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How to throw a boo-tiful Halloween party, Southern style

Southerners sure do love an opportunity to throw a party and Halloween is, of course, no different. The ghouls and goblins are out on yards, pumpkins are decorated and set outside and candy bowls are being filled in preparation for what is sure to be another holiday filled with laughter and memories.

Beyond taking the kids trick-or-treating, throwing a Halloween party is a great way for friends or your family to gather together, enjoy a meal and fellowship — or just steal candy from your children. This is the perfect occasion to go overboard with your hosting duties. Serve any and everything you can in Halloween themed cups, plates and bowls.

Keep it seed-y
Chances are, between making sure your costume is just right and your decorations are just spooky enough, you probably won't have too much time to prepare an elaborate feast by the time your guests arrive at dusk. No need to panic — just make sure you've got themed snacks for munching while you finish getting everything together.

And what makes more sense the pumpkin seeds? You've already got a few pumpkins around, and those seeds inside aren't making any other plans. Pumpkin seeds are not only incredibly easy to serve, they're also something that people look forward to eating all year — or is that just me?

Here are 13 roasty, toasty and spicy ideas

Fuel up with easy comfort food
You're going to need fuel for the night ahead. Consider making chili or some other hearty soup or stew. Not only are these meals easy to put together, they're also easy on your wallet and able to feed a group (or more) of friends and family. Want to elevate your party? Serve your chili in a carved pumpkin — you know, the one you're getting all your pumpkin seeds out of. 

One-Pot Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Quick and Easy Chili
Vegetable Chili
Anne Byrn's White Bean Chili
Instant Pot Pork Green Chili

Witch's Brew
What is a good Halloween party without some bewitching adult beverages? Consider making a few big-batch cocktails — that way you're not stuck playing bartender all night. Also, by making batched cocktails you can add positively ghoulish decorations such as spiders (fake ones, obviously), eyeballs, worms and anything else you dream up. Pro-tip: Head to your local grocery store and get a bag of dry ice. Be sure to add it to your punch bowl just before guest arrive to give your spirit (get it?) a spooky vibe. 

Give the Good Witch and Bad Witch cocktails a try
Here are 16 more great ideas

Children of the candy corn
Handing out Halloween candy is one of the more underrated Halloween activities. Seeing countless kids dressed up in their best costumes sweetly asking for candy helps to serve as sweet reminder of your trick-or-treating days of the past. If you live in an area that sees a lot of Halloween traffic, make sure you've got treats on hand to pass out. If you're looking for the most popular candy in your state look no further:

Need some candy ideas? Take a peek at each Southern state's favorite

Photo (pumpkin seeds): Shaun Halloway/Unsplash
Photo (classic chili): Ramona King
Photo (spooky pumpkin): Leximphoto/Unsplash
Photo (candy corn): Dane Deaner/Unsplash

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Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously.