Fall is in the air… Pumpkin spice lattes are back in season, and the days are getting shorter. You might already be thinking about Halloween — and wondering how to celebrate this year as you social distance and shelter at home. Our favorite spooky holiday might look different this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be frightfully fun!

With a little creativity and a strong internet connection, you can throw a virtual Halloween party this year! Here’s how:

A woman in a Halloween costume gets ready for a virtual Halloween party

Choose a creepy theme

Lean into the current circumstances and plan a Halloween party around the isolation. Your party could be themed around a zombie outbreak, with everyone holed up somewhere to survive. Or, take your party to outer space and pretend everyone is in their own spaceship, trying to avoid an alien threat. Get creative and plan the rest of your party around the theme!

  • Have your friends or family dress up to fit the theme and have a costume contest with a virtual prize (like a candy subscription box) for the winner.
  • Find backgrounds for your video chat that compliment your theme. You can find great free backgrounds on sites like Unsplash.
  • Plan a menu and have everyone prepare the same snack or beverage to enjoy together (while apart).

Try virtual trick-or-treating

You don’t have to give up trick-or-treating this year! The Mars Wrigley candy company is launching a virtual trick-or-treat platform that starts October 1. Treat Town allows you to create a family profile so everyone can get in on the fun. You can even decorate a virtual door and choose avatars for your little monsters. Then, you can buy virtual candy credits that your trick-or-treaters can redeem for their favorite candy at retailers. It may not be quite the same as going door-to-door, but it comes close while creating a new kind of fun!

A mother helps her daughter trick-or-treat virtually

Play a group game

If you want to get the whole party in on a fun activity, try a multiplayer video game. Jackbox TV’s Trivia Murder Party combines trivia with some creepy fun. Jackbox games are available across a variety of platforms and gaming consoles, and your friends and family can join you from wherever they are, using a code. Check out these recommendations for more information on how to use Jackbox games at your remote Halloween party.

Other great Halloween multiplayer games include Town of Salem, an online version of the fun party game Mafia/Werewolf that can be played from a browser. In the game, townspeople have to determine who among them is a murderer before they all get eliminated.

For more family-friendly fun, try the multiplayer games Luigi’s Mansion and Plants Vs. Zombies. For older players, look into The Last of Us, 7 Days to Die, and Left 4 Dead for some cooperative horror survival games.

Put on a scary movie

There are multiple extensions or platforms you can use to share a video stream provider like Netflix and Amazon Prime, so you can now watch a scary movie with your friends and family remotely. These extensions also allow you to chat with each other during the movie, which will help you feel more connected as you share the frights. Make sure to pop some popcorn, turn the lights down, and don’t forget to share your reactions over the chat!

A couple and their dog video chat in Halloween costumes

Break out of an online escape room

Put your heads together to solve some puzzles — virtually! There are plenty of free options, like the Hogwarts Digital Escape Room from the Peters Township Public Library or try to escape from the haunted study from Enchambered. Simply share your screen over video chat so everyone can participate. Or, try an in-depth online escape room, like The Grimm Escape. A virtual escape room can offer the same bonding experience of an in-person game, but allows you to connect with your friends and family, wherever they are.

Visit a virtual haunted house

The Winchester Mystery House is notoriously haunted. An impressive structure built with staircases that lead nowhere and plenty of secret rooms, you can now explore this spooky house online with your friends and family. Roam the mansion and see what you might discover! You can also tour the Eastern State Penitentiary, a prison that once held Al Capone (and might still hold some ghosts!), or the Paris Catacombs.

For the little ones

If you want to skip the scary stuff for younger kids, you still have options. Send out a fun Halloween craft recipe ahead of time to all your guests and complete a project together. Or have a dance party and sing-along with a Halloween song that you stream over video chat. Make sure to send out the lyrics ahead of time so everyone can sing along!

Halloween is all about having a spooky good time with friends and family. Whether you’re throwing a monster bash for the little gremlins or want to get the whole coven together for some after-hours fun, we hope you find these party suggestions helpful. We’d love to see pictures of your haunted virtual Halloween parties, so be sure to tag us @CenturyLink on all social platforms.

Happy (Virtual) Halloween!


Kirsten Queen is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber. Since she started writing professionally, Kirsten has dabbled in nonprofit grant writing and communications, social media marketing, and now writes content about life with technology. In her free time, Kirsten likes to cook, garden, and hike in the mountains of Colorado. Her name rhymes with first, not cheer.