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Murder Mystery Party Ideas

So you want to host a party that kills it? (Figuratively speaking, of course.) Why not try one of these murder mystery party ideas? Your guests will get to skip the awkward chit-chat and dive into an engaging, immersive experience – instead of the same old chips and dip.


Murder Mystery Birthday Ideas

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What Is a Murder Mystery Party?

Imagine a mash-up between a costume party and sleuthing. The best murder mystery party ideas include unique themes that encourage an engaging atmosphere, incredible decorations, hilarious costumes, and an experience that even empowers your wallflower friends to participate

Murder mystery parties are themed, with details provided that describe the characters.

One guest is the murderer… but who?

That’s where the fun begins. Party guests will follow all the clues and use their deductive reasoning skills to piece them together and nab the murderer.

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How to Host a Murder Mystery Party

When learning how to host a murder mystery party, you’ll find that the key is good planning. You will need to consider these things:

      • Party venue: Where will you hold the event? You need ample room for guests to work together to solve the murder. 

      • Menu: Solving murders makes the crowd hungry! Many murder mystery parties are also dinner parties, but some hosts also serve drinks and snacks – consider Bloody Marys, shrimp with red cocktail sauce, or other heavy hor d’oeurves that allow guests to snack and mingle.

      • Theme: Do you have an affinity for the 1980s or the Wild West? Pick a theme that suits your personality or interests.

      • Decorate: Our murder mystery party ideas will inspire you to set the tone with thematic decor that will lend drama to your party. Some fun items include selfie stations where guests can post images to social channels. Or, roll out a literal red carpet where your “actors” can strike a pose when they arrive.

      • Invitations: Sending invites early will allow your guests to receive their character assignments and costume suggestions. It also helps you to determine how much food to have.

    With Night of Mystery parties, the host is an active participant throughout the night, so the more advanced planning you do, the more you’ll enjoy the adventure. 

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    Murder Mystery Dinner Ideas Need a Strong Theme

    A great murder mystery party will follow a specific theme that takes your guests to a time and place. There are way too many possible themes to suggest in one article, but here are some classics to try out.



    1920s Murder MysteryMurder Mystery Party Ideas 

    Empty headingProhibition was the era of speakeasies and wild, underground parties. But what happens when you mix a cast of questionable characters with bootleg alcohol and no rules? A murder!

    The 1920s is a great setting for a murder mystery because of the costumes. From fedoras to flappers, you’ll forget what century it is.

    Suggested Mystery: “Murder at the Juice Joint

    It’s the Roaring Twenties, and Rosie Marie, the operator of the swanky speakeasy, The Juice Joint, has invited you to join her club. There’s just one problem – a murderer with a hit that will go down that same night. 

    The cast includes mobsters, a crooked cop, a songstress, and even a cigarette girl. The final revelation will leave you stunned.

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    1980s Murder Mystery

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    Empty headiAnother one of the great murder mystery dinner ideas means staying retro, but closer to home this time. Bring out your best mullet and brightest neon, and get ready to pose for the cheesiest photos imaginable.

    We’ll never escape the iconic ‘80s, and the cassette-playing parties will make you forget that the murder isn’t real.

    Suggested Mystery:Totally Rad 80s Prom Gone Bad

    Join the senior class of Mayhem High as they end their high school years with the biggest bash of their lives. It’s prom night! But someone will leave the event with a toe tag instead of a crown. 

    Who is guilty? In this memorable mystery, you’ll meet a colorful (neon, of course) cast, including self-absorbed student council members to totally tubular teachers.


    Halloween Murder Mystery

    Murder Mystery Dinner Ideas

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     Empty headingWho says Halloween is only in October? Whether the leaves are changing or not, it’s always a good time to gather the monsters and see who cries wolf.

    Transforming your house or venue into a haunted castle will cause goosebumps in all the guests, and they’ll rush to catch the murderer before they feed again.

    Suggested Mystery:Terror in Transylvania

    It’s Count Dracula’s birthday, and he’s hosting the biggest monster bash of all time. He has invited you to join him at Transylvania Castle for a night of spooky fun and frolicking. 

    But there’s no honor among ghouls, and one life abruptly ends. Who is the creepy culprit? Is it a witch, werewolf, or warlock? Or is it the Grim Reaper himself? Solve the murder mystery to find the real monster.

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    Christmas Murder Mystery

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    What is it about the holidays that brings out the murderer in so many of us? Maybe it’s the fancy clothes, the spiked eggnog, or just the desire to kill under the mistletoe.

    No matter what, ‘tis the season to catch a killer.

    Suggested Mystery:Homicide for the Holidays

    Socialite Regina Baxter throws the best Christmas holiday party at her Bel Air mansion. This year, the most memorable item on her posh menu will be a Homicide for the Holidays. 

    Who among the upper crust is the guilty party? Suspects include a retiree, a reality tv star, and a real estate magnate–along with other characters who live in the wealthy zip code. 

    Suggested Mystery:Ho Ho Homicide

    ‘Tis the season, and the elves at the North Pole are super busy (and stressed!) getting ready for the big night. But many of Santa’s workers are feeling blue this Christmas. One North Pole resident seems upset with conditions enough to commit a Ho Ho Homicide. 

    But who? Would one of the cheerful elves, a reliable old reindeer, or the big guy himself commit such a heinous act? You’ll help solve the mystery and get Christmas back on schedule.

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    Old Time Murder Mystery

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    History is riddled with murders… and fun ways to dress, decorate, and eat! With the right decorations (we help with that), your imagination won’t even be required to transport you to a pirate ship, the wild west, or any other place in time.

    Suggested Mystery:Murder Among the Mateys”?

    Redbeard has docked his pirate ship, the Jaded Jewel, in a secluded cove. The pirates head to the nearby town of Port Royal to drink some grog and spend their gold. But before the night is over, one person will be sleeping with the fishes. 

    With your help, you will expose whether the murderer – or murderess – is one of the Governor’s comely daughters, a shipmate, or a townsperson with a secret to hide.

    Suggested Mystery:Murder at the Deadwood Saloon

    The small frontier town of Deadwood is about to host the biggest poker tournament anyone can recollect. Strangers from all over arrive to try to win the fortune. 

    But winner-takes-all takes on an entirely new meaning when a murder ruins the tournament. 

    Help solve the mystery – the cast includes guys and gals from all walks of life who came to Deadwood Saloon, unsuspecting their lives were at stake.

    Suggested Mystery:Murder Under the Big Top

    Harold Hargraves has great ambition – he wants to transform his small carnival into a great big circus right before your very eyes. But before he can accomplish that goal, a murderer steals the limelight.

    Who committed this spectacle of homicide? You can help determine which carnival worker would be capable of Murder Under the Big Top.

    Murder Mystery Party Ideas for Large Groups

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    Not Only Murder Mystery Ideas for Adults

    Most of the specific mysteries we’ve discussed are for grown-ups, but that doesn’t mean these are exclusively murder mystery ideas for adults.

    Here are two family-friendly options: 

      • Million Dollar Mystery: Sticking with the death of a millionaire in a mansion, this is an option for the younger sleuths.

      • Honky-Tonk Takedown: A lot of young detectives would love to mosey back to the wild west, and here’s their chance.

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    Host a Murder Mystery Party to Die For

    These murder mystery party ideas should inspire you to throw the best event you have ever hosted. When you purchase from Night of Mystery, you will get:

      • Detailed instructions on planning

      • Comprehensive character info

      • Costume ideas

      • Food and decor suggestions

    We make your night a memorable experience that your friends will rave about forever. 

    Give a murder mystery party a try – it won’t kill you. Or will it?

    Are You Up For The Challenge?