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Want to spice up your Halloween festivities this year? Tired of sitting around watching cheesy scary movies and handing out candy to an endless swarm of kids? You should try hosting a murder mystery dinner party! It will give you something to plan for in the weeks leading up to Halloween, and your other adult friends are sure to love it as well.
However, planning a murder mystery party is not the easiest thing in the world. We know that. But hey, nothing good in this world comes without some hard work and sweat. Plus, we have created this comprehensive guide that will help you plan and bring to life the most incredible murder mystery party there ever was.
Interested? Read on.
Make a Guest List
Okay, first and foremost, you’re going to have to recruit a following for your dinner party. Make sure to ask lots of people, because not everybody is as open to the idea of having fun as you are, and some people are bound to say no.
So recruit hard!
Use vivid, descriptive, and highly persuasive vocabulary when trying to convince your group of friends to come to the party. If you make it sound all boring and drab, then no one is going to want to come. But if you sound like you’re excited and committed to making this an amazing party (which you should be), then adults who are tired of Halloween will be showing up in droves.
In addition, when you’re recruiting your friends who could be described as being crafty, resourceful, or creative, try and convince them to help you prepare for the party. Getting this whole shebang up and running is no easy feat, especially for one person. A small group of people working to make this party awesome will make the process so much easier.
Choose a Theme for the Party and Purchase a Kit
You’re not alone in this endeavor! Once you have a group of people committed to the dinner party and an idea of how many people that will be, you can begin planning the festivities. Well… this party is going to be derailed by a murder, so perhaps ‘festivities’ isn’t the correct word.
In any case, there are an endless amount of murder mystery party games and solve-the-mystery kits available out there. These can make your life so much easier, especially if you’re not really the creative type who can come up with an entire scenario, complete with characters, clues, and riddles, on your own.
There are so many different themes to choose from, so pick one that you believe you and your guests will enjoy. Take a look at My Mystery Party, one of the leading creators of murder mystery creation kits, and peruse through their vast number of different themes, settings, and scenarios.
Night of My Mystery also has some excellent mystery kits available as well, if none of the kits offered by My Mystery Party tickle your fancy.
Choose a Location for the Party
No, you aren’t limited to your own dining and living rooms when deciding where to host the party. Although, those are perfectly fine options. Assuming your budget allows for it, you could rent a space to host your party in. There are many different options to choose from.
You could rent a haunted mansion, a bed and breakfast, a party room at a recreation center, a high school gymnasium, or a private room at a restaurant. All of these options should provide adequate space for your faux murder, and a lot of them can even be decorated as you see fit.
However, if you’re not looking to go too overboard in terms of spending, the living room and dining room of your house should get the job done well enough. If the weather permits, then you could even host the party outdoors in your backyard. If this is the case, then you could have some games and activities stationed around the yard if you feel like taking a short intermission.
Who knows? This could be the perfect opportunity to invest in that Halloween-themed cornhole board that you’ve always wanted!
Another thing to keep in mind: if you choose to host the party at a restaurant, then you’ll be able to simply order food there. While this is more expensive, it could be a good idea for those of you that are of the culinarily challenged variety and just want a hassle-free dining experience.
Speaking of food, that leads perfectly into our next point…
Plan Your Dinner Menu
What’s a dinner party with no dinner?
Let’s face it. One of the primary reasons that guests are actually showing up to your murder mystery party is to stuff their faces with delicious grub. You don’t want to disappoint them! Planning an extravagant dinner menu is of the utmost importance.
As we mentioned before, if you are having your murder mystery party take place at a restaurant, then the menu should be no problem. Everybody can order what they want, no fuss, no muss. If you’re not having it at a restaurant, then it’s on you to bring this dinner party to life.
Here are a few ideas for some awesome Halloween dishes (and we’ve linked the recipes as well!).
Spicy Buffalo (or Bat) Wings Wings are a perfect choice for any party, and a Halloween-themed dinner party is no exception. Nothing says Halloween like that bright orange color of the buffalo sauce. You can even put labels in front of all of the dishes and call this one “Spicy Bat Wings.” Someone is bound to believe you. Click here for the recipe!
Pumpkin Bread (with Chocolate Chips, Of Course) Pumpkins are a staple of Halloween cuisine and decoration, so it would be criminal not to have some representation at your table. Pumpkin bread is delicious and sweet, but not so sweet that you can’t have it for dinner! Click here for the recipe!
Chicken Pumpkins Continuing with the pumpkin theme, these chicken pumpkins will have your friends gawking in awe at your culinary ability and creativity. All it takes is some strategic knife-cuts to shape the chicken like pumpkins, some cheddar-cracker breadcrumbs, and mozzarella cheese. Click here for the recipe!
Chips & Spider-Web Guac No party is complete without chips, salsa, queso, and guacamole, but why don’t we spice things up a little? This spider-web-themed guacamole is delicious and spooky-looking thanks to the web designs and spiders made from sliced up black olives. Click here for the recipe!
Caramel Apples Yet another spooky staple! No Halloween is complete without apples dipped in caramel and covered in delicious treats. This is a perfect option for dessert, and, yes, you are required to have dessert. Obviously. Click here for the recipe!
The Finishing Touches
Last but not least, you’ll have to decorate your chosen location. Make sure you nail that creepy vibe that will keep your guests on edge while everybody is accusing each other of murder. This step will be made much easier if you can recruit some friends to come and help you set up.
Just remember, don’t forget your Halloween-themed cornhole board! Have fun!