Top 15 Unique Halloween Costume Contest Prize Ideas 2023

The 2023 Halloween moment is arriving in a few days. To add more fun, you can organize a Halloween contest party in your place. To make the event even more exciting and memorable, here I have found 15 unique Halloween costume contest prize ideas. Check out them below.

halloween costume contest prize ideas

Top 15 Unique Halloween Costume Contest Prize Ideas 2023

“What to give prizes to a Halloween party?” It’s time to discover 15 fantastic prize ideas for the Halloween costume contest. Each is different. Some are best for adults, some for kids, and some can be given to both. Let’s get started.

#1. Customized Trophy:

What makes a customized trophy special is its uniqueness. You can design it to match the theme of your party—whether it’s a classic haunted house motif or a more whimsical pumpkin patch theme. 

You could even add LED lights to make it glow in the dark or embed a small sound device to play spooky tunes or sounds when lifted. This makes the trophy a one-of-a-kind collector’s item, elevating the excitement of the competition.

In addition, a skeleton trophy is another idea for customizing the prize. This can be a DIY project, or you could have it professionally made. Either way, it will surely make the winner feel like they have won something truly special.

#2. A Night at a Haunted House

Looking for Halloween costume contest prize ideas for adults? A haunted house ticket can be the best option. It is not just another pass; it’s a ticket to a spine-chilling adventure. Make this prize more exciting by partnering with a renowned haunted house in your area, perhaps one that tells a local legend or folklore. The winning contestant gets to face their fears and go on a haunting journey, making the prize more memorable than a mere object.

Moreover, you could also provide a VIP pass that allows the winner to skip the line and have exclusive access to certain sections of the haunted house. This adds an extra level of prestige to the prize.

#3. Halloween Movie Night Basket

The Halloween movie night basket is the prize all about the atmosphere. You’re not just giving away DVDs or streaming service vouchers; you’re giving the gift of a cozy night in. Pack some fuzzy socks, a plush blanket, popcorn, a selection of candy, and maybe even a mini projector. It’s a complete movie night package tailored for Halloween, creating a special night that will be remembered fondly.

Also, make sure to include a selection of classic Halloween movies, such as “Hocus Pocus,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “Beetlejuice,” to truly set the mood.

#4. Mystery Box

The appeal of a mystery box lies in the anticipation and excitement of the unknown. Pack it with an assortment of quality items that cater to all tastes. You could include a variety of smaller prizes like gourmet chocolates, a quirky Halloween gadget, or even a gift card to a popular restaurant. The idea is to keep them guessing and delighted by the unexpected.

Furthermore, the mystery box could also have a Halloween twist to it. You could decorate it with spooky motifs or wrap it in spiderwebs and cobwebs for added effect.

#5. Cooking Class Voucher

Cooking is a skill that lasts a lifetime. A voucher for a Halloween-themed cooking class gives the winner something more than a single evening of fun; it gives them a new skill set. They’ll learn how to make creepy yet tasty dishes like stuffed “mummy” bell peppers or “bloody” raspberry desserts. And the best part? They get to eat their creations! It’s a unique and practical prize that will surely be appreciated.

Moreover, you could also provide a cookbook with Halloween recipes as an additional gift to the winner. This way, they can continue their spooky culinary adventures even after the contest is over.

#6. Seasonal Home Makeover

Seasonal home makeovers like fall-themed table runners, pumpkin-spiced scented candles, or even a decorative skull can transform a home into a Halloween haven. It’s a prize that adds to the seasonal atmosphere, making the whole house a part of the Halloween celebration. You could also include a budget for the winner to buy additional decor items, giving them the freedom to truly make their home their own.

You could also offer a professional Halloween decorating service as an alternative prize. This way, the winner gets to sit back and relax while someone else transforms their home into a spooky paradise.

#7. Tarot Card Reading

A tarot card reading session is both intriguing and a conversation starter. Whether the winner is into mysticism or simply curious, a session with a professional tarot card reader offers both entertainment and introspection. It’s a prize that keeps people talking long after the Halloween decorations are down. You could also offer other types of readings, like palm or tea leaf readings, for a different experience.

You could also gift the winner a personalized tarot card deck. This way, they can continue their own journey into the world of divination and symbolism.

#8. Escape Room Experience

An escape room experience is both interactive and intellectually stimulating. Opt for a Halloween-themed or horror escape room to keep the vibe consistent. This prize offers an adventure and mental challenge, turning an ordinary outing into a quest that the winner will chat about for weeks. It’s an experience that creates shared memories and strengthens bonds.

Furthermore, you could also provide the winner with a special escape room kit to take home and continue the fun. This way, they can bring their escape room experience to their friends and family.

#9. Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard Trip

Fall is synonymous with pumpkins and apples, making a trip to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard the perfect Halloween prize. This outing lets you pick out the biggest, roundest pumpkin or hand-pick some crisp apples while enjoying all the seasonal festivities and treats. It’s a fun and wholesome experience that captures the essence of fall.

You could also provide a picnic basket filled with Halloween-themed snacks and drinks for the winner to enjoy during their trip. This adds an extra touch of thoughtfulness to the prize.

#10. Handmade DIY Craft Items

Want Halloween costume contest prize ideas DIY? Here you can go. Handmade DIY items offer a sentimental touch that store-bought items simply can’t match. Whether it’s a personalized trick-or-treat bag with the winner’s name embroidered on it or a set of hand-painted DIY Halloween ornaments, these treasures will be cherished and used year after year. 

You could even have the winner create their DIY Halloween project with a crafting kit and instructions. Moreover, you could also offer a subscription to a monthly DIY craft box as an alternative prize. This way, the winner can continue their creative pursuits well beyond Halloween. 

#11. Pet Costumes

Pet costumes serve as an adorable and share-worthy prize. Just imagine the Instagram potential! Whether it’s a small cape that turns a pup into Count Dogula or a witch’s hat for a cat, these costumes will bring smiles and laughter, enhancing the community and social aspects of your event. You could even have a “best pet costume” contest to involve all the furry friends in the fun. 

Another idea is to provide a gift card to a pet store or grooming salon as an alternative prize for those who don’t have pets but still want to participate and support their local animal community. This way, everyone can join in on the Halloween spirit and give back to a good cause. 

#12. Cash Prize

A cash prize offers the ultimate flexibility. The winner is free to spend it however they choose, whether that’s investing in a high-end Halloween decoration for next year or splurging on a luxurious dinner. It’s a universally appealing prize that ensures the winner feels truly rewarded.

You could also donate a portion of the cash prize to a charity or organization supporting community events and initiatives. This way, not only does the winner benefit but so does the local community. 

#13. Scary Shape Desert and Candy Treat

For the sweet tooth, a scary-shaped dessert and candy treat is a must-have prize for any Halloween event. From spooky cupcakes to ghoulish cookies, these treats are delicious and add to the overall theme and ambiance of the occasion. You could even have a bake-off competition among participants or offer a “make your own” dessert kit as an alternative prize.

Furthermore, you could also provide a year’s supply of candy to the winner. This way, they can continue indulging in their love for sweets long after Halloween is over. 

#14. Horror Books

For those who love a good scare, a collection of horror books is another perfect prize. It’s an opportunity for the winner to expand their collection and discover new terrifying tales during Halloween. You could even have a book club meeting after the event to discuss and dissect these spooky stories.

Moreover, you could also provide a subscription to a horror book club or audiobook service as an alternative prize. This way, the winner can continue exploring the depths of the horror genre all year round. 

#15. Virtual Reality Horror Game

Virtual reality has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason – it offers an immersive and interactive experience like no other. A virtual reality horror game is a thrilling and modern prize that will appeal to gamers and horror enthusiasts alike. It’s an opportunity for the winner to step into their worst nightmares and face them head-on.

You could also offer a virtual reality headset as an alternative prize for those who already have access to gaming equipment. This way, the winner can still enjoy the virtual reality experience without having to worry about compatibility. 

How to Pick the Winner of the Halloween Costume Contest?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on fairly and accurately picking the winner of your Halloween costume contest.

Step 1: Set the Judging Criteria

First and foremost, you’ll need to define what “best costume” actually means for your contest. Are you looking for the most creative costume? The scariest? The funniest? Spell it out so that everyone knows what they’re aiming for. Share these criteria in advance, either online or during the event, so participants know what to expect.

Step 2: Assemble Your Judging Panel

Selecting an unbiased and diverse panel of judges is crucial for the credibility of your contest. Opt for individuals who don’t have a vested interest in the outcome, like neutral friends or even local celebrities. The more diverse the panel, the fairer the judgment will be.

Step 3: Create a Score Sheet

Before the contest begins, create a score sheet that reflects your judging criteria. This could include categories like ‘Creativity,’ ‘Authenticity,’ ‘Scare Factor,’ and so on. This score sheet will help your judges evaluate each costume systematically and objectively.

Step 4: Observe the Participants

While the costume’s appearance is important, also consider the performance element. Does the person wearing the costume embody the character well? Do they stay in character? Make sure your judges take this into account for a well-rounded evaluation.

Step 5: Audience Participation

Incorporating audience participation can add an extra layer of excitement to your contest. Allow the crowd to vote on their favorite costumes by applause or ballot. You can make this an additional category on your score sheet or use it as a tie-breaker.

Step 6: Tally the Scores

Once all costumes have been showcased, it’s time to tally the scores. Make sure to double-check your calculations for accuracy. If there’s a tie, refer to your predetermined tie-breaker method—whether it’s audience participation or another category on your score sheet.

Step 7: Announce the Winner

The big moment has arrived! When announcing the winner, build up the suspense for maximum impact. You might even want to offer small prizes or certificates for runners-up to maintain the festive spirit.

Step 8: Award the Prize

Lastly, award the prize to your winner. Make this a grand event—perhaps spotlight the winner on a “throne” or have them take a victory lap. Capture this moment on camera, as it will surely be one for the books.

FAQs on Halloween Costume Contest Prize Ideas

How do you organize a Halloween costume contest?

Time to throw a Halloween party. Here are some steps to follow when organizing a Halloween costume contest: 

  1. Determine the theme: Choose a specific theme for your contest, such as classic horror movies or pop culture references. This will help guide participants’ costume choices and create a cohesive event.
  2. Set the rules: Decide on the age range, entry fee (if any), and judging criteria for your contest. Make sure to communicate these clearly to all potential participants.
  3. Plan the logistics: Choose your contest’s location, date, and time. Ensure enough space and resources to accommodate all participants and their costumes.
  4. Promote the event: Use social media, flyers, and word of mouth to promote your Halloween costume contest and attract participants.
  5. Gather prizes: Determine what prizes you want to offer and secure them beforehand. Consider a mix of physical, experiential, and cash prizes.
  6. Invite judges: Choose individuals or a panel to judge the contest fairly and effectively based on your predetermined criteria.
  7. Host the event: Have fun hosting the costume contest, and make sure to capture plenty of photos for memories and promotional purposes.

To learn more on hosting a perfect Halloween party, check out the below video content.

How do you win a Halloween costume contest?

If you are a participant, here are some tips to increase your chances of winning the contest of a Halloween costume:

  1. Pay attention to details: Make sure all costume elements, from makeup to accessories, are well thought out and executed.
  2. Be creative: Think outside the box and create a unique twist on a popular character or theme.
  3. Stay true to the theme: Make sure your costume fits the specific theme of the contest, as this is usually a factor in judging.
  4. Incorporate performance: Add an extra element to your costume by staying in character or incorporating a memorable performance during the contest.
  5. Keep it relevant: Consider current events or pop culture references for timely and relevant costumes that will catch the judges’ attention.

What are the ideas for judging a costume contest?

Here are some potential ideas for judging a costume contest:

  1. Creativity: Evaluate how original and unique the costume is.
  2. Execution: Consider the attention to detail and overall appearance of the costume.
  3. Authenticity: Judge how closely the costume resembles the character or theme it represents.
  4. Scare Factor: If your contest is going for scary costumes, consider how frightening the costume is.
  5. Performance: Consider any additional elements, such as staying in character or incorporating a performance, to enhance the overall costume experience.  
  6. Overall Presentation: Consider how well the costume fits with the individual’s appearance and personality.

When can you host a Halloween costume contest?

What is the best time to celebrate Halloween? Halloween is typically celebrated on 31st October, but the date can vary depending on where you live. Check with your local community or calendars to determine the best time to host a Halloween costume contest in your area. 

You may also want to consider scheduling it on the weekend for maximum participation and attendance. In addition, the best time for celebration is after dark when the atmosphere is spookier and more in line with the Halloween festivities. However, if hosting a daytime event, make sure to create a fun and spooky atmosphere through decorations and activities. 

What are the prizes for adults at Halloween?

Here is the list of the prizes for adults at Halloween. 

  1. One Night at a Haunted Home: Offer a free night’s stay at a local haunted bed and breakfast or Airbnb.
  2. Cash Prize: Money is always a popular and practical prize option.
  3. Gift Cards: Consider gift cards to popular retailers or local businesses as a prize for adults.
  4. Halloween-themed Gifts: Think outside the box with prizes like horror movie collectibles or spooky home decor.
  5. Halloween wine: Offer a selection of Halloween-themed wines or spirits as a prize.


Now, you have an array of exciting and unique Halloween prize ideas for your event. 31st October is just around the corner, and it’s time to start planning for your Halloween event. 

Whether it’s a costume party, haunted house, or trick-or-treating extravaganza, these prize ideas will surely add excitement and value to your event. 

From experiences and outings to DIY crafts and scary treats, there’s something for everyone. So get creative and have fun with it – after all, isn’t that what Halloween is all about? Happy haunting! 

Julia Nancy
Julia Nancy

I have vast experience arranging online voting contests for hundreds of clients worldwide in the last 8 years. I also helped countless clients to win their online competitions. Here, on, I am just sharing knowledge from my experiences. If you need any help regarding the online contest, email me at