Announcing the Wanda Witch Clever Clue Giveaway

Hey everyone.  Happy October!  It’s my favorite month of the year and to celebrate I’ve decided to kick things off with a fun and fabulous giveaway.

Loads of you took on the Wanda Witch party last year and from what I’ve heard – you had a blast.  Judging from the emails I’ve been receiving in the past two weeks there will be many more Wandas coming out of the woodwork this Halloween.  I wish you all the best of luck and hope you’ll comment on your successes here.

This year, I’ve received several emails from you Wanda’s out there asking for more clue and challenge ideas.  Rather than post only my own, I thought it would be fun to throw the challenge back to you.  Several of you daring readers have hosted the party and many more are giving it a go this year.   My hope is that you’ll share your favorite clues and challenge ideas in the comments area of this post.  If you have attended a Wanda Witch party and enjoyed a particluar clue or challenge, I’d love your feedback too.  My goal is to create a big clue/challenge idea bank that future Wandas can draw from and enjoy.

As an incentive, I’ve got a great witchy giveaway for one lucky commenter.  My incredibly-talented friend Alison has generously donated some fabulous Halloween decor from her popular Etsy shop.  This be’witching’ hand-made letter set is perfect for your Halloween mantle or table.  The letters are beautifully crafted – like all of Alison’s creations – and are loaded with trendy accents and finishes.  The tallest letter is about 11″ high and roughly 7″ wide.  For a full description and more pictures click this link to Alison’s Etsy Shop.  Click here to visit her new website and see more of her crafty creations.  She has several of her products listed, but she’s great with custom orders if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for.

The shipping is on me so if you’ve hosted, attended, or are planning your own Wanda Witch party, just leave a brief description of your favorite clue or challenge idea.  You’ll automatically be entered to win the giveaway.  The contest will be open until midnight two weeks from today (deadline: October 15th, 2008).  Just thought I’d pass it on.

*For those of you that are still trying to protect your identity, feel free to leave your witch alias in the comments area.  As long as your email address works, I will be able to contact you when you win.   Thanks everyone!

**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!


26 Comments

  1. Glenda, the Good Witch

    I can’t wait to see what other people have come up with! I’m hosting a party this year. My co-host and I were racking our brains all day to come up with some more challenges.

    We’re going to have our guests count the stairs of an old ampitheater. The number is their code to a lock box, with the clues inside. (My sister hosted last year, and they had guest count parking stalls in a parking lot).

  2. I will be giving it a go this year and have come up with this as one of the ideas:

    Somehow, clue the participants into going to Nickelcade (an arcade stop). Once there, they must play “Dance, Dance, Revolution” until their team gets above a certain score. Once they have, a manager will hand them their next clue.

  3. I am so excited to be hosting this party this year. I have two fun clues. We have a hiking trail nearby that has a metal bridge. We will hang the spiders from fishing line from the overhead beams, there is a plaque at the trailhead that we will give them a closeup of with this clue:

    On a pillar of stone, at the head of a trail,
    you’ll find this bronze plaque. Think hard, do not fail.

    Enter the gate to follow the track.
    Over the 1st bridge, don’t look back.

    The path must divide,
    so take the RIGHT side.

    Pass the strange tree growing out of black stone.
    What was that sound, did you hear a moan?

    Soon you will reach a bridge painted black,
    Look sharp and beware of a man on horseback.

    For he craves a head, yours just might do,
    don’t get too spooked, you’re almost through.

    Green arachnids here, have spun their webs,
    to find them look above your heads.

    A color bands one of their eight,
    hurry fast now, mustn’t be late.

    Another clue we are using leads to a pond next to a park. We had toads in the multipack that we bought for the rats, snakes, and spiders so we are putting the toads in freezer bags with a colored glow stick (their team colors, found them at Dollar tree with all the right colors). Then we will attach them to fishing line and stake the lines on the shore. They will have to tug at the lines to find the one glowing with their color. Here is the clue:

    To the south of the House of Utah you’ll find
    a little hill where children slide fast and quick;
    finding which park is the trick.

    When you arrive you will decide the slide must have disappeared!
    But that’s okay you’re still on your way to find the next ingredient –so weird.

    Don’t get too frightened as you climb in the dark.
    Climb up the highest hill to the south,
    and think of the things that could be under the grass,
    ghosts lurk here leaving no mark.

    Now, hocus…pocus…focus toward the northern star.
    Two leafless trees are not too far.
    You may be fearful so near the pond,
    but don’t forget your quest must go on.

    Go past those trees,
    creep 30 yards on the gravel path
    past the graveyard-like fence you see.
    Go down into the misty marsh to find a
    toad of your team color—
    and a glow-in-the-dark wand for me.

  4. Idaho Wanda

    I don’t remember if Maria posted this one. This is one of our favorites from the party. The party go-ers had to go to the “Anne Frank Memorial” and this is the clue that led them there. I can’t get the numbers to match up exactly. We have also done a find the words puzzle that you can make online and then the left over letters had to form a sentence.
    From the connector to downtown, on _ _ _ _ _ take a right.
    24 34 24 38 30
    Haunting ghouls are _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ on this spooky night.
    2 47 2 34 38 34 24 43
    Right after the river you’ll find a small _ _ _,
    22 15 38
    Parking is _ _ _ _ _ _ so I hope you’re not caught.
    54 8 2 4 54 17
    Walk cross the old _ _ _ _ _ _ facing into the lights
    37 4 34 11 43 17
    The _ _ _ _ _ that awaits you will give you the frights.
    54 70 17 24 17
    This humbling scene reminds us of a _ _ _ _
    24 2 3 34
    But with the number of quotes, it looks like _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
    8 2 8 2 4 2 3 3 34
    Search quickly and carefully _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ the display
    38 30 4 15 27 43 30 15 27 38
    But look at “_ _ _” face, it shows you the way.
    30 17 4
    For the “Universal Declaration of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _”
    30 27 45 2 24 4 34 43 30 38 54
    Is the direction she’s _ _ _ _ _ _ on each of the nights.
    43 2 3 34 24 43
    But don’t be too _ _ _ _ _ to grab your next clue
    30 2 54 38 63
    First check your next clue _ _ _ _ _ _, so you’ll do what is true.
    24 27 45 37 17 4
    For the “Rights” read _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _, NOT left to right
    37 2 70 7 47 2 4 11 54
    Search the _ _ _ _ number for your color, with only your light.
    54 22 2 37
    10 x 8-60+2= L
    63/3/7= Z
    400×2-798= A
    54+10-37+11= T
    7+8×3= M
    81-47+9= G
    47-26×3= Y
    700/7-63= B
    2+2+4+8-9= K
    6×5/10+31= I
    10×10-87+4= E
    13-8+10×2= H
    8/2+12/4= R
    6×10+4-9= F
    57+3/6+5= O
    9+3×2= N
    19+21/5= P
    4+6+8-7= D
    9/3+4×10= C
    4×9+25-7= S
    38-28-6+23= U
    27×2-7= W

  5. Idaho Wanda

    Here is another one that I’ve heard my family talk alot about but haven’t tried it YET! Take peanut M&M’s and put one in the microwave and cook until it cracks. Once it cracks just a little bit pull it apart and take out the peanut. Roll up your clue very little. Insert it where the peanut used to be and put the M&M back together. (use a dark color M&M) Cut a small slit in a package underneith the flap of M&M’s and insert the clue. Put a small piece of tape over the slit. Don’t give anymore instructions then just the package of M&M’s. Good fun!

  6. Another Idaho Wanda Witch

    I’m doing a wanda witch party this year as well. And I am actually using the same word search clue as above. Only we had the whole message in the leftover letters. Another clue we are doing is a maze (actually found on the same website) In the maze there will be letters and numbers placed randomly. On the correct path they will pick up letters in order to spell out “40th president of the US” and the maze ends at a building. So they have to figure out who that president was and what building they are supposed to go to in order to find the next clue. The answer is Ronald Reagan Elementary School. Another on we are doing is similar to Maria’s pumpkin patch idea. We will give them a clue to get to this pumpkin patch with a big red barn and they will have to search 20 acres of pumpkins to find the one that has their team color on the stem.

    I hope this party is a success. We’ve already had a couple of bumps in the road. My sister Zelda and I hand delivered the invitations Tuesday night around midnight thinking it was plenty late and would not get caught… we were a bit surprised when we pulled up to one house and there was a car that pulled up right behind us as I got out of the car. I was so surprised that I’m sure I looked like a child with it’s hand caught in the cookie jar. I thought they would pass us and we would continue with our task… well, it happened to be one of the people we were inviting and I jumped back in the car and drove off without delivering the invitation. We later went back and dropped it off as fast as we could and I ran to the corner where my sister was waiting. The next day we received an email saying that our party conflicted with the Stake Conference Adult Session. 50% of our RSVPs have said the same thing. So if you are throwing this party make sure it doesn’t run into anything else going on.

  7. Mile-High Milley

    One of our locations is the Molly Brown Summer Home. It’s a pretty simple clue so I’m thinking about having a fun challenge that is more difficult at this location. I’m not sure if guests can wander around the grounds at night so I’m thinking of having them cross the street to the strip mall and so something there. Here’s the clue:
    To the next clue you’re off – do not dabble in folly,
    Just pretend it’s the summer… and you’re off to see Molly.
    “Who is that?” you may ask – You should know! It’s unthinkable
    That you aren’t familiar with the dame that’s Unsinkable!

    For challenges, I love the idea of the walking path through the tunnel and having letters written in chalk that they would need to unscramble. There is a great path close to the Summer House so I am hoping to be able to use that.

  8. Mile-High Milley

    Oops! My first email was wrong – here is the right one!

  9. Texas Witch

    What website are you getting your puzzle makers from?

  10. Another Idaho Wanda Witch

    The website is http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/ It’s really a great fast way to make up a puzzle. The hidden message can be a bit tricky to work out exactly. I actually had to try it a few times to get it just right without having extra letters. The maze clue… I printed off the maze, then added my letters and numbers by hand. (tracing, using sunlight) After I finished the first one, I made color copies since my letters and numbers were in orange. Then I added a cute stamp to the center which was the ending spot. I think it turned out pretty cute and it was really simple to do.

  11. Another Idaho Wanda Witch

    Sorry, I forgot to post this earlier. I really admire those that are savvy with word clues. That is why I use different things… I’m not very creative in that area. Another clue we are doing is “Today, many people are surprised to learn that there was a lake in this park, named Lake Ethel, used for swimming and fishing. Lake Ethel was a man-made lake constructed originally to store irrigation water from Mason Creek. This park of 44 acres is no longer home to Lake Ethel. But your eyes can track a few landmarks across it’s planes.” The park where the next clue/item is called Lakeview Park… no lake in site, but there is a big airplane and part of a train along with a few other landmarks. I’m really excited for our party.

  12. Emily in Utah

    Here are a few of the challenges we’ve incorporated into our parties:

    1. Milk jug egg toss:
    Cut milk jug in half. Every team has two minutes to protect their egg. Hold onto handle. Toss egg back and forth.

    2. Bury broom stick with flat end up. Place ping pong ball on top. Draw a 3 foot ring around stick. Try to knock ball off the stick, with a bean bag, but land within the circle.

    3. 3 legged race

    4. Bury cans of different sizes and worth different point values, into the ground so they are flush with the dirt. Each team is given washers. The goal is to flick them into the cans.

    5. Fill a wading pool with water. Place floating cups on the water. Give each team pennies. The goal is to get your pennies into your cup.

    6. Give each team a set of marbles. The first person shoots their marble. The next person then can drop another marble or try to steal another player’s marble by dropping their’s from shoulder height onto the other player’s. If it hits the challenger takes both, if it doesn’t the one challenged gets both.

    7. Take empty boxes of varying sizes. Cut shapes into the sides of the boxes and assign them point values. Sling shot marbles or bouncy balls into the holes. If the ball stays inside the box a point is given.

    8. Give each team glow-in-the-dark bracelets. They are going to toss them back and forth, egg toss like, but catching them on their arm rather than with their hands.

  13. My all time favorite “challenge” was when we zip tied all the team together by their wrists then had them do a course we had decorated with glow sticks at our local park. They had to go up over the swing, slide down the slide, climb up the ladder, etc. We were a little nervous for some of our bigger contestants – but they loved it. We timed each team, so it allowed lots of bad mouthing, cheering, etc. Even though there were a few bruises, everyone loved it. Our only problem was a policeman who informed us that the park closes at dusk, woops.

  14. We love Halloween! Our new idea for this year is from Family Fun. We are going to give each player a knee-high stocking and a sock. The players must ball their socks at the foot of their stocking and then put the stocking on their head. They can’t touch their own once the game begins. Last one to keep their stocking on wins.

    Old favorites:

    Tie the clue to a brick and put it in a shallow creek or marsh.

    Have a small raft at a pool and two members of the team have to get across the pool.

    Put cauliflower head in red jello. Make lots of small clues and insert them into the cauliflower before adding the jello. Players must disect the brain to assemble the clue.

    Tie the clue to a calves neck in a cow pasture. (Maybe this is Idaho specific)

    Buy cheap makeup kits and tell the team one of the members has to look like the person on the front of the package.

    Have a good runner wear all black and tie lots of glow sticks around his/her waist. PLayers must touch the runner to get their next clue.

    Zoom in on any common site in your area and just print the picture as the clue.

    Find obscure memorials and print the picture as the clue.

    Write the message and put it in a glass bottle. Hang enough string from a bridge to the water so the bottle is submerged.

    Play memory with facts from couples. (Put half facts and half couples names on the backs of printed pumpkins.) Teams can score extra if they get a whole teams facts.

    Lock teams together with chain & a combination lock. Let one member try to unlock them all by giving them a bag of possible codes.

    Write your clue in another language.

    Give players an author or book title and hide their clue in the book in the library (if it is open long enough) or at Barnes & Noble.

    Bury the clues in sand at a beach. Give directions from a certain point (5 steps forward & 2 steps left of the oak tree)

    Give players 10 minutes to go to a store and buy something to wrap an egg in for a championship egg drop challenge.

    Screw two pieces of wood together with the clue in between the boards.

    Put GPS coordinates on a billboard or marquee. Have the clue be a picture of the store.

    Have teams eat a previously ordered big ice cream sundae or something and then managers give the next clue.

    Teams must hit something (like a team plate) with a slingshot & marbles.

    We love Wanda parties!

  15. Another Idaho Wanda

    I finally came up with the clue for the pumpkin patch… We are purchasing pumpkins before the party and put their team color on the stems. They will have to search in the 20 acres for their own color. Then take the pumpkin to Sherry where she will give them the next clue. But this is the clue to get to the pumpkin patch. The names of roads can be interchanged and the name of the person as well. It took me long enough!!!

    Whisked away by devils delight
    Trouble may be found day or night

    Ere you pick one or two
    Does not matter for this witches brew

    Take Amity and head west to Linder Road
    Be careful for we are in haunting mode.

    Pumpkins, here you will find many
    But keep a watchful eye yours could be any.

    Once you’ve found the correct choice
    Find the one with a Sherry voice.

    She will be the one to hand you the next clue,
    You need not worry, no payment is due.

  16. Did I win? I, humbly, think my ideas were the best. :)

  17. I can’t let Lisa win. Here are some more of my ideas.

    Tie an Orange Ribbon
    This game is a great way to start your party.
    Ingredients
    Orange or Black Yarn
    Scissors
    To Play
    Buy some yarn or ribbon, and cut the ribbon/yarn up into various lengths (at least 100-400 uneven pieces).
    Hide the yarn or ribbon around the house.
    Put everyone into pairs, and have them search throughout the house to find as many pieces of ribbon/yarn as they possibly can.
    Each team must work with their partner to tie each piece of ribbon/yarn together to create one long piece of yarn/ribbon. Whoever has the longest piece of ribbon/yarn at the end of 15 minutes wins the game (It is OK if not every piece of ribbon is found).
    Halloween Sticker Stalker
    Ingredients
    Halloween Stickers
    To Play
    When guests begin to arrive at your house, give each guest a pack/sheet of 10 Halloween stickers.
    The object of this game is to get rid of all your stickers by sticking them on the other guests (One sticker per guest). However, if the guest you are “stickering” catches you, he/she gets to stick one of his/her stickers on you. If you are “caught”, you must temporarily take your sticker back, and you can try to sticker that same person later (at your own risk). But if someone falsely accuses you of “stickering” him/her, then you can automatically put one of your stickers on that person.
    The first one to get rid of all 10 of their original stickers is the winner!

    Race for the Rainbow
    Ingredients
    Plastic Bags
    Paper
    To Play
    Give each team a plastic bag as well as a piece of paper containing a written list of all of the colors of the rainbow.
    Each team has to find at least one object in nature or anything outside that matches each color of the rainbow. For example: A red apple, orange leaf, yellow weed dandelion, etc.
    For each object they find they have to place it in their plastic bags. The first team to find objects that match each color of the rainbow is the winner. Each item found can only count for one color.
    Pass the Sand
    Ingredients
    Containers
    Sand
    To Play
    Divide the group into two teams and line them up.
    Have the person in each line grab a handful of sand from a container. They must pass the sand to the next player, who passes it to the next, and so on down the line.
    When the sand reaches the last player, he/she pours what is left of it on a plate. The team with the most sand wins the game. (You may have to weigh the sand on a food scale if it’s close.)

  18. Sneaky Witch from Wyoming

    We have had a blast doing this party. This is actually the second year we have done it without anyone knowing who planned it. Last year we met on the grounds of a historic building for our final location. This year we met in a conference room at a motel. We leave a box with all the instructions in it. We have everything labeled with who needs to do and read what. We even put our popcorn balls and cider in the box. Our guest absolutely love it and don’t have a clue who has put the party together.

    This year my husband made a CD for one of their clues. He started it out with cartoon witches laughing. Then he disguised his voice and said the clues were somewhere on the CD. He put a lot of halloween music on it. Sometimes the clues would be in the middle of a song and other times it would be between songs (the harder to find, the better the clue). The location he gave clues for was actually a participant’s house who had no idea there was anything hidden at their house – we were very sneaky. We knew they would be fine with us using their home – and they were :-).

    We have written clues in pig latin. We have had participants go to a drive-thru and order something and have to give exact change for it.

    Also this year, my husband wrote a mathematical equation that equaled the address on a certain street we told them. It went like this: So you think you are pretty smart? Count the number of intersections on main street with stop lights. Add that to the score a football team would receive for a touchdown, an extra point, a safety, a field goal and an onside kick. Subtract that from Martin Van Buren. ( what Number of president). Now multiply that by the age of President Monson. This will give you the address on Sheridan avenue of your next clue.

    What number did Steve Young wear while at BYU? This will be the number of fence posts from the edge of the property where you will find your clue. Everyone ripped out their cell phones and started calling friends for answers. It was great.

    Thank you so much for the idea to throw this party. It is definitely the highlight of the year – and our “group” is sure looking forward to next year already.

  19. Idaho Wanda

    Sneaky witch from Wyoming, Did you not reveal yourselves from the last years party? How do they not know it is you again?

  20. Sneaky Witch from Wyoming

    No, we didn’t ever reveal ourselves. They knew it was the same people doing it this year because everything was done the same as last year other than the clues and locations that were given. I don’t know how many more times we will do it – it is a lot of work, but much fun. :-)

  21. Wow! I’m so impressed. How do you keep it a secret? My husband had to coach me on what to say to people. We practiced many times. I don’t think I could do it. Way to go. Maybe if we move and start all over! :)

  22. Another Idaho Wanda

    We actually have to do the same thing of keeping it anonymous. There was a huge deal about it in Relief Society (someone thought it was a ward party) and now everyone knows about it. We got it all taken care of, so only the people we invited will go, but we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings because they weren’t invited by us. We figured no one can be mad if they don’t know who to be mad at! :) We decided we are just going to have my sister set everything up at a park and leave instructions to throw away your napkin from treats. I think it will turn out okay (hopefully)! :)

  23. I am freaking out just a bit, so far 22 couples have RSVPd. I einvited a lot thinking we would get a few. Any tips for big crowds?

  24. For Wanda about freaking out – don’t worry. Last year we had 28 couples and it was crazy. We had 8 teams and a whole lot of people but I got one great tip from my sister. She encouraged me to write the rules down for every challenge/clue. It really was just too many people to yell over.
    I also wanted to add one of my favorites from last year before I forget. There was an old rusty water tank that we had “stuff” to make a fishing pole with. Inside the tank was there clue with a big metal washer. Here’s the clue:
    “Hvae you eevr ntoecid how
    yuor bairn wrkos so fsat
    you can raed setnihomg lkie tihs
    so you wno’t cmoe in lsat.

    Spilmy go to yuor coolr
    teapd on the tnak’s wall
    Tehn aselmsbe the fsinihg ploe
    And let the menagt flal.

    Pull out yuor two cules
    ecah cpolue gtes jsut one
    Tehn hrury bcak to yuor mat
    And fnisih up wtih mroe fun!”

    All you have to do is keep the 1st & last letter the same, then mix up all the others. We loved this one.

    I also am hooked on invisible ink pens. We always serve snacks or dessert at some point in our party. Last year I gave each team an invisible ink pen with light and told them to be on the look out. Then we wrote “clues” on the bottom of their plates like, “Spray John with silly spray” or “go take a bite out of Shelly’s sandwich.” The favorite was “bring me Shane’s shoe”- Shane is a rather large man that had no clue why they were taking his shoe. It made life so fun as the couples started to figure out what was going on. Some were even digging their plates out of the garbage seeing if they lost points.

  25. We hosted our party last night and had a blast. I loved watching everyone. Four or Five people said they thought it was me after the fact, but no one wrote my name down! We had one location that was really difficult. The dry riverbed was easy to follow in the day time but at night it was a whole different story. We had one team down there for over an hour. We felt kind of bad.
    We had the opposite problem from some of the other witches. No one said anything to anyone because they didn’t know who was invited or not and they didn’t want anyone to feel bad. We invited 27 couples hoping for 18 or 20. Six of the couples never responded though we sent an email and a postcard. We ended up with 13 couples which worked out okay. We only used four teams instead of six as we had planned.
    However, everyone said they had so much fun that “next time” everyone will want to come. I believe them since the word is spreading like wildfire today. They came to a joking conclusion that the winning team this year has to do it next year! That’s fine with me since I was not on that team.
    I had so much fun with this. In fact, I really have a lot of housework etc. to catch up on; my family would probably appreciate a home cooked meal, and maybe I can stop checking Wanda’s email 5 times a day! Hee, hee. Thanks for the great evening!

  26. The Wicked Witch

    I’m remedial but very excited. I “get” the details but could someone outline the overall evening. How many challenges, the ending activities, how to begin?

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