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Goth Party | Good Times in Black!

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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February 31, 2015

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Goth Party Men and women dressed in Goth Clothes
Image by Rama (Own work) / CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, via Wikimedia Commons

Goth Party | A Taste of the Macabre

An elegant and classy Goth party is truly a memorable event. It contains many elements from aesthetics to food to music that are different and distant from the daily lives of many.  What follows is how I would hold a Goth themed party for 18 people at my home. Please note that this guide is written for non-goths who will no doubt think of it more as a costume party. Having said that Goths who live and breathe this lifestyle would probably happily approve of most of what I say!

What is Goth?

First, an understanding of what Goth is. For some it is a subculture that they have come to seriously embrace. The elements of this culture have been accumulated for about 400 years starting with an artistic movement. Gothic art, architecture and literature.

The Gothic fascination with the macabre has no doubt been partly due to the influence of Gothic literature which combined dark elements of both horror and romance. Think of the dark, romantic story telling in Washington Irving’s ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.’

Gothic artists and photographers also are an influence with their mystic, somber and romantic motifs. From erotic artwork to romantic images of vampires and ghosts. Dark colors and morbid sentiments.  Tim Burton and Anne rice must be Gothic gods!

Then their is the Goth musical movement that started after punk rock.

Goth is also an aesthetic. Darkly romantic, elegant and glamorous, edgy with moments of black humor and an emphasis on black. Mysterious, morbid and somber.

Party Time

I will for the most part be refraining from cheesy and party-ish decorations. This couple is partly responsible for that and have prompted me to go for something more upmarket  So no fake eyeballs floating in the punch soup. No cobweb decorated wine glasses. No purple and black streamers.

Creating the right atmosphere and ambiance is important.

Gothic-Style Invitations

Distinctive black and purple invitations that have a nice sheen to them will be sent in the mail. On the invitation I will touch on the dress code. This particular Goth party is a formal dress high-glamour affair. I need to make that clear otherwise I’ might have friends making minimal effort. Blue jeans, a black shirt and white socks would make many Goth’s roll their eyes in disdain!

I would also scour the internet for some really good information on clothing, make-up and so on and send everyone the links by email..

Light a Candle

As guests enter they will be asked to light one of the many short thick red candles on top of the shoe cabinet.

Eating Arrangement

Eating will be a casual affair. Some formal Goth costumes are fairly elaborate. It’s not as if everyone could fit around a dining room table wearing long black feathers and evening gowns with wide hems. There will be plenty of places around the combined dining room, living room and study room area to sit in comfort, eat and talk.

Gothic Tablescape

I will have a table set-up buffet style that has a black and purple tablecloth on it. There will be a fancy Gothic candelabra with red lit candles on it.  A group of long black feathers at the back of the table on the left and right will make an arch.

I will probably settle for a set of quality disposable red plates. Red napkins will be in an ornamental metal napkin holder.

On the other tables there will be a group of white candle centerpieces surrounded by black decorations.

It would be nice to have some vintage looking silverware. I don’t have anything myself but I’ll ask my friends if they have any.

Goth Party Model
Image by Wirklich1198 (Own work) / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sumptuous Food

* A roast silkie chicken dinner. Silkie is a kind of chicken with black skin and dark-colored flesh. To this I’d add baked purple potatoes, orange carrots, red onions and throw in some dark star anise for good measure.

* A crown of ribs surrounded by egg plant, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

* Black Caviar Coated Cream Cheese Balls

* A nice wooden cutting board with an assortment of black-purply figs, hard cheese, walnuts and brown bread.

* A bowl of black grapes.

* A chocolate cake with red icing on the top that has dripped down the side of the cake. Dark chocolate roses on top. A creative an elaborate Goth themed black forest cake is also a contender.

* Slices of purple beetroot

* Black olives and black beans.

* For dessert pancakes with gobs of hot black fruits. Maybe some fruit tarts as well if I’m feeling ambitious.

Drinks

* Spicy mulled wine, beer and red wine.

* An elaborate punch bowl filled with berry punch that has a lot of cut fruit floating on top.

* Black coffee with sugar cubes

Decorations

Death and skulls are important icons in Gothic culture. I’m going to set aside a little space for a fake skull surrounded by small red roses. Lots of them on top of the skull. A short orange lit candle completes the visual. I’ll also pick up a cute silver gargoyle statue and place it on the living room table.

Music

For part of the night I might have a Goth band DVD playing on the HDTV. I’d check out videos on Youtube first to choose something suitable. It’s too distracting to have the HDTV on all night so I’ll come up with some other music to play in the background.

Goth Party Couple
Image by Alan Johnson from UK / CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Posters

I will have two nice big posters hanging up on the wall. A dark and foreboding picture of Count Dracula close-up. Another poster of dark red roses.

Activities

One of the activities for the night will be reading short passages from Gothic novels. You might want to start with Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.

“And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”
– Excerpt from Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’

Another interesting activity is a movie trivial pursuit. Pair up everybody and play excerpts from movies like Blade, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Interview With a Vampire. Ask them the name of the movie or character that is talking. Give the winners a prize like a black champagne glass.

If you are considering on having a Goth party I hope you found some useful ideas in this article. Got some ideas you can share? 

Check out my Goth Party category over at Pinterest. You’ll find lots of Goth-related images there.

Goth Party Clothing
Image by Rama (Own work) / CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, via Wikimedia Commons

 
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