This Halloween, leave the trick or treating to the kids while the grown-ups partake in some seriously scary fun. The great thing about Halloween is that it’s a pretty flexible holiday where creativity—and therefore minimal spending—trumps all. To replace the sugar rush with a terrifying adrenaline rush, swap Disney characters for political characters, throw in some spooky spiked punch and voila, you’ve got yourself a cool, adults-only thriller of a night.
Nowadays, it’s all about taking Halloween back from the kids. If you don’t have any kids or are still young at heart, it’s time to make the most of your night. We’ve got a few ideas for a frightening but frugal Halloween for grown-ups
Have a themed costume party
Depending on your circle of friends, you can go for political, funny sexy, religious, career professional, historical era, cult movies, etc. Put up some cheap decorations, start a spooky soundtrack on your iHome, and let loose!
Create your own haunted house
Can’t find a cool haunted house to attend, and don’t want to pay the frightfully high entrance fee? There’s not much time, so get a few friends together to create your own haunted living room or basement. Get creative with your time and money, making a few homemade versions of typical haunted house features.
Stay in with a horror film
If you don’t feel like going out, rent a slew of slasher and horror films to freak you and your friends out. If they’re all rented out, an American Horror Story marathon on Netflix might be in order. Just remember, you might end up sleeping with the lights on for the next few nights.
Stroll through a cemetery
Go for a night walk through a graveyard, cornfield or abandoned house or building. We triple dog dare you.
Play a (drinking) game with your Ouija board
Come on, you know you have one sitting in the attic or wherever else you hid it after the last all-too-freaky séance.
Try cosplay and role-playing
Geeky, we know. Gather up your friends and act out and recreate your favorite scenes from horror films. If scenes are discussed in advance, everyone has time to practice and put together props and costumes, and you can make it a Halloween talent show.
Tell ghost stories over a fire
You don’t need a state park and a tent to tell ghost stories around a campfire! Make a fire in your backyard or your fireplace, serve up some mulled wine, turn the lights out and let the terrifying tales begin.
Before you commit your evening to eat a bag of Halloween candy by yourself, take a few moments to throw around some ideas with your friends about how to get creative with stuff you already have at home. After all, the more the merrier—and scarier!
This article was written by staff writer Suchi Rudra. Her mission is to help fight your evil debt blob and get your personal finances in tip top shape.
Suchi Rudra is an avid traveler and freelance writer from Texas who covers personal finance, travel, green building, tech, and entrepreneurship. Her work can be found in VICE, The Guardian, Vice, American Way, BBC Travel, Fodor’s, Transitions Abroad, PlanetEye.com, TravelStart.com, Expats.cz, The Writer and India Currents and many other publications.