A Pirate's Halloween Party

The Secret Treasure of Billy Bones

By Chris Kullstroem


Has your child recently turned into a real scallywag after watching the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Well this Halloween, let his or her sea-faring dreams come alive by taking part on a real pirating adventure. Throw a Pirate's Halloween Party for your child to hunt for buried treasure and sail the open seas of your backyard.

To start, make invitations straight out of the 19th century. Use craft paper or tan construction paper and write in large cursive style with a thin black marker to resemble a quill pen. Invite fellow pirates and rascals to come and attempt to find hidden treasure with a recently discovered treasure map. Roll up the invitations and tie with a black ribbon or seal with red wax.

A sample invitation would be:

You are invited to a Pirate’s Halloween Party

At 1512 Evergreen Road

This Saturday, October 21st

A long lost pirate has been found dead,

Bearing a treasure map of the infamous Billy Bones

Come and seek out the treasure But beware of traps and foul play

Along the way…

RSVP to Blackbeard at: pirate@halloween.com

Next, turn your yard into a shipwreck scene. On the front porch or in the yard drape tattered flags and other old fabrics from the railings and trees. Line the path to the doorway with plastic skulls with taper candles melted halfway into them. For the long lost pirate who bears the treasure map, rest a skeleton wearing a bandana, eye patch and battered clothes under a tree amongst rags and empty wine bottles. Place the rolled up treasure map clasped in his hand. (For help on making a treasure map, see below).

For the kids to begin their adventure after claiming the map, fill a big trunk or box with pirate clothes for them to dress the part. Have an assortment of bandanas, eye patches, pirate hats, plastic swords, and big baggy pants and shirts to wear over their clothes. If they will be exploring in areas that are safe to walk without shoes, suggest they go barefoot.

Spread the treasure hunt throughout the front and backyard, down into the cellar or up into the attic. For scavenging in the darker areas (such as caves and mines that resemble the basement), keep the lights on but give each child a flashlight or lantern for their journey.

For deadly traps and signs of foreboding danger, put up large Halloween props along the treasure trail. Stretch a neon spider web with huge plastic spiders across a path they’ll have to cross. Hang a skeleton from a tree or the garage with a sign around his neck, warning any fools who dare to pass. Put up “net traps” under the trees.

Where x marks the spot, use an old trunk or treasure chest with black pirate flags sticking out of it. Sit a dead pirate (skeleton) by the chest to guard the treasure. Put black bags of booty inside the chest, tied with white string and individually addressed to each child. Fill the bags with candy, Halloween toys, pirate coloring books, crayons and other pirate toys.

Looking for a good Halloween show to have running while the kids play with their bags of booty? Put on Garfield’s Halloween Adventure on DVD or VHS for more sea-faring tales while the kids to choose from a variety of rub-on tattoos to commemorate their first pirating adventure.

To make the treasure map, rip the edges off a regular piece of paper to make it look old and worn. Write clues and draw rough sketches of landmarks on the map that the kids will be looking for.

A sample map could read:

Treasure Map

The Secret Treasure of Billy Bones

Fools beware of deadly traps along these routes…

Begin your journey on the sands of skull point (an area lined with skulls).Follow 50 paces north to where the moonlight hangs low (a hanging lantern in a tree).Cross the river that flows with the souls of my enemies who dared challenge me.Enter the shallow of rock when the tied shies (the open basement door).Make ye way down to the depths of Hell’s Hollow, 100 paces eastward until ye come to the Devil’s Mouth (a Halloween prop). Step lightly through the gate, less an eternity in its jaws you seek… Down a trail that of lies of fortunes (sprinkle glitter up the staircase that leads up to the house) brings no gold, but the path that speaks nothing finds the way (make a path through the basement with stacked boxes and other items on either side… at the end lies the treasure chest). Here resides the treasure you seek. For the way back, your luck may swiftly cease…

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