Do you remember the good ole’ days when parties used to be fun?
You would go to a pirate themed party on Saturday afternoon for your best friends fifth birthday then swing by a casual disco school dance that night. Why can’t adults still have fun like this? As we get older it seems like parties get duller by the year. It becomes all about your image and spending hours getting ready only to get sloppy drunk and ruin it all.
What if there was a way for adults to throw a party that wasn’t solely focused on getting wasted? Booze would still be included but it is no longer the focal point, simply a mere addition to the fun!
Throw a Murder Mystery party!
I cannot emphasize this enough. It is a way for your friends, families, or coworkers to get together and have an amazing night that will make you feel like a kid again.
I started a tradition in my family to throw this kind of party of New Year’s Eve each year and it could not have been a bigger hit. People see the pictures on Facebook and are dying to know how we did it. Well, I am here to tell you!
Step 1. Find a Package Online
There are tons of pre-made murder mystery packages online that have all the clues and evidence ready to go. All you have to do as the host is follow the directions and make sure everything runs smoothly.
My favorite sites have been mymysteryparty.com and shotinthedarkmysteries.com
Be sure to read the different age groups and number of people necessary so you are choosing the right package for your event.
Step 2. Invite the Guests
This is a critical and exciting step! As the host, you have the responsibility of assigning each person their character and letting them know all the information about themselves so they can dress up accordingly. In the past, I have played a shy florist and a photographer. The characters will vary from package to package and it is incredibly fun to pair each guest with an alter ego.
I typically just send out an email about a month- a month and a half from the party date so everyone has time to get their costumes. I include a synopsis of the party theme as well as the character description and anything else the party package tells me to send out prior to the party. One year we did a mascarade so it was very important that everyone had times to find masks they liked!
Step 3. Pre Party Details
You can be as elaborate or as simple as you want when it comes to decor. One year we did a party where someone was already murdered so I had a crime scene set up in the living room when guests arrived. Another year one of the guests were murdered so I had to prepare a halo to wear and victim sign for them to hang around their neck for the rest of the party. These details make the scenes come to life and help the guests really get into character.
Most party packages include paper nametags which I put in little plastic nametag badges to pin to everyone’s shirts. Since they are all playing a new character it definitely helps to remember who is who when reading clue cards.
Now, for the clue cards, it is very important to get this part right since it is how the mystery will unfold. I have done two different kinds thus far. One is when the guests already know all the information about themselves and what clues they are supposed to reveal (it is in the email you send out beforehand). The other is when the guests only know about their character’s personality and they receive various clues throughout the night.
Either one is fine but it is important to have physical copies of all the clues in envelopes when the guests arrive. I label mine with their character names on them and their nametags sitting on top so when they walk in the door they can pick them up and begin sleuthing.
Step 4. Help the Night Progress but Don’t Stress
As a host, it can be intimidating to make sure that everything goes smoothly and people are having fun. Just enjoy it! Once the first clues are being exchanged through secret whispers people start to really get into it. Obviously, if you know something is supposed to happen (like a murder) you could help the person who is being killed know what to do. It is also your job to try to gather people to certain areas if you know something exciting is about to happen.
Overall it is going to happen naturally so try not to stress about it. You can have fun too! Some parties allow for the host to not know any of the outcomes and others it is tough to avoid spoilers. I have done both and I had an amazing night either way!
I have seriously fallen in love with these mystery parties and I hope others do too! If you are thinking about planning your own but need some help figuring out the details feel free to message me! I would love to give you some advice 🙂