A few years ago, my friends and I took part in a weekly themed activity night. Each week for three years, we got together for a few hours of fun, with a night dedicated to a specific theme.

In this post, I am going to discuss a horror night that would be perfect for a Halloween party or gathering. The pictures used to illustrate this post were captured during our ‘Let’s Play A Game’ night back in October 2015.

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Let’s Play A Game night

Let's Play A Game Night 1

The object of the game was to solve a puzzle that would lead to the location of Billy – the creepy doll from the Saw movies. Let’s Play A Game revolved around a series of horror mini-challenges and a puzzle hunt.

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The horror game night

The main game: The main game involved setting a series of mini-challenges, consisting of a either a word search, a Q&A session, or some sort of small game. The challenges didn’t need to be too complex, they just needed to fit in with the horror theme.

As you can from the image below, one of the mini-challenges was based around the works of Stephen King. The challenge here was to pick out the books written by King, from the blood-stained list.

Another challenge (not pictured) required players to piece together a horror story that had been chopped up into small parts. The players had to work out the order of the story and read it back to the host (me) within a set timeframe.

Each challenge saw the players awarded with points. These points were converted into time (5 points equals 5 seconds) in order to give one player a head start in the puzzle hunt.

The puzzle hunt: For the final round (aka the puzzle hunt) the players were set loose (around my apartment building) on a sort-of treasure hunt. The aim was to find puzzle pieces that when put together would reveal the location of ‘Billy’.

The winner was the player who could put together enough puzzle pieces to discover Billy’s location.

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Do you need to be a horror fan to play?

Having some knowledge of horror helped in the mini-challenges, but it wasn’t essential as most of the games were designed for anyone to play. You don’t need to be an expert in horror to complete a word search.

Ultimately, during the mini-challenges the players were winning ‘time’, to give them a brief head start in the final round. So, it didn’t really matter too much who won or lost.

The final round – the puzzle hunt – was simply a case of hunting high and low for puzzle pieces, so once again, anyone could take part. Prior to playing the game, I simply hid a bunch of puzzle pieces in my apartment block, making some easy to find and some a little more difficult to locate.

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You can replicate this game with ease

As a big fan of the horror genre, I loved putting this Theme Night together. It took a little bit of prep work ahead of the night, but it made for a memorable and spooky evening.

And if you want to set up your own horror game, all you need is the following:

  • A series of horror mini-challenges (a word search, a crossword, ten horror questions etc)
  • Some puzzle pieces with clues to Billy’s location

Now how simple is that?

You can make the game last for around 60-90 minutes and when put together with some food, drink, and a little bit of horror-themed fancy dress, it can form the basis of a wicked horror/Halloween party!

Try it out this year and let me know how you get on.

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