Tricks and Treats for Hosting a Spooky Hallo-Wine Party

Halloween is the time of year when you have permission to have a little scary fun! I’m taking the fear of out of hosting a party for Halloween making it easy to entertain your neighbors, friends, or co-workers. These tricks and treats are for a ‘Hallo-Wine’ party, but can be adapted to whatever spooky theme or cocktails you choose. . .Mimosas at Midnight, Boos and Brews, Cosmos and Cauldrons. . .or even a Bloody Scary!

I’ve pulled together some tricks and treats that are easy to scare up at the last-minute and on a budget, with a quick trip to the grocery store, dollar or thrift store. I’ve also included a couple of recipes that you can make ahead.

I resurrected  this post from my October archives . . . I hope you enjoy a scary repeat and a little spooky fun <|:>)


Trick #1: Pull out your best tarnished silver. . . no need to polish.


I picked up some worn silverplate trays for a Halloween party several years ago that were pitted and tarnished beyond polishing, for just a few dollars each at a thrift store. Ideal for serving up some decrepit and spooky ambiance for a Halloween party!


Trick #2: Skip the fancy tablecloth and use a ghostly white sheet and layer with black gauze and creepy fabric for your table. You can find creepy cloth at dollar stores, craft stores or Walmart.


Trick #3: Serve something scary like Ghost Pepper Cheese. . .


Make sure you serve it with a warning label. . .Beware.


Trick #4: Use some unexpected items for risers and to add some height to the table for serving. A vintage black scale or a stemless gray or ghostly white pumpkin can provide height and a place for trays of cheese or plates.


Trick #5: Serve some spooky wine or add haunted labels to your favorite vintage or bottles. Search Pinterest where you can download free printables and labels for your spooky beverages or brew.


Halloween wines are easier than ever to scare up at the wine or grocery store. Bogle Phantom is one our favorite red wines and available for only a limited time before it vanishes again. You can find suggestions for 31 wines for All Hallow’s Eve, here.


Trick #6: Add a spooky glow with votives or candles. Download free graphics and place under cloches with flameless LED candles. My spooky graphics are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy. . .enter Halloween in the search box for images and proceed with caution. . .


Halloween is the time of year when everyday items can appear a little creepy and spooky . . .and when chia or poppy seeds can resemble Graveyard Dust.


Trick #7: Give your cheese or appetizer a spooky description or name.


 Graveyard Dust Cheddar Cheese Ball, recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma

The original recipe calls for poppy seeds but when I went to buy them the price was scary at $6 for 1.25 oz. jar.  Chia seeds were cheaper per ounce, provided the same texture along with being a superfood with omega-3 fatty acids. Who says Graveyard Dust can’t be a little healthy? ;)


4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. smoked paprika

3 Tbs. mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1/3 cup chia seeds (substitute poppy seeds if prefer)

Crackers for serving



In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire, paprika, mayonnaise and pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Place the cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the edges of the plastic wrap and pull up, twisting it around the cheese to form a ball. Place the cheese ball on a plate and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

(If you’re not satisfied with the shape of the cheese ball after it has chilled, let it soften slightly at room temperature and then reshape. Refrigerate the ball for 1 hour more before rolling in chia seeds.)

When the cheese ball is firm, remove the plastic wrap. Place the chia seeds in a bowl and roll the cheese ball in the seeds until evenly coated. Transfer the cheese ball to a serving plate and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers. Serves 20.

You can find a printable recipe, here.


Trick #8: Witch Fingers are easy to spell from String Cheese. Use a knife to carve lines for knuckles and attach sliced almonds for fingernails with a little cream cheese.


I made Witch Fingers last year for my photo shoot with BH&G Halloween Tricks and Treats Magazine Serve them under a cloche as a specimen to up the spook factor, if you dare. . .


Add your favorite jarred marinara for a blood-red and spooky dipping sauce.


Trick #9:  Make mozzarella eyeballs with bocconcini and top with an olive slice to stare up at you from marinara sauce for serving.

Provide wooden stakes or skewers in a spooky skellie martini glass for serving.


Add some crackers, grapes, smoked or marcona almonds, walnuts, olives, fig preserves, and/or dried apricots to accompany your wine and cheese. dsc_3809-002

Trick #10: Last but not least, make some quick and spooky tortilla chips for dips or hummus using spinach tortillas and cookie cutters.

Spooky Spinach Tortilla Chips

I used the same method as with my tortilla shamrocks, cutting out spooky shapes with cookie cutters and placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spritz your shapes with olive oil or baking spray and sprinkle with sea salt, then bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes until tortilla shapes are crisp and just beginning to brown around the edges. Allow to cool and serve with store-bought dip, hummus, or make your own.


Black Bean and Olive Hummus, adapted from Allrecipes


1 clove garlic

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 1/4 teaspoon paprika

 1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained


Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add all other ingredients processing until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add additional seasoning to taste if needed. Garnish with paprika if desired.


You can find a printable recipe, here.



Bone Appétit and Happy Haunting!

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe ScoopWow Us Wednesdays,
Tablescape Thursday

  32 comments for “Tricks and Treats for Hosting a Spooky Hallo-Wine Party

  1. Sue Sigmon Nosach, Lake Lanier, GA
    October 6, 2017 at 7:34 am

    What a beautiful Blog! I grew up near Lake Norman and you show it off so well. Would love to see your storage areas for all of your Stuff! So happy to have found Homeiswheretheboatis!

    • October 6, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Hi Sue, Nice to meet you! There are a lot Sigmons in the Lake Norman area ⚓️🚤😀

  2. October 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I swear, you are SO talented. No need to search Pinterest for pretty much anything…..just come to Home Is Where the Boat Is and type keywords into her search button, whatever the subject!
    Happy Weekend, Mary.

    • October 6, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Boy, is that the truth! Mary’s talent just keeps on giving us amazing inspiration. I’ve been an avid follower since the beginning of Home is Where the Boat Is, and Mary’s blog is always fresh and exciting. ;-)

  3. Norma Rolader
    October 6, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I know you are the one decorator that could pull off such an awesome bootiful table and decor Thank you for sharing and opening your doors to us God bless

  4. October 6, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Mary, what fabulous ideas for a fun adult party! When it comes to entertaining with pizazz, you are the best! Happy weekend!

  5. Granny Gay
    October 6, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Another prize-winning presentation…a feast for my eyes. Thanks again for the inspiration…:)

  6. October 6, 2017 at 8:32 am

    This makes me want to throw a party! So much spooky creepy food and fun from the Queen of Halloween, Scary Mary! Great round up and tips, the perfect ending to our Halloween Tablescape Hop! Bring on the bat chips and ghost pepper cheese!

  7. Cynthia Raines
    October 6, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Those fingers and eyeballs creep me out! Haha Love your trick of tarnished trays, how smart is that! You go “Scary Mary”, such a fitting name! Lol

  8. October 6, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Love the creepy hand table accessories and thank you for sharing your recipes…Happy Halloween!

  9. October 6, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I would like to follow you around for a few days to absorb some of your creativity.

  10. October 6, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I’m loving all your bewitching creativity, Mary! As always, you inspire us to join you in fun. Your guests must be in awe, as we are.

  11. Sandi Allen
    October 6, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Wow! What a wonderful table setting! You are so Creative! Love it!

  12. October 6, 2017 at 10:13 am

    What a spooktacular table..I particularly like the tortilla cutouts..great idea! The GHOST peppers have to be a HOT item!! WOW!! 🎃🍁🍷🕸🕷

  13. October 6, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Mary, you do it again and again! I have a friend who will love every last detail of this post. I sent her the link this morning. She hosts a Halloween party every year and does a great job just like you. She will love these ideas!

  14. October 6, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Point me to the Boos and Brews tent please:@) Have a great weekend Mary-enjoy!

  15. Marion
    October 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    What a SPOOKTACULAR display!

  16. Joan
    October 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    You have a BOOTIFUL display!

  17. Marilyn
    October 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    What a creepy,crawly display,just perfect for Halloween. Fun is the key word!

  18. Cindy lou
    October 7, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    OMG! You put Martha Stewart to shame !!!! FABULOUS !!!

  19. Paula
    October 7, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Love your Halloween party plans, so cute it is spooky !!
    Is that fig jam, and little raisin toasts? sounds yummy !

    Thanks for sharing your fun party !

  20. October 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Such great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Rattlebridge Farm
    October 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Happy Haunting, Mary. If I was a guest, I’d be “goblin/gobbling” my weight in eyeballs and witch fingers, not to mention the spinach bat chips. Everything looks festive and sublime. Our local wine shop has some cute bottles. But I really need to get printable warning signs for DH’s Halloween food ( to go with the “You’ve been poisoned cup”). Love your playful, delightful touches.

  22. October 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Your spooktacular Hallowine Party is so jam-packed with fantastic ideas, I am overwhelmed. I’ve pinned it to my Halloween board so that I can steal your great ideas at will!

  23. Sandy Ferreira 63
    October 13, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Thank for your beautiful boards and site. You have a wonderful talent!. You make a lot of people happy with what you do. Sandy 10/13/2018

  24. October 16, 2019 at 3:03 am

    Amazing information, the information that you discuss in the article it’s amazing and I really want to eat. Wine makes the food more tasty and delicious. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

  25. October 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    If I was a guest, I’d be “goblin/gobbling” my weight in eyeballs and witch fingers, not to mention the spinach bat chips. Everything looks festive and sublime. Our local wine shop has some cute bottles. But I really need to get printable warning signs for DH’s Halloween food ( to go with the “You’ve been poisoned cup”). Love your playful, delightful touches.Altavista Costa Rica

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