girls ghouls, it's that time of the year again. Given how rapidly most of us have adapted to working remotely, it follows that Halloween is going to be virtual this year for some of us. So, why not kick off the office celebrations early with some spooky and quirky virtual Halloween party ideas?
A virtual Halloween party can be as fun as the one you’d have back at the office, provided everyone is up for some old-fashioned terror and chaos!
In this post, I’ll be taking you through a few virtual Halloween party ideas to experiment with this year. Happy hoooowwwllloween!
Read more: 30 And Above Virtual Holiday Party Ideas That Your Remote Teams Will Love
1 What is a Virtual Halloween Party?
A virtual Halloween party is an online celebration in honor of the dead (rather, the belief that the dead walk among the living). It is celebrated on the 31st of October every year and is also called All Saints’ Eve.
Virtual Halloween parties are usually held on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Teams to ensure everyone can convene at a common meeting point. Doing so recreates some of the fun you’ve come to expect from running into your coworkers at work!
People wear their scariest costumes and makeup. Working parents can bring their children in on the fun too! Every activity you associate Halloween with can be done online, from trick or treating and pumpkin carving to wearing your scariest costume and face paint.
Pumpkin carving dates back to an Irish legend about Stingy Jack, who tricked the devil on numerous occasions. The Irish believe that Jack’s soul roams the earth with a burning coal inside a pumpkin or turnip. And this ghostly figure is referred to as Jack O’ Lantern. This tradition was then taken to the United States where it continues to be followed today.
Virtual Halloween party ideas can involve contests to judge costumes, pumpkin carving, storytelling, and much more.
2 How Do You Do An Online Halloween Party?
2.1 Send scary invites for the party
The hype is where half the fun is. If you want to get your remote team excited about the festivities, start with the invitations. Design them using editing tools like Canva or Crello and/or invitation templates such as the ones on Greetings Island.
Here are some suggestions to include in the writing;
- You are inBITEd to the biggest scarefest of 2023!
- Join in on DD/MM/YY at 00.00 AM if you don’t want to be labeled a BOO-re!
- It’s a Ghostly Affair- Are you feeling brave enough?
Be sure to include typical Halloween designs on the backdrop of the e-vite, such as a white ghost, spider webs, a coffin, bats, witches, or black cats. Let your imagination run free!
2.2 Decide on themes and costumes
Decide collectively on a theme. Costumes add a fun dimension to your party, so encourage everyone to come up with an innovative costume that will be scored on how creatively terrifying it is! If costumes and props aren’t up anyone’s street, consider opting for a simple black and orange theme for the party decor and background. You could also ship the team black t-shirts (based on what size they wear, or free sizes) with a picture of a Jack O’Lantern emblazoned on the front and have them wear it while logged in.
This year’s party is going to have to be on a Monday since the 31st falls on a Sunday. On the bright side, nothing can chase the Monday blues away like cosplay, right?
2.3 Select a video conferencing platform
Zoom works well for mass participation, but you can also use Skype, Loom, Whereby or Microsoft teams depending on what platform’s audio and video capabilities work well for everyone.
2.4 Choose an activity to do together
Check-in with everyone for suggestions on activities to do as a group. From contests to team-building games and questions, make sure you have enough variety to keep the meeting interesting!
2.5 Have themed snacks and drinks
Halloween comes just once a year so don’t hold back on the sugar! You can either set aside a company budget to ship a party box to each employee before the date of the party, or have them choose to make a selection of creative snacks, such as spider-web cookies, jelly babies, or glasses of cranberry juice or red wine to look like blood!
3 15 Spooky Virtual Halloween Party Ideas for Work
3.1 Halloween Bingo
Break the ice with Halloween Bingo, specially created for the occasion. You can create it on Bingocardcreator or use Teambuilding’s Halloween bingo template. If you’re opting for the former, you can search for Halloween under categories and customize a card to print and/or download.
Once done, you can give the cards to each player and call off words at random. If the player has the word on their card, they have to cross it off.
3.2 Costume contest
Who is going to take home the trophy? Is it Frankenstein, the mummy bandaged in rolls of TP, the person wearing the werewolf mask, or the wicked witch with green face paint on?
Ask your event goers to dress up as any character, either from a horror movie or mythological story. This year could have some surprising entries. Someone could dress up as Morticia from the Addams family, for example. Or if there’s a Potterhead in your team, he or she could come dressed as a Dementor, or Lord Voldemort himself! Announce prizes for the scariest lifelike costume.
3.3 Virtual trick or treat
Who says treats are only for the kids? Host a virtual trick or treat by
- Unlocking access to stock images, wallpapers, app downloads or store credit to select etailers.
- Send one of these to each member as a “treat”.
- Prepare a few joke questions, brainteasers or puzzles for the “trick” part members that members can ask each other.
- The gift giver has to email the treat if the riddle is answered correctly.
3.4 Virtual Halloween Pictionary
Play a Halloween-themed Pictionary using photo clues even your whiteboard for freehand drawing in real-time!
Find a scary picture online. Give out clues verbally describing it. Set a timer (optional) for the players to guess the photo you’re looking at on your screen. They can type in their guesses until the reveal! Let me explain it with an example. Say I’m describing an arrangement of bones in an underground chamber. The correct answer would be ‘Catacombs.
3.5 Virtual house of horrors
You know those horror mazes in amusement parks where there’ll be an actor dressed as a clown or ghoul ready to jump out at you from the shadows? Why not recreate this hair-raising thrill online with a virtual tour of a haunted house?
There are virtual guided and unguided tours of real, and fake haunted houses. You can book tickets in advance for the group. I’d recommend the Winchester mystery 360 degree tour which is an immersive experience of Sarah Winchester’s mansion. If that isn’t creepy enough for you, try making it through Virtual Shocktober. This is a virtual walkthrough of the haunted halls of Carlheim Manor in Virginia, which has fascinated historians and paranormal investigators for decades.
If you’re booking the team in for this terrifying session, everyone will get a first-hand account of the hauntings and paranormal activities that reside in the halls, dating all the way back to 1872. It costs $4 per ticket. I’m getting goosebumps already!
3.6 Movie Marathon
If you’ve got the time and want a break from horror (with more horror, of course!) dedicate an hour to a group screening of a movie. Collect a list of movie titles from your group and take a vote on the one to watch on Halloween. Here are some suggestions;
- The Shining
- The Conjuring
- Amityville Horror
- Tales from the Cryptkeeper (animation)
- Corpse Bride
- Scooby-Doo, the Movie
- The Haunted Mansion
3.7 Halloween stories
The signature tunes of the Tales from the Cryptkeeper and the Addams family are playing in my head as I’m writing this! This is one of the most creative virtual Halloween party ideas that test your group’s resilience as the story’s suspense builds up! It's also a great team-building activity because everyone can get in on the story and take turns to continue where the previous person left off.
If you need a little help in storytelling, check out some of Creepypasta’s top posts with the most upvotes! I personally find Japanese kaidan stories creepy, such as the one about the laughing skeleton, Teke-Teke, and Kuchisake-Ona.
Warning: Teke-Teke is an urban legend about a vengeful spirit haunting railways. Read it at your party only if everyone’s feeling brave enough to sit through it!
3.8 Murder Mystery
Halloween night is the perfect hour to schedule your team for a virtual murder mystery! Solving for clues in good company is a great way to get over nameless fears.
Murdermysteryco by Detective Ness hosts a Zoom Halloween party that accommodates up to 8 guests.
Once you reserve your party, you’ll get two emails, one that contains the suspect list and the other, an invitation. No spoilers! Each guest can then access their characters’ websites in order to get into the mindset required to play. You can also use The Whodunnit app to join or create your own murder mystery party!
Ghostshipmurdermysteries is another great facilitator for mystery games. They currently offer 6 games, from Murder in the West Wing (6 guests) to That Show About Love (10 guests). You have to fill out a form to help them cast you in the right character. The experience lasts for about 2 hours
Murder mysteries online bring your team together to work out puzzles and riddles. It gets them to think outside the box and apply their problem-solving skills in a fun setting. There’s also the thrill of knowing all the pieces came together thanks to everyone’s effort. Win-win!
3.9 Zombie mode
The Zombie Game is a version of Never Have I Ever -Halloween edition. Players have to admit to something that they’ve done or thought zoned out. Whoever ticks off most items on the questionnaire template is your office’s official Zombie! Some examples include
- Waking up thinking Friday is a Saturday and hitting snooze.
- Forgot a coworker’s birthday
- Leaving a non-food item in the fridge.
- Eating something with the wrapping still on.
- Brushing your teeth again
- Missed a meeting
- Knocking on someone’s door even when they told you they’re away.
- Accidentally hit “reply all”
- Sleep talked when someone called your phone.
3.10 Guess whoooo?
Guess Whoooo? Is a guessing game where the remote team is invited to determine the identity of the people based on a series of questions. The appointed facilitator will first collect responses to common questions sent through a poll or anonymized survey. For example,
- Earliest memory of something frightening.
- Last scary movie watched (any language)
- What scares you the most? (this can be a multiple-choice question- with answers such as clowns, ghosts, The Slender Man)
- Favorite halloween story
Based on the responses received, have a copy matching the answer to the responder to refer to when the guesses come in. If you prefer to do this while on the call, simply ask the question and have everyone send you their answer privately. You should then share the answer so that everyone can match it to the correct participant. They may even do a process of elimination to close in on the identity!
3.11 Carve it!
Hold a good ol’ timed carving contest! Participants will need to get a pumpkin (maybe 2- one to practice on). The bigger it is in size, the better. Everyone should position their pumpkins and candles or lamps in front of the camera so that you or whoever is judging can clearly see the progress. It's optional for the staff to rope in a family member or friend for some help. Set a time limit of 15- 25 minutes for the contestants.
Extra points for faces that are grotesque looking. Once everyone’s done, they can light the lamp or candle and arrange it either around the pumpkin or inside it. Dim the overhead lights and voila! Instant Halloween!
3.12 Virtual Escape room
We played an Escape Game getaway about two weeks ago and the experience of playing “Prison Break” got our minds racing! Send your virtual team into an online escape room where they will be locked in for an hour. The goal is to make your escape before time runs out.
There are a variety of online escape rooms and remote adventures to choose from, like the EscapeGame, mysteryrooms or the ExpeditionEscape. Like virtual murder mysteries, you’ll get clues (some within plain sight) that are arranged strategically around the room, while the host will supply you with clues to get you thinking in the right direction.
3.13 Scary movie trivia
Test your own and everyone else’s knowledge on horror movies with a virtual trivia night for Halloween!
If you want ideas for questions, bigquizthing has a set of 30 questions (with answers) on horror films. You can also check out Kidadl for more trivia categories, such as
Slasher movies, the ‘90s or Disney.
Based on the 1920’s silent expression film, this virtual Halloween party idea is a live enactment of the movie. There’s considerable planning involved here, beginning with checking in with the team to see which members would be interested in being cast. Once you have your primary and supporting actors, allow time for them to create a script according to the story and rehearse dialogues before the show.
Lights out, camera, ACTION! Sit back with your popcorn and enjoy your staff putting on a spook-tacular performance for their coworkers!
3.15 Virtual magic show
Wind down the party with a magic show. Thriver’s team of professionals conducts a Virtual Magic Spook Show which is highly interactive and immersive.
It's a tad pricey, at $4950 but worth it if you want to be left astounded with acts of mentalism, sleight of hand, fortune-telling, and mindreading.
4.1 What are fun activities for Halloween?
Fun virtual Halloween party ideas and activities include deciding on the
Think how fun it is to settle for a spooky theme to the tune of a horror movie, book or series.
The menu can include creative presentations of food and drinks, with interesting names such as
- Bloody Mary - any red-colored drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
- Poisonberry pie (instead of boysenberry!)
- Finger sandwiches -cut the sandwiches in the shape of actual fingers. You can also arrange fries on a cutting board to look like two hands with ketchup trailing from the wrist to make it look like the hands were severed!)
- Black cat shaped cupcakes
Dress up in a terrifying character of your choice. Suggestions include vampires, witches, mummies, ghosts, Jack Sparrow’s ghost (pirates of the Caribbean anyone?).
If you’re looking for decor suggestions, prettyprintablesink has several to offer. Here are some you could try out at home;
- Fake cobwebs designed with a spool of thread.
- Miniature clay pumpkins.
- A broom (every witch needs a broom,right?)
- A skull shaped bowl of candy
4.2 How do you host a virtual Halloween contest?
The steps to host a virtual Halloween contest are:
- Provide adequate descriptions of the contests being held in the event.
- Mention the rules and time per event and the prizes to be won in the invite.
- Arrange for the call and make use of the breakout rooms to make sure everyone can be watched during the contest.
- Keep the background festive using the platform’s background scenes.
- Start a countdown as time runs out
- Collect all responses in written or picture formats.
- Set up a voting system either separately or on the platform the call is on.
- Announce the winner based on the votes
- Thank everyone for their participation!
4.3 How do you make a virtual Halloween party fun?
- Candy-wine pairing
Does your team know their Cabernets from their Cadburys? Answer life’s unsolved mystery of which wine pairs best with your favorite candy. The contestant with the best pairing wins!
At the count of 3, all participants make face masks with craft supplies available. Everyone will need a paper, color markers or a handkerchief that can go around the face. They’ll need to set a design first and color it in before cutting the shape out. The person with the most terrifying mask gets more Halloween candy!
- Creepy cookie decorating
Bake a set of plain cookies (or buy them from the store).Design creepy patterns on them, such as a witches’ pointy hat, cat or owl eyes, spider webs, or green frosting. Show off your work on camera for the rest of the team to admire your handiwork!
4.4 What games can you play at a Halloween party?
Paid virtual Halloween party ideas
- Virtual murder mysteries
- Online escape rooms
- Virtual magic shows
- Horror maze
- Costume contest
- Halloween Bingo
- Halloween trivia hour or Witching hour
- Spooky Storytelling