Want to try something a little bit different with your friends and family?
According to The Atlantic, young people are having parties for many milestones that used to be celebrated privately, like divorce parties. But they’re also up for getting together and having a good time, and an old-fashioned murder mystery party is just that.
While murder mystery parties have been en vogue for over a century, the first murder mystery game was created in 1935. Known as “Jury Box,” party guests had to navigate twists and turns to find out who the killer was.
Just like our website’s games, the hosts didn’t need to create an entirely original script for the evening. This means you can focus more on preparing the party than actually crafting the murder mystery.
Read on for more information on hosting a murder mystery dinner party at home.
Choosing Your Guests
You’ve decided you want to host a murder mystery party. Fantastic! But who should you invite?
The key to having a great time often lies with who you invite, and a murder mystery party is no exception. If you have friends who hate games or aren’t big fans of these types of events, don’t invite them. It will bring the mood down overall, especially if people begin to wane and decide they’re not that into the game.
Instead, invite friends who have a theatrical flair about them, or those who you know would be into playing a game of this nature.
Murder Mystery Dinner Party at School
Do you teach English to adults? Or do you have high school students who are at a high level of English? If so, a murder mystery party might be a great way to celebrate the end of the year either at school or outside of class.
You can get together and practice your English skills in a fun way that allows people to come together to work as a team. You’ll also be teaching them new vocabulary skills as they attempt to solve the mystery set in front of them.
Or, How About a Murder Mystery Dinner Party for a Corporate Office?
If you’re not keen to host a murder mystery party at home, why not consider doing one for your office? You don’t have to do it in office hours to detract from your environment. Instead, have your murder mystery party at a team-building retreat or a party.
This allows the people you work with to come together and organize as a team over something fun and low-stakes. At the end of the day, a murder mystery party doesn’t involve financial decisions and it won’t affect how their boss views them at the job. Therefore, this helps them get to know one another and work on their team-building skills.
This is also a great idea for a new team who hasn’t worked together before. It gives them insight into one another and how each of their co-workers’ problem solve. This is invaluable once you move to real-world situations, and allows them to have fun while doing so.
Set the Mood
When creating the perfect murder mystery, you need to set the mood for your guests. It isn’t enough just to have a murder mystery party, but you’ll want it to match the tone of the script.
Our murder mystery dinner piece takes place in Victorian England, which allows you plenty of liberties to set the mood. You can decide to serve beverages inspired by Victorian England, eat food they may have eaten during that time period or play music from then.
This helps gets your guests into the spirit of the murder mystery, and ready for the game.
No matter the theme of the murder mystery you choose, ensure your guests feel fully immersed in the world, at least for the time you’re doing it.
Although this may seem like a no-brainer, a murder mystery dinner party requires you to serve dinner.
If you’re having a party where the space is limited, you can consider our game that allows you to host a full murder mystery sitting down. Guests don’t have to get up from the table and can work together to find the murderer from their position at the table.
If you go with a murder mystery party where the guests remain seated, remember that someone will need to read the mystery aloud. Therefore, you want to make sure you, or someone there, is fully prepared to stand up and do so.
Often, there are people at parties who are not comfortable doing readings for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. Unless this is a classroom situation where your students are required to work on their speaking skills in English, don’t force anyone to read. This can make for a very uncomfortable situation.
Some individuals who host dinner murder mysteries absolutely love to be theatrical, and if that’s you, tell your guests to dress for the part. Let them know what time period the murder mystery is set in and let them go ham on a costume and persona.
While our murder mysteries don’t require anyone to role-play, your guests are still welcome to pretend to be guests at the manor or wherever your mystery takes place. If you know your guests have a penchant for theatricality, definitely do not deny them that. For many people, that’s a huge draw for attending a party in the first place.
When using one of our murder mysteries where guests have to stand up, they’ll need to make their way around 14 different stations in order to come to the correct conclusion. As such, you’ll need to make it so that your guests can actually move around the space you’re occupying.
If you have a very small apartment and you’ve stuffed people to the brim, it might be better to go with the murder mystery in which people are sitting down. If you have a large house and are able to set up different stations, this is ideal.
In the event that you can’t put the items on 14 different places, you may ask someone to hold one and station themselves there.
Invite the Right Number of People
For many murder mysteries, it is crucial that you invite a certain number of people. The extended version of our party is no different, as you’ll have 14 teams working together to solve the mystery.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a party of 100 people, as you can do it with as few as 28 people in pairs of two. Ideally, you’ll want to have more people, though, so that you can really get in the team effort.
You’ll need to go over your murder mystery and count out the number of players you’ll need. Make sure everyone is able to join a team, as leaving people out can make them feel unengaged and unimportant in the context of your party.
We suggest that you invite more people than you need, as it is unlikely that every single person will show up for your event. So, if you need 28 people to play the game, invite 40 or so to ensure that you can play it well.
At the end of the day, you’ll likely have just enough people if you over-invite, but take precautions for if you have an odd group number.
Give the Proper Time Needed, And Let Guests Know In Advance
Let your guests know upfront that you’ll be hosting a murder mystery party so that they know they can’t just rush in and rush out. Some people like to pop into parties for an hour or less to sample the food and give their regards to the hosts. Instead, let your guests know that you’re playing a game that takes a certain amount of time. That way they can plan ahead and decide whether or not they can come.
Murder Mystery Dinner Parties: Fun For Everyone
Murder mystery dinner parties are incredibly fun for grown-ups, and give them a chance to let loose and pretend. After all, there isn’t much time in an adult’s life to do so with everything else they have to do. This gives you a chance to bond with family, friends and co-workers and have a good time.
If your little ones would like to play similar games at your parties, check out some of our other game kits. We have activities for all ages on our site, and something for everyone looking to host a memorable party.
Ready to invite? Please use our free app for creating party invitations.