This fright night resurrect the Old West with a Halloween Saloon set up in your home. All it takes is a bar, a poker table, a signature drink and ghostly accessories.
Adults love a good Halloween party, too. So when friends dressed as ghoulish barkeeps, gunslingers, "Injuns" and painted ladies knock at the door, you'll be ready. As host, your job is to set the stage — and that requires little more than a bar to sidle up to and a poker table to cheat at. We'll help you with special effects like bone–picking crows, cobwebs, tumbleweeds and enough bar accessories to feed and water a crowd. The best part is you only need to decorate the entryway to your home and a one–room saloon, not your entire house. That frees you to get gussied up, pour a few drinks and socialize.
For a party as simple as this, over–decorating can be deadly to the subtle style you're working to achieve. We recommend a well–edited selection of Halloween décor. Set the mood from the very beginning with a scary greeter at the door. Dress this point person in a skeleton costume with a vest, hat and boots. Make sure guests arrive to the haunting strains of ragtime or old–timey saloon piano music for a party worthy of a ghost town.
Choose a living, dining or game room that's got its own entrance — this way guests walk straight into the party. Make sure you've got the two pieces of furniture that all Old West saloons had: a bar and a poker table. Buy, borrow or rent a real poker table with chip wells and a felt or leather surface. A piece like that means business and adds authenticity. Same goes for a tall wood bar manned by a bartender.
Set up the bar with the makings of your signature drink and quality bottles of whiskey, scotch, vodka and beer. Serve drinks in glasses that guests can label, and decide on a fun souvenir guests can take home, like a moustache swizzle stick. Keep food limited to bar snacks. Nuts, beef jerky, popcorn and classic gold nugget cookies require almost no prep and are easy to replenish.
Give guests a squeamish view from the bar. Scatter "tumbleweeds" and cover a bare–bulb chandelier hung above the poker table with cobwebs. (Less is more when it comes to the art of hanging cobwebs. Start draping webs from a stationary object and pull away one strand at a time until you've got a fine web). We added prints of trains and saloons to the walls, as well as "Wanted" signs of not–so–dearly–departed desperados.
Lighting for poker is important, but can be dimmed everywhere else. For ambiance, we hung a giant spider figure draped in white lights behind the bar. Candles are great, and flameless candles add ambiance, as well as the utmost in fire safety.