Looking for a few fabulous murder mystery party ideas? We completely get it! After all, murder mystery parties have been surging in popularity and show no sign of growing old, especially considering the myriad themes you can use for a fresh take on the classic MMP.
We also know that you don’t want to throw just any murder mystery party. You want to host one that captivates your friends who are true crime documentary junkies, and of course, those who just love to be in the spotlight.
To get you started, be sure not to downplay the value of the perfect murder mystery party venue! Luckily, you’ve come to Peerspace, the home of stylish, practical, and private event venues that you can book by the hour. As the largest online marketplace for hourly venue rentals, we make it easy to discover and rent hidden gem venues in cities across the globe.
While you can look to a professional murder mystery planning company, we think it’s best to get creative and design your own event yourself. Below, we share some murder mystery party ideas to get you started. We’ll also include information about real Peerspace venues that would make a thrilling backdrop to your party! Let’s get to it.
1. Set the mood with a killer venue through Peerspace
If you’ve ever wanted to rent a historic building or a mansion, Peerspace can make your dreams come true. As the largest online marketplace for hourly venue rentals, we have tons of incredible options for hosting your murder mystery party.
Choose a venue that fits your murder mystery party ideas and theme, like a historic home in Chicago with several rooms (pictured above) for a Clue-themed party, a snazzy El Segundo bar for a Prohibition Era party, or an art gallery or a theater if those places are the scene of the crime.
All Peerspace venues are owned by local hosts who can be as involved in your party planning as you like. If you have any questions or requests, simply send them a message and they will help in any way that they can.
Let Peerspace handle the more challenging aspects of party-throwing so that you can get back to implementing your favorite murder mystery party ideas!
Want to take the Prohibition Era party idea and run with it? Then you need to check out our 14 epic roaring 20s party ideas first!
2. Use Clue as a template
Just about everyone is familiar with the 1949 board game Clue that was later made into a cult-classic movie in 1985. Follow the plot and instructions of the game for your own murder mystery party. Incorporate costumes by asking everyone to dress as either Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, or Mrs. White (don’t be afraid to gender-bend any of the characters).
Then, gather props for the “murder weapons.” The objects can be silly things, like slippers, toilet plungers, water guns, and flowers instead of the actual rope, candlestick, knife, revolver, lead pipe, and monkey wrench used in the game. The more unique and unexpected the objects, the funnier it will be!
Need the perfect mansion to set your Clue-inspired MMP? Then check out this Miami Coconut Grove mansion (pictured above). Coming in at 1,496 square feet, it’s the perfect rental venue for parties of up to 20 guests. You’ll have access to the grand entry foyer, a living area, a library, and an outdoor patio. Plenty of spaces for your pretend victims to meet their untimely ends!
3. Hire actors to make the event come alive
If you and your friends aren’t too keen on acting out the murder mystery story yourselves, you can sit back and enjoy a dinner where the tale unfolds around you. Murder mystery dinner parties are a popular entertainment attraction in many cities, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a company that can put on a show for you.
Don’t worry that just watching means less fun. You and your guests will surely be jumping in your seats at certain points during the performance!
Our guide on how to host a dinner party to wow your guests is a definite must-read!
4. Pick a theme
As we mentioned earlier, most murder mystery parties stem from a theme to keep them exciting. Some popular theme ideas include The Great Gatsby, decades, Tim Burton movies, fairy tales (think of the original fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen — they were pretty dark), and classic horror movies with characters like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, It, and Freddy Krueger.
If you buy a murder mystery game in a box like a traditional board game, you’ll find some pretty strange themes like Christmas murders, Italian restaurants, and barbecue murders. You can build a theme around that by decorating for the holidays or serving a certain type of cuisine. Go the extra mile and throw costumes into the mix, too, for a fully immersive theatrical experience!
Give your murder mystery party an unexpected sunny upgrade by using our 12 awesome tropical theme party ideas!
5. Serve up sinister cocktails
What’s a party without a little booze? You’ll be dying to try these creative concoctions based on fictional detectives, the mob, and true crime podcasts. If you’re not confident in your ability to whip up these killer cocktails, consider hiring a bartender who can bring a mobile bar to your party. Just communicate with them ahead of time to be sure they can supply all of the mixers and liquor you need to create some chillingly perfect drinks.
You can also book a bar on Peerspace that is all too happy to make your thrilling murder mystery cocktails come to life. For instance, check out this unique private event space and bar in downtown Austin (pictured above). It not only has an aesthetic that perfectly matches a murder mystery party, but they are happy to work with you to create customized cocktails for your gathering. Now you’ve got a party on your hands!
Our cool cocktail party ideas will help get this party started for sure!
6. Buy a digital template for instructions
Setting up your own murder mystery party from scratch takes a lot of work — you are basically an author or playwright creating an entire cast of characters and a plot.
Make the party planning easier on yourself by downloading templates online if you aren’t buying an entire game. That way, you will have a road map guiding you through the party process, and all you have to do is supply the players, drinks, props, venue, and snacks.
Throwing this murder mystery party spur of the moment? Well, it definitely won’t look like it when you utilize our 10 last-minute party ideas!
7. Get into character with the perfect playlist
Anyone can tell you that most horror movies wouldn’t be as scary without the score, so apply that same logic to your murder mystery party. Curate an ominous playlist for background music. You can include songs like the Jaws theme, Tim Burton soundtrack hits, or selections from Rolling Stone’s roundup of creepy tunes. The music is the extra detail you need to make the event an immersive experience for all of your guests.
If this idea makes you and your guests want to boogie, then our 8 great dance party ideas are the perfect complement!
8. Serve a grand last supper
At a murder mystery party, one guest is secretly a murderer and everyone else is a victim. So have everyone bring the dish they would eat if they knew it was going to be their last meal.
This murder mystery party idea is a little dark, but nothing most murder mystery partygoers can’t handle. Create a shared Google Doc or a group chat beforehand. Everyone can list what they are bringing so that no one brings any duplicate dishes.
These 8 happy hour food ideas can help get you started!
9. Hand out prizes
For the lucky guest or guests that solve the mystery, consider having some prizes to give out. A copy of the book Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered, a magnifying glass (antique and thrift shops often have some), books on cold cases, or even something silly and Scooby Doo-themed to lighten the mood (because the show is all about mysteries!) would all make excellent prizes.
Since the game involves theatrical performances from all guests, you can also give out acting awards in the form of plastic or chocolate Oscar statues.
These 20 creative swag bag ideas can also help get the ball rolling
10. Decorate the scene of the crime
Think of your murder mystery party as a play. Your venue is the stage, so you need to decorate it like it’s a set. Think about what a crime scene might look like. Hang up some caution tape, splatter some fake blood, or decorate based on your chosen theme.
Halloween stores should have everything you need. If it’s not the spooky season, party stores and sites like Oriental Trading usually still carry some gory supplies.
Of course, if you book a Peerspace party venue, you can find one that already matches the theme. That means more enjoyment and less decorating and cleaning!
Here’s a quick roundup of some of our favorite murder mystery party spaces:
- This abandoned building with a graffiti alley in Los Angeles, CA for a street vibe
- This scary and demonic Halloween set in Woodland Park, NJ, especially if your murder mystery coincides with Halloween
- This versatile nightclub and event space in London, UK with no windows, an open layout, a bar, and atmospheric lighting
- This multi-faceted warehouse space in Glendale, CA with a funky circus theme and indoor/outdoor space
- This urban decay atrium in Chicago, IL with plenty of dark and gritty space to explore
- This vintage parlor house in Brooklyn, NYC with serious “haunted house” vibes
Bonus idea: go back in time
Murder mystery novels really had their heyday in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, thanks to novelists like Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, and Seishi Yokomizo. Why not relive another decade by patterning your murder mystery party to the era these authors were spinning their most grotesque and glorious stories?!
For murder mystery party ideas like this, we suggest you book one of the many, many moody and chic mid-century modern homes available through Peerspace! One of our favorite options is this classic hilltop mid-century modern home in San Diego.
You’ll get the run of this private home, where you can have dinner in an elegant dining room, sip drinks in the parlor, and exchange notes in the library. All while “murders” occur around you! There is nothing like the perfect setting to make a party theme come to life.
Murder mystery party ideas are better with Peerspace
No matter what premise you choose for your whodunnit bash, you’ll have a great night of theatrical fun. Everyone will be dying for another invite after you host an event using these murder mystery party ideas. If you book a Peerspace venue, you can find a space that’s already mysterious and ready to roll with your event. You can search for the best venues in your location and check out photos, descriptions, reviews, and features before booking.
And best of all, if you need supplies, contact your chosen venue’s local host to see if they can help you out. These event experts can deliver A/V equipment, catering, and other gear directly to your venue. Possibly the only thing they can’t do is help you choose the night’s murderer!