DIY Murder Mystery

Written by linda shepard
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DIY Murder Mystery
Find hats and boas for murder-mystery party props at thrift shops. (halloween 1 image by Nathalie P from

Liven up your next party by plotting a murder-mystery scenario that includes plenty of intrigue and drama. Would-be mystery novelists can let their imaginations go wild while creating a murder scenario tailor-made to party attendees. The murder mystery theme is perfect for a Halloween party and benefits from the atmosphere provided by a cold, dark evening. This format could also be tweaked to include children's roles for a family gathering. Look for party props like hats and shawls at thrift shops.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Invitations
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Props, including hats, shawls, boas, beads
  • Food and drink

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  1. 1

    Determine the imaginary setting for the murder-mystery scenario, which could be a country house, Hollywood, the Wild West or ancient Egypt. Determine who will be murdered and how.

  2. 2

    Create at least six suspect characters. Make them flamboyant and stereotypical. Each character should have a relationship problem with the victim. For example, money owed, a long-time grudge or a former love affair.

  3. 3

    Invite party attendees at least two weeks before the party and determine who will be attending. Match character personalities to guests.

  4. 4

    Write a short pamphlet for each guest. The pamphlet will describe the character and the motive for killing the victim. One booklet will designate one character as the murderer.

  5. 5

    Write a numbered series of four clues for each guest in the booklet. Each clue will be delivered in a "round." Include ideas for action between rounds.

  6. 6

    Greet the guests the night of the party and invite them to choose a prop appropriate for their characters.

  7. 7

    Conduct the four rounds of clues, spoken by the characters, throughout the evening at scheduled times. Encourage guests to interact with others while in their character roles. Have them bring up conflicts, like old grudges or money owed.

  8. 8

    Guests guess the identity of the murderer at the end of the party, based on the clue rounds and any additional information picked up.

  9. 9

    The murderer confesses, explaining how and why he did it.

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