|be the perfect host/ess||.||
to throw a fabulous halloween party
by Yee-Fan Sun
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horror movies | Make use of that big old TV taking up space in your living room: rent a few horror movies (I like the black-and-white classics) and run them with the sound off as background images.
doll parts | Head to the thrift stores and scoop up as many of those cheap plastic dolls as you can. Disembodied, they make for good, creepy-campy décor -- hang limbs from the ceiling, or if you're up for a little sculpting, craft a doll-parts mobile (see picture above) using wire to link the parts together.
Clear out a big space for a dance floor, moving furniture to other rooms or the garage if need be. Make some good dance mixes ahead of time, and assign someone you trust to play deejay for the evening and ensure a steady stream of tunes. You might also think about setting up an area for that most classic of autumn activities: bobbing for apples.
Last but not least, stock up on some prizes for the costume contest -- candy, Halloween-themed Pez dispensers, or whatever other fun, little gifts suit your fancy. Come party time, choose a handful of folks -- it's best not to do the judging yourself, since you'll have other host duties to attend to -- to mingle with the crowd and take careful note of all the costumes. Spread the wealth by offering prizes in an array of categories: most authentic, most original, best group costume, scariest costume, whatever. Let the judges know that they have until midnight to decide upon the winners, at which point the whole crowd will be gathered together to witness the conferring of the awards.