Recently, and I think it might be the dark, moody weather talking (summer, where did you go? Come back!), I've started to crave a really over-the-top, thunder and lightning, cobweb-bestrewn murder-mystery party.
When I was little I was obsessed with ghost stories. My best friend and I used to have sleepovers involving chocolate (usually sneaked into the house underneath our knitted jumpers) and freaking each other out late into the night with scary, highly improbable, tales. I am not a brave girl; I usually got so involved in the story I was telling that I scared myself, and had to stop.
My favourite kind involved vampires, which I used to research obsessively. I was armed with a battery of vampire-repellent knowledge. Most of this I have forgotten, but the one thing I have not is that a vampire can only get into your home if you actually invite them in. Needless to say, you should never invite a vampire into your home. Erm, unless you are hosting a vampire themed murder-mystery party that is.
The most important thing to do before you have a vampire themed murder-mystery party is to get in the mood, properly in the mood, by watching something spooky, turning all the lights out and surrounding yourself with candles... you need to be scared enough to be inspired, and also, more importantly, to stay awake and thus not burn the house down. The best, I'd say, is the 1992 Dracula, a fantastic and slightly mad cacophony of thunder, lightening, absinthe, lace and weird sex scenes you wouldn't want to watch with your mother.
Five things you will definitely need if you decide to host a vampire themed murder mystery:
1 Candles (you cannot have too many of these, they need to be everywhere), preferably the fat, church alter kind as they don't burn down so quickly as the tapered ones.
2 Dark red rose petals (again, these should be everywhere, you should be picking them out of your hair by the end of the evening)
3 Faux-cobweb spray (magic in a can)
4 Lots of black or red fabric (preferably velvet or lace) to drape over your table/chairs/self, if your best Transylvanian accent is failing you
5 Red wine and/or (depending on the strength of your constitution) Bloody Mary in large quantities.
For a few vampire make-up and costume ideas click here. To check out my vampire themed murder-mystery game click here.