For the past few years, murder mystery dinner parties have kind of became my thing, so much so that my bachelor party was a murder mystery. Also for the past few years, Halloween parties have kind of been my thing.
This Halloween, I decided to combine the two and do a Halloween themed murder mystery, and it did not disappoint.
There’s plenty of murder mystery kits out there, and I’ve tried a few different companies in the past, but my favorite is How To Host A Murder. This company sets up the party for 8 guests – 4 males and 4 females, and gives each guest a book made up of their character descriptions and secrets to conceal and reveal during each of the four rounds.
I find that these mysteries are a lot more thought out than some other mystery companies out there with more fleshed out background for each of the characters. Some of the other brands don’t put much focus on the actual mystery, filling in the empty time with dance contests and trivia games. I like to cut all of that shit out and get right to the reason we’re all gathered at the table: cold blooded murder.
Because this year’s event was also a Halloween party, I went with HTHAM: An Affair to Dismember. It’s a story of monsters and mayhem, set in a Transylvanian castle. The group of misfits (including, but not limited to: Satan’s younger, nerdier brother; a fortune teller; the head of the Frankenstein monster on a Broadway dancer’s body, and the Wicked Witch of Depressed) are celebrating the engagement of two of their own: Neville Astor Night, the owner of the castle, and his new fiancee, Lizzie Bordeaux.
NOTE: How To Host A Murder is no longer making games, but I’ve found any copy I ever needed on EBay for relatively cheap.
After choosing my mystery, and sending out the invitations (including each guest’s character description and costume suggestion), it was time to plan the menu. The game is split into four rounds, so I decided to make this a three course meal: appetizer in between rounds 1-2, dinner between 2-3, and dessert between 3-4.
As the first course, I found the Olive Garden salad copycat recipe. I used this recipe for the ingredients, but instead of making my own dressing, I found the Olive Garden brand in my supermarket and just bought that. There are websites that have copycat recipes for the dressing, as well, but as my friend Sweet Brown is so fond of saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
Because this was a spooky Halloween event, I purchased 8 bell peppers and carved small Jack-O-Lantern faces in them to use as serving dishes for the salad. Some of the peppers were top heavy and unbalanced, so I sliced some of the bottom off so it would be level. I also sliced the stem from the pepper, leaving a hole big enough to insert the pepperoncini.
As the main course, I found a recipe for cheese-filled meatballs that look like eyeballs. I dyed some spaghetti black and served it with my grandmother’s homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, and it was a success.
Lastly, dessert consisted of red velvet cheesecake that oozed “blood.” This was my first attempt at this recipe, so it did not look as picture perfect as the one shown, so you aren’t seeing my completed project. Maybe next year. However, my newly found 10 pounds can assure you it tasted great.
Most of our decorations were purchased at Party City, with a few homemade exceptions. If you’re feeling lazy or out of time to decorate, I highly suggest the “Mood Setters” from Party City. I love to decorate, so this isn’t the ONLY thing I use, but it does certainly enhance the room.
The easiest decoration I “made” were my Ghostface candles. I purchased tall glass candles from the dollar store and drew ghost faces on them. Literally, that was all I did. So easy and so cute.
Overall, the party was a complete success, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. Below are some photos of everyone in their costumes: