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Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts have long been a party game staple. They're lots of fun for the kids and let's face it, get the children out of the parents' hair for awhile so they can enjoy interacting with other adults or prepare other party activities.

With the proliferation of inexpensive digital cameras, every family has at least one, it's becoming popular to have photo scavenger hunts. Photo scavenger hunts have the added benefits of not needing to collect items from your and your neighbor's homes that need to be put back or returned after the game is over and because the items are just being photographed there's little risk of loss or damage.

Before the Party

To organize a Halloween themed photo scavenger you should first make sure that people bring their digital cameras to your party. The best way to do this is to request it on the invitations you send out. Since someone will inevitably forget their camera it's a good practice to ask a few people you know to have more than one camera if they wouldn't mind bringing them along for others.

Subject List

You'll next want to come up with a list of Halloween-related subjects for your hunters or hunter teams to photograph. These can be general Halloween symbols, Halloween-related activities, pop culture references, or even emotions. Below is a small list of possible subjects.

Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt List Ideas
  Pumpkin Jack-o-lantern Black Cat  
  Corn Candy Mummy  
  Scarecrow Witch Murderer  
  Bugs/Spiders Moonlight Silly mask  
  Candy corn Haunted House Scary mask  
  TOT bag Fangs Devil's pitchfork  
  Ghost Hangman's noose Skull  
  Skeleton Cauldron Spider  
  Terror Murder Psychopath  
  Fear Evil Zombie attack  
  Vampire attack Spooky Scary  
  Bloody Creepy Gross  
  Favorite Hitchock Movie Favorite Wes Craven Movie Crying scene from Blair Witch Project  
  Chest buster scene from Alien Shower scene from Psycho Pick your own favorite horror movie scene and everyone guesses the movie  

Simple Halloween symbols and decorations are easiest for individual hunters. More abstract subjects are best for teams so they can use each other as subjects in their photos.


To make the game fun and safe for everyone it's best to have a set of rules everyone must follow printed on the back of the subject list. For very young party goers this might include instructions that they don't leave the house or yard and for older children that they not leave your neighborhood. No dangerous stunts or playing with knives, no crossing the street, etc. It's always a good idea to include a time limit. Shorter time limits and longer subject lists encourage a frantic dash to find subjects and are usually more fun.

Playing in teams, one camera per team, is usually the most fun and the least work for the host. Teams should have equal numbers of guests and no more than 5 per team to encourage equal participation.

You'll want to include how the winner will be determined. If the hunt is more important than the photo, you can assign points to each subject with harder to find subjects being worth more than easy to find ones. If you want to stress creativity you could vote on the photos for their humor, popularity, or creativity. You could also use any combination of criteria and come up with a completely unique game.

Declare a Winner

Once everyone has taken their photos or the time limit you set has been reached, upload all of the photos to your computer. A multi-card reader is faster and easier than hooking individual cameras up to your computer and doesn't require additional software or cables.

No matter what method you've decided upon to determine a winner, you'll want to gather everyone around to view, discuss, and most likely, laugh at the photos. If you've chosen to let the group vote for the best photo, now is the time to really encourage them to yell and hoot for their favorite and boo for the worst.

I've always believed that no party game is complete without prizes. Prizes need not be extravagant, special gift bags, framed prints of the winning photo, small toys, or if your guests are adults nice bottles of wine or spirits are all great rewards.

Following the party, email copies of all the photos to your guests as a reminder of all the fun they've had!


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