pumpkin carving contest is great fun also. You can either purchase small pumpkins from a local grower or ask your guests who wish to participate to bring their own. For next years party considering growing you own. With advance planning you can grow pumpkins with minimal effort. Take all seeds and left over pumpkins, and just toss them in the desginated area. You won’t need to really do antyhing else. Just make sure your designated area is not going to be mowed. You might water your pumpkin plants next year when it is dry.
Some other fun and different things to do at your party include hiring a fortune teller, or asking a guest to give tarot card readings, have an outdoor party with a bonfire and ask your guests to share ghost stories, or have a horror movie festival in your living room. You can ask your guests to bring their favorite scary movie and have a vote on which to play or you can play them all and make it into a sleep over if necessary.
You could skip the party all together and go as a group to a haunted house attraction or cornfeild maze. These are great fun and this will keep your expenses down, you will not be the hostess and everyone can pay their own admission fees. If you are on a tight budget this year thats a great idea!