I have such great memories as a kid about Halloween - I loved the local carnival every year, and I loved going Trick-or-Treating with my Dad who always dressed up in an awesome costume. I loved the sweet little old ladies in my childhood neighborhood who went to great lengths to make Halloween special - Bessie Wilcox who was always Witchy Boo-Boo with a huge maze (made of blankets and cushions) in her house that we had to crawl through to find our treats (homemade popcorn balls) and Rusty Smith who made home-made candied or Carmel apples each year. What kid wouldn't love this?
Sometimes it really bums me out that trunk-or-treating has replaced the long, cold walks I loved taking as a kid, and that most parents don't trust their neighbors and frown on any kind of homemade trick-or-treats (which is so weird to me 'cause everyone exchanges homemade goodies at Christmas...but anyway) I know that is the world we live in...but it still makes me sad.
I was also super sad at that time in my life when I was too old to trick-or-treat - but still too young to attend Halloween parties.
And I am always bummed if we don't get to do something festive - which was the case last year.
So this year I refused to be a Halloween-bum. Enlisting the help of a friend - we decided to throw a murder mystery dinner party.
And so the planning began. We choose a vampire-themed murder mystery. It is built around the storyline that there is a global vampire slayer killing vampires throughout the world. So the most powerful vampires have gathered to figure out what to do. Of course, the Slayer is actually one of them, there is a murder and everyone must figure out who did it.
Murder mysteries operate on the concept that characters are quirky and extreme. Trev played the host character Stat LeBaCourt, who is known for telling ridiculous jokes and randomly bursting into song. Other characters would laugh hysterically every time someone said the word blood, etc. Each guest is assigned their character in advance and given costume suggestions. The dinner is divided into three sections - appetizers, dinner and dessert. At each session each guest receives a clue prompt that tells them clues to reveal to other guests in conversation and clues to conceal. During dinner the murder takes place. During the dessert round the characters accuse each other of being the murderer, and the murderer eventually reveals him or herself.There are also games played throughout the party. The best game was that guests were divided into 24 teams and given a roll of toilet paper to make a cape out of. One member of the group had to model the cape to "I'm Too Sexy." That was my favorite - it was hilarious.We served the following:
- Stuffed Eyeballs (stuffed olives)
- Villain Vegetables (veggie tray)
- Deviled Eggs
- Blood Soup (home-made Tomato soup)
- Dead bats Wings (home-made wings)
- Soul-Sucking Salad (pasta salad)
- Corpse Casserole (green bean casserole)
- Funeral Potatoes
- "I Can't Believe it's not Garlic" Garlic Bread
It was a TON of work - we cooked the night before until 4 AM, we decorated the clubhouse where we held the party, we burned CD's for background music and then we had to clean it all up too.
PLUS - I made Trev's costume. He loved it and I also think it looked pretty good. He even wore it to work and a co-worker offered to buy all the material plus pay me to make him one for next year. So I was pretty proud of myself.
The only thing I am bummed about is that I was so busy hostessing and serving food I missed out on getting photos of the best parts of the night - like when some guests randomly broke into the Thriller dance when it was on. Or when Trev and Michelle C. led everyone in the "Time Warp" dance. Hilarious! Luckily, my friend Sarah said she got some of it on video - so when I get the files I will post them up here.
Overall, I think the party was pretty successful. There were some mishaps - we learned a lot about how to host and run a murder mystery party - so next year I think it will be even better. We are going to make it into an annual event, and already have next year's theme all picked out. It will be a Disney Character Themed murder mystery. I am way excited - now I just have to wait 12 more months. :)