While kids of all ages love Halloween, if you suggest the usual trick-or-treating and haunted hayride to your teen, you can expect plenty of eye-rolling sarcasm. The older your teen gets, the more she's into the scarier side of Halloween. Cheesy ghosts and scarecrows in the corn maze simply won't do anymore. Plan spine-tingling activities for your teen and her friends that will have them thoroughly creeped out.
Visit a Haunted House
You can almost always count on a haunted house to give kids a scare, but for teens who think they aren't scared of anything, you have to find a really good one. Do some research to find the most popular haunted houses in your area and check the age recommendations. Theme parks often have high-quality haunted houses and other activities that get teens and even adults screaming. For example, Universal Studios, with locations in Los Angeles, California and Orlando, Florida, recommends only kids over the age of 13 attend its Halloween Horror Nights. Save the super scary theme park events for mature, older teens, however. For younger teens, the key is to find a haunted house that isn't too soft on the scare factor, but won't leave the kids traumatized either.
Let your teen have a Halloween-themed sleepover packed with spooky activities. Have a contest to see who can tell the scariest ghost story. Put on a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt with the lights off and flashlights as the only source of light. While the teens are hanging out in a room, you can occasionally try to give them a good scare by banging on a wall or knocking on a window from the outside. Determine how scary you are going to get based on their age level, of course. The last thing you want is parents upset with you that their kids are freaked out and want to come home early.
Halloween Movie Party
Pick out the scariest PG-13 movies you can find for your teen and her friends to watch in the dark. Offer up a mix of both classic and more modern Halloween movies. Classics includes "The Birds," the Hitchcock cult favorite about murderous attacks from birds, and "Gremlins," which features seemingly cute, but totally vicious creatures. Contemporary options include "The Sixth Sense," about the boy who can see dead people and "The Ring," about a creepy videotape that leads to some gruesome deaths. Talk with the parents of the teens you are having over beforehand, to make sure they approve their kids watching these types of scary movies.
Outdoor Halloween Activities
Take your teen and her friends on a walk in the dark through the woods, with the help of other parents to chaperone, and tell scary stories related to the woods. If possible, enlist the help of friends to scare the kids along the way, rustling leaves and popping out behind tree trunks. The teens can also play classic games, which take on a spooky twist when played in the dark. They could play hide and seek, with the seeker having to search for her friends in a dark creepy area. Have the hiding teens scream every once in a while to both scare the seeker and give her a clue as to their whereabouts. Sardines in a can is another game that turns scary at night. One person hides and everyone else has to look for the person. When someone finds that person, she hides with her, as does everyone else, until there is only one person left alone, looking for everyone else.