Skip to main content

How to Play Halloween Charades

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

Halloween games

Halloween games

Halloween Party Games

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

How to Play Charades

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.

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 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 around the fire to guess the words.

More Ways to Play

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. Make sure to 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 the 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).

Word Lists for the Game

In the tables below, find themed word lists for playing charades on Halloween. In addition to the categories listed below, you can create your own themes. Have fun!

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Holidappy

Charades Word Categories

  • Halloween Words
  • Body Parts
  • Monsters, Villains, and Other Creatures
  • Disney Villains
  • Vampires
  • Harry Potter
  • Halloween Movies

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 PartiesGrown-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

Need More Halloween Charade Words?

  • Halloween Words and Vocabulary Lists
    Over 100 Halloween words are included in these Halloween vocabulary lists. Lists of monsters, famous Characters, body parts, creepy sounds, and more.

More Halloween Party Games

  • Games to Play in the Dark
    Nighttime is the perfect time to play games with friends. The darkness adds a creepy thrill to the game. Your heart beats faster and your adrenaline starts pumping. These games are great for slumber parties, icebreakers, camp, or Halloween.


Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on October 31, 2015:

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!

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on April 23, 2012:

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!

Dan Reed on April 21, 2012:

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

leros003 from Orlando, FL on April 20, 2012:

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

Nare Gevorgyan on April 19, 2012:

Really interesting!

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on April 19, 2012:

Mmargie1966 - Thanks so much!

Mmargie1966 from Gainesville, GA on April 18, 2012:

That sounds like a lot of fun!

Voted up and awesome!

Related Articles