By Jennifer Shelly and Megan Nieves

Length of Program - 60-90 minutes

Vampires are hot!  Capitalize on the current craze by hosting a vampire ball.  Dress as your favorite vampire or be daring and dress as your favorite slayer!  Food, fun, crafts, music and more abound at the vampire ball!

Books to Share

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz Boys that Bite by Marianne Mancusi
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer Evernight by Claudia Gray
Glass Houses by Rachel Caine Marked by P. C. and Kristin Cast
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Vampire Diaries, Vol. 1. by L.J. Smith, L. J. Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Books to Show or Booktalk

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick
Night Road by A. M. Jenkins
Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Preparation and Promotion

At least two hours prior to the event, set your programming space up in gothic prom style.  This is a good opportunity for teen volunteers to help decorate.  Hang a mirror ball from the ceiling.  Using a helium tank, blow up black balloons and tie off with a red ribbon.  Allow the balloons to rise to the ceiling after making sure the ribbon length is suitably long for easy retrieval later.  If the ceiling is low enough twist black and red streamers across the ceiling allowing the ends to drape down. 

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Refreshments

Vampire Cupcakes

Make a cupcake that not only looks like it had been bitten into by a vampire, but that will bleed when you bit into it!  Bake cupcakes, fill the cakes up with pureed cherry pie filling (canned or homemade) and top them off with white icing to best accentuate the red bite marks.  Make the marks using a skewer dipped in leftover cherry filling, making sure to leave a clear impression of a fang bite, rather than just a red streak on top of the cake.

Photo used with permission by Stacy Spensley.

Ingredients
2 cups cake flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large egg whites
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins (you will need 18 cups total) with paper liners and set aside.

Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and blend, using the paddle attachment (You can use a hand mixer, too).
Cut butter into 4 or 5 chunks and drop into the bowl with the flour mixture.  Blend on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.

In a large measuring cup, combine eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With the mixer on low, pour 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the bowl. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the buttermilk mixture. Continue to beat at low speed for an additional 30 seconds, until liquid is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds, if necessary.

Divide evenly into prepared muffin tins, filling 18 cups as equally as possible.
Bake for 16-20 minutes, until cupcakes are light golden and a toothpick inserted into their centers comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed.

Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Ingredients
1 can cherry pie filling
Puree cherry pie filling – a syrupy mix of sugar and cherries, usually – in a food processor until fairly smooth. Very small pieces of cherries are ok.

Directions
Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small paring knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.  Take the cherry filling and spoon about tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling it almost to the top with filling. Top off with the flat circle of cake you just removed to seal the hole and hold the “blood” filling in place.

Filling

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup water
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extra

    

Directions
Whisk sugar, egg whites, 1/3 cup water, light corn syrup, and cream of tartar in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch simmering water). Using handheld electric mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture resembles soft marshmallow fluff, about 5-7 minutes.

Increase mixer speed to high and beat until mixture is very smooth and thick, about 3 minutes longer. Remove bowl from over simmering water. Add vanilla extract and continue beating until marshmallow frosting is completely cool, about 5-7 minutes longer.

Marshmallow Frosting

Assembly
Using a butter knife or a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with a layer of the cooled marshmallow frosting by placing a dollop of icing in the center of the cupcake (on top of the cut out circle of cake) and spreading from the center to the sides of the cupcake.

Dip a wooden toothpick or skewer into some leftover cherry pie filling and poke two fang-holes, about 3/4 inch apart, in the frosting on one side of the cupcake. Dribble a little extra filling from the holes for effect.

Repeat until all cupcakes are frosted and decorated. You will probably have frosting leftover for another batch if you are baking more.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Recipe used with permission by Nicole Weston at Baking Bites.com

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Vampire Blood Punch

Photo used with permission by Stephanie Gallagher.

Ingredients
4 cups cranberry raspberry juice (or cranberry juice cocktail)
2 cups natural pineapple juice (100% juice)
2 cups raspberry-flavored seltzer water
Ice cube

Directions

Mix all of the ingredients together, and pour into a large, decorative punch bowl.  Serve the punch with ice cubes.

Per serving (based on 6): 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 36 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 0% vitamin A, 133% vitamin C, 7% calcium, 6% iron

Makes 6-8 servings.

Recipe used with permission by Stephanie Gallagher, Cooking for Kids Columnist , About.com - http://kidscooking.about.com

See also, Vampire Blood Lollipops

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Songs and Audio Recordings

Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Columbia Records
Contra - Vampire Weekend
Fallen - Evanescence
Gothic Wedding Collection - Vitamin String Quartet
Interview with the Vampire Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Geffen
Rubberneck - Toadies
Twilight Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Summit Entertainment/Chop Shop/Atlantic

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Crafts

Bloody-Fabulous Boutonniere and Corsage

 

Materials
1 sheet of green tissue paper (for leaves)
1 sheet of colored tissue paper (for petals—we used black for a spooky look)
Pipe cleaners (1 for a boutonniere or three for a corsage)
Red glitter
Spray fixative (to be used outside and with adult supervision!)
Scissors
A pencil
Corsage pins
Old newsprint

Directions

Step 1: Fold the tissue paper you’ve chosen for the petals in half 5 times so that it is several layers thick and measures about 3”X 5”.

Step 2: Use the scissors to cut a curve at one of the short ends of the rectangle. It doesn’t have to be perfect—rose petals aren’t all the same shape. Be sure to cut through all layers of tissue paper and to trim off any folds so that all layers are free.

Step 3: Cut the opposite end of the tissue paper to a point. Once again, it doesn’t have to be perfect but be sure to cut through all layers and trip all folded edges.

Step 4: Fold the green tissue paper in half 5 times, just like you did with the petal tissue paper.

Step 5: Use the scissors to trim both short ends of the rectangle to a point, in the shape of a leaf. As always, it doesn’t have to be perfect but be sure to cut through all layers and trip all folded edges.

Step 6: Separate the number of petals you would like to use on your flower. Boutonnieres need eight petals. Corsages need 16 or more. During this step, you might find that some petals were not entirely separated when you cut them out. Trim any petals that are connected.

Step 7: Stack the petals, no more than four at a time, so that they are not perfectly lined up. Flip some over so that the sides do not match. Make it a messy stack—this will make the petals look different and the flower look more realistic.

Step 8: Taking one stack at a time, roll one side of the curved edge of the petal over the pencil until you’ve rolled up about half of the petal. Repeat these steps on all stacks of petals. As always, it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, at this point, the messier the better.

Step 9: Push the edges of the petal towards the center so that the paper is scrunched. Unroll and repeat steps 8 and 9 on the other side of the curved edge.

Step 10: Repeat steps 6-10 with the leaves. You will need 3 leaves for a boutonniere and 4 or 5 for a corsage.

Step 11: Take one pipe cleaner and wrap one petal around it snugly. Make sure that the petal covers up the end of the pipe cleaner and that the curved edge of the rose faces away. This is the center of the flower.

Step 12:Continue wrapping petals around the pipe cleaner in this fashion. Make sure to keep the petals even, so that the flower will look like it is blooming and not like a cone. Stagger the petals so that the openings occur at different places with each layer. For a boutonniere you only need 8 layers and you should wrap it tightly, like a rose bud. For a corsage you need at least 16 layers and after eight layers you should wrap more loosely like a rose in full bloom. Be sure to pinch the bottom of each layer tightly around the pipe cleaner so that the petals don’t unfurl.

Step 13: As you did with the petals, begin adding leafs. Make sure that your leaf is low enough to cover all of the bottoms of the petals. Wrap 3 leafs on, staggering their spacing, for a boutonniere. Wrap 4 or 5 on for a corsage.

Step 14: For a Boutonniere:
Take the bottom of the pipe cleaner and wrap it around the base of the leaves, twisting it tightly to keep them in place. Twist the loop you have formed with the pipe cleaner until it looks like a stem. Fold the bottom of the stem back up to the base of the leaves and wrap it around again, forming a smaller but thicker loop. Twist this loop again; you should have a 2”-3” step to pin on your boutonniere with.

For a Corsage:
Wrap the base of the corsage with the two extra pipe cleaners so that they are the same length as the stem pipe cleaner. Braid these from base to end. This braid will serve as the wristband for your corsage.

Step 15: In a well-ventilated area (preferably outside) with the help of an adult, lightly spray the flower and leaves with spray adhesive. Do this over the newspaper, to protect any surfaces from the adhesive. Be careful not to get any on your clothes or hands. One quick spray is plenty. Quickly shake red glitter lightly over the flower, then turn it upside down and shake the excess glitter off of the flower and on to the newsprint. Let the spray adhesive dry for 5-10 minutes.

Step 16: Wear your boutonniere or corsage to the Vampire Ball! To attach the boutonniere, ask an adult to help you pin it to your shirt. If you made a corsage, just wrap the braid around your wrist to form a cuff.

Photos used with permission by Megan Nieves.

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Trivia Contest

Host a vampire trivia contest testing the skills of even the most devoted fans!  Questions may include the following:

Vampire Lore

  1. What is one way to distract a vampire?  Throw rice or seeds between the vampire and yourself because they have to count every grain
  2. How can vampires be killed? Stake through the heart, holy water, sunlight, fire, decapitation
  3. What can repel a vampire? Crosses, mirrors, hawthorn, garlic, threshold of a home where they are not invited, Eucharistic wafer, running water, consecrated ground, silver
  4. What is the name of a vampire/human offspring? Dhampir
  5. What other forms can a vampire appear in? Mist and bats
  6. What other terms are used to identify vampires? Nosferatu, vampyr
  7. What are some of the powers of vampires? Hypnotism, superior strength, rapid healing, weather control

House of Nightseries by P. C. and Kristin Cast

  1. Who are the authors of the House of Night series? P. C. and Kristin Cast
  2. What symbol appears on a person’s forehead when they are marked to become a vampire? A crescent moon
  3. Who is Zoey’s guardian? James Stark
  4. Who is Zoey’s best friend? Stevie Rae
  5. What two characters call each other twins? Shaunee and Erin
  6. Who is Zoey’s human boyfriend? Heath

Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

  1. What year was Edward Cullen born? 1901
  2. What is the name of Edward and Bella’s daughter? Reneseme
  3. Where did Edward go when he first met Bella? To visit the Denalis in Alaska

Vampire Diariesby L. J. Smith

  1. Who is the author of the Vampire Diaries? L. J. Smith
  2. Which came first, Vampire Diaries or Twilight? Vampire Diaries was first published in 1991, fourteen years before Twilight was published
  3. What are the names of the brothers competing for Elena?  Damon and Stefan Salvatore
  4. What is the name of the vampire that changed Damon and Stefan? Katherine

Draculaby Bram Stoker

  1. Who is the author of Dracula? Bram Stoker
  2. What year was Dracula published? 1897
  3. Where is Bram Stoker from? Ireland
  4. Whose journal entry starts the books? Jonathan Harker
  5. What actors have played the role of Dracula? Bela Lugosi in Dracula, Lon Chaney in Son of Dracula, John Carradine in Horror of Dracula, Christopher Lee in El Conde Dracula, Jack Palance in Dan Curtis Prductions’ version of Dracula, Frank Leangella in Dracula, Louis Jordan in a BBC production of Count Dracula, and Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation.

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Scavenger Hunt

While decorating the room for the prom, hide plastic stakes, cloves of garlic, mirrors and crosses throughout the room.  At the beginning of the event announce that several vampire repellents have been hidden in the room.  Challenge participants to find the objects.  The person that finds the most “vampire repellents” thereby making the room safe for the all would-be vampires, wins.  Present an award to the person that finds the most objects throughout the night.

Costume Contest

Have a registration table when participants enter the program room.  Give each participant a number to display somewhere prominently on their costume.  Inform participants that there will be a costume contest and those wishing to participate in the contest must wear their number during the first part of the event.  At the refreshment table have a drop box where participants can submit their vote for best male and female costume.  End the prom with the crowning of the vampire queen and king who garnered the most votes for best costume.

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Web-Based Activities

Promotional Video

One month prior to the event hold a contest for a promotional video advertising the vampire ball.  Using a program such as animoto give teens the basic information such as date, time, and theme and allow them to create a promotional video.  The contest will be judged based on creativity and information.  Two weeks before the ball post the video on the library’s web site.  Release the video to the local television stations if allowed. 

Step 1: Sign up for a free Animoto account at www.animoto.com

Step 2: At the upper right corner click Create Video.  At the next page select a theme from the presentations available.  Be sure not to select a theme marked “Pro” as those require a paid account to use.  Once you have selected a theme you will be given a choice to purchase the video or create a 30 second video for free.  Click on make a 30-second video for free.

Step 3: Sign in or create an account (by clicking on Sign Up Today).

Step 4: Choose an image or video from your computer, Facebook, another website, or from Animoto’s catalog by clicking Upload, Retrieve from Facebook, Retrieve from another website, or Select from our collection.  (If you are choosing an image from another website, be sure that it is copyright free).

Step 5: Once you have uploaded or selected the video or image you will be shown on your workspace.  Using the tools below the workspace add text, additional images, rearrange, and shuffle your slides until you are happy with the order of the presentation.

Step 6: On the left side of the workspace click on Music to add music to your presentation.  You can choose music from your computer or from the Animoto catalog.  If you choose music from the Animoto catalog you can preview the music before selecting. (If you are choosing music from your computer, be sure that it is copyright free).

Step 7: Finish your presentation by clicking Finalize on the left of your workspace.  You can choose the speed of your presentation at this stage. (You can leave the speed at the default speed if you like.) Once your presentation is finalized, Animoto will email it to you.  After clicking on the link to your video, you will be given the ability to post it on Facebook through your Facebook account, post it on Twitter through your Twitter account, or embed it on your website by copying and pasting the html code given to you from Animoto. 
 

Web 2.0

If you have a Twitter account set up for your teen programs, during the vampire ball tweet the winners of the YouTube contest, vampire queen and king, and happenings during the event.  Link your tweets to your library’s Facebook page for continuous updates. 

If you would like automatic updates on your social network or library’s webpage first install the widget provided by Twitter. 

Step1.  Go to http://Twitter.com/about/resources/widgets.  Select your own website or Facebook to install your widget.

Step 2. Install the widget by selecting either your own website or Facebook widget. 

Website Widget Instructions

Some knowledge of html code is necessary if you wish to install the widget on the library’s webpage.  This step is recommended only if you intend to use Twitter frequently on your library’s webpage.  Otherwise follow the instructions for updating your Facebook page listed below.

  1. To install the widget for your website select My Website.
  2. On the next page select the type of widget you would like to install.  I recommend the Profile Widget which allows you to display your most recent Twitter updates on any webpage.  (You will need access to your library’s webpage to copy and paste the Twitter code once you are finished.  If you do not have access to modify your library’s webpage then try the Facebook widget.)
  3. On the left side of the page choose settings to customize your Twitter account.  Under settings, enter your Twitter username
  4. Under preferences select how you want your Twitter feeds to display.  I recommend checking Include scrollbar? Yes, Load all tweet, show timestamps, and show hash tags by clicking the button next to the option.
  5. Under appearance I recommend leaving the current settings as is.
  6. Under dimensions I recommend leaving the current settings as is.
  7. Click test settings to make sure that everything appears as you would like it.
  8. Click Finish & Grab Code to complete the set up.
  9. Copy the code provided by Twitter and paste the code into your library’s webpage.  As a reminder you will need access to edit your library’s webpage to complete this step. 

Facebook Instructions

  1. To install the widget to automatically update the library’s Facebook page select Facebook.
  2. Click Facebook Application.
  3. Click Install Twitter in Facebook.
  4. You will be taken to the Facebook log in screen.  Enter your log-in information.
  5. Facebook will prompt you to give permission to Twitter to install the application.  Click allow to install Twitter.
  6. Connect your Twitter account to Facebook by clicking Sign in with Twitter when prompted at the next screen.
  7. Enter your Twitter username and password and click Allow.
  8. Your accounts are now linked.  When you sign into Twitter and post updates your Facebook account will automatically display your tweets.

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Websites

Baking Bites - Created by Nicole Weston, this website features recipes for vampire cupcakes and cookies.
Books with Bite - Written by Savannah Valdez, this website contains hundreds of reviews of young adult urban fantasy novels.
Kids Cooking - Stephanie Gallagher contributes to this website featuring kid-friendly recipes.  As a bonus, nutritional information for each recipe is included.
Little Blue Hen - Written by Stacy Spensley this website contains nutritional and healthy recipes.  There are snack recipes that are perfect for the vampire ball.
Love Vampires - Contains book reviews of vampire literature organized by classic literature, historical settings, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, young adult, contemporary, and popular series from Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon and J. R. Ward.
Vampire Library - The Vampire Library features over 1,500 adult and young books on vampires.  It’s organized by novels, series, anthologies, fiction and non-fiction.
Tips for Live Tweeting from an Event - Information on how to conduct a live tweeting event.

Professional Resources

The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires by Theresa Francis-Cheung
Encyclopedia of the Undead: A Field Guide to Creatures That Cannot Rest in Peace by Bob Curran
Encyclopedia of the Vampire: The Living Dead in Myth, Legend and Popular Culture by S. T.  Joshi
Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology by Theresa Bane
The Encyclopedia of Vampires and Werewolves. 2nd ed. by Rosemary Guiley
The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 3rd ed. by J. Gordon Melton

Page last modified: December 4, 2013