How To Host A Murder Mystery Party

Happy Halloween! Ever since I was a kid, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. From the costumes, the crisp fall days, and the classic slasher flicks – I love everything about this spooky day. To celebrate, I’ve been wanting to host a Halloween party for years and finally made it happen. We did a themed murder mystery party set in 1920s Chicago. It was so much fun and I have to share how easy it was to put everything together – I’m definitely going to make this a yearly tradition and will change up the themes each year.

Gatsby Murder Mystery Dinner Party |

Here are my tips to throw a successful themed murder mystery party!
Invest In A Good Kit – 

I bought a downloadable murder mystery kit from a company called “Murder Mystery Parties” – they made everything so easy. You get a detailed set of host directions, character lists, downloadable invites, games, and action cards. Since we’re in Chicago – I did a 1920s mob theme called Murder at the Grand Gatsby.  There are tons of other fun themes that I plan to try –  Game of Thrones, vampires, Harry Potter. .. If you want you can upgrade and buy all the items printed out on nice stationary – but I chose the cheaper PDF download and just printed the items myself. The prep work was super easy and only took me an hour or two to put together with some glue and construction paper. I highly recommend going with Murder Mystery Parties if you’re looking for a good kit.

Gatsby Murder Mystery Dinner Party |

Send Save The Dates Early – 

Murder mystery parties only work if you have the right people and if everyone shows up – so make sure you’re able to get all of your guests to commit to a date. In early September I sent out an email save the date before assigning characters and doing all the set up to make sure everyone could come!

Dollar Tree Is Your Friend ! –

After “Pinteresting” Gatsby parties – black and gold  were the colors to use to create a speakeasy atmosphere.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money to decorate for a party like this – the Dollar Tree is your friend here. I went and loaded up on paper plates, napkins, tissue paper for streamers, and other party supplies to make the room look festive. I also went on Amazon and bought a gold backdrop and some feathers! Since the party was supposed to take place in a Prohibition-era speakeasy – I made the drinks stations look extra cute since its was all about the booze in those days.

  • Streamers – Black & Yellow – $1.00
  • Gold Curtain – 2 Pack – $10.99
  • Feathers – Black & Gold Pack of 10 –  Each $7.60

Gatsby Murder Mystery Dinner Party |

Use Free Printables –

Depending on what theme you pick – you can search online for free printables to decorate any remaining bare walls. My favorite touch was finding the Prohibition newspaper headlines and legal notices.

Gatsby Murder Mystery Dinner Party |

Have Guests Bring Food – 

To take the pressure off having to cook we had each guests bring a food item (salad, chips and dip, etc.). On the day of the party all we had to do was finish decorating and order the pizzas – it was very easy and low stress.

Gatsby Murder Mystery Dinner Party |

Go All Out On Costumes – 

I LOVED seeing everyone’s costumes – both the guys and girls looked amazing. I sent an email at the beginning of October reminding folks to start working on their costumes. Surprisingly you can get really cute good quality flapper dresses on Amazon for just around $30.  For the boys dress paints and a top with some accessories (hats, guns, suspenders) made them look like old Chicago mobsters. Everyone looked like they stepped out of the past. Here are some awesome flapper options if you’re interested in last minute costume ideas:

Gatsby Murder Mystery Dinner Party |

Overall it was so much fun and I’m really glad everyone got together. In the end three characters ended up “dead” and I was the murderer ! I can’t wait for next year – what theme should I do?

No portion of this post is sponsored.  However, there are a few affiliate links included. There is no extra cost to you, but I do receive a small commission on anything you buy through my links.  Thank you for reading and supporting My Petite Joys!

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