For Pre-teen Girls Only: The Best Scary Halloween Party Ever!

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As if being an almost-teenager is not scary enough! There comes a time in your child’s life when she is a little too old for trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and not-quite old enough to be with friends out in the dark night on Halloween Eve. Girls just want to have fun. You want your daughters to be safe. My husband and I have avoided this dilemma by throwing our own party when our daughters were pre-teeners. The planning wasn’t a lot of work and the girls had a screaming good time!

No costumes, but definitely a look

- Black is basic: Instruct all the girls to dress in black. At the party, have Kohl black eyeliner and white lipstick for a make-up session with ghoulish effect.

- Scary Hair contest: You supply the gels, mousse, hairspray. The girls bring their own brushes and combs. You would be surprised how inventive junior high aged girls can be with their tresses.

Food: Mostly Inedible and Disgusting

It’s not a dinner party. Have a couple of bowls of popcorn and chips, but delicious is not the point. Texture and context are. Have the girls sit in a circle in the semi-dark and pass around mystery substances. Encourage the girls to use all their senses. Some squeamish ones won’t even touch what you’re passing around. But there’s always a brash young lady who will, on a dare, take a taste of:

Eyeballs (peeled grapes)

Pickled Cat eyeballs (cocktail onion)

Bloody Worms (cooked spaghetti with red food coloring)

Fingers (Vienna sausages)

Brains (canned mushrooms)

Set off a Scary Room

- A back bedroom where the guests can put their coats. Darken the area, drape the walls with black visqueen.

- Set out some cobwebs and attach a giant fake black widow, mouse, human hand and/or bones.

- Cover the furniture with white sheets. Use a neon black light to create a spooky purplish glow.

- Put a flashlight under a fake skeleton or other ghostly decoration for an eerie effect.

- Play a Halloween CD with creepy sound effects.

Our most fun Halloween scare was having a friend “come to call.” The girls sat around in a circle while my husband told a scary story, his voice slowly building and trembling with each gory detail, each creepy knocking in the walls. Meanwhile, we had arranged with our friend Michael to wait outside by the window, watching from the bushes. As the story reached a crucial peak, my husband’s voice rose to a terrifying crescendo—which was the signal for Michael suddenly to begin rapping loudly on the windowpane. Well, the screaming must have lasted a full five minutes. At top volume. And it traveled through the house as nearly a dozen pre-teen girls swarmed shrieking back and forth from family room to kitchen to bedroom to living room where they finally collapsed in laughter.

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