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With staring eyes, tattered clothes and rotten grimace, mouth open to bite, this is how zombies stagger through movies, series, games and our collective imagination. An ideal party theme for Halloween. 7 tips for a successful zombie theme party…
“Spirit of the dead” is what the word zombie originally meant, but what we understand by it today is not the spirit of a dead person, but rather their will-less, decomposing body roaming around. In the voodoo faith in Haiti, there is the idea that a knowledgeable voodoo priest is able to transform a person into a zombie, a living dead person who is subject to his will and, like a remote-controlled robot, does whatever his master tells him to do.
In the first half of the 20th century, the figure of the zombie also became known in the USA and first appeared in horror films and stories. A particularly formative film for today’s widespread image of a zombie is “The Night of the Living Dead“* by George A. Romero from 1968. This film added two features that still characterize the “modern zombie” today: first, you become a zombie by contracting a disease instead of black magic, and second, zombies feed on human flesh and are a biting threat to all mankind.
This modernized zombie has long had its place in pop culture and the horror genre, whether in movies like “28 Days Later” or “World War Z“, series like “The Walking Dead” or games like “Resident Evil” or “The Last of Us“. From these, we also know the topos of the “zombie apocalypse”: the world as we know it is coming to an end. A terrible idea – but as a fantasy also wonderfully entertaining!
And therefore the theme “Zombies” or “Zombie Apocalypse” is also a super motto for a Halloween theme party!
What do you need for a zombie theme party? Do I need to create a zombie virus for it? Are the guests their mutual buffet? Who cleans up after the apocalypse?
These and similar questions must be going through your mind since you decided to unleash the horror and invite to the celebration of the living dead. Never fear! Here you’ll learn everything you need to know.
Fortunately, planning a zombie theme party isn’t about the whole thing, yet good preparation is definitely an ace up your sleeve! What can be enormously helpful: a party checklist with the most important To Dos.
The most important questions to ask when preparing are:
Whether you make a card yourself, buy one, or send your invitations digitally anyway, a thematically appropriate design and witty text look good either way.
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For inspiration, here are two suggested formulations:
You’ve probably seen it on the news: Hordes of infected undead are on the loose, lusting after human flesh. You are hereby invited to join our group of survivors and celebrate one last big party.
But beware: among us could also be one or two zombies…“
Do you already notice the first signs of this new virus that has infected mankind? I for my part suddenly feel an incredible appetite for raw meat. I wonder if it has something to do with the bite I got the other day in the supermarket from that maniac who suddenly attacked me? My complexion has become a bit paler since then and in some places the skin is already coming off in shreds…. Well, it should result similar to you, so you are cordially invited to the big zombie theme party on …“
One possibility would be to set up a party cellar as the laboratory of a mad scientist. After all, someone has to bring the zombie virus into the world, and the association is guaranteed to fall on fertile ground with “Resident Evil” players.
Set up a few test tubes in holders, as well as measuring cups with different colored liquids. Hang medical and general science posters on the walls and put a Biohazard sticker on the door.
Another idea is to stage a world in which the zombie apocalypse took place a long time ago, a postapocalyptic Wasteland like in The Last of Us. Your own living room is less suitable for this, but you can certainly lend a “lost place” flair to a party cellar or an outdoor location. Overturned and broken furniture (e.g. from bulky waste), artificial or preserved moss and artificial cobwebs help. If you want, you can even scatter some flour as a “dust layer”, but it’s better to clarify with the guests beforehand if someone is allergic to it.
But seriously, one of the most important ingredients for a successful zombie theme party, if not the most important, are good costumes. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of them in costume stores, as well as on the Internet.
But you can also improvise a zombie costume yourself. Old clothes, which you wanted to give to the clothing collection anyway, you can simply tear a bit and decorate with artificial blood. For face and arms there are very good zombie makeup tutorials, for example this one:
Instead, you can prepare very tasty food and drinks that look like zombie treats, but leave out the cannibalism part and some are even vegetarian or vegan:
No party can do without music and the main criteria for music selection are quite clear: 1. good mood, 2. danceability, 3. to the taste of (most) guests. For a theme party, however, another criterion can be added: namely, to find songs that fit perfectly to the motto.
A complete playlist of only zombie songs will probably be rather difficult to put together, but for kicking off the party or sprinkling one in every now and then, it’s a good idea.
Here’s a list of music with a zombie theme or vibe:
Have fun at your zombie theme party!
Do you love theme parties? Do you already know our ultimate theme party list with 111 party themes? You can also find inspiration and ideas for Halloween and especially for Halloween parties here on “Abenteuer Freundschaft”.
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