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The Ultimate Guide to Murder Mystery Parties

The Ultimate Guide to Murder Mystery Parties

Murder mystery parties are a great way to bring friends, family, and colleagues together for a night of fun and intrigue. With the right preparation and planning, hosting a murder mystery party can be an entertaining and engaging experience for everyone involved. 

Now, you might be wondering, “how do I host my own party?” 

Look no further! 

Hosting a murder mystery party requires careful planning and attention to detail. So, how do you host a murder mystery party?

Here are the steps to follow when hosting your own murder mystery party.

Step 1: Choose a theme

The first step in hosting a murder mystery party is to choose a theme. Murder mystery parties can be set in a variety of different time periods and locations, including a 1920s speakeasy, a medieval castle, or the North Pole. Once you have selected a theme, you can start to plan the details of the party. We have more than 20 themes available with new themes always in development. 

Step 2: Choose a script

Next, you will need to choose a murder mystery script. These can be purchased online or at a party supply store. The script will provide the storyline for the party, including the characters, their motives, and the clues that will lead to the identity of the murderer. Make sure to read the script thoroughly and familiarize yourself with the details of the story.

Step 3: Assign characters

Once you have chosen a script, you will need to assign characters to your guests. Each guest will play a specific character in the story and will be given a set of clues to help them solve the mystery. Make sure to assign characters ahead of time so that your guests have time to prepare their costumes and get into character. If you are playing in person, we provide “Who Did It Slips.” We recommend pulling these slips from a hat to randomly assign the killer at the start of the game. If you’re playing virtually, we created our own random assigner HERE! Each player will receive their assignment secretly by email.

Step 4: Plan the decorations

The decorations for your murder mystery party should match the theme of the party. For example, if you are hosting a 1920s speakeasy party, you might want to decorate with vintage posters, jazz music, and a bar setup. If you are hosting a medieval castle party, you might want to decorate with suits of armor, medieval tapestries, and candles. Be creative and have fun with the decorations!

Step 5: Plan the menu

The menu for your party should also match the theme. For example, if you are hosting a 1920s speakeasy party, you might want to serve cocktails, finger foods, and desserts. If you are hosting a medieval castle party, you might want to serve roasted meats, bread, and ale. Make sure to plan ahead and prepare the food ahead of time so that you can enjoy the party with your guests.

murder mystery party menu

Step 6: Provide costumes

Costumes are an important part of the murder mystery party experience. Encourage your guests to dress up in costume to get into character and set the mood for the party. You can provide costume ideas or let your guests come up with their own costumes based on their assigned characters.

murder mystery party ball

Step 7: Set the stage

On the day of the party, make sure to set the stage for the murder mystery. Set up the decorations, prepare the food, and make sure that everyone is in costume. Go over the details of the script with your guests before starting the party to ensure that everyone understands their roles and the rules of the game.

Step 8: Solve the mystery

Once the party starts, it is up to your guests to solve the mystery. Encourage your guests to interact with each other and to ask questions to gather clues. Make sure to keep the party moving along and provide hints if needed. At the end of the party, reveal the identity of the murderer and congratulate the guests who solved the mystery.

How to choose the right murder mystery game for your party.

Determine Your Group Size

The first step in choosing a murder mystery game is to determine your group size. Many murder mystery games are designed for specific group sizes, so it's important to choose a game that is appropriate for the number of guests you will have. Some games require a minimum of six players, while others can accommodate up to 20 or more players. 

All our games at Broadway Murder Mysteries include 20 characters and additional guests can play as detectives. Check out our more than 20 available themes HERE

Consider Your Theme

Murder mystery games come in a variety of themes, from classic whodunits to more elaborate games with multiple plotlines and twists. It's important to choose a game that fits the theme of your party and will appeal to your guests. Some popular themes include 1920s speakeasy, 1980s themes, and holiday murder mystery themes.

80s murder mystery

Determine Your Guest's Comfort Level

Consider your guests' comfort level when choosing a murder mystery game. Some games may involve more complex storylines or require guests to improvise dialogue or actions. If your guests are new to murder mystery games, it's best to choose a game with a simpler storyline that is easy to follow or is more scripted in its format. All of our games are scripted with the ability to improv your own dialogue if you’re comfortable with it. 

Decide on the Level of Difficulty

Murder mystery games vary in different levels of difficulty. Some games may have more challenging puzzles and require more critical thinking skills. If you have a group of guests who enjoy solving puzzles and challenges, a more challenging game may be appropriate. However, if you have a group of guests who prefer a more laid-back experience, a simpler game may be a better choice, as it focuses on the characters and fun instead of the critical puzzle elements. All of our games are designed to be flexible and played over and over again, making our murder mystery games lower on the difficulty level and higher on the fun scale. 

Look for Reviews and Recommendations

Finally, it's always a good idea to look for reviews and recommendations when choosing a murder mystery game. Google Reviews, online forums, and social media groups can be a great resource for finding reviews and recommendations from other hosts who have played the game. You can also ask friends or family members who have hosted or attended murder mystery parties for their recommendations.

Choosing the right murder mystery game for your party requires careful consideration of your group size, theme, guests' comfort level, level of difficulty, and reviews and recommendations. By taking the time to choose the right game, you can ensure that your party is a fun and engaging experience for all of your guests.

Murder mystery parties are great for many occasions. Let’s explore some of the events that are perfect for throwing a murder mystery party.

Birthdays

Birthdays are a popular occasion to host a murder mystery party. Whether it's a milestone birthday or just a fun way to celebrate with friends, a murder mystery party is a great way to make the occasion memorable. Choose a theme that fits the birthday person's interests, and assign characters to your guests based on the theme. Our 80s-themed Murder at the Roller Rink murder mystery game is perfect for teen and pre-teen birthday parties, while our Roaring 20s theme is great for an adult group. 

murder mystery birthday

Holidays

Holidays such as Halloween or Christmas are also great occasions to host a murder mystery party. Incorporate holiday-themed decorations and costumes into your party, and choose a game that fits the holiday theme. A murder mystery party is a unique way to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family. Our Horror on the Haunted House Tour murder mystery game is great for Halloween parties, while Holiday Horror: Murder at the Office Ugly Sweater Holiday Party is perfect for office holiday parties. 

murder mystery new year

Corporate Events 

Murder mystery parties are not just for social occasions - they are also a great option for corporate events. They offer a fun way for coworkers to interact and get to know each other outside of the office. Choose a game that fits your company's culture and objectives, and encourage team building and problem-solving skills during the game–more on that in the next section of this post. Our Death and Taxes game is great for office parties, as well as many of our themes

murder mystery corporate event

Family Gatherings

Family gatherings such as reunions or holiday dinners can be livened up with a murder mystery party. It's a fun way to engage family members of all ages, and provides a shared experience that everyone can participate in. Choose a game that fits the interests of your family members and assign characters accordingly. Looking for a fun summer BBQ murder mystery game? Our game Grilled to Death is great for adult family gatherings.

 family murder mystery party

Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

Bachelor and bachelorette parties are also occasions that are perfect for a murder mystery party. It's a unique and entertaining way to celebrate the bride or groom-to-be, and provides a memorable experience for everyone involved. Choose a game that fits the interests of the bride or groom-to-be, and assign characters to the guests accordingly.

bachelorette murder mystery

So, whether you have a birthday, holiday, corporate event, family gathering, or bachelor/bachelorette party coming up, adding a murder mystery party offers a fun and interactive experience that guests will remember for years to come. Pick a game and enjoy an evening of suspense and intrigue with your friends, family, or coworkers.

Murder mystery parties are great for corporate event entertainment, and also make for a great team building experience. 

Team building events are an essential part of any successful company's culture. They allow employees to get to know each other better and improve their communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. However, traditional team building activities such as trust falls and ropes courses can be boring and unengaging. This is where a murder mystery party comes in - it is a fun and interactive way to promote teamwork and collaboration in the workplace. Here’s how:

Encourages Teamwork and Collaboration

A murder mystery party is a team-building activity that requires collaboration and teamwork to solve the mystery. Employees must work together to gather clues and solve the puzzle. This promotes communication and collaboration between team members, helping them to build better relationships and work more effectively as a team. We host murder mystery experiences both in person and virtually as corporate team building events. 

corporate party

Fosters Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

Hosting a murder mystery party encourages employees to think creatively and use their problem-solving skills to solve the mystery. They must think critically and logically to gather and analyze the clues and come up with a solution. This type of thinking can be applied to the workplace, where employees can use their creativity and problem-solving skills to overcome challenges and improve business processes. 

corporate holiday party

Builds Trust and Improves Communication

Team building activities such as murder mystery parties require employees to trust each other and communicate effectively. They must rely on each other to gather and share information, and work together to solve the mystery. This helps to build trust between team members and improve communication skills, which are essential for a successful team.

Provides a Fun and Engaging Experience

Murder mystery parties are fun and engaging, making them a great way to boost morale and improve employee satisfaction. It provides a break from the monotony of the workplace, allowing employees to relax and have fun with their colleagues. This can improve their overall job satisfaction and help to reduce stress and burnout.

corporate event murder mystery

Every company has different formats, rules and ways of playing. 

Here’s how to play a murder mystery game with Broadway Murder Mysteries.

The instructions below are for playing the game in-person at a live party. Our host guides include additional details and inspiration for hosting the ultimate murder mystery party, as well as a virtual host guide.

All of our games include 20 characters and each game can be played by any combination or number of characters, since the killer is assigned at random each time. Additional players can participate (we’ve had groups of over 1000 play before!) by acting as “detectives” who ask questions each round and guess who the killer is at the end.

Before The Party Begins

Read the included Host Guide with detailed instructions on how to play. It also includes the character information for your chosen game.

Provide your guests with their character name and description in advance. This helps encourage players to dress up and arrive ready to play!

As Guests Arrive

Welcome your guests and give each person their character booklet as they arrive. They should not open them until directed by you. It can be nice to let guests arrive and mingle before officially starting the game. Each character packet includes a brief description of the character and information that they can read and share while mingling, as well as secret information for their eyes only.

Each guest should also pick a “Who Did It Slip” and the host should advise them to keep it secret. This slip tells each guest whether or not they are the murderer. If they are not the murderer, it also includes a number, which denotes the order in which guests should read their final statements. NOTE: Each character booklet has an “innocent” and “guilty” version for every character. If a guest chooses a “who did it slip” that reveals them as innocent, they should read the innocent answers each round. If they are the murderer, they should read the “guilty” answers each round.

When You Are Ready To Officially Begin The Game

Start by playing or reading the Introduction Narration provided with your materials.

Next, have each character read the “INTRODUCE YOURSELF AT THE START OF THE GAME” section in their character packet.

When you are ready to officially start the game, it is played in three acts. For each of the three acts you will follow these steps in order:

Reveal the Evidence: Listen to the narration of the evidence or read it aloud from the “Evidence Booklet” for the Act you are starting. Upon beginning, start with Act One. 

Questioning: Once everyone has listened to the Detective and heard the evidence for that Act, it’s time for each guest to ask another guest one question from the “Question Menu” for the current Act. Choose one person to start with a question. When the answer has been revealed, it’s time to pass the question sheet to another guest to ask a new question from the menu. If a particular character is missing from the cast, there is no need to ask their question from the menu. This round of questioning should continue until all present characters have been asked and answered a question.

Once all questions from the Question Menu for the Act have been asked and answered it’s time to either pause again or continue to the next Act.

Final Act: Will The Murderer Be Caught?

Now it’s time to end the game and reveal the murderer. Follow the steps below.

Accusations: Each guest should make their own accusation as to who they think the murderer is. It’s fun to include reasoning as to why they think that character is the murderer, but this is optional.

Final Statements: Each guest should look at their “Who Did It Slip” to review the number in which they are assigned to read their final statement. Then in order of lowest to highest (starting with 1) guests should read their final statements section in the character booklet. Any guest that has a number 1-19 should read the “Innocent” statement. The person who has the “Murderer” slip should read THE MURDERER statement LAST.

Who Wins? The winner(s) are those who guess the murderer correctly!

Want us to host your murder mystery party for you?

CLICK HERE to learn more about having Broadway Murder Mysteries host your next murder mystery party.

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