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100+ Halloween Recipes
Plus Spooky Halloween Facts and History that will impress your party guests
For as long as memory serves me, I’ve adored all things Halloween. From the fun, spooky decorations, to the ritual of getting to be someone (or something) else for a night, it’s the one day out of the year I look forward to most.
Instead of the usual story time I share with each recipe, I thought I would change things up a bit and share some (perhaps) unknown facts about Halloween along with my most-used tips for throwing an epic Halloween party.
Apples are the single most important item of food associated with Halloween. Not only are they featured in games (bobbing for apples), they are also used for fortune telling. While the significance of apples stems from a Roman harvest deity by the name of Pomona and her festival, the importance of apples actually stems from Celtic beliefs. Apple seeds are used in a fortune telling method of cutting an apple in half, and the seeds are read on Halloween: two seeds showing predict an early marriage, three seeds predict wealth, four foretell travel, five bring health, six show wisdom and seven promise fame.
Animals, including bats, cats, and owls, are a traditional symbol of Halloween because they are nocturnal creatures. The late nineteenth-century popularity of bats is actually attributed to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Consider watching the campy movie to get in the mood of Halloween.
Bonfires originated as a Celtic Halloween tradition.
The broom is a traditional method of witch magic and travel. In parts of Europe, it’s considered bad luck to sweep on Halloween because of souls seeking sanctuary in one’s home.
In Scottish lore, cabbage is one of the most important food items associated with Halloween. One can tell fortunes by “pulling cabbage,” either by examining the color of the cabbage itself or its root system.
Candles are one of the few universally global traditions of Halloween. Whether its a candle placed inside of a pumpkin or a luminary placed near the front door, the importance of candles is widely celebrated.
The Fire O’ Love (1973)
Take a tub of water light a candle end,
On a flat cork place it, then it floating send.
Write your names on paper, twist the slips up tight,
Toss them to the water — many will ignite.
Those whose names float onward, never, never wed.
Thus an eighteenth-century old tradition said.
Candy Corn was invented in the United States by the sons of German immigrants.
Campus Halloween Massacre Urban Legend first appeared in 1968, where according to a psychic, a masked man will invade a college campus whose name begins with an “M” or a “W” that is located near a cemetery, river or railroad tracks. He will then proceed to kill students and faculty.
Chickens, particularly black chickens were said to be hung in certain parts of Britain above doors because witches were supposedly unable to go near black chicken feathers.
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), a holiday created in Mexico via a fusion of Roman Catholic and Aztec rites, is first celebrated in the 1740’s.
Dreaming of someone on Halloween night could mean you will marry that person.
An American superstition, seeing a falling star on Halloween night is an American superstition that means your sweetheart could be a witch!
Halloween, the movie from John Carpenter was released in 1979.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, an American television special, debuted in 1966.
Although Jack Frost might be frequently associated with Christmas, Jack Frost also appeared in some early twentieth-century Halloween plays, usually as a symbol of autumn and the impending arrival of winter.
Arguably the most popular symbol of Halloween, the tradition of Jack-O Lanterns actually began as an homage to European legendary tricksters, such as will-o’-the-wisp or pixies.
The Malleus Maleficarum, a witch-hunting how-to book, is published in 1487; witch hunts begin.
From Celtic folklore, Pooka is an evil fairy said to have spent Halloween night contaminating or destroying unharvested crops.
Postcards sent for Halloween were as popular as Christmas cards from 1900 to 1930.
An unhappy tradition, Tampering with Halloween Candy was first recorded in 1964.
Wind blowing over corpses on Halloween night will speak the future to those who are brave enough to listen.
Planning The Best Halloween Party Ever
Send your invitations out as early as possible (six weeks is ideal so people have ample time to find babysitters and rent costumes.) You can send paper invitations from Minted, or Invitation Box, or online via Evite.
Do as much as possible ahead of time. Decorate as much of the house as early as possible; carve the pumpkins a day or two in advance, but not too advanced so they're still fresh and perky.
Don't shy away from serving take-out if you don't have time to cook any of the fantastic recipes linked below.
Make yourself available to guests, after all, they came to spend time with you!
If serving a sitdown meal, be sure to choose floral arrangements that are low in height so people can see over and around them.
Choose a theme that isn't too offensive or difficult to shop for.
Be mindful of common allergies (shellfish, nuts), and have an alternative available.
Don't hold your guests hostage to one part of the house only. If weather permits, set up chairs outside by a firepit so people can gather prior to dinner.
Choose warm, inviting music. A mix of spooky music easy going music that entices people to get up and dance is always a great idea. (I have had good reception from Dinner Party and Happy Halloween Music Radio on Pandora). On Happy Halloween Radio, you'll get the likes of the Halloween Theme song, which is the perfect background music to welcome your guests or play in your doorway decorated with black feathers.
If you have a large living room, in-home theater or large backyard, consider showing a classic Halloween as the grand finale. I've included a few of my favorites below, but for more inspiration, check out 40 Best Halloween Movies of All Time from Seventeen.
Adult Halloween Beverages
The Witch’s Heart - via The Flavor Bender
Polyjuice Potion - A Harry Potter Vodka and Lime Cocktail - via Gastronom Blog
Witches Brew - via Sprinkles & Sprouts
Black Widow Venom Moonshine - via Crayons & Cravings
Candy Corn Inspired Carrot and Orange Juice Gin Cocktail - via The Forked Spoon
Purple People Eater Colour Changing Halloween Cocktail - via Supergolden Bakes
Demon Juice Halloween Cocktail - via Crayons & Cravings
Easy Fall Pumpkin Cocktail - via Good & Simple
Hallowine Sangria - via The Seasoned Mom
Kid-Friendly Halloween Beverages
Black Spider Party Punch for Halloween - via Finding Zest
Halloween Freakshakes - via Supper in the Suburbs
Eyeball Sherbet Punch - via Brooklyn Farm Girl
Harry Potter Inspired Pumpkin Juice - via A Saucy Kitchen
Dracula Freakshake - via Easy Cooking With Molly
Coco Loco Brain Juice - via Masala Herb
Halloween Finger Foods
Deviled Eggs Recipe - via A Side of Sweet
Monster Mash Party Mix - via The Forked Spoon
Easy Fun Bread Shapes for Kids - via Veggie Desserts
East Pumpkin Bread Rolls - via Inside The Rustic Kitchen
Witch’s Broomstick Snacks - via Mom Foodie
The Scream Cheese Appetizer - via The Decorated Cookie
Halloween Monster Meatballs - via The Anthony Kitchen
A Creepy Halloween Cheese Board for Halloween Entertaining - via Feast in Thyme
Phantom Pierogi/Perogy Pizza Pops - via Food Meanderings
Halloween Spiders - via Tasty Galaxy
Peppered Tombstone Cracker Spread - via Delicious Table
Pumpkin and Black Bean Taquitos - via Hey Nutrition Lady
White Cheddar, Pumpkin, and Sage Dip - via Dip Recipe Creations
Bony Halloween Breadsticks - via I Heart Nap Time
Shrimp on the Brain - via Cooking With Carlee
Halloween Cheese Cups - via Cooktoria
Dead Man's Fingers and a Trio of Dips - via The Anthony Kitchen
Pumpkin Spice Fruit Dip - via Raias Recipes
Bloody Falafel Fingers - via Vegan Richa
Halloween Potato Pizza Mummies - via Vegetarian Gastronomy
Halloween Main Dish Recipes
Witches Hair Pasta (Squid Ink Pasta) - via Sprinkles & Sprouts
Stuffed Pumpkins - via Happy Kitchen Rocks
Halloween Eyeball Sub - via Kitchen Sanctuary
Roasted Tomato Soup - via The Dinner Mom
Swamp Monster Spaghetti - via The Anthony Kitchen
Stuffed Pepper Jacks Recipe Collection - via Spabettie
Spooky Halloween Desserts
Devil’s Food Cake - via insolence & wine
Oreo Monster Brownies via Gastronom Blog
Bat Donuts - via The Simple, Sweet Life
Bloody Cupcakes - via Crayons & Cravings
Black Forest Cake - via Delicious Everyday
Rice Krispie Treats Pumpkins - via Cuts & Crumbles
Ghosts in the Graveyard Halloween Dessert Shooters - via Sugar Spun Run
Black Cupcakes with Cherry Filling - via Kitchen Sanctuary
Halloween Trifle - via Dancing Through The Rain
Graveyard Candy Apples - via Easy Cooking With Molly
Shrunken Heads Halloween Tart - via Mom Foodie
Chocolate Skull Cake with Hidden Strawberry Jello Brain - via The Flavor Bender
Zombie Fingers - via Recipes From A Pantry
Wickedly Delicious Caramel Apples - via The Organic Kitchen
Pumpkin Spice Latte Dip - via Dip Recipe Creations
Mummy Cupcakes - via Family Around the Table
Pinot Noir Pudding - via insolence & wine
Black Velvet Cookies ’n Cream Cheesecake Cake - via The Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen
Halloween Monster Marshmallows - via Finding Zest
Witches Brew Trifle - via Food Meanderings
Candy Corn Sugar Cookie Bars - via Garnish & Glaze
Spooky Stuffed Halloween Cupcakes - via A Side of Sweet
Gluten-Free Vegan Halloween Ghost Cake - via Rhian’s Recipes
Halloween Piñata Cake - via Supper in the Suburbs
Naturally Green Peanut Butter Witch Finger Cookies - via Veggie Desserts
Pumpkin Pasties - via Blue Bowl Recipes
Scary-Cute Monster Mash Halloween Brownies - via Buy This Cook That
Apple Nachos - via Haute & Healthy Living
Orange Fruit Jack-o-Lantern - via Thrift Jinxy
Halloween Meringue Ghosts - via Supergolden Bakes
DIY Surprise Inside Halloween Witch Hats - via Mom Foodie
Spooker Spider Cookies - via Sugar Spun Run
Easy Pumpkin Oreos - via Seasoned Sprinkles
Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes - via insolence & wine
Wicked Witch Finger Cookies - via Little Sunny Kitchen
Creepy Chocolate Brains - via Nums The Word
Braaaaaains (Cupcakes)! - via The Simple, Sweet Life
Halloween Jack O lantern Twinkies - via Dancing Through The Rain
Chocolate Covered Date Monsters - via Easy Baby Meals
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - via Blue Bowl Recipes
Bloody Good Halloween Bones Bark - via Crayons & Cravings
Creepy Witches Fingers via Nums The Word
Candy Apples - via The Honour System
Monster Halloween Marshmallow Pops - via Recipes From A Pantry
Halloween Chocolate Covered Pretzels - via Garnish & Glaze
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bites - via Haute & Healthy Living
Terrifying Teacakes - via Supper in the Suburbs
Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats - via Buy This Cook That
Mummy Sweet Potato Brownies - via Little Sunny Kitchen
Halloween Mummy Brownies - via Dancing Through The Rain
Easy Raspberry Halloween Mummy Pies - via Veggie Desserts
Ghost Vanilla Donuts - via Natalie’s Happy Health
Easy Halloween Witch Hat Cupcakes - via Crayons & Cravings
Hocus Pocus Book Brownies - via Crusts & Crumbles
Paleo Cockroach Clusters - via Whip & Wander
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip - via Salt & Lavender
Edible Fake Blood - via Herbivore Cucina
Halloween Bark - via Let’s Eat Cake
Raid-Your-Kids’ Halloween Candy Brownies - via Erica’s Recipes
Vampire Bite Cupcakes (vegan) - via Vnutrition
Zombie Chocolate Shortbread Cookies - via Lights, Camera, Bake!
Other Helpful Halloween Links
8 Pumpkin Wine Pairings - via insolence & wine
What are your Halloween traditions? Found your costume yet?