These great party games include all of your favorite Halloween characters. See more Halloween pictures

Halloween fun doesn't stop at trick or treating.

A Halloween party can be the highlight of the holiday, especially when you include one -- or many -- of the fun Halloween party games in this article.

The games in this article are great for kids, but even grown-ups will have fun playing them. Ghosts, pumpkins, magic -- all of your Halloween favorites are included in these games. They are sure to make your Halloween party instantly memorable.

The information in these articles will give you everything you need to play these games, including instructions, necessary supplies, and tips.

Ever heard a bump in the night? In the next section, we'll teach you how to play with those sounds with the Noises in the Night Game.

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Noises in the Night Game

Kids guess a howler's identity in this Halloween party game.

A howling good time awaits when you play this Halloween party game. You'll only need a great big box and some howling kids to play.

The big box should be about the size of a stove. Seal the bottom of the box, and tear off the top flaps. Turn the box over. If you'd like, the children can decorate the box with crayons, markers, or paint -- a haunted house would be ghostly fun. But whatever you do, don't cut any windows or doors. This game requires no peeking.

A child sits inside the haunted house. One at a time, the other children tiptoe to the box and give their best howl. If the child inside can guess the howler's identity, he or she can "escape" the haunted house and the identified howler must enter. Make sure each child has a turn sitting in the haunted house.

Take advantage of magic. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Disappearing Acts game.

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Disappearing Acts Game

In this game, watch as a person's head completely disappears into the darkness.

Nighttime is the right time to lose your head. To play this Halloween game, go outside when it's dark, and stand far enough away from someone so that you can see their figure but can't make out the details of their face (about 25 feet, depending on the darkness).

Keep staring at them, and their head will disappear completely! Try it with your child, or if you have an evening party, have the kids stand in a large circle and stare at the person across from them.

Gross out your party goers with our next game. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Eyes on the Prize game.

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Eyes on the Prize Game

Marbles and cooked spaghetti become eyeballs and brains in this game.

Something freaky is afoot when you fill a shallow laundry tub with unraveled brains, but kids will think you've really lost your marbles when you invite them to use their bare feet to search among the mess for eyeballs. A true test of toe dexterity, this game is good for endless giggles.

Cook and cool at least three boxes of spaghetti noodles before the party. Place it all in a shallow laundry tub. Add one tablespoon of cooking oil per box to keep the noodles from sticking and to ensure maximum slipperiness for your guests. At the bottom of the noodles, slip in three marbles.

Let the games begin! Set the noodle-filled tub on the kitchen floor, and put a chair on either side of it. On "Go!," two kids must race each other to find the missing eyeballs, using their bare feet only. They must pull the eyeballs out of the tub with their toes and deposit them into a small bowl next to the tub.

Whoever pulls out the majority of eyeballs in two minutes wins. Reward the winners with ped-appropriate gifts such as toenail polish or Halloween-themed socks.

Do your goblins love pool? In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Shot in the Dark game, a Halloween-themed version of the popular billiards game.

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Shot in the Dark Game

The Shot in the Dark game is a kids' take on pool.

Aiming for a game that will test your guests' skill and not your patience? An easy-to-make, fun-to-play variation on the game of pool can be played on the floor of any room.

For extra fun, use red and black magic markers to turn the tennis balls into eyeballs. Draw a black pupil and the rim of the "iris" with the black marker, and red, spindly veins with the red marker on each ball.

Place half the guests on one side of the room, each holding a dowel and a tennis ball. Place the other half of the guest on the other side, at least 10 feet away, and give each of them a cup. Then make them all lay on the floor across from their partners. Those with the dowels (players A) must lie on their bellies; those with the cups (players B) must lie on their backs, arms extended behind their heads, with the cups in their hands and the openings facing players A. (Player B must keep the back of his or her head against the floor -- no peeking!)

To play the game, player A uses the dowel as a pool cue and shoots the ball into their partner's cup. Player B cannot see the ball rolling, but player A can shout directions (move left, move right) to their partner in order to move the cup in the ball's path. If the ball gets in the cup, the two hurry to switch places and equipment, starting the process again. If the ball misses, player A must leave his or her dowel, run to get the ball, and start again. The first team to hit its target twice wins.

Get out your video camera. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Macabre Movie game.

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Macabre Movie

Kids' Halloween costumes can be the inspiration for your movie script.

Haul out the video camera and film a homemade horror movie. As you already know from watching them through the years, a plot is second fiddle to cool costumes, crazy makeup, and ear-deafening screams.

Use the kids' costumes to inspire the movie script, or you can provide garb by hauling out some old clothes, shoes, and costumes and letting the kids deck themselves out in whatever outfit suits their spooky style. Some old eye shadows and lipsticks are all that's needed to paint on blood, bruises, and some major under-eye circles -- they're all the rage with the walking dead. No doubt, the kids will have the screams covered. Let them spin out a basic script, and start taping.

For best effect, record the movie in small, one- or two-minute scene segments, and alternate between major close-ups, pans (sweeping the camera slowly across a scene), and zooms. The finished product will look less like a home video and more like a real horror flick. Add interest to each scene and build tension in the story by filming at different angles.

An ankle-eye view of a monster's sluggish footsteps; a look into the mouth of a screaming victim; a switch from the victim's eyes to the monster's outstretched hands and back again; a peek at the outside from the vantage point of a vampire sitting in a coffin -- team up with the kids to make the most of your imaginations.

After the filming is complete, hook the video camera up to the television and turn off the lights to enjoy an instant screening.

Have magical goals? In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Hockey Wizards game.

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Hockey Wizards Game

A broom takes the place of a hockey stick in this game.

If you've got a basement or if the weather permits, face off with a game of witch and wizard hockey.

The game is the same, but instead of hockey sticks and a puck, kids play with brooms and a ball. You can usually sweep up inexpensive brooms at the grocery or even dollar store.

Check out the broom prices in your town before sending out the invites. If they're more than you want to spend on a group of guests, merely add a line to the bottom of the invite that says: "Don't forget your broom! We'll be using them to ride high with some bewitching games."

Entice your kids to go walking through a spider web. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Caught game.

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Caught Game

Spin a spider's web for this Halloween game.

While kids are gobbling up the witches' grub in the kitchen, you can set up a web of yarn for a challenging, giggly game of Spider's Web in the party room.

For each child, cut a very long piece of yarn -- make sure each piece is about the same length. Wind each piece of yarn around, through, under, and over the furniture and other pieces of yarn in the room.

To play, each child will be placed at the end of a long piece of yarn. The child must follow his or her yarn to its end. Untangling this complicated web takes some inventive movements -- crawling under, jumping over, or winding around and around is usually the seeker's spidery trip.

Discover all of the newts in the nest. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Witch Hunt game.

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Witch Hunt Game

Kids hunt for wizard ingredients in the witch hunt game.

Unleash your guests on a Halloween scavenger hunt for all the ingredients young wizards need nowadays.

If you're sending kids out into the neighborhood, team up 3 or 4 with an adult. For guests too young to cross the street, hide these ingredients around the house or in the backyard. Challenge them to find, in an hour (half hour for younger seekers):

  • Eye of newt (dried bean)
  • Bat hair (dryer lint)
  • Snake teeth (grains of white rice)
  • Invisible cloak button (clear plastic button)
  • Mouse kidney (kidney bean)
  • Owl feather (colorful craft feather)
  • Dusty corpse (baking soda in small plastic bags)

Reward the winning team with fancy pens or pencils (look for ones topped with a feather or shoots of cellophane) they can use to write down their special spells.For the grand finale, make a big production of dropping each find in a "cauldron" in front of your audience. Hide a small bowl with 2 cups of vinegar inside the cauldron, and toss in all the dusty corpse collected. (It may be wise to have some baking soda -- dusty corpse -- on hand if you don't get much from the kids.) The chemical reaction you'll get from the kids will be totally explosive. As for the chemical reaction in the cauldron, it just safely bubbles and froths.

Now that you've stirred the cauldron, we'll show you how to play other Magical games in the next section.

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Magical Games

Kids of all ages can perform these tricks.
Kids of all ages can perform these tricks.

There's no time better for magic than Halloween. The magic tricks and games below take on a new life when played during a Halloween party. Many of these magic tricks are simple enough for kids to learn and enjoy.

Out of the Question

A sour future takes on a whole new meaning with this fortune-telling trick.

Shortly before kids are gathered, use a cotton swab dipped in lemon juice and, on different scraps of paper, write the words, "Believe it," "Never!," or "It is so." Allow each child to ask a yes or no question about his or her future, then have each choose one of the pieces of paper. Have an adult hold the paper close to a "magic" lightbulb (at least 60 watts). The warmth from the bulb will make the answer slowly appear.

Which Witch Is Which?

Smart kids might not believe in superstition, but they won't ever pass up a chance to test their brainpower. Give them a shot at this mind bender.

Arrange kids in a circle around a cauldron. (A large soup pot will do.) Hand the host child a witch hat to wear, and have him or her name one bewitching ingredient to put in the cauldron (eye of newt, tail of pig, slice of pizza -- whatever comes to mind), then the child passes the witch hat to the next person in the circle.

That person must don the witch hat, name the first kid's ingredient, then add his or her own ingredient before passing the hat. The next kid does the same, each kid having to remember all the ingredients named before. If someone can't remember the list, he or she is out. Last person in the game wins.

Quick Tricks

Hiring a magician is always a good move for kids' parties, but if you (or an older brother or sister) are willing to wear a cape, consider appearing before your guests' eyes as a mystical person of infinite powers.

Egg Head

Challenge kids to balance an egg on its narrow end. (Hint: Use hard-boiled eggs just in case!) They will find the task impossible. With a pinch of salt concealed in your hand, wave your hand over the egg, discreetly dropping some of the salt to the hard surface of the table.

Wave your fingers dramatically over the surface of the table in order to collect the salt into a small pile. With a flourish, balance the egg atop the granules. The salt -- invisible to the audience's eyes -- will support the egg.

Magic Knot

Tie a knot at one end of a handkerchief, and stuff it in your pocket. To start the trick, yank the handkerchief from your pocket, concealing the knot in your closed hand and letting the unknotted length of the hankie hang below. Tell the kids you are going to knot the hankie using only one hand and a magic word of their choosing.

Pull the unknotted end up toward your closed hand and secure it in place by holding your index finger over it. Say the magic word, and with a snapping motion, release the unknotted side by lifting your finger as you snap. Act confused and request another magic word. Tuck the unknotted end in the same position, and this time when you say the magic work and snap your hand, release the knotted end while keeping the unknotted end secure between your fingers.

Soda Magic

You can make a cup float. Pretend to take a drink from a foam cup, and then place your thumb in a hole in the back (which you made before the show). Move your fingers away from the cup so it looks like you're not holding it anymore.

Raise your hand with the cup attached (your audience must be in front of you). Use your other hand to pretend to try to grab the cup. The audience will see a cup floating, wiggling, and acting like it has a mind of its own!

The Sticky Wand

Tell the kids that you can command a wand to do whatever you tell it to. Grasp the wand in your right hand, with your right shoulder to the audience. Place the wand in your left palm, and close your fingers.

Grab your left wrist with your right hand. Turn so your left shoulder is now to the audience. While you turn, move your right index finger up to hold the wand. With the back of your hand facing the audience, command the wand to stay -- and open your left hand. The wand stays put.

Your kids will be sure to giggle with our next game. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Moonlight and Memories game.

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Moonlight and Memories Game

Arrange your kids in a circle and pass a ball.

Let your party guests test their memories by passing one or more "moons" on an fast-paced orbit. It's one small idea for parents, one giant feat for unforgetful kids.

Arrange the kids in a circle and start with one soft, plastic ball. Although kids go over the moon for an orb that glows in the dark, white or colorful balls are OK, too. In any case, the ball for little kids should be light and easy to handle.

To play, one kid (the starter) calls out the name of someone in the circle (say, Billy) and tosses the ball to Billy. Billy calls out the name of a person who hasn't yet received the ball (say, Sally), then he tosses the ball to Sally. Kids go on like this until everyone has caught the ball once. The last person must toss the ball to the starter, and then the ball must make an identical orbit around the circle again, following the same passing pattern. (To make the game harder for older kids, have them stop calling out the names as they throw the ball.) If someone drops the ball or throws to the wrong person, he or she is out.

Once the kids have the pattern down (usually in about 3 to 4 rounds), toss in a second, different color ball. Kids must keep the same pattern going with the two different balls. This gets a lot harder because things are moving much faster.

Keep going until kids have three balls going at once. If the players are less than seven years old, don't call anybody out; let them all stay in and focus on keeping the pattern going.

Celebrate Halloween with a tradtional Irish game. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Celtic Cards game.

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Celtic Cards

Slip candy into the shell of a walnut to play this Irish Halloween game.

Keep kids guessing by playing this game, inspired by the Halloween card games of the Irish.

Slip a piece of candy or a small toy under one of three halved walnut shells. Then instruct each player to watch carefully as you slip and slide the halves around the table into new positions. A correct guess wins the guesser the prize underneath the walnut half; an incorrect guess moves the guesser to the back of the line.

Captain Kidd was a famous pirate that your swashbucklers are sure to love. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Captain Kidd games.

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Captain Kidd Games

Kids become treasure seekers in this adventure game.

Pirates bring to mind Halloween excitement and adventure. Play the pirate-themed party games below for your own adventure.

Captain Kidd's Folly

Share the following story before handing each guest a secret map, which you can make using the recipe for tea-stained paper invitations. If you're creating identical maps for all the kids, photocopy the map before dipping the paper in the tea, and bury or hide a box filled with at least one treasure per child. If you're willing to draw a new map for each child, do it after the tea-dipped paper has dried, and bury or hide each child's treasure separately.

More than three centuries ago, Captain William Kidd, a famous Spanish privateer, was hired by the King of England to attack and pillage enemy ships. Captain Kidd attacked many a pirate ship, most from France, England's enemy at the time, and he earned a load of loot. But some say his heart was greedy, and word got back to England that he was pirating England's ships, too.

Angered by the pirate's betrayal, the King of England demanded Captain Kidd's head -- and with it, Kidd's ill-gotten stash. But the wily Captain was on the run. After he killed one of his own men, Kidd's crew mutinied. Soon he was alone and adrift in America. After burying his loot up and down the Atlantic coast, Kidd hid himself from the King and certain death in the shadows of Boston. He did a good job hiding his treasures. But Captain Kidd was found, arrested, shipped back to England. Though he protested his innocence, Kidd was hanged.

Nevertheless, Captain Kidd got the last laugh: The King found little of the pirate's loot, and three centuries later, treasure hunters around the world are still searching for it.

Captain Kidd, Hanged Man

This is a great game to play after telling the story of Captain Kidd. It's played like hangman -- where kids take turns guessing the letters of a mystery word (the number of letters are marked by spaces on a chalkboard, dry erase board, or piece of paper).

The only difference? Instead of drawing a limb of the hanged man for each incorrect letter, a part of a disassembled cardboard skeleton (find a hinged one at a party store) is added until the skeleton is complete or a child solves the puzzle.

All of the kids can take turns being heroes. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Rescue the Maiden game.

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Rescue the Maiden

Even princesses like to rescue the maiden.

Since this Halloween game involves speed and needs a running start, it's best played outside in the yard, though it can be played indoors in a large living room or basement cleared of furniture and breakables.

Have one child stand across the floor or yard, at least ten feet from the rest of the group. He or she is the guard of the maiden (use a doll or stuffed animal for the maiden).

Place an empty box behind the group. On "Go!," members of the group try to retrieve the maiden and run it back to the goal (the box) without being tagged by the guard. If a child is tagged by the guard before reaching the maiden, that child is out.

If a child is tagged by the guard while racing the maiden back to the box, he or she becomes the next guard.

If a child rescues the maiden and makes it back to the box, he or she wins a prize. Think of ideas that carry the theme such as crowns, tiny dragons, or little towers. At the end of the game, you may even want to give away the maiden.

Kids love to play tag. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Halloween version of the game, Ghost out of Water.

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Ghost out of Water Game

The kid who is "It" tags the other players.

Ghosts are "It" in this unique take on tag.

Name a territory a safe zone, such as a section of carpet in the living room, a porch in the front yard, a chalked area in the basement, or someplace else it's suitable to play.

Choose one child to be "It," and blindfold and place him or her in the middle of the safe zone. It counts to ten. All players have until ten to move around as quietly as possible and find a spot within the "water," the area surrounding the safe zone.

On ten, players freeze. It has 30 seconds (allow more for younger players) to feel around to find and tag someone, who then becomes It. Frozen players can bend and duck out of the way, but their feet can't leave the spot, unless they can tiptoe into the safe zone. However, if It hears them moving toward the safe zone, It yells "Ghost out of water!"

The player who was caught becomes It. If It doesn't tag or call anyone after 30 seconds, he or she is It for another round.

Think your kids are little angels? In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Angel Toss game.

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Angel Toss Game

Kids toss halos in this fun Halloween game.

Angels make a Halloween night appearance in this fun and lively party game.

Use strong tape to attach a plastic ruler to several kid-size hats (baseball caps and winter headgear work great). Make halos out of silvery chenille stems (you will need three halos for every two children). Half the kids don a stick hat. The other half have three halos each.

Each team of two -- a halo tosser and a catcher -- stands ten or more feet apart (depending on age) and has three turns to toss and hook the halos. Hatted kids can run and wiggle or stand perfectly still to hook their partner's halos. Let the teams who hook all three halos compete for the winner's title.

Create an obstacle course that even Frankenstein will enjoy. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Monster Moat game.

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Monster Moat Game

The kid playing the monster tries to tag the other players.

This monster of a game is a fun-filled variation on a classic game of tag.

Buy 9 x 12-inch squares of felt: You'll need three times the number of squares as there are children. Lay the squares around the party room or yard, creating an obstacle course. Be sure the squares are laid at varying distances, but all need to be within jumping distance of at least one other square. The area surrounding the squares is the hot zone.

Designate a child to be the monster. He or she must try to tag the kids, who are trying to jump from square to square, when they land in the hot zone. If they fall, get tagged, or get bumped from a square by another jumper, they join the monster. One caveat: Players must keep moving at all times. Although a referee helps, kids are usually quite anxious to point each other out. Last kid jumping wins.

Have a lot of kids that you want to get involved in a Halloween party? In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Devil's Gate game.

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Devil's Gate Game

Kids love this fast-paced game. This game is also a great way to include a large number of children.

Play this game outside. Divide the players into two teams, and have each team stand about 50 feet apart, arms linked.

The first team starts the game by yelling, "Devil, Devil, get me out of this place!" The second team picks a child from the first team by yelling, for example, "Billy, Billy, it's your turn to run the race!" Billy must then run across the field and try to break the second team's chain. If he breaks through, he can go back to his team. If he doesn't, he must join the other team. The last person to join a chain is the winner.

In our next section, we'll show you our Halloween twist on the classic Wheelbarrow game.

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Wheelbarrow Game

The fastest team wins the Wheelbarrow game.

Adding a Halloween twist to a traditional wheelbarrow race equals some serious party fun.

Divide kids into teams of two, and mark a line at least ten feet away from the starting line.

On "Go!," one partner holds the second partner's ankles in the air as the second partner races forward on his or her hands toward the other line.

Once they reach the finish line, they switch positions and race back to the starting line. The fastest team wins.

Worried that your kids have too much Halloween candy? In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Hunger-Pain Rain game.

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Hunger-Pain Rain Game

This delightful Halloween game makes creative use of your guests' trick-or-treat candy.

Cut out large petals and leaves from colored paper, and tape them around a large bowl (don't use glass). Have all the kids stand in a circle around the flower bowl, starting about three or four feet away, depending on the children's age or skill level.

Give each kid a cup full of candy; each cup of candy should be a different color or type. On "Go," all kids toss a piece of candy into the bowl to feed the flower. Kids who miss the bowl are out. Kids who get their candy into the bowl take one step back and toss again. Continue moving the kids back until all but one player is eliminated. The last player standing wins the bowl of candy.

Turn a classic dart game into a great Halloween party game. In our next section, we'll show you how to play the Farm Fresh Dart game.

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Farm Fresh Dart Game

This homemade dart game features a Halloween flair.

With a little homemade creative flair, a simple game of darts is transformed into Halloween party fun.

Start by using an orange marker to color small foam balls orange, and then, imitating the pattern of a pumpkin's lines, wrapping thin strips of black, adhesive-backed hook-and-loop tape (use the scratchy side) around the ball.

Glue or staple a large circle of felt to a piece of cardboard and use a permanent marker to draw point zones that get higher closer to the bull's-eye. Inspire better aim and plenty of giggles by making the bull's-eye a goofy face.

In our final section, we'll show you how to play the Find the Pumpkin game.

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Find the Pumpkin

Which one of these is a pumpkin? Correct answer: none. Let kids run wild and find the real jack-o'-lanterns.

If the weather allows, let kids test their sleuthing skills with this Halloween game.

Place mini-pumpkins and imposters (navel oranges) in different hiding spots before the party. Consider high tree branches (no climbing; tell the kids they have to shake the trees), the mailbox, sandbox, underneath overturned buckets, etc. The child with the most pumpkins wins. Oranges don't count.

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Spooky Tic-Tac-Toe

Quick -- block that ghost with your pumpkin and win the game!

Frighten a friend into playing a game of spooky tic-tac-toe. Your friend will fear more than just losing, especially if there's candy on the line!

What You'll Need

  • Magnetic sheeting: one black 5 x5-inch piece; one orange and one white 11/2 x71/2-inch piece
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Manicure scissors
  • Fine-point opaque paint markers: brown, black
  • 20-inch length of green satin ribbon, 1/8 inch wide
  • Ruler
  • Thick craft glue


Step 1: Using a pattern (download our Spooky Tic-Tac-Toe pumpkin and ghost patterns as a PDF), trace and cut out five pumpkins from the orange magnetic sheeting and five ghosts from the white magnetic sheeting. When cutting the shapes out of the magnetic sheeting, use regular scissors most of the time, and use the man­icure scissors for the small curves.

Use scissors to carefully cut out the ghost and pumpkin spooky tic-tac-toe pieces.

Step 2: Draw the stem and lines on the pumpkins with the brown marker; let dry. Draw faces on the pumpkins with the black marker; let dry.

Make all the pumpkin faces the same -- or choose a variety of spooky expressions.

Step 3: Draw eyes and mouths on the ghosts with the black marker; let dry.

Some are scary, maybe some are smiley... Let your ghosts express themselves!

Step 4: Cut the ribbon into four 5-inch lengths. Glue the four lengths of ribbon to the black magnetic sheeting to make a tic-tac-toe grid.

No cheating! Be sure those squares are all the same size.

Step 5: Begin lining up opponents to play!Note: Spooky Tic-Tac-Toe game by Cindy Groom Harry.

With all these fun and frightening games at the ready, your Halloween party is sure to be a smash with spooks of any age. Happy Haunting!

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