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Hosting A Virtual Halloween Watch Party!

The horror movie marathon has been a Halloween staple for all non-partiers everywhere, and with a socially distanced Halloween Comicfest approaching, a Halloween themed watch party could be just the event your store is looking for! There are a ton of options to host a fab-boo-lous watch party to fit needs for groups of all shapes and sizes!

Did you know that there are built in watch parties on some of the streaming services of your choice?

Yes! You saw that right! Some popular streaming services already offer a way for multiple people to watch together including: Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, and others you can host a party with browser extensions like Netflix and Disney Plus!

These streaming services offer a huge amount of content including original series that can't be found anywhere else! If you have a web browser, this may be the easiest way to host your event.

The features on the services do vary. With a Hulu watch party, only 8 people are supported to watch at the same time, while the Prime service offers a room size of 100, so not all services will be suited for all needs. But whether you're hosting 75 people for a Friday night premiere or hosting a small group weekly to watch classic TV episodes, you can make it work with little to no setup required.

Each participant will need a valid log-in for the streaming service for this method and must be watching in a browser.

 

If the streaming services aren't your bag of tricks, fortunately there are several other options to explore! These methods all require that the host has access to a computer and web browser.

Kast  is a watch party system that's easy to set up and use with additional features to control your audience and who shows on screen. You will need an account to set up a party, but people tuning in can just watch the stream in a browser without one, or they can download the iOS app and watch right on their phones.

Kast includes a handy feature that allows up to 20 people to video chat with microphones at once, but 100 additional viewers can tune in, making it perfect for having an event with guest hosts or cosplayers!

Plus, as a host you can assign moderation power to trusted participants to keep any questionable content at bay! Just download the app and create a free account, set up your party, and start sharing your scr

Fans of online gaming may have already heard of Discord, used primarily for streaming and voice chatting while playing games, it is also a great platform for watch parties and has a bonus community element which is perfect if you have a tight knit group already, or if you just want to foster a sense of connection!

You can create a whole server for your community which has tons of features from: multiple rooms and text chats, to custom emotes, to setting up permissions, moderation teams, and bots to kelp keep your community clean.

While probably not for the technically clueless, Discord offers screen sharing, and a new streaming feature in voice channels so it's easy to broadcast out a movie playing on your desktop or in your browser window.

Be aware that some streaming apps will block their content from being streamed over Discord, so choose your movies wisely! Plus, if you want to set up other streaming events including games with your audience, there's no need to send out links for each event via email or social media, they're already all there on your server!

Then of course there's always Zoom! You can screenshare what you're watching with Zoom, which has the advantage of being the conferencing app of choice for many, so the interface is probably already familiar to most.

 With Zoom it's just a matter of setting up your room, queueing up for movie, sending out your invite links and hitting play! With this method, up to 100 people can join, but if you're using the free version of Zoom, your streams can only last for 40 minutes…which may be an issue if scary movies are what you want, but could be workable for shorter videos!

 Zoom also has the option to create a co-host to help you keep track of the chat and has the advantage of allowing tons of people on camera with mics, so you can really see who you're watching with!

And for those of you looking for the perfect unique scary movies to stream, check out Horrortheque! A collection of Horror movies currently in the public domain, all of these movies are either available to stream on sites like YouTube, or are available to download to play in a media player on your device.

Organized in both alphabetical order and by era, you can threat your community to some Horror movie history! From silent films that changed movie history, to the classic pulp of the 60s that changed the way we think about horror, these movies are in the public domain, meaning you can use them freely for any purpose, and the site features flags, synopses, and links to sources  so you can easily screen the movies for mature or objectionable content.

With all these tools available, carving out some time for Halloween Comicfest fun with your community should be spook-tackularly simple!