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October 17, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Halloween

This guide covers the best hand-selected websites for gathering everything you need for a magically spooky Halloween this year, from ghoulishly great craft ideas to where to buy costumes and candy for trick-or-treaters.


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Tips for Celebrating Halloween

Halloween PumpkinHere are a few hauntingly fun ways to celebrate Halloween.


Trick-or-treating in small groups is back on for all of mummy’s little monsters, so scare up a little fun this year with frightening yard decorations, prepare your costumes, and make sure you fully stock up on Halloween sweets. 

Dinner Parties

More intimate than a large Halloween bash, invite your friends to an elegantly creepy dinner party with witch’s brew cocktails and dark, mysterious foods, like squid ink risotto or a rack of lamb. Lower the lights and decorate the table with lots of candles for a haunted Victorian vibe.

Movie Nights

Whether it’s watching a Halloween family film like The Nightmare before Christmas or a classic like Night of the Living Dead, celebrating Halloween with a creepy movie with your family or close friends at home is a festive way to enjoy the holiday. Combine it with some monster-themed cupcakes or other creepy-crawly snacks and you’ll have a night to remember!

Moonlit Bonfires

Go back to Halloween’s Celtic roots with an outdoor bonfire party. With the perfect balance of fright and fun, your friends and family will enjoy the option of gathering around the fire while their costumed figures cast eerie shadows and scare off those ancient ghosts!


Halloween Costumes

Halloween hatHalloween is one of the few times of the year that we can dress up as anyone or anything we want to be, whether it’s scary, funny, or sexy. Whether you’ve been planning out your costume for months or are looking for a last-minute costume for trick-or-treating or a Halloween party, you’re sure to find the Halloween costume of your dreams from one of the following websites.


Spirit Halloween Logo

Spirit offers trendy Halloween costumes that are easily browsable by a huge variety of themes like dinosaurs, pandas, and 80s costumes. If you’re hoping to dress up with your partner, friends, or family, they also have a shockingly wide selection of couple costumes, like Milk and Cookie, or group costumes, like the Ghostbusters.

And if you’re serious about taking the authenticity (and fun) of your costume up a notch, check out their selection of Halloween accessories including makeup, masks, wigs, weapons, costume teeth and so much more.

Specializing in costumes, Halloween Costumes has the largest selection of costumes in the world and a huge selection of crowd-pleasing group costumes for adults and kids, including the Care Bears, Adams Family, Super Mario, Avengers and Disney characters.

If you’re hoping to save some money on a costume that you’ll probably only wear once, they also offer a rental option on hundreds of costumes at a fraction of the purchase cost. Once you get to check out, they recommend other suitable accessories to help you perfect your costume.


Amazon Logo

If you already have an idea for your preferred costume, Amazon offers a massive selection of costumes at competitive prices. If you’re looking for an easy buying experience or need to check out some costume guides before deciding on the right costume, check out the Amazon seller BuyCostumes for guides and ideas and shoppable themes like animals, sexy, or Star Wars.



Since you often just wear your Halloween costume once, it makes sense to save some money and the environment by buying one lightly used on eBay. Whether you’re searching for a popular Wonder Woman costume or a dinosaur outfit for your cat, you should be able to find it new or used on eBay, along with a huge assortment of accessories, makeup, and masks to make your Halloween costume hauntingly realistic!


Halloween Ideas & Inspiration

BatsHalloween is the perfect time to let your imagination and creativity run wild. Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get you started with your next pumpkin carving session, Halloween-themed dessert, or transforming your front yard into a spooky haunted graveyard. No matter where your Halloween creativity leads, one of the following sites is sure to give you some delightful inspiration for your upcoming Halloween.


Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens offers an assortment of creative ideas for Halloween treats, indoor and outdoor decorations, and DIY crafts. If you’re looking for unique products and decor items that deliver a dash of magic, they also highlight unique products like spooky skull-shaped logs for your Halloween bonfire. From their articles about the best minimalist Halloween decorations, how to dress like a Bridgerton, and the best pet costume ideas, you’ll be all set to have a happy Halloween.



Instructables is a community-run website where creators share and upload some of their best how-to guides for DIY projects. Slightly geekier and spookier than the other sites, Instructables shares unique costume, decor, and food ideas that you might not find elsewhere, like a DIY Lego costume, files for 3D-printed costume accessories, a DIY Halloween cat house shaped like a jack-o-lantern, and ghoulish chocolate-covered strawberries that look like rotten teeth (yum…).


Martha Stewart

If you’re looking for classier, more grown-up inspiration, check out Martha Stewart’s Halloween party ideas, projects and crafts, and recipes. These include more elevated decor ideas like the best strange flowers to add to your Halloween bouquets, refreshing tips on decorating pumpkins, and the best indoor decorations, including paper bat wall hangings and a frightful DIY haunted mirror.



For thousands of Halloween craft, costume, decor, and game ideas, check out Pinterest’s Ultimate Guide to Halloween, which features a scary number of inspiring articles, including the best costumes. If you’re feeling hungry, don’t forget to check out their ideas for Halloween goodies, like spider web nachos or adorable Rice Krispie treat pumpkins.


Country Living

Definitely on the cutesy, family-friendly side of the Halloween spectrum and farther away from ghouls and gore, Country Living provides ideas for Instagram-worthy last-minute DIY costumes and an inspiring selection of articles ranging from “50+ Homemade Halloween Treats to Celebrate the Spookiest Season” to a comprehensive list of pumpkin farms around the US so you can handpick your pumpkins for this year’s jack-o-lanterns.


Halloween Decorations

Halloween DecorationHalloween wouldn’t be Halloween without the grinning orange Jack-o-Lanterns, frightening ghouls, black cats, and witch’s cauldrons. To set the perfect haunting Halloween backdrop, having the right set of decorations is key. Whether you dive fully into the creepy aesthetic and transform your living room into a Night of the Living Dead set or you prefer a cutesy, kid-friendly Halloween with smiling cartoon ghosts and happy pumpkins, the following sites are guaranteed to set the Halloween mood.



For a huge assortment of affordable Halloween decorations for indoors and outdoors, check out Target’s Halloween offerings. Slightly less spooky overall than online stores like Spirit, their decorations scream traditional Halloween style. Think orange and black pumpkins, plenty of skulls, and cutesy tombstone signs that say “Haunt Ya Later!”


Spirit Halloween

If you’re eager to transform your home or yard into a bone-chilling place worthy of a horror movie, Spirit provides a bloodcurdling range of haunting Halloween decorations, spooky enough for even the most experienced haunted house fanatic. On the scary side of the Halloween spectrum, Spirit sells Halloween lights, yard decorations, fog machines, life-size animatronics, including a full-size Beetlejuice, and props like startling Zombie babies. Yikes!


Oriental Trading

Known for its hauntingly low prices and wide selection, Oriental Trading has a super-browsable website that makes decorating your home for Halloween a snap. Search by decoration type, like yard signs, ceiling decorations, or wall decor, or shop their coordinated Halloween decorating themes like “zombie outbreak” or “witch’s den” and save yourself time with their curated selection of props, porch and yard decorations, and festive accessories.



If you’re more into Halloween seasonal home decor rather than turning your home into a ghostly haunted house with spooky props (although they sell these as well), Michaels is an excellent source for candles, tabletop pumpkins, garlands, pillows, wall decor, and lights. These generally come in more friendly themes like cutesy pumpkins, witches, ghosts, and the traditional Halloween colors, black, orange, and purple.


Home Depot

If you’re interested in turning your yard into a formidable, haunted house, then check out Home Depot for its wickedly wonderful selection of life-size props and inflatables. From fog machines and spooky animatronic haunted talking trees to classic skeleton props and adorable candy corn witches with built-in LEDs, Home Depot has everything you need to transform your front yard into the envy of the neighborhood!



Although their selection of decorations is much smaller than some of the other websites on this list, World Market has a delightful selection of indoor decorations, like laser-cut candle holders, jack-o-lanterns, ornaments, and lights with unique designs that you won’t find elsewhere. They also feature a startling selection of affordable pillar and taper candles if you want to introduce candlelight into your Halloween aesthetic!


Pottery Barn

If you’re looking for high-quality Halloween-themed home accessories and decor to use year after year, Pottery Barn has a wonderful, curated selection of decorations, dinnerware, and drinkware to set the perfect spooky mood for a Halloween dinner party. Think items like rattan or ceramic pumpkins, eerie glass decanters with skulls, handcrafted skeleton drinkware with creepy fingers grasping the glass, and adorable mugs with ghostly eyes peering out at you.



For bespoke Halloween decorations created by boutique stores, artists and makers, check out Etsy for unique items like fall wreaths, creative signs, and creepy and cute home accents, like crocheted pumpkin plushes or ghost nesting dolls. To foster the creativity of their community, Etsy also offers some really fun Halloween DIY ideas on their website.


Halloween Food and Recipes

Halloween Scary RecipesFew holidays provide such a frighteningly fun opportunity to dress up your food and goodies! Whether it’s decorating monster-themed cupcakes or styling your hamburger into a creeping spider with french-fry legs, there are countless ways to add spooky fun to your food and treats during the Halloween season!

The following sites are packed full of terrifyingly tasty Halloween recipe ideas that are sure to have your guests eager to come in for a bite.



With hundreds of Halloween recipes, including cupcakes, cookies and cocktails, Allrecipes is a great place to start when planning your menu for your Halloween party or looking for homemade goody ideas to bring to work or school! While you’re there, check out their blog articles for amazing ideas for easy Halloween appetizers or your next elegantly creepy Halloween dinner party.


Taste of Home

If you’re looking for some inspiring Halloween food guides, Taste of Home has great articles for both sweet and savory Halloween inspiration, including “15 Easy (and Mostly Edible) DIY Halloween Ideas” and “30 Cute (and Creepy!) Halloween Appetizers.” Many of these ideas are simple enough to make with little boys and ghouls, like their Frankenguac, which is Frankenstein-styled guacamole served with black corn tortilla chips.


Country Living

If you have a sweet tooth and eyes, do yourself a favor and check out Country Living’s spooktacular selection of delectable treats for Halloween. Whether you’re looking for a cute Halloween cupcake idea for a kid’s party or you’re looking for more grown-up cocktail inspiration, you certainly won’t be disappointed with recipes like Pumpkin-Spiced Buns with Spiderweb Glaze or a Sassy Witch's Brew Cocktail (which uses dry ice to create a magical, “double, double toil and trouble” cauldron effect).


Halloween Gifts

Halloween GiftAlthough Halloween probably isn’t the first holiday you think of for gift-giving, there are plenty of special someones in your life who might appreciate receiving a fun Halloween surprise this year. Whether you’re searching for party favors, a hostess gift, or a gift for that Halloween-obsessed friend, the following websites will have a special treat for everyone.



Whether you’re looking for a Halloween-themed gift box or party favors to add to your child’s Halloween goodie bags, Amazon will have what you’re looking for. If you’re hoping to cut back on some of the sugar this year, Amazon is particularly good for children’s party favors like monster-themed finger puppets, squishy ghoul and ghost toys, mini notepads or pop fidget toys in bulk quantities.



For cute and thoughtful gifts, Hallmark offers a small selection of Halloween-inspired gifts, ranging from adorable monster stuffed animals and children’s books for the little ghouls and boys in your life to fall-scented candles in autumn scents like pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple.


Harry & David

Founded in 1934, Harry & David prides itself in its fresh, gourmet gifts. Whether you go with the seasonal pear box, the Witch’s Brew coffee set or gourmet Halloween-dipped strawberries, your work colleagues, family, or friends will certainly be delighted by these devilishly delicious Halloween gift boxes.



If you’re looking to gift treats that are as sweet as they are adorable, check out Cheryl’s selection of jack-o-lantern, Frankenstein, and ghost-themed frosted cookies. With gingerbread haunted houses, coffin boxes and chocolate-dipped pretzels, you’re sure to find the right gift for that special someone who’s enchanted by sweets.



For gift baskets jammed pack with tasty Halloween surprises, visit 1-800-Baskets for a delicious assortment of popcorn, caramel apples, decorated crispy rice treats and frosted pumpkin cookies. Many of their gift sets come inside cute Halloween-themed reusable jars and tins.


GourmetGiftBaskets offers sweet and savory curated boxes filled with favorite candies like Snickers, Reese’s, and Haribo Gummies, popcorn, creepy cake pops and meat and cheeses that are sure to make even the most successful trick-or-treater a little envious.


Halloween eCards & Greeting Cards

Halloween GreetingsShare some spooky fun with your friends and family with a Halloween ecard or traditional greeting card. Whether you like to send out Halloween personalized cards in the mail every year or you’re more of a last-minute ecard sort of person, the following sites feature a wide selection of cards to wish your favorite monsters a spooky, good Halloween.


Jacquie Lawson

With almost twenty quality eerie animated ecards with haunting themes like Baba Yaga or the Witch’s Brew, you’re sure to find a festive ecard to send to your loved ones to get them into the Halloween spirit.



Known for their hilarious ecards in which you cast yourself and others as the dancing and singing stars of the show, JibJab’s Halloween cards will have you and your family members in stitches while you watch yourselves doing the monster mash or starring as members of the Adams family.



Known for their uplifting and beautifully crafted greeting cards, Hallmark’s Halloween traditional greeting card selection is impressive. Featuring a boo-tiful selection of pop-up cards with ghostly scenes and cards for all the special grandchildren, friends, and others in your life, Hallmark really has a Halloween card for anyone!


American Greetings

Offering personalized, playful e-cards, printable cards, or standard greeting card sets for Halloween, American Greetings is a great option for those of us who like to plan ahead or just want to send a last-minute Halloween card!



For handmade pop-up cards or cards with unique and chilling illustrations, check out Etsy for a massive selection of cute and creepy cards to wish people a fang-tastic Halloween.


Halloween Invitations

Halloween InvitationIf you’re planning on throwing a Halloween party this year, whether it’s a spine-chilling dinner party, a horror movie night, or a moonlit barbeque, check out the following websites for invitations that are sure to bewitch your guest list.



If casual, online invitations are more your style, you need to look no further than Evite. They have a wide range of spooky free and premium-priced invitations that can be delivered via email to the guests of your next Halloween bash, making it super easy to keep track of RSVPs.



With hundreds of designs from independent designers, Zazzle is a spooktacular source for personalized print invitations. Besides the more obvious adult and children’s Halloween party invitation templates, they also have customizable invites for Halloween-themed baby showers, weddings and birthday parties. Hey, some people really, really love Halloween!



If you want to take your personalization even further, Shutterfly allows you to add your photographs to some of their invitation templates, or if you prefer you can customize one of their beautifully designed photoless invitations.


Halloween Party Supplies

To conjure up the perfect, spooky theme for your upcoming Halloween party, you’ll need party essentials like tablecloths, balloons, tableware, and games that scream fun, fantasy, and fright. Set the mood for a bewitching Halloween night with party supplies from the following websites.



Specializing in party essentials, Party City’s website offers everything you would need for an upcoming party, including magical and frightening balloons and tableware themes to shop by like “Day of the Dead” or “Boneyard.” Add some spooky style to your Halloween party with party decorations, tableware, balloons, and favors.



If you’re looking for a simple, quick way to decorate or to purchase party favors for your next Halloween party, you must check out Amazon’s selection of themed decoration sets that bundle items like disposable plates, cutlery, balloons, garlands, and tablecloths altogether, saving you a scary amount of time. They also have cute and affordable party favor sets for an upcoming kid’s party.



At Target, you can find everything you need for your upcoming Halloween party from one store. From candy bowls, jack-o-lantern carving kits, disposable tableware, Halloween-themed activities and games, like Halloween bingo and mummy bowling, and a shocking selection of party favors including light-up bat necklaces, wearable monster fingers, stickers and mini-slime, Target makes every celebration a scream.



If you’re looking for scary good deals for your frightening festivity, eBay sells everything from balloons, tablecloths, spooky table decorations, black cat cupcake toppers, favors, confetti, and piñatas all at competitive prices.


TipWalking you through all the best food items, decor, and activities you might need for your next Halloween party, this comprehensive list will ensure you throw a delightfully spooky Halloween bash and don’t forget any important details on the way!  


Halloween Candy

Halloween CandyIt’s all about the candy. If you don’t want to fall victim to trick-or-treating pranksters this year, you need to have the good stuff. The following websites will keep your candy buckets stocked with sweets to the delight of your neighborhood’s little ghouls and boys!



Take advantage of Amazon Prime’s frightfully fast one-day shipping and order pretty much any candy in fun-size packaging, ranging from Chupa Chups to Nerds to Sour Patch Kids, perfect for the eager trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood.



Although Walmart offers affordable bulk bags of Tootsie Rolls and Smarties, they also have an impressive selection of wickedly delicious, crowd-pleasing candies, like Snickers, M&Ms, and Skittles, all in Halloween-themed packaging.


Oriental Trading

If you live in a particularly busy trick-or-treating neighborhood or are throwing a fall festival and need bulk candy, look no further than Oriental Trading. They offer scary sweet deals on popular bulk candy sold in assortments of 100 to 3000 pieces!


Halloween Crafts

Halloween is the perfect time of year for crafts. With the weather cooling down, make yourself a pumpkin spice latte and dare to let your imagination run wild as you get crafty with some of the magically fun craft kits and supplies from the following sites.



Perfect for teachers or anyone throwing a children’s Halloween bash, Oriental Trading has hundreds of simple and fun crafts from spooky bracelet-making kits to coloring crafts to decorate your own pumpkin kits. They also have adult crafts like DIY paintable ceramic skulls and pumpkins.



Crafting giant Michaels is the place for everything you might need for Halloween-themed wreath-making, pumpkin decorating, DIY wood and ceramics, yarn crafts, and needlework. And of course, don’t forget Michaels for supplies for your DIY costume and colorful, fun Halloween crafts for kids.



If you want to get extra crafty this Halloween season and sew your own Halloween costume for you or your pet, fabric and craft store JOANN is your one-stop shop. With patterns, fabrics, and all the ribbons you could need, JOANN will have you set. If the idea of sewing your own costume gives you a fright, JOANN also has a fun selection of paintable ceramic pumpkins, Halloween-themed stained glass, and other craft kits suitable for adults and children.


Scary Movies

Halloween MoviesWatching terrifying horror films for Halloween (or even throughout the whole month of October!) is an annual tradition for many people. Check out Rotten Tomatoes for the most bone-chilling movies ever!


Rotten Tomatoes

Relying on Rotten Tomatoes’ well-trusted review ratings, their annually updated list of the 200 Best Horror Movies of All Time will certainly give you some inspiration for your Halloween movie night! And if you need help choosing from the top two-hundred, check out their other scary movie guide’s highlighting the creepiest and most fear-inspiring films from each decade.


Origins of Halloween

Halloween MoviesHalloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. The fall holiday has changed quite a bit through the centuries, and today Halloween is a holiday dedicated to magic, ghosts, ghouls, festive gatherings, and carving pumpkins. The day provides the opportunity to freak out your neighbor, scare small children, and hide fake spiders in cupcakes at work. It’s the ultimate dress-up holiday, allowing you to express that inner dinosaur, Wonder Woman, or devil that you keep locked up all year.



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