The Best Halloween Party Game
My Brothers and I have hosted Halloween parties for several years. They are big events with lots of guests. Sometimes upwards of a hundred people will show up for one of these parties. We go all out, decorating the front and back yards as well as inside the house. We rotate who hosts the party each year and all pitch in to decorate for the party.
The first few parties we held seemed to be missing something and were not as successful as we had hoped. Sure, a lot of people would show up for the Halloween party. But, some were my friends and some were my brother’s friends, which mostly didn’t know each either. The problem with this was that guests would tend to gather in small groups of people that knew each other. Save a very few of the more outgoing people, most of our guests just didn’t feel comfortable striking up conversations with others that they didn’t know. As a result, many of our guests would hang for awhile, then head off to some other party that was going on that night.
When it came time to host the party at my house, my wife and I were determined to change all this and make this party the one nobody wanted to leave, as well as forcing our guests to engage in conversations with one another. After much thought and planning, we came up with what I think is the best Halloween party game ever.
The game we came up with was a live version of the board game CLUE. This version of the game makes people talk to each other, allows people to play the game while still being able to continue to party and kept everyone at the party until the end of the night.
If you have never played Clue, the object of the game is, by process of elimination, determine who committed a murder, where the murder was committed and with what weapon. In our game, The “Who”, the “Where” and the “What” are all around the guests. They must be good at sleuthing to find all the clues and get the right answer.
This game will take a little prep time before the party starts. The very first thing to do is to determine the answer to the game, such as “ The Mummy did it in the Ball Room, with the Lead Pipe”, or something like that.
Now you need to prepare the “Who did it” part of the game. Go online and print images of famous horror characters like Frankenstein, Count Dracula and so on. Depending on the size you expect your party to be, you should print off 6 to 10 characters. Now, take these images and place them into picture frames you already have hanging on walls or sitting on shelves. Because these are photos that normally hold family photos, guests will have to pay close attention to spot them. Don’t print an image of the real murderer though because you won’t need it.
Next, decide on the weapons that might have been used. Make sure your guests are safe. Don’t use any weapons that could injure someone. If one of your weapons is a gun of some sort, DO NOT use a real gun! Paint a squirt gun to represent any firearms. Each weapon should be unique and only used once. So, if you use a lead pipe as a weapon, don’t include any other pipes in your list. Use the same number of weapons as you have photos of suspected killers. Now, place these murder weapons in discreet locations so that they can be found but are not obvious or place them in locations that require a guest to visit, such as a backyard Halloween set. Don’t place the actual murder weapon out with the rest of the weapons.
Now, make a list of room names to use in the game. There should be the same number of rooms as there are murder suspects and weapons. Room names could include the Ball Room, the Dungeon, the Bell Tower or anything else. Don’t include the room where the murder was committed in this list.
Now, create a playing sheet that your guests will use to play the game. On it, include all of the suspects, weapons and rooms, including the ones that are the answer. Make sure to leave spaces for guests to mark on the sheet. Here is an example:
At the top of each sheet, write the name of a room you have on your list (not the murder room). You may use the same room name more than once. This is going to be the scorecard.
Now, here is how it all comes together. As guests arrive, they are given one of your scorecards, a pencil and a brief explanation of the game. Guests must keep an eye open for weapons and suspects, which you have strategically placed throughout your home. As they spot a weapon or a photo of a suspect, the guest can check that off on their scorecard.
In order to check off rooms on their scorecard, guests must talk to one another to ask, “What room are you?”, referencing the room name that was printed on each guests scorecard before the game started.
What your guest should be left with when completed is a scorecard that has everything checked off except 1 suspect, 1 weapon and 1 room, which by process of elimination should reveal the answer to the game. Have your guests bring the finished scorecard to you so you can write their name and the time they finished on the scorecard, then keep them for the reveal later.
The winner of the game is the person to get all the correct answers the soonest.
We made it interesting by offering a bottle of CR to the winner. What we failed to mention was it was the single shot sized bottle. Also, we always designate someone as bartender for the party. This was the person the scorecards went to.
We found this to be a fun but un-intrusive game that everyone could play without interrupting the party. It also forced our guests to talk to each other, which meant that guests mingled and conversed and new friendships were made.
I hope you enjoy this game as much as we did!