Haunted Luau Decorating Ideas

Written by lee morgan
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Haunted Luau Decorating Ideas
Imagine your line-up of skeletons complete with hula skirts and leis to set the mood for your haunted luau. (skeleton image by Wingnut Designs from Fotolia.com)

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast in which foods such as lomi salmon, poke and poi are typically on the menu. The luau is about food, fun, island music and traditional dances such as the hula. One thing it is not is scary. However, it is possible to combine this paradise party with a Halloween theme to create a haunted luau. For people living in the islands it may not be so unusual to see this type of hybrid theme, but mainlanders can set their Halloween celebration apart from others by combining these two ideas with unique decorations.

Hula Skeleton Crew

Any party store is likely to have both luau items and Halloween items for sale. Picking up some grass skirts and leis as well as some skeletons will give you all you need to begin your haunted luau theme.

Your hula skeleton crew can be set up near the front of your party to welcome visitors and let them in on your unusual theme as soon as they arrive. Hang your skeletons in a line and dress them in grass skirts. Perhaps every other one could wear a coconut bra (if you can find those). Some twine and a trip to the produce section of your grocery store for real coconuts would be a nice touch. Hang leis around the necks of your bony staff, and you have your first piece of the haunted luau puzzle complete.


Everyone uses pumpkins to carve out jack-o-lanterns at Halloween. They are plentiful in the autumn, and they are relatively easy to prepare. While you could still use your imagination to create a luau-themed jack-o-lantern, try putting forth the effort required to carve a pine-o-lantern.

It's a bit tricky, but with the right tools it'll be possible, and it will likely get lots of comments from your guests. Using a pineapple, cut out the top, leaving the leaves intact, and use a melon-baller to scoop out the inside of the pineapple. Getting the core out can require some time, but it can be done. Once you have the pineapple scraped out and hollow, carve eyes, a nose and a mouth into one side and place a glow stick inside. Green glow sticks look great with the yellow insides. Place the top back on the pineapple, and you'll have a spooky luau decoration that many have never seen.

Pele's Fire Theme

Use Hawaiian folklore to design your overall theme. Some of the stories from ancient Hawaii are actually quite scary. Pele, the goddess of fire, is responsible for all of the island's volcanic eruptions. She doles out her punishment by devastating the land with lava flows from Kilauea and Mauna Loa even today.

If your luau is going to be complete, use dark colours that look like lava rock and contrast them with orange, glowing lava flows made from poster board. Use a moulded clay volcano as a centrepiece with water and dry ice in the crater so it bubbles and smokes. Adding tiki torches in as many places as possible will add to the fiery atmosphere.

Lava Coladas

Your luau has to have some tasty beverages. Follow a traditional frozen piña colada recipe and add a good pour of strawberry purée in the bottom of clear glasses before quickly pouring in the white piña colada mixture. The slushy consistency will push the red strawberry purée up the sides of the glass and combine for a delicious drink known in Hawaii as a Lava Flow.

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