The thought of facing Halloween sober can be frightening, but this spooky holiday has plenty of fun frights that can be found without a drop of alcohol.

Darkness falls across the land, for the Halloween hours are close at hand! The entire month of October is full of spooky fun (and a few frights!), but if you’re not used to doing it sober, you may be afraid that it’s now time to hang up the cape and fangs.

Fortunately, Halloween can still be a night of ghostly good fun while sober. For adults, there are many fun things to do on Halloween and many ways to celebrate the spooky season. So break out the sweets, turn up your favorite spooktacular tunes and enjoy these fall-time festivities while you celebrate a sober October.

Related Topic: Halloween Drinking Statistics

1. Feast on the festive flavors of fall.

Though it’s the season for pumpkin spice and everything nice, orange gourds and candies don’t have to steal the spotlight. There can be room for both sweet and savory fall food on your table this October. Check out the Food Network’s collection of Halloween food recipes, such as eyeball lava cake and hot dog mummies.

And don’t forget ghastly drinks, too! Break out your recipes for booze-free Halloween mocktails (there’s only room for “boos!”). Concoctions like “frankenpunch” and “witches brew” are a guaranteed hit on any table, and the simple goodness of spiced apple cider is also a classic.

2. Watch some spine-chilling films.

For a few spooky souls, it’s never Halloween without hair-raising horror. Curling up with a good Halloween horror movie is a fantastic way to spend October nights, and it tops the list of things to do on Halloween at home. Whether you’re into found-footage or more cinematic-style scares, there are plenty of vintage films and new classics to give horror buffs all the thrills and chills they crave.

Not into the morbid or macabre? You can never go wrong with classics like “Hocus Pocus” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas” for a comfy and cozy Halloween movie night. Whether you want something downright terrifying or just a little spooky, a scary movie marathon is bound to fill you with delight.

3. Host a pumpkin-carving night.

Make the most of the pumpkin season while it’s here! Grab your little monsters and have a pumpkin-carving night. If you want to invite your friends, the CDC recommends outdoor pumpkin-carving at a safe distance as a low-risk event this season. Set up some tables in the backyard, find a playlist fit for a monster mash and get to carving.
Pumpkin guts can get everywhere, so be sure to put down newspapers and have wet paper towels at the ready. For those who’d rather not carve a jack-o’-lantern, put out some markers, glue, sequins or spray paint to make their own frightfully fun designs. Bonus points if you eat pumpkin spice treats during or after carving!

4. Perfect your awesome costume.

Halloween makes dreadful nightmares and flights of fancy come true. It’s time to become someone else! Dress up for the season in the costume you’ve had your eye on, or make your own for something truly unique. Some spooky decor, a quiet forest or a simple black sheet are perfect for a photoshoot with your fabulous new look. Then, host a virtual costume contest over Zoom with your friends with awards for the most creative and funniest.

Related Topic: 10 Halloween Costume Ideas that Work with COVID-19 Masks

5. Create a brand-new Halloween tradition.

Who says you have to do the same activities each Halloween? If you’re looking for a way to spice up this pumpkin holiday, start a new tradition all your own. Maybe you and your roommates marathon all eight “Harry Potter” movies or indulge in a season of “Supernatural.” Maybe you create a new scary-delicious dish to share or a special craft with the kids using fall leaves. You could even pick a new book series to read, visit an orchard or a local farm. No matter how simple or involved your new tradition, it’s yours to create and celebrate.

6. Visit a haunted house or fall festival.

Halloween may look a little different this year, but there are plenty of scary things to do before and on Halloween. Haunted houses, fall festivals and pumpkin patches are welcoming guests with social distancing and other safety measures. Check the location’s safety procedures against CDC recommendations, then enjoy spooky scares and all things autumn!

You don’t need drugs or alcohol to have a frightfully fun time with your loved ones this spooky season. If you’re worried that your substance use has gone too far, it’s never too late to get help (even on Halloween night). Contact The Recovery Village today to speak with someone who understands your struggle and can guide you toward the help you need.

a woman wearing glasses and a blazer.
Editor – Melissa Carmona
Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. “Holiday Celebrations.” September 21, 2020. Accessed October 9, 2020.

The Food Network. “Our Top 50 Halloween Recipes.” Accessed October 9, 2020.

Deczynski, Rebecca. “16 Non-Alcoholic Yet Festive Halloween Drinks.” Bustle, October 26, 2015. Accessed October 9, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.