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Top Tricks for Hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner Party

If you’re tired of boring parties, then the best thing you can do is introduce some danger and suspense at your next gathering. And there’s no better way to do that than by solving a deadly crime.

The best news is that hosting a murder mystery dinner party is far easier than you may think!

Just imagine that you can turn your house into a situation like this: a lavish mansion on a stormy night, the room filled with intrigue, suspense, and… gasp murder!

Prepare to embark on a thrilling adventure as you unravel whodunit in a Night of Mystery extravaganza!

Hosting A Murder Mystery Dinner Party

How Do Mystery Dinner Parties Work?

If you’ve never actually attended on, you’re probably wondering “how do murder mystery dinner parties work?”. 

They’re a tantalizing blend of dinner, drama, and diabolical deeds. Taking part as a player, you’ll be given a character to portray. That comes with a backstory, goals, and secrets. You’ll interact with other guests, gather clues, and piece together the puzzle over the course of the night.

Is your best friend the culprit? Or maybe the stranger sipping wine in the corner? Try to solve it before time runs out!

How to Host a Mystery Dinner

If you want to take things a step further and be a host of this controlled madness, then you can bring the dangerous crowd together! We’ve collected some of the best tips for how to host a mystery dinner.

With a game from Night of Mystery, you’ll have plenty of tips, tricks, and resources to make hosting a breeze. These include:

  • Pre-designed invitations
  • Downloadable decorations
  • Food ideas
  • Links to costumes
  • And much more!

We’ve carefully curated these for each mystery, and you just need to check out the “party tips” section of that mystery’s page.

The Theme Is Critical

Your mystery all starts with the theme, and selecting the perfect one is paramount to creating an unforgettable night of mystery.

Do you want:

  • A 1920s speakeasy?
  • A trailer park setting?
  • A murder on the beach?
  • A retro 80s feel?

The key to hosting a murder mystery dinner party to remember is to pick a theme that excites both you and your guests. After all, murders are more exciting when a fun costume is involved!

Work with a Co-Host

Mystery parties can seem like a lot of work to host, but that’s when it’s great to have a co-conspirator. As they say, two heads are better than one.

Enlist the help of a co-host let’s you share the:

  • Planning
  • Setup
  • Hosting duties

Now you can focus on the game and ensure that all of your guests are fully immersed in the mystery.

Customized Invitations Set the Tone

Set the stage for a spine-tingling night of suspense by sending out themed invitations to your guests. We even provide these for all of our mysteries.

If you want more inspiration about creative ideas across themes, we have a whole post about that.

Assign Characters Based on Personality

To ensure a successful night of mystery, you can match your guests with the character that best suits their personality. For example, assign your most outgoing friend the role of the dashing detective in “Cruising for Murder” or your most dramatic friend can be the bridezilla in “Till Death Do Us Part.”

Don’t forget, your Night of Mystery game comes with character descriptions to help you make the perfect match!

Set the Sinister Scene

Transform your home (or other venue) into a haven of horror and suspense with themed decorations. Dim the lights and play eerie music for “Terror in Transylvania,” or go all out with circus props and colorful banners for “Murder Under the Big Top.”

We will provide you with decorating tips and ideas to help you create the perfect atmosphere (just check the “party tips” tab of your mystery’s page).

Create an exciting entrance

Let your guests make a grand entrance to set the mood for a night of mystery and mayhem. Roll out the red carpet for “Lights, Camera, Murder!” or have guests arrive through a secret door for “Murder at the Juice Joint.” The creative possibilities are endless!

Have Themed Party Favors

Delight your guests with themed party favors to enhance their reality of their experience. Consider handing out personalized margarita glasses for “Murder in Margaritaland” or mini bottles of wine for “A Deadly Vintage.”

Serve Food and Drinks

You are hosting a murder mystery dinner party, after all! Tantalize your guests’ taste buds and keep them fueled for their detective duties with food and drinks that match your theme.

For example, you might serve Prohibition-era cocktails for “Murder at the Juice Joint” or a decadent feast for “A Knight of Murder.”

Use Music and Sound Effects

What is one key aspect of horror movies that really make your skin tingle? The music and sounds!

You can elevate your murder mystery dinner party with spine-tingling playlists and sound effects. From the creepy sounds of a haunted mansion in “A Clueless Murder” to the swinging jazz tunes of the speakeasy in “Murder at the Juice Joint,” music really sets the scene in a way that no one can avoid.

To help out, we provide suggested playlists for the mysteries on Spotify! Here are some examples:

Host A Murder Mystery Dinner Party Game

Create Awards For The Best Detectives

Everyone wants to be recognized for their efforts, and that includes spectacular sleuths.

Our mysteries include award certificates that you can give out, but a little creativity goes a long way! Custom wine labels (templates are included in some of our mysteries) are always a fun way to do it, but you can also take some physical element of the theme and make those into actual awards (Trailer Park Tragedy even comes with instructions on how to make some red Solo cup awards!).

Have A Dangerously Enjoyable Time

Remember, the ultimate goal of your murder mystery dinner party is for all the players to have a blast, and that includes the host!

Really encourage your guests to dive into their characters, engage with one another, and most importantly, have fun! As the host, keep the atmosphere light and playful, and enable everyone to immerse themselves in an alternate reality.

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Host Your Own Murder Mystery Dinner Party

We go above and beyond to make sure that it couldn’t be easier to host your own murder mystery dinner party.

With a wide selection of themes, detailed character descriptions, decorating tips, recipes, playlists, and more, all Night of Mystery games take the guesswork out of planning and executing the perfect murder mystery dinner party.

Gather your friends, don your costumes, and prepare to solve a murder in a night of thrilling intrigue!

Are You Up For The Challenge?