How to Host a Murder Mystery Party

1. Pick a date. Be sure it doesn’t interfere with the OU football schedule or your friends will reject you. October is a fun month to dress up and do something scary.

Must I say this is a fake pipe? It’s a fake.

2. Think about friends or family who are willing to get outside their comfort zone and be a little silly. Decide on your guest list.

3. Choose a murder mystery to purchase online. You can buy fancy ones in a box that come with props, but I like buying ones you download and print. They tend to be cheaper and you can provide your own props. has a great selection of games. also has fun games for all ages. Be prepared to spend $30-$50. Thanks, Kayla, for buying so many in the past!

2008…timer pic, thus it’s off-center

4. Be sure you choose a mystery with an amount of characters that fits your guest list. I think they work best with a group of 10-15 people.

5. Be aware that some murder mysteries are more “family friendly” and some are more “adult.”

6. Send out an Evite to see who can commit to attending. If people back out at the last minute, it will affect the plot.

7. Find a babysitter. Children should not be in the company of murderers.


8. Reserve a spot at Annie’s Ruff House for your dog to stay overnight. This will be less stressful…you won’t have to worry about your dog sniffing the guests’ butts or barking each time the doorbell rings.

9. Once guests have RSVP’d, choose their characters. The hostess will be the only one who knows who the murderer is, but she will pretend as though she doesn’t. Some characters can be either a male or female depending on the makeup of your guest list.

10. Mail out character information to your guests at least two weeks ahead of time. This info will include their back story, their alibi and how they should dress for the party (their costume). Use a calligraphy pen; when else do you get to write pretty?

11. Decide on a dinner theme. I went with Italian theme this time and made a Spinach Pesto Lasagna. Have your guests (ladies do this best) sign up to bring appetizers, bread, dessert and drinks. You shouldn’t make everything!

2009…all guns, flasks, cigars and pipes are FAKE!

12. Borrow a banquet table and chairs to seat all your guests for dinner. Create the atmosphere. Low lighting, candles, music. A sign on the door. Create nametags and place-setting labels. Seat guests strategically.

13. Clean your house! Don’t forget to swiffer the floors…black dog hair is gross.

14. Dress the part! Wear lipstick; you never do otherwise.

15. Take pictures! You want to document this hilarity. You’ll probably have to use a timer. And you’ll find yourself making awkward “Wha?!” sorts of facial expressions. It’s okay.

16. Round 1 is appetizers, Round 2 is the entree, and Round 3 is dessert. In each round, more and more information will be revealed about the murder. Try to piece it all together.


17. If you’re the murderer, lie.

18. At the end of Round 3, give each guest a chance to reveal who they think is the murderer to a computer or video camera. Hook computer up to a TV and watch the guesses as a group. Laugh! Give awards for best dressed and best actor. Or make up your own awards. Prizes are fun.

19. Depending on the game, an important character, usually a detective or inspector will reveal the culprit. Smirk smugly if you knew all along.

20. Clean dishes, rearrange furniture, pop a tiny piece of leftover Italian wedding cake in your mouth and don’t forget to pick your baby up from the babysitter. Your dog can wait until tomorrow.



8 thoughts on “How to Host a Murder Mystery Party

  1. Wow, such a legacy of hilarious occasions. We have so much fun. Great post, Ash! There better be a surge of murder mysteries in 2013. All I’m say’n.

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