheap or free printable bingo cards online, too. Once someone has yelled "bingo," treat the winner to a special spooky cocktail.
Halloween Party Game: Halloween Charades
Come up with a good number of Halloween-themed clues, and write them down on tiny pieces of paper. Split your guests into two groups, and take turns with one person acting out each clue for their team. Whichever team has the most points at the end wins. From Halloween candies to scary movies, the options for clues are endless.
Halloween Party Game: Guess the Villain
Guess the Villain is a fun icebreaker and a great way to get people talking to each other. When guests first arrive, attach the name of a villain onto their backs without revealing who it is. Then, the guests will go around asking other people questions attempting to guess which villain they are. Whoever guesses correctly first wins!
Halloween Party Game: "Nightmare Before Christmas" Operation
Remember the thrilling game of Operation you used to play as a kid? Well, this "Nightmare Before Christmas" Operation ($36) is the Halloween-themed version! If you and your friends are lovers of high-intensity board games, put on your scrubs and enter Dr. Finklestein's lab, where you'll operate on the Boogie Man. But be warned, it will take a steady hand to get rid of Oogie's "crawling flesh, spider veins, snake eyes, and more!"
This is another game that's suitable for kids — but if you want to turn it into an adult game, just make guests drink every time they mess up.
Halloween Party Game: Pop-Up Mad Laboratory
Another Halloween party game for both adults and kiddos, this nostalgic idea is an oldie but a goodie. Just fill up boxes or jars with funky-textured foods (peeled grapes, spaghetti noodles, or cold hot dogs are all great starters) without letting them see what's inside. Let your guests guess what each item is by letting them feel around with their hands. But be prepared, there will most likely be lots of squeals.
Halloween Party Game: Costume Contest
Is it really a Halloween party without a costume contest? While this technically isn't a game, a great way to capture the creative costumes (and fun memories) of the night is to set Polaroid cameras around the venue, or even set up a DIY photo booth. You know, if you're looking to flex your creativity muscle. From scary props to moody lighting, your guests will have a spook-tacular time saying "cheese" and posing!