Updated: Feb 26
So you're thinking about hosting a murder mystery party? We know that it can seem like quite a daunting task, but here are some tips to make your party a party to die for!
Start with a pre-made kit! We know, We know, we may sound biased, but a Murders Incorporated Kit is an amazing and easy way to start planning your party! A kit will give you a pre-written story, in-depth characters, detailed instructions, an easy-to-follow timeline for the night of, posters for your party, and more! We pour hundreds of hours into editing, writing, and designing our stories to give our party hosts memorable mysteries without all the hassle! When considering which party is best for you, there are a few things to think about:
What theme do you want to play? Murders Incorporated has plenty of themes to choose from like the 1920s Speakeasy, The Murder at the Masquerade, An Invitation to Midnight Manor, The Workplace, The Deadly Inheritance, Murder at the Northpole, Home for The Holidays, or The Celebrity Gala! It's best to read through each item description and see which theme would be the most fun for you and your group!
Take into account your group. There are different variations of each party for things like character count, all-female vs. mixed genders, and PG vs. PG-13. Some parties only include certain variations so it's best to search on the "Shop" page where you can use different filters to find the party that fits your group perfectly.
Would you like a PDF, Zoom Party, or Box Kit? Murders Incorporated has three different types of parties to play: an immediate PDF download, a Zoom Edition Party, or a Printed Box Kit. PDFs and Zoom Partiers are both available for you to download immediately after purchase. A PDF Party is designed to be played in person, where a Zoom Party is formatted differently so that it's easy to play it over any video platform. A Box Kit comes with everything that a normal PDF party would, but instead of you downloading and printing it yourself, we personally print, organize, and ship everything right to you to make the process even easier!
Dive into the Instructions! Now that you have your party, it's time to open it up and see what's inside! Each party is going to come loaded with ways to make your party a blast, you'll receive:
Instructions. It's always best to start with the instructions! These are going to tell you everything you need from "tips and tricks to party hosting" to "how to murder someone". They'll also include your timeline (which will be your guide for the night of) and a master character list that will help you assign your friends to their new mysterious personas! Don't want to know who the murderer is? No problem! Just skip "The Conclusion/Reveal".
Character Cards. Speaking of assigning your friends to their characters, we always think that this is one of the most fun parts of hosting! Using your Master Character List and the Character Cards, you can begin to find the best fit for your guests. I suggest reading "The Biography" on each of the character cards so that you can see who would fit that role the best! There are a few different types of characters including Primary, Secondary, and (depending on how large your party is) Tertiary. Primary Characters are essential to the storyline, they may die, be the murderer, or be included in some essential pieces of evidence. Secondary Characters still have really fun and involved roles to play but they are non-essential, this way if they can't make it the show will still go on! Tertiary Characters are just like Secondary Characters except that they build off of the Secondary Character so it's best to assign these last. While assigning characters, make sure you choose your most involved and dependable friends to fill the primary roles!
Evidence. Depending on which party you choose, there will be between 1-3 Murders throughout the evening! After each murder, there is an "Evidence Reveal". These pieces of evidence are the key to solving who the murderer is! We always present these clues after the murder, reading each piece aloud one by one before placing them in a central location for everyone to go back and view them later on!
Action Cards. These cards are completely optional and only included in the newly designed or redesigned parties (1920s, Midnight Manor, The Workplace, Murder at the North Pole, and Murder at the Masquerade). These are designed to add some extra excitement to your party! They can be placed in a central location for guests to draw at random. They are high-risk, high-reward, however, and while you may get something fun (like take a mugshot photo) you may also be forced to reveal your secret!
Extras Package. This package is also optional and only included in newly designed or redesigned parties! It adds on some fun elements like wine labels, party posters, and voting cards!
Start Planning! Now that you know what your party entails, it's time to start planning for your Murder Mystery Party! There are a lot of things to think about like your theme, venue, food, drinks, decor, photos, and more! Murders Incorporated recently launched two new areas of the website catered to party hosts making the planning process as easy as possible. Both are still in the early growth stages and feel free to read, contribute, or share anything you like on the pages! You can also check out our Pinterest page for lots of ideas as well! Pinterest is an amazing platform to start planning and seeing which design/style you like best!
Plan. The Plan section of our website allows party hosts to simply enter in their zip code and see professionals in their area that can help them plan their parties! These are small and local businesses that we've partnered with who are willing to create Murder Mystery Specific Packages and offer our clients! We're really passionate about supporting local businesses and, on this site, you can find DJs, Florists, Bakers, Photographers, Event Planners, Bartenders, Caterers, Favors, and Decor!
Community. The Community section allows you to connect with other party hosts, see ideas for your party, and share your pictures and ideas once the party is finished!
It's Party Time! You've planned the party, invited your guests, and now it's the night of! Here are some good things to remember!
Have fun! Party planning can be stressful, no doubt. Your nerves may be going, you may be a little anxious, but remember that this is going to be an amazing night and celebrate!
Be in Character! The host sets the tone for the whole evening so, the more fun you're having, the more fun your guests will! Being in character can seem a bit silly at times, but once you get into it, everyone else will, and the more everyone is in character, the better the night is!
Keep your Timeline close! Once it's the night of, you'll want to have your Timeline on you for the whole party! We always try and have a secret resting spot we can place it if I need to as well. This tells everyone who the next victim is, so you don't want it to fall into the hands of anyone but you!
Have you Evidence Nearby! We like to organize all of the evidence into manila folders before the party starts so that way it's easier to present the night of!
Mingle with your guests! Remind them that there are awards for best acted out death, best guess, and most in character. People love winning awards so a simple reminder can really make the drama come out.
Take Pictures! Or assign someone else to! Trust us, you're going to want to have pictures of everyone in character!
Have Fun (again)! We know, we said it twice. But, it's true! After all of the parties that we've hosted, we know that it's natural to get nervous before hosting an event. Once you're in it, however, all of those nerves wash away and it's so much fun watching people truly make the characters their own! It's been over three years since our first party and we still refer to our friends as their character names from the party that night. You're going to have some great laughs and some hilarious inside jokes! Trust me, people will be talking about this party for a long time to come!
Post Pictures, Share your Reviews, and Recover! You earned it, take a day off to relax! Post pictures to your social media and please tag us @murdersincorporated for a feature! If you have a moment to leave a review or share about your party in the community that would be greatly appreciated as well!
Thank you for reading and for your business, we can't tell you how much it means to us! We genuinely hope that you have the most amazing party and we're here if you have any questions!