People love the tradition and rituals of holidays. It’s a comfortable time of doing something we’ve always done year after year, and usually involves family and friends getting together for a structured event. It’s a time when the uncertainty of life becomes certain, if only for a day.
But that doesn’t mean innovators can’t add some newness to the holiday for Halloween innovation. After all, we live for not doing it the way it’s always been done. As an innovation keynote speaker I’m always confronted with structured organizations who say “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. This is why I advocate adding innovation in baby steps. Keep the traditions and rituals, but try something new. Don’t change everything, just experiment with creativity a little at a time. This is especially true for holidays, like Halloween.
One way to innovate, especially if you’re new to innovation, is to take each element of something and find a way to innovate it. For example, for Halloween you would have candy, costumes, trick or treating, events, decorations, movies, etc. Here are some examples of Halloween innovation:
Holland America offered a special cruise for fans of the undead by putting together a vampire cruise. This included a vampire ball, scavenger hunt, charity auction, special screenings of vampire movies and educational speeches on the topic of vampires.
The Haunted Hayride took the tradition of hayrides and added a level of fright to it to come up with one of the biggest Shark Tank deals ever. 1031 Productions started out only doing haunted Halloween hayrides. But after Mark Cuban’s investment of $2 million dollars they’ve expanded into doing haunted sleepovers, haunted movie nights, and other unique live events.
Knotts Scary Farm
Knott’s Scary Farm, also known as Knott’s Halloween Haunt, is an annual Halloween event held at Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park, California. It is one of the largest and most well-known Halloween events in the United States. Knott’s Scary Farm typically runs from September through October and is a major attraction for thrill-seekers and Halloween enthusiasts.
The event transforms Knott’s Berry Farm into a haunted wonderland with a wide range of horror-themed mazes, scare zones, live shows, and other spooky attractions. Visitors can expect to encounter a variety of terrifying characters, monsters, and ghosts as they navigate through the park. Some of the attractions are based on popular horror movies and TV shows.
Knott’s Scary Farm is celebrated for its innovative and high-quality Halloween experiences. It’s not for the faint of heart, as it features intense scares and frights that are designed to give visitors a thrilling and spine-tingling experience.
Over the years, Knott’s Scary Farm has become a Halloween tradition for many people in Southern California and beyond. It’s a place where fans of horror and Halloween can immerse themselves in a world of fear and fun, and it often features new mazes and attractions each year to keep the experience fresh and exciting.
When trick-or-treating started in the 1930s and early 1940s, children were given homemade goodies like cookies, cake, fruit, and nuts. In the 1950s, candy manufacturers saw an opportunity to promote their products, which were more affordable than giving out homemade treats. In the 1970’s wrapped candy was seen as a safer alternative. Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without candy corn. It’s so popular it even has it’s own holiday on October 30th, to honor the production of 9 billion pieces of the iconic confection. It was invented in the 1880s by a Wunderlee Candy Company employee named George Renninger. Since then, Halloween candy has seen its share of innovation from giant gummy rats to candy bags of blood and bug encrusted lollipops. Adults can indulge in candy corn jello shots.
Trick or Treating
Halloween projection videos can now turn your ordinary house into a haunted house with the click of a button thanks to Total HomeFX™, which is a brand of Productworks™ LLC. It’s founder, Kenneth McCorkindale, wanted to bring technology innovation to the holiday tradition. A modern Halloween invention from Snapchat uses technology to find the most popular trick or treating spots in your neighborhood.
The custom of wearing costumes on Halloween is as old as the holiday itself. It originated with the Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Halloween costumes have gone from the simple bedsheet ghost to pretty much anything the imagination could dream up, including costumes for dogs, like the ones created by Eugenia Chen, of Pandaloon, who ultimately got an offer from Shark Tank investor Daymond John.
Costumes incorporating technology like LED lights, sound effects, or even wearable tech gadgets may have become more popular.
Want to create a spooky mood for trick or treaters or party guests? Use this spiderweb maker:
Halloween decorations that react to motion, sound, or touch have been gaining popularity. These decorations could include animatronic figures, interactive pumpkins, and sound-activated props.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Experiences
Some innovators may have created AR and VR apps or experiences that immerse users in spooky, interactive Halloween-themed environments.
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Halloween
There has been a growing trend toward eco-friendly Halloween celebrations, with innovations like biodegradable or reusable decorations, sustainable costume options, and reduced plastic waste.
Halloween Food and Beverages
When trick-or-treating started in the 1930s and early 1940s, children were given homemade goodies like cookies, cake, fruit, and nuts. In the 1950s, candy manufacturers saw an opportunity to promote their products, which were more affordable than giving out homemade treats. In the 1970’s wrapped candy was seen as a safer alternative. Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without candy corn. It’s so popular it even has its own holiday on October 30th, to honor the production of 9 billion pieces of the iconic confection. It was invented in the 1880s by a Wunderlee Candy Company employee named George Renninger. Since then, Halloween candy has seen its share of innovation from giant gummy rats to candy bags of blood and bug-encrusted lollipops. Adults can indulge in candy corn jello shots.
Using food-grade, glow-in-the-dark ingredients or edible neon food coloring, you can create eerie, luminescent candies and drinks that glow under blacklight.
Make popcorn more festive by coating it in colored white chocolate, candy melts, or caramel with Halloween-themed colors and sprinkles.
Monster Eyeball Cake Pops
Create cake pops resembling spooky monster eyeballs with edible food coloring, decorative candies, and edible “blood” drips.
Decorate sugar cookies with intricate spiderweb designs using royal icing. You can also add edible spiders made from candy.
Witch’s Brew Punch
Prepare a bubbling, colorful punch with dry ice for a spooky, smoky effect. Choose a beverage that fits the theme, such as a fruit punch or a sparkling limeade.
Wrap hot dogs in strips of refrigerated biscuit or croissant dough to create mummy-like figures. Leave a small gap for the “eyes” (use mustard or ketchup).
Create realistic-looking brain molds using gelatin, food coloring, and a brain-shaped mold. You can even add gummy worms or insects for added effect.
Halloween Sushi Rolls
Make sushi rolls with Halloween colors and designs. Use colored rice (like purple or black) and ingredients like roasted red pepper for a “blood” effect.
Bake a cauldron-shaped cake and fill it with green “witch’s brew” frosting, gummy worms, and other creepy candies.
Haunted Gingerbread Houses
Get creative with gingerbread houses for Halloween, using spooky candy decorations and royal icing to create a haunted house effect.