For the past 4 years Justin and I have hosted an annual Murder Mystery Party with some of our friends. It is something I look forward to every single year!
It takes a pretty good deal of prep work from the host/narrator but it’s generally easy for each guest. So if you are up to the challenge and have a few hours to spend prepping, you should host your own murder mystery this year!
I’ve bought 3 of the 4 murder mystery storylines from playingwithmurder.com. We’ve done “Last Stop: Murder, Jazz Age Jeopardy, and Zombie Cannibal Asylum”. Last year our friends Jenna and Bobby decided to WRITE the murder mystery storyline and it was a High School Reunion theme.
My favorite one to dress up and decorate for was Jazz Age Jeopardy. I learned amazon has a ton of flapper costumes for cheap and found a dress for about $30!
This year we chose the Mardi Gras Masks Murder storyline which should be equally as fun to dress up for since it’s a masquerade party at the Governor of Louisana’s house.
I love knowing how the evening will play out, assigning characters, knowing who gets “murdered”, and generally keeping the flow of the evening going. I try to keep it fun and entertaining for everyone and even those who may not really be into acting seem to have a good time when it’s all over.
I thought I’d share a few tips if you decide to host one this year, based on my experience thus far.
- Purchase a storyline from Playing With Murder. All the steps are laid out for you and all you do is follow directions. It truly couldn’t be easier. It takes time to read it, organize clues and props, and assign characters but it’s not difficult to do.
- Assign characters strategically. Make sure the murderer, one to be murdered, and vital roles are assigned to guests who will definitely attend the party. There is usually a good mix of essential characters and supporting characters, so be mindful about how you assign the roles.
- Make sure your space is decorated based on the story and clearly marked. Sometimes specific events need to happen at a certain location, so something as basic as hanging a sign to represent the Bar, or the back alley, is helpful. Remember that the characters only know a little bit of backstory and their own information, so everything you can do to set the scene is really important!
We usually all contribute on the food front so it’s nice to have that off my plate (pun intended) since I’m usually spending a few hours decorating on the day of the party. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them quickly!