Throwing a Hauntoberfest party is no easy task. It takes a commitment of several weeks, several hundred (if not thousands) of dollars, and you’ve got to be willing to take a pretty substantial hit professionally due to vacation and sick days that it induces/requires.

In a synergy befitting Mega Optimus Prime at the end of Transformers 2, Hauntoberfest is truly greater than the sum of its parts. To extend the battleing, space robot metaphor, Hauntoberfest is constructed out of one transforming hearse (Halloween), one olde-style beer sleigh (Oktoberfest), and one space ship (Fall Equinox). When the come together, though, and altogether different party-bot is born, and you damn sure better be ready when Hauntober-tron comes to town. Here’s what you’ll need:

Haunted Beer Garden

This should be a gothic, sudsy balance between haunted house and traditional German beer garden. There should be plenty of food that’s terrible for you, beer that’s worse for you, and ghouls that will absolutely kill you.

Basically, you’ll want to set up your standard haunted house with at least 3 blind corners in and 3 blind corners out. But, instead of a maze-like center, you’ll want a dining area bedecked on gruesome (and hopefully German) décor. Think the black forest. But, like an evil version of it. Find statues of werewolves, gargoyles and other dark creatures of the Eastern Bloc to peak out from corners or hold up drinking tables. You’ll also need the things listed below.

1. Dry Ice Sausage Bath
Chilled sausage is a Bavarian delight, and obviously, dry ice makes everything scarier/haunted-er. However, you don’t want the dry ice to actually touch you or your sausages (either one) because it would mess up both. Instead, get a larger bowl, probably one used for ice, like this, and put the water and dry ice in the bottom of that. Then, float the sausage platter on top of that layer, or put them in a smaller vessel in the middle of it, allowing the dry ice to emerge from the sides.

2. Baleful Beer Barrel
Get your hands on a barrel. Depending on where you live, this could be somewhat difficult. It doesn’t have to be particularly high in quality, though, so don’t go down to a local microbrew and offer to buy one of their aging barrels off them. If you can’t find one locally (try hardware stores and gardening centers), you can just get one express delivered from any of these places. Now, you need to make your barrel creepy in a tried-and-true haunted house favorite prank. You can either prop a large bowl full of entrails (cold spaghetti, or actual waste from a fish market if your serious about it) in it for your guests squeamish, squishing pleasure. Or, and we think this is better, you should buy a gas-powered pop-up demon from your local Halloween Super Store. They’re going to run you one or two hundred, probably, but it’s been absolutely worth it for us.

3. Terrifying Tunes
You’ve got two options here. The first is if you actually want to genuinely unnerve and scare your guests (awesome). If, for some ludicrous reason, you don’t own your own turntable, go buy one. Then, find some traditional German oompah music, and play it at ¾ speed. It will sound like Satan’ polka.

The other, of course, is to focus on more Halloween-oriented party music of which there is way too much to list here. A couple good party bands for semi-scary, danceable tunes, though, is The Creepshow.

Sexy, Zombie German Girls

After the fact, costumes for your Hauntoberfest seem as obvious and brilliant as having the idea to throw a Hauntoberfest party at all. Just dress like you were going to Oktoberfest, but you were also undead. Pretty simple, but most genius concepts are.