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A Lit-Inspired Halloween

Now that you’ve got our general Halloween party rules mentally filed and an option for a grandiose Halloween ball, planned and at the ready, let’s look at some smaller-scale ideas for a lighter and more intimate Halloween haunt that could (but doesn’t need to) appeal to the under-21 set.  Head to your bookshelf for inspiration, and select an appropriately magical literary theme for your get-together: for general magic, youthfulness, and currency, we love Twilight and Harry Potter.

Twilight Halloween Party Ideas

Since the Twilight series tends to polarize people, we favor a party that gives guests a chance to appreciate or to abhor.  Enter the concept of Mock It or Rock It, which lets partiers choose their costumes based on their taste for Bella, Edward, and company.

Food and drink at your Twilight Halloween bash should be inspired by the books and movies.  Serve steak bites and berry cobbler bars in honor of Charlie’s diner visits, mushroom ravioli on toothpicks for Bella’s first date with Edward, and plenty of Harry Clearwater’s homemade fish fry.  Casks of red wine will make perfect Cullen-inspired thirst-quenchers; decant them into glass servers and light from behind with candles to show off the rich reds.

To set the scene, use music from the films; the score from the first movie is particularly atmospheric.  For decorations, cardboard cutouts of the characters will start conversations and make great take-home photos.  Turn off all lights, and light candles in ornate holders, arranging them by varying heights all around the room.  Finally, snag a projector and pause the first film on the empty, green forest, or loop it silently where Bella discovers Edward’s true nature (avoid playing the whole movie, or you’ll end up with a movie viewing, not a Halloween party).

Harry Potter Halloween Party Ideas

In the same way Harry Potter’s universe is filled with memorable characters, your Potter Halloween party should focus on people in costume, so only throw this shindig if you’ve got friends who will participate.  The absolute best source anywhere for Harry Potter costumes is Whimsic Alley, a Los Angeles-based fan paradise that also hosts Harry Potter events guaranteed to satisfy even the truly nerdy.  Their selection of candy and Potter trinkets is also excellent, and browsing their site will give you more ideas than you’ll know what to do with.

To recreate the wizarding world, think of faux stone walls (party store scene setters are excellent for this effect, especially in the dark), lots of white taper candles, and knickknacks that would look at-home in Dumbledore’s office: feathered quills, small bottles of “ink,” rolls of paper aged with tea, owls, magnifying glasses, thrift store portraits, and wood furniture.  For music, head over to iTunes and choose the iconic melodies of the series, like Hedwig’s theme and the Weasleys’ theme.  If you’re feeling creative and want to add some humor to your Halloween, also check out fan-created “Wizard Rock” bands Ministry of Magic, Swish and Flick, Gred and Forge, and Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls.

As for what to serve at your Harry Potter Halloween, scope Madam Rosemerta’s recipes at Mugglenet.  They include Harry’s favorite treacle tart and ideas for pumpkin juice and butterbeer brew.  Of course there are plenty of official pre-packed goodies like Chocolate Frogs and Every Flavor Beans, too.  We suggest displaying all your treats on a home-rigged rolling trolly.

Other Lit-Inspired Halloween Ideas

For more ideas from magical to menacing, try parties inspired by Through the Looking Glass (Alice In Wonderland), the Chronicles of Narnia, Frankenstein, Dracula, or The Tell-Tale Heart.

Photo credits: everystockphoto.com, whimsicalley.com

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