This virtual Halloween game is a fun virtual take on a Halloween scavenger hunt alternative when you can’t be together in person! It’s great for 2020 or any upcoming years to play with friends and family across the country.
I love a good scavenger hunt – always have, always will. I mean just for Halloween I’ve already shared a clue based Halloween scavenger hunt and a Halloween decorations hunt where you have to find particular decorations.
And then I have about fifty other scavenger hunt ideas from other holidays and occasions. It’s kind of my favorite.
Sometimes, however, you just can’t get together in person to do an actual group scavenger hunt. This game is a perfect alternative for groups who want to have some Halloween fun but either don’t want to or can’t get together in person. It’s the perfect 2020 alternative to standard Halloween games.
In this game, a group text or group chat is formed and items are texted out on the group chat for people to find. First one to find it wins a point! It’s kind of like this virtual scavenger hunt but via text and throughout the day!
You only need four things to play this game, all things you probably have on you right now!
- List of scavenger hunt items – you can download one in this post or make up your own
- Scorecard – the list of items you can download comes with a scorecard that you can use, or just use a pad of paper.
- Group text/chat
- Prize – I’ve included some prize items toward the bottom of this post
- Group of people – make sure they’re willing and excited to play
That last one is the most important – if people don’t want to or don’t have time to play, this isn’t going to be fun.
There are two different ways to play, both similar, but a little different. I’ve walked you through both of those ideas below!
The first thing you need to do is pick a day that people will be available to play throughout the day and have access to their phones. They can be at work, at home, at ball games, etc. but need to have access to their phones. Make sure everyone is aware of the day ahead of time.
Create a group text or group chat with that group of people specifically for the game. If you already have a group text with them (like I do with my family), it can still work but might get confusing if people want to actually have outside conversations as well.
Download the list of items below to use for your group text scavenger hunt. Or you can make up your own list is you don’t want to use the list included in this post.
Send a text to the group chat explaining the rules of the game (below) and ask everyone to respond that they got and understand the rules before you start playing.
How to Play
There are two different ways to play, both similar, but a little different. I’ve walked you through both of those ideas below! As the host, if you want to play – I recommend the Halloween tag game option.
Option 1 – Group Text Scavenger Hunt
In this version of the game, you as the host will be the one sending out the items for people to find to the group text throughout the day. Here’s how it works.
Throughout the day at different times and different intervals, send out a word or phrase to the group. Make sure they understand it is the next word by emphasizing it in some way in the group chat.
As soon as the word goes out, everyone in the group text should try to find that item and send back a picture of it.
There are a few rules for a picture to count:
- Pictures must be taken after the word was sent out – no scrolling back through photos to find something old in your photo album.
- Pictures must be taken by yourself, not something you download from the internet or social media.
- Pictures shouldn’t need an explanation. Like when I sent out the word witch to my family and my husband sent back a selfie of himself. Doesn’t count since a stranger would have no idea what the picture represented and definitely wouldn’t think oh witch.
- You cannot use the same picture twice. So for instance, you can’t use a photo of a fireplace for both the words “fireplace” and “pile of leaves” if there is a pile of leaves inside.
- Pictures must be of the actual word, not a photo in a book, in a movie, on your phone, etc.
Things don’t necessarily have to be real though, just actual real life items. For example, if you send the phrase black cat, someone could send back a picture of a live black cat or even a stuffed one, but not a picture of a black cat in a book.
Whoever sends back a qualifying image first wins a point. You as the host keep track of points throughout the day.
Even if someone sends a picture back right away, don’t send the next word right away. One of the most fun things about this game is that items are sent throughout the day so you never know when something will be coming and you’ll have to scramble to find an item.
Keep sending items throughout the day until you’ve reached a previously announced number (say 10 or 20). The person who has the most points at the end of the day wins a prize!
Option 2 – Halloween Tag Scavenger Hunt
Okay so this second option is very similar, with just one twist. Instead of you as the host always sending out the words, whoever sent in a picture gets sends out the next word instead.
You’ll start the game the same way. Explain the rules, explain rules for the pictures, and then send the first word.
Whoever sends in the first picture still gets a point but now instead of you being in charge of sending the next word, the person who sent in the first picture is. It’s like tag and they’re it.
Whoever is it then sends out the next word and whoever finds a picture of that first then becomes it. So instead of the host constantly sending out words, the person who is it sends out the word.
You as the host should still keep track of points for the game and put a limit on when the game will end (for instance 9AM to 6PM or until 20 pictures have been sent out).
This option gives you as the host the chance to play as well, not just send out the items. And gives other people the chance to be creative with the words they’re sending out – otherwise, it’s the same text scavenger hunt game!
That’s totally up to you, but I would recommend setting either a time limit or number of item limit before you start and including it in your first text to the group. My list includes 30 items but you can just do a handful of them if you want.
The best part about this game is that since it’s done via group text, you can play with as many or as few people as you want. I just recommend making sure whoever is playing actually wants to participate or it won’t be fun.
If you as the host want to participate just for fun (you can’t win the prize!), try the tag version of the game rather than you just sending out words.
This game is fun for all ages! Kids will get a kick out of it because well kids love scavenger hunts. Teens and adults will enjoy the competitive and creative nature of it.
Looking for more Fun Halloween Games?
One of the things that always motivates my family to play games like Halloween Family Feud is good prizes for the winning team. But since this game is played all via group text, you may or may not actually be able to hand a prize to the winner.
So I’ve put together a list of fun Halloween prizes that would be easy to send via email, text, or even just ship to the winner. If you need more ideas, I’ve also got a great list of Halloween prizes you can buy on Amazon here. You could also package up one of these Halloween you’ve been booed buckets and send to the winner!
- Halloween thrills and chills movie collection
- Orange colored gift card (get ideas for orange gift cards with these orange gift ideas)
- Halloween themed board game
- Halloween trick or treat box
- Halloween creepy crawly box
- Halloween themed kitchen items
More Halloween Games
Any of these games would be a great addition to a virtual Halloween celebration!
- Virtual Halloween pictionary
- Halloween bingo cards (send out to the group to play)
- Ghoulish recall game
- Virtual Halloween dress up game
- Halloween would you rather
- Halloween charades
Download the List
Enter your first name and email address in the form below to get the printable PDF with the list of items and scorecard? You will receive a link to download the PDF to your email within minutes.
If you do not see the form, click here to get to it.
The PDF will include a one-page list with 30 different Halloween themed items nicely lined up. To turn it into a scorecard, simply add the names of your players at the top and draw column lines down the page.
I purposely didn’t put my own lines down so that you could add as many players you want rather than whatever number I decided on.
If you do not see the email, make sure to check your promotions, spam, and junk folders!