by Penny Warner
Vampire Parties are all the rage, thanks to books, TV shows, and movies like Twilight, True Blood, and Vampire Diaries. While plotting my latest Presley Parker, event planner mystery, I decided to wrap the plot around a Vampire Party…held in the local cemetery. So I had big-time movie producer Lucas Cruz celebrate his latest film release—a vampire parody—by throwing a lavish party in a graveyard. It’s a pretty gloomy venue for Presley, but she’s hoping to make it so much fun that partygoers won’t even notice there are more dead than living guests in How To Party With A Killer Vampire…
Since Presley is a party planner, I thought I’d share her Vampire Party tips with you, so you can host your own “Got Blood” event—in a cemetery, a haunted house, or even your own home.
There are lots of vampire-related party supplies available, but you can easily make your own invitations and personalize them to your theme. For a Coffin Invitation, fold a sheet of black construction paper in half. Draw the shape of a coffin on the paper, making sure one side of the coffin is on the fold. Cut out the coffin and write “Do not open until midnight” or “Open at your own risk” on the front using a sparkly pen. Or you can type it up on the computer using a spooky font, print it, cut it out, and glue it to the front. Next find a picture of your favorite vampire on the Internet or in a fan magazine and copy it for each invitation. Open the coffin and glue the picture on the right-hand side. On the opposite side, write the party details. For added fun, cut out drops of “blood” from red paper and place them in the envelope. Or add a set of vampire teeth.
Ask your guests to come as their favorite vampire—or werewolf—past or present. When they arrive, offer them face paints, vampire teeth, and vials of fake blood to add to their costumes. Make simple capes out of black fabric and hand them out to guests.
Create a gothic atmosphere with helium-inflated black and red balloons. Tie the balloons onto furniture, to backs of chairs, and float them to the ceiling. Turn the lights down and light candles, or string holiday lights around the room. Replace regular light bulbs with black lights and red bulbs. Make a giant coffin using a large appliance box. Paint it black, add a string of garlic or a wooden cross to the top, and place it in the center of the room to use for setting out snacks.
Place vampire fangs, garlic, and plastic bats around the room or hang them from the ceiling. Cover your mirrors and black out your windows. Set the table with a black cloth and bright red paper products. Use vampire teeth as napkin rings. Make a centerpiece using a glass bowl, fill it with red tinted water, and float black candles. Make some personalized tombstones from cardboard or foam, and write epitaphs on them for each guest. Set them around the room. Play Clair de Lune, Muse, and Coldplay music in the background.
Games and Activities
• Team Trivia. Divide guests into two teams and have them answer trivia questions about vampires and such from Twilight, True Blood, or Vampire Diaries.
• Quote the Vampire. Write down quotes from the vampire books or shows and have guests try to identify the speaker.
• Vamping Vampires. Write down scenes from your favorite vampire film, book, or show, and have guests act them out for one another to guess.
• Vampire Shirt. Let guests make their own t-shirts with their favorite vampires or sayings on them. Print pictures of vampires and sayings on iron-on paper using the computer, and then let guests iron them on and decorate with glitter glue, sequins, and other embellishments.
• Vampire Videos. Watch videos of your favorite vampire films or TV shows. Don’t forget the originals, such as Dracula, or the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Serve lots of red-colored food to satisfy that thirst for blood—red licorice, sliced red peppers, strawberries, red apples, red salsa with red tortilla chips, French fries with ketchup dip. Ask the bakery to tint a loaf of bread red, then make sandwiches with red jam. Cut out bat-shaped cookies, bake them, and spread with chocolate icing.
Offer a variety of red-colored drinks for the vampire guests, such as tomato juice, cranberry juice cocktail, red punch, red sports drink, etc. Freeze gummy worms in red water to make ice cubes for the drinks.
Make a coffin-shaped or tombstone-shaped red velvet cake, covered with chocolate icing.
Give the vampires plastic teeth, black capes, fake blood, posters of hot vampires, face painting makeup, videos of the shows, or other vampire related gifts—there are lots available!
If you have any creepy ideas for a Vampire Party, I’d love to hear them!
Watch for reviews of How To Party With A Killer Vampire and How To Survive A Killer Seance along with a Behind the Book interview with Penny in the October 29 issue of KRL.
Check out KRL’s interview with Penny & review of How To Crash A Killer Bash.
If you love mysteries, why not check out Left Coast Crime:
Mystery Conference in Sacramento, March 29-April 1, 2012.Registration through 12/31/2011 is only $210 (it goes up to $225 after that). Registration information can be found at the conventionwebsite, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.