Theme Parties: Quality Fun is Always Funner

Halloween is here and everyone is decking their halls with cotton cobwebs, jump scaring their friends at every corner and buying large bags of candy, pretending they will last long enough for the trick or treaters, which is perfectly fine.

They are also hosting Halloween parties. I have been invited to five this year and while that seems like a lot —it is and I totally didn’t go to all of them because that is just way too much socializing for one introvert to handle— the ones I choose to go to were the ones that sounded more fun.

Unfortunately, they didn’t all pass muster.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Murder Mystery Dinner Party and, I’m not going to lie, I was totally psyched. I had gone to one put on by a theater company in Salt Lake with my mom a few years ago, and I guess that experience lead to me having overly high expectations for this one.

Personally, I am a fan of theme parties. The problem is that not everyone can pull it off. It takes real dedication and organizational skills to make it a success. I can recognize the difficulties of putting a theme party together, but that doesn’t mean my expectation of having a good time should be lower.

I know that no one is to blame and that a whole mess of errors and miscommunication lead to this event being a flop, but once that snowball gets going, it’s all downhill from there.

To start with, the official invites for the party didn’t go out until the night before the party. They were emailed, so the reception rate was immediate, but still.

It was a work party, so we all kind of knew that a party was forthcoming but we didn’t know where or when. Half the people invited went to the wrong place and then went pretty late for the actual party. So the belated and uninformative invites were strike one.

Then, the people organizing the party put the wrong person in charge of writing the story.

Let’s be honest, we’re students, so there’s not much brain power left at the end of the day, but even then, we should be able to figure out what the story is supposed to be.

And who-done-it’s are the best kind of stories. If a mystery-loving, chronic-movie-spoiler like myself couldn’t manage to string that far-reaching yarn together, then there is a real problem. There were plot holes galore and things didn’t tie together well enough to signal an ending. Strike two.

Not that there was really much of a beginning either. The idea of this type of dinner party is that the entertainment goes along with the dinner. By the time the theatrics started, everyone had been finished eating for quite some time and several people had already left. The rest were held hostage with the promise of a super bougie cake at the end.

The idea was that everyone in attendance had a role to play, even if it was just rumor-mongering, much like a normal murder mystery dinner. However, no one knew what their roles were, even the main actors, who were supposed to be leading the story, weren’t sure what was happening. Strike three, you’re out.

Of course, no one bats a thousand, but if you’re going to throw a theme party make sure you actually have the time, and the spare mental faculties, to pull it all together.


Story by: Alexis J. Taylor
Photo by: NeonBrand and