Are you stressed about the final months of the year? Where did October go! The holidays are right around the corner! If you’re feeling it, then everyone in your office is feeling it too. Some employees like to relax with a good scare this time of year. It releases endorphins, relaxes muscles, gets the adrenaline pumping. Are you worried that Halloween really put the “Rated R” in “Horror”? Well, you’re not wrong. But there are plenty of “safe-for-work” activities just waiting to pop out and scare the bejeezus out of you!
We’ll start with the classic. Everyone has seen the Office Halloween party episodes. This is your chance to wear your spookiest costume (as long as it doesn’t affect your work) or dress up as your favorite character. Bring some snacks to add to the All Hallows’ Eve feast. And get ready to boogie with the boogie man!
This comes hand-in-hand with any good Halloween party, but it stands on its own as well. With all of these hip, haunting, or hack costumes at the office, your employees may let their competitive side show. Don’t forget to provide the winner of the contest with a big treat!
Treat Baking Party
Does your break room have a kitchen? Does your staff enjoy gooey vampire bats and savory brains? It’s time for a treat (and trick) bake-a-thon! Gather your best bakers. Polish your sweet tooth. And don’t forget to save some room for dinner. You can ask everyone to bring in something tasty or even have a little Iron Chef moment right here in the office.
Classy Halloween Soiree
But I bet you’re tired of the cutesy and the gruesome. Or maybe you don’t want to spend time on a costume’s full regalia. Let everyone augment their usual shirt-and-tie combos for a classy Halloween wine and cheese party. Dress code: business. Costume code: elegant and understated. Fill the punch bowl, dim the lights, minimize the decorations, and swap the scary sounds tape for some Scary Connick Jr.
What is the best way to get into the spirit of the most terrifying time of year? By enduring an hour-long, horrific stroll through a nearly pitch black labyrinth of sets and characters paid to scare the pants off you. Most haunted houses even employ young folks, so not only are they safe for work, they’re often family friendly for the kids who can take it as well. Plus, an excellent team building exercise.
If you don’t have the event budget for a field trip to a local house, you can create your own. Ask your party planning committee to use some homemade decorations and old Halloween costumes. Recycle materials from last year’s party. A grid of cubicles. Long hallways. Cramped offices. These locations are perfectly creepy settings. And if your stacks of paper and mysteriously multiplying cabinets are starting to terrify you, you may need content management.
Watch a Scary Movie
Another classic. Many office workers may scoff – Scary movies are all blood, guts, and R-rated..erm…kissing scenes. Right? Sure, the hardcore horror movies dial everything up to 11. But you can still scare your coworkers half to death with such frightening films as this year’s A Quiet Place, Hocus Pocus, 1980’s Watcher in the Woods, Roald Dahl’s The Witches, Hitchcock’s The Birds, The Nightmare Before Christmas (good for TWO holidays), and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village…
Tell Scary Stories in the Dark
Some offices don’t have TVs or have strict policies about television at work. Instead of watching a spooky tale, try spinning some ghost tales of your own! There are books chock full of them if you can’t think of anything on the spot. And some employees can recite their own personal stories of glimpsing a ghost, uncovering a mystery, or getting lost in the dark woods.
Go on a ghost walk
If you have any local legends, you can take this campfire conversation to the streets. Follow a knowledgeable tour guide as they recount episodes from the darker nights of your normally charming city or small town. Some ghost tours are held on a heated bus, so you can stay cozy while ghastly tales have you shaking in your boots.
Summon a ghost
Tired of commuting? Have the ghosts come to you! Whether or not you believe in ghosts, it can be fun and electrifying to get out the Ouija board or participate in a medium reading. While you’re at it, a savvy employee can tell fortunes and read palms. Maybe add a little atmosphere with ethereal music. Or take the time to learn about the Victorian era séance craze with this fascinating documentary podcast!
Spooky Board Games
Is talking to a real ghost too real for you? Mysterium is a Clue-like board game about a ghost player trying to tell the mediums at the table how they died. But instead of talking, they can only communicate through dream-like pictures. Is Cthulhu more your style? Arkham Horror is a board game for large groups about exploring a spooky village in the roaring ‘20s and defending the universe against Lovecraft’s classic creations. Or try a more social experience with a hilarious game of Werewolf.
Office Pumpkin Carving
All of this doom and gloom has got us down in the dumps. And we almost forgot one of the best activities to do at an office Halloween party – Carving the ol’ gourd. Like the costumes, you can turn this one into another costume. Give prizes for the most creative pumpkins. The scariest. The silliest. Keep it light…by putting a candle in each Jack-o-lantern. Employees will be excited to take their creations home to show their friends and family.
Let’s not forget the reason for the season. Candy, of course! Open up the office to your employees’ children. Other businesses in the office park might be interested too. October can be a gloomy, inclement month. Having an indoor trick-or-treat fest lets kids shed their big, puffy coats and show off their costumes. For those office workers with fur babies, pets can participate too, just don’t give the pooches any chocolate. Who doesn’t want to see grumpy cats stuffed into witch costumes?
AS Q4 ramps up, we seek relief from the increasing pressures of the holidays, fiscal year end, budget questions, and bad weather. Halloween should be a fun way to let off steam and stay positive. There’s no reason you can’t plan activities that are both safe for work and a source of magical memories. Laughter is the best medicine, but screams let off the most steam. Happy Screaming!