7 East 80th Street smile for the camera

How to Throw a Haunted House Party Alfred Hitchcock Style

Book a stay on the Alfred Hitchcock floor at Arthouse Hotel and have a scream this Halloween in Liverpool with all your friends.

Halloween is just around the corner so we’ve taken a look at how the master of macabre, Alfred Hitchcock, chose to celebrate his love of horror and haunting. The bash he threw for the Warner Brother top brass in March 1956 showed that Halloween must have surely been his favourite time of year.

7 East 80th Street haunted house party

source: LIFE

Our Hitchcock movie-themed hotel rooms are dedicated to the great director and his work, to help our guests celebrate all things spooky in style.

Check out this amazing account of the spookiest party in town during 1956 at Alfred’s own horrifying New York Haunted House Party.

The perfect party location

In true Hitchcock fashion, it was all about location, location, location when it came to planning his grand New York Haunted House Party.

Hitchcock Haunted House Party search

source: The Splendid Table

He sent out his team, Young and Rubicam, to track down a Hitchcock appropriate venue to host his hotly anticipated house party.

  • The stipulation was that the venue should;
  • Be able to cater to a number of VIP guests
  • Have a glamorous yet chilling interior
  • And most importantly have its very own supernatural presence

The task at hand seemed daunting at first when the team first attempts to secure out a genuine haunted house in New York.

The Wine Cellars of Brooklyn Bridge

They came up trumps with Hitchcock’s first two criteria but were stumped time and time again when it came to finding a real live haunted house.

Luckily a tip came in that the wine cellars under the Brooklyn Bridge ticked all the boxes on Hitchcock’s list.

Together Young and Rubicam and an excited Mr Hitchcock took a tour of the cellars and discovered, at last, the ideal space in which to host Hitchcock’s epic Halloween bash.

Brooklyn Bridge Wine Cellars

source: The Cave Wine Storage

The walls were dripping, dank and dark and even the whispers of the team members echoed around the cavernous space creating ghostly whispers.

Sadly a Hitch presented itself.

There was no plumbing throughout the cellars and Hitchcock’s most distinguished guests could not expect to go without washrooms for the entire shindig. Prices for temporary fixtures were assembled totalling $800.

The wine cellars were a no go and the search continued.

The Old Merchants House

The people of New York all began to get involved in the search and tips kept rolling in about supposedly haunted buildings that were ideal for Hitchcock’s house of horrors.

The Old Merchant House was scouted as another possible venue. The perfectly preserved period home was ideally spooky and was rumoured to have ghosts of its very own.

The Old Merchant House

source; NY Adventure Club

Those who inherited The Old Merchant House told stories of ghostly happenings. Convinced that nine members of the Treadwell family who lived and died on the property continued to haunt it they opened the home up as a museum.

Hitchcock, upon visiting the house was overjoyed with the preservation of the home and believed it would make a smashing venue for his VIP haunted house party.

The Old Merchant House 2

source: landmarkinteriorsAgain, it was not to be as the kin of the Treadwell family could not consider a party being held inside their historical landmark giving Hitchcock and his team a blunt no when the idea was suggested.

The search went on.

Today The Old Merchant House is still perfectly preserved and receives regular visitors with a keen interest in the history of the home and its haunting past.

Last resorts

Taking matters into his own hand Hitchcock reached out to the American Psychic Research Society who responded that New York had become too modern a city to host any sort of supernatural spirit.

Hitchcock then placed an advert in The Times real estate section asking for people to call in with any ideas. Young and Rubicam were bombarded with over 100 telephone calls a day but none of the leads could conjure evidence or even stories of ghostly presences in their proposed properties.

Hitchcock's The Times Real Estate Ad

source: Reddit

There were suggestions of homes in Jackson Heights with real graves in the garden, a place in Englewood for sale with reports of a poltergeist but Hitchcock preferred to stay in the city centre.

On Staten Island, there was an agent trying to rent his property to Hitchcock for $5000 because it had nightly spiritual torments which gave Hitchcock chills but not because of the ghosts.

The Winning Location

7 East 80th Street

source: LIFE

After his short but exhaustive search for the most haunted house in New York Hitchcock and his team settled on the towering townhouse on 7 East 80TH Street.

The abandoned cobweb-laden mansion was sans spirits but Hitchcock’s patience was spent and he settled for a venue that looked haunted but wasn’t.

7 East 80th Street stairs

source: LIFE

This was no problem for the master of suspense and horror as he and his crew set to work stirring up the dusty corners of the extensive property and adding some eerie extra touches here and there.

Hitchcock placed coffin shaped bars around the home, and well placed hidden speakers provided spooky moans and groans of fictional ghoulies throughout the building.

7 East 80th Street house party host

source: LIFE

Using the ancient furnishings to his benefit Hitchcock accentuated the decay of century-old paintings, elaborate antique chandeliers and thick dusty drapes. The perfect mood lighting was installed and Hitchcock’s haunted house party was finally taking shape.

The Monstrous Menu

A stickler for the finer details Hitchcock ensured that if he couldn’t frighten his guests with real ghosts he would try instead with his party menu.

Inside the carefully crafted Tombstone Shaped invitations guests received a copy of this cleverly conceived menu of the macabre;

Carte de Morte

Aperitifs

Morbid Morgue Mussels, Suicide Suzettes avec Crepe, Consommé de Cobra, Vicious-Soisse

Entree

Home-Fried Homicide, Ragout of Reptile, Charcoal-broiled Same-Witch Legs, Corpse Croquettes, Barbecued Banshee au Gratin, Opium Omelette en Brochette, Stuffed Stiffs with Hard Sauce, Gibbeted Giblets, Monster Thermidor, Tormented Tortillas, Ghoulish Goulash, Blind Bats en casserole

Dessert

Fromage d’Abbatoir, Python Pudding, Morphine Meringue Glace, Fresh cut Lady Fingers (in season)

The Liqueurs

 Bloody Marys, Anisette d’Arsenic, Hennessy’s Heroin, Dead Grand-dad, Formaldehyde Frappe

Guests came dressed to impress in all manners of upper-class attire, and photos show that the drinks were flowing as the spookfest played out.

7 East 80th Street Party cake - LIFE

source: LIFE

On top of all the extravagant food, there was also a detailed party cake made to resemble a church and graveyard, complete with inedible cobwebs draped across so that it almost looked a part of the house.

Not to leave things to chance Hitchcock utilised his movie know how to give his guests an extra fright in the night.

7 East 80th Street man in bed

source: LIFE

One of his cheeky tricks included a decrepit old man left in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Clever makeup and special effects made this character seem like he could have been left to pass away in the house and forgotten.

This was not the only haunting house party Hitchcock threw during his years as master of suspense. Other notorious party rumours circulate about the director hosting events in LA where guests were handed shovels and asked to exhume several buried skulls bureid around the property garden.

Hitchcock and Shovel

source: theretroset

If we could attend any Halloween party we think Hitchcock’s soirées might have been the most terrifying ones of all time.

Staying with Arthouse Hotel on the Hitchcock floor

We know that any party might pale in comparison to Hitchcock’s fright fests but there are plenty of spooky happenings going on during Halloween in Liverpool 2017.

Hitchcock Arthouse Hotel room

Book to stay in one of our Hitchcock hotel rooms at Arthouse Hotel this Halloween and prepare to be dazzled by the décor and enticed by the exquisite ensuite bathrooms.

Arthouse Hotel is right in the middle of all the best Halloween action taking place in Liverpool. Make sure you get yourselves booked into one of our Hitchcock themed suites or our other movie-themed hotel rooms and have yourself a scream this Halloween.

Call 0151 601 8801, email info@sigantureliving.co.uk or check out some of our best accommodation offers here and book direct.

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