Setting Thesaurus Entry: Halloween Party


Jack-o-lanterns, rubber rats, hairy hanging spiders, fake spiderwebs, candles, orange and black garland, black bats on strings, paper skeletons, fake headstones, coffins, black fabric draped on the walls and furniture, black and orange balloons, strings of orange lights…


Recorded sound effects (howling, cackling, creaking, laughter, moaning, wind blowing, bats screeching, chains rattling etc) people laughing, the rustle of costumes, music, glasses clinking, people talking, doorbell ringing, people running up and down the stairs, yelling…


Pizza, chips, chocolate cake, buttery sweet candy corn, alcohol (if served), pop, water, sweat, chalky/greasy make up, hair spray, candle wax, smoke, Cinnamon, popcorn, perfume/cologne, hair products, stuffy air


Candy, sugar, chocolate, chips, frosting, pizza, spices, apples, water, pop, punch, alcohol, popcorn, jello shots, jelly beans, gummy worms, pudding, cookie crumb toppings, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie/tarts/cookies/muffins/loaf


The feel of starchy crinoline on costumes, sleek silky costume dresses and capes, the greasy feel of face make up, sweat under a hot costume, touching the fur of a dance partner’s costume, sipping from a cup and trying not to get face makeup everywhere…

Helpful hints:

–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1: 
After taping the last strip of fishing line from the roof, I climbed down from the ladder an admired my work. With the lights turned down, no one would see the strands in the hall. One touch against the back of the neck or face and people would immediately imagine a spiderweb and freak out…

–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

Erma set the candy bowl on the table and waited for someone to reach in. It had a buzzer inside that would shake the moment someone crossed the motion sensor. All those gummy worms would jiggle like live maggots and she’d bet money that whoever had their hand in there would shriek at the top of their lungs…

Think beyond what a character sees, and provide a sensory feast for readers

Logo-OneStop-For-Writers-25-smallSetting is much more than just a backdrop, which is why choosing the right one and describing it well is so important. To help with this, we have expanded and integrated this thesaurus into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Each entry has been enhanced to include possible sources of conflict, people commonly found in these locales, and setting-specific notes and tips, and the collection itself has been augmented to include a whopping 230 entries—all of which have been cross-referenced with our other thesauruses for easy searchability. So if you’re interested in seeing a free sample of this powerful Setting Thesaurus, head on over and register at One Stop.

The Setting Thesaurus DuoOn the other hand, if you prefer your references in book form, we’ve got you covered, too, because both books are now available for purchase in digital and print copies. In addition to the entries, each book contains instructional front matter to help you maximize your settings. With advice on topics like making your setting do double duty and using figurative language to bring them to life, these books offer ample information to help you maximize your settings and write them effectively.



Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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21 Responses to Setting Thesaurus Entry: Halloween Party

  1. Pingback: Setting Thesaurus Entry Collection | WRITERS HELPING WRITERSWRITERS HELPING WRITERS

  2. Heather says:

    This is awesome! You captured the feel of a Halloween party perfectly! I love it!

  3. And I have an award for you on my blog today! 🙂

  4. Wonderful post, Angela! It made me think about when I was a kid and I went to a haunted house. It was pitch black and you had to use your other senses. I remember having my hand stuck in a bowl of brains (cold wet cooked spagetti) and a bowl of eyeballs (raw eggs)!

  5. I’m soon editing my manuscript…again and your site will be so helpful. Thank you.


  6. Sounds great fun! Wonderful descriptions, Angela!

  7. Beth says:

    What a great idea starter! I have a (mostly finished) MG manuscript that has a couple of scenes set on or near Halloween. This should definitely help bring it up a notch or two! Thanks.

  8. That’s great–so glad this will help! 🙂

  9. Jemi Fraser says:

    Okay – that’s it for me. I’m NEVER sticking my hand in a bowl of gummy worms – never!!! 🙂

  10. Julie Musil says:

    You’re brilliant. I know my next novel will have an October party scene, and now I’ve just decided to make it a Halloween party! I’ve bookmarked this page for when I get to that point. Thank you for sharing your mad brilliance with the rest of us.

  11. Halloween is such an awesome time of year, and so many stories are built around it, I just had to do a setting for it!

    Happy Halloween, all!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  12. This post is so evocative. I can’t wait to read the Christmas one. 🙂

  13. LOL! My favorite holiday! Love your descriptions.

  14. Melissa Gill says:

    I think you must have snuck into my sister’s basement. This sounds just like her Halloween party.

  15. Kelly says:

    I love Halloween! A reason to dress up and lots of candy.
    Being a little scared is fun too!

  16. Every year for Halloween my husband loves to break out the creepy music. I think it’s the reason children avoid our house. Maybe it was the year I gave out pretzels. Who knows?

  17. Nothing like getting us into the Halloween spirit. Okay, my kids dragging me off to find their costumes today may have something to do with that, too. 😉

  18. Awesome! Thanks Angela. October comes around and I always want to write a Halloween story. I think because the words and images associated with it are so much fun!

  19. so u will understand how helpful this is for us on the other side of the world who don’t celebrate Halloween. The town’s Christmas lights have been strung up, they are not yet lit but that is the next big thing here. There is no sense of Halloween and yummy candy in the air.

  20. Fun and thought provoking post! Lots of cool stuff! Those CD’s never fail to get the heart pounding.

  21. I don’t know what’s ruined Halloween more — commercialization or crazies?

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