Throw the dinner party of your spookiest dreams with these fantastic murder mystery dinner party ideas.
One of the best parts of adulting is hosting dinner parties. It’s nice to be able to dress up, make a meal you feel proud of, decorate your home, and have all of your best friends or family in one place.
However, if you host dinner parties all of the time, they can get a little repetitive.
Hosting a murder mystery dinner party is a super fun way to spend a night, whether it’s for Halloween, a special occasion, or just a party you want to remember forever.
A murder mystery dinner party takes some planning ahead of time.
A typical murder mystery situation involves a detailed storyline involving a murder wherein each guest is assigned a certain character. It’s best for everyone to know their characters before the party so that they have time to get into character. One person is the murderer, and the whole party is revolved around trying to figure out who it might be.
Murder Mystery Party Games
There are numerous ways to approach your plan for a murder mystery party. You can choose to create your own mystery setup for your guests, or you might choose to purchase a party game that comes with characters and a storyline to follow.
Below are some games that come with everything you need to get your party going.
- Unsolved Case Files Cold Case For this game, the group gets together to solve a puzzle, so it isn’t like a typical murder mystery wherein each guest is a different character. Nonetheless, this is a super fun activity and it will take lots of brainpower and teamwork to reach the final result.
- Hunt a Killer Nancy Drew Mystery at Magnolia Gardens This is a similar activity as the one above, but with a different theme for those who would rather figure out the conundrum in a more detective sort of way.
- Murder at Mardi Gras Gather up to eight players to come together and get to the bottom of the New Orleans puzzle and unmask the culprit.
- Operation Save Santa During Christmas time, you’ll often find yourself surrounded by all of your family. This is the perfect time to get everyone involved in one fun activity. In this festive game, you can all work together or in teams to try to save Santa.
- Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detectives Get your detective caps on and figure out this case by interviewing “suspects” and visiting “crime scenes” in this fictional but fun detective reenactment.
- Murder at the Manor Between six and 14 players can play this activity, wherein everyone who plays is a suspect, and only one person will be found out as the culprit of a heinous crime.
- Cold Case File Investigation Another cold case file investigation. These are unique and fun because you receive tons of information that is seemingly unrelated and you are tasked with connecting the dots. This is you and your friends’ chance at seeing how good or bad you’d be as members of the FBI.
- Zoom Party If you or your friends are concerned about in-person activities, no fear! This is a game you can all easily play together long distance via Zoom.
- 1920s Themed Dinner Party Many mystery party themes are set in the 1920s. It’s fun to dress up as a rich socialite from the ‘20s and act out this elaborate storyline.
- 80s Mall Murder Madness This can be played with between three and 20 people and it can be done virtually or in-person! Also, it’s great for teenagers as the age rating is 13 and up. When you order this, you receive all of the necessary cold case files on an easy to use USB stick, and this can be played more than once.
- Downloadable Plots These are full mysterious plots, complete with a variety of characters and their roles. Before the party, you’d distribute characters (secretly) to guests so that everyone shows up in character.
- Way Out West The wild west is also another common murder mystery theme, since murder was unfortunately common during the time. Have your friends wear their best cowboy boots and hats for this exciting activity.
Murder Mystery Party Costumes
For dinner parties, half the fun is having a reason to get dressed up nicely. When it comes to a murder mystery dinner party, it can be super fun to dress up in costume. Having everyone dress up in extravagant costumes not only helps everyone get into character, but it makes the entire experience more memorable, exciting, and realistic.
- 1920s Men Costumes It is fairly common for most murder mystery parties to have a 1920s or Great Gatsby theme. Were there lots of mysterious murders in the ‘20s? Or is it just fun to dress up like an old-timey millionaire? Either way, murder mystery dinner parties are much more fun in costume.
- 1920s Great Gatsby Theme Women’s Costume A classic 1920’s women’s costume for your flapper alter ego.
- Detective Hat and Pipe This costume is for the Sherlock Holmes of the group…or for the murderer.
- Fringe Sequined Flappers Dress When there’s a 1920s themed event, all of the women can’t wear the same thing!
- Men’s Victorian Vintage Jacket Another men’s costume idea to take on the persona of a brooding Victorian possible murderer.
- Maid Costume Everyone knows that it’s always the maid who did it. Or is it?
- Funny T-Shirt For the costume hater in the friend group.
Murder Mystery Party Props
For a typical dinner party, it is common to make your house look nice as a host. Most people start by cleaning up the place and then setting the dinner table nicely, such as with a table cloth, nice plates, silverware, folded napkins, and even name tags for guests. For a murder mystery dinner party, you might want to shake things up. You can choose props or decorations that are on-theme, like from the time period in which you are setting your scene in. Or, you can use decor that goes with the theme of crime and murder. Here are some creative ideas.
- Themed Cocktails You can’t expect a group of people to miraculously turn into good, convincing actors without a little bit of alcohol to motivate them. This list is for the 1920’s murder mystery theme, but you can switch it up to whatever you’d like!
- Spooky Clues Turn your house into a real murder house with these simple but spooky decorations. You can also add police tape, more blood, or other crime-scence props throughout the house.
- Table Settings If you’re sticking with the ‘20s theme, you should be as fancy as possible. These glamorous place settings include drink glasses, candlesticks, and a place setting with each person’s assigned character details.
- Notepads Your guests will have a lot to think about and a lot to try to remember. Provide them with some on-theme notebooks or clipboards and pens and pencils to help them keep track of their numerous clues.
More Fun Game Ideas You’ll Love
- 21st Birthday Games for Your Wild Crew You only turn 21 once, and you should make sure that when you do, you celebrate to the greatest extent possible! On your 21st birthday, make sure to spend time with your friends and family and all of your favorite people, and plan a party if possible. Here are some great game ideas to make your 21st birthday as fun and memorable as can be.
- 27 Fun Trivia Games for Parties Once your crime is figured out, you might want to continue to ride the wave of figuring out puzzles. Any of these trivia games are bound to keep the party lively and to keep everyone thinking and on their toes!
- 25 Hilarious Cocktail Party Games How many times have you been at a cocktail party, and once everyone is loose and buzzed, someone suggests a game. When no one can think of a good game, you all play something boring that you’ve already played. This time come prepared with this list of fun drinking games that will make everyone laugh.