Halloween Party Ideas

By Lisa McCormack


As a child, my Halloween parties were the best, because this spooky holiday also happens to be my birthday. Mom went all out. Every year she baked a cake shaped like a black cat and served it on an antique silver platter. A neighbor posed as a fortune teller and Dad told ghost stories. We bobbed for apples that floated in an antique brass bucket, and my grandmother’s cast iron pot with dry ice became a steaming cauldron of witch’s brew.


Memorable Halloween parties are easy to create with the help of spooky and seasonal decorations found at GasLamp. There is something for every taste, including this orange Blendo pitcher with five glasses, which is perfect for a Halloween fete for grownups (photo, right; $45 in B104). All of the Blendo glassware, created during the 1950s and 1960s by the West Virginia Glass Company, came in fabulous colors, including yellow, lavender, pink and turquoise. But this tangerine shade, with an ombré style of graduated shading, is apropos for Halloween.


This antique doll head with moving eyes gives the imagination flights of fancy (photo, left; $129 at B204), as does this fun cloth witch (photo, right; $30 at B318.)  Just think of how either might be used in a Halloween setting; the possibilities are enticing. 


Here is another set of items that will set the mood for your monster mash: old brass candlesticks and sconces for lighting (photo, left; assortment in Booth B-225). Nothing says “Halloween” like flickering candles that cast long shadows around a room.


Need a dish to hold Halloween treats or finger food? Pick an antique carnival glass bowl. Carnival glass was introduced by Fenton in 1907 under the name “Iridescent” glass. But it was so widely copied that, ultimately, all manner of iridescent glass from various makers was called carnival glass.  There is a gorgeous carnival glass bowl at Showcase 540 for $65 in a marigold color consisting of orange hues that simply scream Halloween (photo, right). Carnival glass should be the official glassware of Halloween; marigold-toned carnival glass tumblers would be best for toasting the holiday.


For children’s parties, that cast iron pot, an old washtub or brass bucket – like this one, photo below, in Booth B-236 – can become your container for apple bobbing or a witch’s brew. For extra creepiness, you can regale the children with a made-up ghost story about the container. (For example, “My great-grandfather found this copper bucket in an old barn with a note attached that read, ‘Return to rightful owner at 205 Hillcrest.’ And that address was that of a cemetery on the outskirts of town!”) 


Maybe you aren’t having a party this Halloween, but you still want a nice, spooky treat to savor for yourself. Visit the used book section in the original GasLamp. There you will find plenty books to intrigue or scare you while turning the musty pages.  Or, you could purchase a lovely silver platter with handles on the sides, like your mother’s (there are plenty at GasLamp), and bake a scrumptious black cat cake. I think that’s what I’ll do. Happy Halloween!


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