How to Play Halloween Charades

Updated on September 19, 2019
cocopreme profile image

Candace has a broad range of interests that keep her head filled with strange facts, such as experimental cooking, games, and mad science.

Are you looking for some great ideas for Halloween party games? Do you want to play a game of charades at your party, but don't really know how to make it Halloween-themed?

Look no further. These are some spooky and exciting charades ideas that will be fun for kids' parties and adult parties as well.

Below you will find basic charades gameplay, along with some ways to make the game more interesting and to give it some Halloween appeal. In the second half of this article, you will find lots of Halloween word suggestions.

Here's your first Halloween charades clue: Keep scrolling for a happy Halloween party!

How to Play Charades

What You Will Need:

  • Timer
  • Bowls for clues
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Four or more people


  1. Divide into teams of two or more players (or you can play as one big group if no one wants to be competitive).
  2. Before beginning the game, each team should write about 20–30 words on slips of paper. Fold the pieces of paper and put them into a bowl. Each team draws the words that the other team came up with so that the words won't be too obvious. Or the host of the gathering or someone who isn't playing can write down the words beforehand.
  3. Determine how long each round will be. Typically each player gets three to five minutes to act out the word.
  4. Decide which team will go first. The first player from that team draws a word from the other team's bowl.
  5. Without speaking, the player must act out the word or phrase. His teammates have to guess what the word is.
  6. If the team guesses correctly, they get a point. If the time runs out before the team guesses the word, that player's turn is over.
  7. The other team gets a turn. Each player gets a turn to act out a word. The rotation begins again when everyone has had a turn.
  8. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the game is the winner. You can also play to a certain score, or not keep score at all.

There are many different variations of charades gameplay. If a question or conflict about a charades rule comes up, the host gets the final say. Play by the house rules. Remember—it's supposed to be fun.

How to Make Charades Halloween-Themed

Part of what makes charades more fun during Halloween is the atmosphere. Create a spookier game by trying some of these ideas:

  • Use a creepy Halloween bowl for the words. Or use something freaky like a skull.
  • Add "eyeballs" (peeled grapes) or "guts" (cooked noodles) to the bowl of words. Or add something like plastic bugs or rats.
  • Play Halloween music in the background.
  • Pick a theme for the night and let guests know to come in appropriate costumes. With everyone acting out words and phrases from the theme, costumes will fit the part.
  • Halloween decorations add a sense of festivity.

Play the game of charades somewhere spooky to add to the Halloween effect. Shadows will enhance the game. Here are some eerie setting ideas:

  • Turn off the lights and play by candlelight.
  • Go out in the backyard and use flashlights.
  • Have the game in the woods.
  • Build a campfire and gather round the fire to guess the words.

Add some Halloween flair to make an ordinary game of charades into something more exciting.

  • Pick a theme for the words. Make it something having to do with Halloween or something scary. Themes like Halloween movies, monsters, scary books, creatures of the night, or Halloween candy work great. Or you could pick a show or movie that all your guests know and love. For example, you can use the show Supernatural; the words could be the monsters and characters the Winchesters fight.
  • Use props to complement the words. Have an assortment of Halloween costumes or hats to use and other items related to the theme of your words. This will add hilarity to the acting.
  • Draw the words as well as act them out. A Pictionary/charades combination can be much different than the original and can be very exciting.
  • Pick partners and have two people act out the clue. This could lead to some especially riotous games of charades. Many people are shy about standing up in front of group acting out a word. But if they have someone else to act goofy with, they aren't as afraid to make a fool of themselves.
  • Award points to individual players instead of teams. This will make the game livelier. Give players points for guessing the word or parts of the word correctly and when other players guess the word they acted out.
  • Give out special Halloween prizes to the winning team or player. Rewards, especially when they are good prizes, bring out the competitive spirit in most people. Give Halloween novelty toys, regular-sized candy bars, or even gift cards as prizes.
  • Play telephone charades. One person will act out the word and one person will watch. Have everyone else line up facing away from the person acting it out. When the clue has been acted out, the person who watched will tap the next person in line and act out the clue that he or she just watched. That person will then tap the next person and act out the word. Keep going down the line until you get to the last person. The last person guesses what the word was and sees how lost it got as it got passed along the line. (See video below to watch a game of Halloween telephone charades in action).

Halloween Telephone Charades

Word Lists for Halloween Charades

Halloween Words


Body-Part Words


Monsters, Villains, and Other Creatures

mad scientist

Disney Villains

Captain Hook
Cruella de Vil
Doctor Facilier
Mother Gothel
Queen of Hearts

Vampires and Vampire Words

Bill Compton

Harry Potter Words


Halloween Movies

Family-Friendly Parties
Grown-Up Parties
Dawn of the Dead
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street
Hocus Pocus
The Omen
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Paranormal Activity
Monster House
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Ring
Salem's Lot
Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Charades Poll

What will you do to make Halloween charades more fun?

See results


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    Post Comment
    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Candace, what clever ideas to have a Halloween themed charades game for your party. I loved the ideas of adding the eyes and guts to the party bowls. Great hub!

    • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Bacon 

      8 years ago from Far, far away

      Nare Anthony - Thanks! I love Halloween, can you tell?

      leros003 - Thanks so much! Maybe you can give it a try this Halloween. By the way, I really like your Ferb picture.

      Cre8tor - There are so many great ideas out there for Halloween. Hope your Halloween party is awesome. You've got plenty of time to prep. Thanks!

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Reed 

      8 years ago

      Great party ideas! We do Halloween every year and this will help to mix it up a bit.

    • leros003 profile image


      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      This sounds amazing! Why have I never thought of this :P

    • Nare Anthony profile image

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Really interesting!

    • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Bacon 

      8 years ago from Far, far away

      Mmargie1966 - Thanks so much!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image


      8 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      That sounds like a lot of fun!

      Voted up and awesome!


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