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Howlingly Good Games to Play at Your Sober Halloween Party

Ah, the cool final night of October is fast approaching-- the time when jack-o-lanterns grin from ear-to-ear and creepy skeletons peek at us from their coffins for the thrill of a spook. You yearn to go all out and throw a chillingly good Halloween party, but you’re a sobering addict, and you’re not quite sure how you can celebrate this -- the darkest of all holidays -- without an offering of spiked drinks galore.   

The truth is you can put together a terrific Halloween bash without having to serve a drop of alcohol at all. With the right planning, décor, and bloody-enough set of plastic fangs, you can ensure plenty of fun and good times for all guests attending. Don’t believe it? Wrap your mind around these four howlingly good Halloween-themed games you can organize for your party:

1. Throw a Pumpkin Carving Competition

Carving a creative face out of a pumpkin is a fine art, and the penultimate Halloween tradition. Why not pit your jack-o-lantern-loving guests against each other for a ghoulishly great prize? For your sober bash, set out a reusable cloth sack filled with small to medium-sized “virgin” pumpkins (of a size that party guests can carry with ease), offering them an array of carving knives next to seed collection bowls on a large table. Invite your guests to carve their own unique designs of jack-o-lanterns and the most popular one wins the prize for the contest. Not unlike dyeing eggs for Easter or decorating a Christmas tree, this competition suits the theme of the party to a “t”.

2. Host a Costume Competition

Because it’s the time of year where you can dress up as any famous personality or character you want, some people will go all out and show up in an intricately put together costume. Why not invite these die-hard costume dressers, and all others seeking to put on a different face, to come to your party? Inform them beforehand that there will be a costume contest they will all be automatically competing in. At some point of the evening, have your guests pick who they believe has the best costume, tally up the votes, and give out the prizes to the winners. To provide variety to the whole contest affair, give out awards for most innovative costume, best couples costume, scariest costume, and so on.

3. Host A Murder Mystery Dinner

For hosts who are looking to organize something smaller and more intimate, with just a small set of friends, host a murder mystery dinner. The idea is to assign a role to every guest sitting at the mystery table. Throughout the meal, players must guess who the murderer is, and his target secret victim. The theme could be based on the board game Clue or on the show Pretty Little Liars.  

4. Have a Scary Story Segment

In the past, as a kid sitting around a campfire at night eating marshmallows, you probably exchanged scary stories with your fellow campmates that scared the heck out of you. Wouldn’t it be in the Halloween spirit to have your guests scare each other while swapping scary stories? The activity will trigger laughs and plenty of spine-chilling reactions, that will entertain all those who listen in to the scary stories circle being held at the center of your party.

A Final Thought
It takes courage to throw an alcohol-free Halloween party at your home for the first time as you actively seek to remain sober for life. As in your mind, you may still be sensitive to the connection between festive partying and alcohol imbibing. However, by only inviting teetotaler friends and people who live healthy lifestyles and support your goal to remain sober, you are granting yourself permission to have a go at celebrating a fun holiday, without illicit substances being present. Though decidedly different from alcohol-infused parties of your past, you should still have a splendid happy time at your sober party and be glad you went out on a limb and exercised that festive side of yourself to your entire network of friends.


Caleb Anderson co-created RecoveryHope to help people with substance abuse disorders and their families.



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