Halloween is right around the corner, and why not throw a bash that your guests will never forget instead of the same old dress up party? I will show you how to host a murder mystery party at home, and it is easier than you think. Murder mystery parties have increased in popularity due to shows like Making a Murderer and podcasts similar to Serial.
Fox 32 graciously invited me on their morning show to talk about one of my favorite parties to throw!
Don’t re-create the wheel especially when a company like My Mystery Party has already perfected it! When I was searching for how to host a mystery party, this company was the company that came up in every search. You can order and download a pre-planned murder mystery party from their site and use your own props or order a “party ready pack” and includes all of the sleuthing sheets and decor. They are available for groups of all sizes- from 5 to 200+!
I interviewed Dr. Bon Blossman who has authored over 100 murder mystery party games and 10 fiction novels. She has a unique set of qualifications that lead to the believable and entertaining world of murder mysteries, including a PhD in Developmental Psychology and an educator in the field of Forensic Science.
Murder Mystery Parties are ideal for family reunions, corporate team building, fundraising and even science or chemistry classes. You can order “instant downloads” which arrive in a pdf with all the materials necessary for your party- character list, clues, victim signs, timeline, investigation sheets, name tags, and even bonus games.
Best part? They have party staff on hand 7 days a week to answer any questions. Last year we had someone cancel at the last minute, and I hadn’t read the script (nor did I want to! The element of surprise is just as fun for the host). I emailed My Mystery Party, and within a couple of hours they responded which characters I should switch to ensure our party went off without a hitch.
I love setting the scene and feel for a party long before anyone rings the doorbell. Although Evite and Paperless Post are convenient, a physical invitation is a rarity nowdays that goes a long ways. I created an invite image in Canva, printed it out and pasted it onto a trifold card. I had my kids help me melt red crayons over the opening to look like dripped blood.
As guests RSVP, send out their roles one by one. My Mystery Party even has optional pre-game activities if your think your guests really want to get into character (for example, call another person invited to the party and spread a rumor).
Last year I created a website and listed all of the characters so attendees could see who would be mingling and murdering. I also embedded the video that was created by the company to add extra eeriness.
Encourage your guests to get into character by suggesting outfits that fit their assigned role. For example, a trench coat, fedora and magnifying glass makes a perfect detective! A maid’s uniform complete with feather duster and apron or a teacher’s long dress and round spectacles are easy enough for guests to put together.
The game will come with suggestions for each character, and some will go more over the top than others. Ensure your attendees that they won’t feel out of place if they go all out.
Rethink your spaghetti and meatball basics by sneaking in a surprise. Make one massive meatball stuffed with spaghetti “brains.” First, cook the spaghetti and add sauce. Next, lay a half dome of meatball meat in a metal bowl. Add spaghetti, then cover with another half dome of meatball meat. Cook until meat is no longer pink inside. The wow factor comes in when you cut open the meatballs and “blood” and “brains” spill out (spaghetti and sauce).
Dessert can come in the form of these ridiculously simple sugar cookie skeleton fingers. I rolled sugar cookie dough into little finger-shapes, then plucked them hot from the oven and fit them into skeleton finger molds to really set the shape.
Drinks are always more fun when served in unique vessels! You can pre-mix a batch of cocktails and serve in test tubes and label them with stickers saying “ Poison.” I made Blood Orange Moscow Mules this year by adding mandarin vodka to a Blood Orange martini mix and popping in test tubes (add red food coloring for a bolder look). I then had copper mugs, lime wedges, and ginger beer on hand. Guests add the test tubes to the mugs filled with ginger beer to create a delish Blood Orange Moscow Mule, garnished with a blood orange slice. If you are wondering how to host a murder mystery party and provide EASY cocktails, I suggest pre-mixing some magic concoctions beforehand.
My second drink of the night (you know I love a specialty cocktail!) is a Black and White Magic Martini. I have a cotton candy maker, so I added plain white sugar to make clouds of white cotton candy. A black martini made with Blavod (Black Vodka) and Chambord is poured over cotton candy, creating a magically delicious cocktail. The cotton candy disappears, leaving a sweetened raspberry martini in its wake.
Lights, camera, action! Lighting plays a huge role in the ambiance and overall feeling of a party. I purchased battery-operated candles at Costco that are so incredibly realistic without the possibility of burning hour home down. I also spread tea lights throughout the house (those can be battery-operated as well), and pick a color theme. Silver or gold and black with pops of red is an easy one! You can find more DIY Halloween decor here.
Cheers to hosting a ghoulishly good time for friends who won’t soon forget the spooky setting, creative cocktails and mysterious magic that happens at a murder mystery party! I hope if you were wondering how to host a murdery mystery party, this post helped you plan the most ghoulish bash yet!