Murder mystery parties are becoming more and more popular. There are many ways to produce a Murder Mystery party. If you want to do a small home type party with up to 20 people, you can always buy a box game, write your own script and story, OR hire a professional company to come into your home and perform.
The information below applies only to the more amateur, “Do-it-yourself” type of small home parties where you and your guests play all the actor roles.
Below are the main ingredients for a home party. The level of success and enjoyment will of course differ, depending on the personalities of your guests and their levels of acting talent! Don’t be fooled by clever advertising written by the companies that sell box murder mystery games. They need to make a profit like anyone else! The success of your party is an unknown quotient. However, the more time and money you put into your party planning, the better your result is likely to be.
By following the information below, you will help reduce some of the stress and anxiety associated with being the host of a murder mystery party. After all, you want to have a great time as well.
Make sure that you only invite people to your murder mystery party who are going to become really involved in the fun. Everyone present needs to play their parts enthusiastically. They don’t have to be wonderful actors, just willing to forget their inhibitions and pretend to be somebody else for a few hours. And you will know which of your guests will relish playing a character who has quite a bit to say and do, and which would prefer a smaller, insignificant role.
As host you must have the confidence and authority to keep everything moving smoothly. It is all too easy for people to forget that the main purpose of the evening (or weekend) is to unmask the dastardly villain who has committed the crime. It is not to stand at the drinks table discussing what was on TV last night!
Get a good script. You may need to write your own...it needs to be somewhat believable, scary and interesting. Or you don't have to write one, and just go with the flow-just make sure everything is going close to the plan.
Make sure that it is possible to discover the villain by taking note of the clues, asking questions of the other protagonists and piecing it all together. Although there will be several suspects, of course, only the guilty person should fill the bill.
Host a murder mystery party set in period costume. You'll find this greatly adds to the enjoyment and atmosphere. People who like this sort of thing tend to enjoy dressing up and getting the outfit ready is often a large part of the fun.
Give the invitations out at least six weeks prior to the event, especially if it is taking place at a time when fancy dress is in big demand, e.g., New Year.
Tell all your guests to keep their characters a secret, even from partners or spouses! It really gets the party off to a great start if nobody knows who anybody else is until the last minute. Let the guests get to know who everybody is by circulating and asking questions, it’s a great icebreaker for murder mystery parties.
Murder mystery parties are better when they include a buffet meal rather than a sitting-round-the table affair. The main reason for this is that the host is more able to concentrate on the action, knowing that the food is prepared and ready for the guests to help themselves at the right time.
Give one prize only, to the super sleuth who unmasks the criminal. Some people give prizes for best costume, best performance etc. but this method concentrates the guests’ competitive instincts on being the best detective!
Make sure that each character has their own background of jobs, affairs, marriages, places lived, etc. So the characters could fit in with the clues.