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How to host a murder mystery game How to host a murder mystery game

At Red Herring Games we sell murder mystery games in several different formats so it would be impossible to provide any hard and fast rules.

However, be assured that we do provide detailed instructions with all our games to make planning and running the games as easy as possible and we are always available for customer support and donít mind answering any questions, no matter how silly you may think they are!

If this is your first time, and you have never hosted a murder mystery dinner party before then donít worry - in most cases no one actually gets murdered!

If you want further information on running a particular format of game prior to purchase then we will happily forward you the instructions documents free of charge. Just contact us at games@red-herring-games.co.uk.

Bearing all the above in mind, we can give you a few quick pointers:

How to host a murder mystery game


First and foremost make sure you begin your preparations well ahead of time. It sounds obvious, but make sure you have a good look through your game and if you need to print things off, or do any advance preparations with the clues etc, then get these done well ahead of time.

This is especially important for large group games where the logistics of the event are more complicated.

Assigning Guests:

One of the first steps in hosting a small group murder mystery is to assign your guests to a character. Read the character descriptions and where possible try and fit the guests you plan to invite to the characters themselves.

In large group games you will usually only assign a six or seven cast, the rest of your guests come as detectives. So if you are using a large group game then try to fit the characters to your actors.

Sending Invitations:

Send the invitations several weeks in advance where possible to allow your guests time to find suitable dress for the occasion.

Alternatively host the murder mystery as a surprise event! This also works well. For small group games you will need to have a selection of fancy dress / costume props for your guests to choose from on arrival at the party.

Large group games, specifically the semi-written, semi-scripted games are ideal for surprise additions to a dinner event.

If you want to make your party special, then consider customising your invitations yourself. A little bit of crafty know how is all that you need to do something really special. We provide further information on how to customise your game in our game packages.


Where you hold the murder mystery party sets the stage for the party. Often a few minor alterations in your home can add some simple ambience to help get your guests in the mood. Use your game materials to help you decide how to decorate. All our games come with decoration ideas.

Donít forget the music - music can add a lot to the event. Pick something in keeping with your theme.


By the time you get to this point you should have the game materials organised and sitting somewhere safe, a decorated room and some ambient music, as well as a simple menu that is set to go as soon as all your guests arrive.

You may want to keep a copy of the game instructions to hand during your event. The instructions help guide you through the mystery.

As the guests arrive they should be given any information they require for the game. For the small group games this consists of a booklet, for the large group games this is usually an instruction sheet or guest handout.

As you give it to them explain what is inside, and tell them anything important that they should know about how to play.

In a small group game you may want to introduce your guests to everyone as they arrive, you may want to use name badges to help people to remember, though usually the costumes give it away!

In a large group game the cast usually introduce themselves in character and again, name badges are helpful.

When everyone has arrived give them all time to read their information before you begin.

All our games run differently so there are no hard and fast rules as to what happens next. However, when you buy a game YOU will know! Honest!


As host it is your job to make sure everyone is comfortable with what they are being asked to do. If you notice someone hasnít asked any questions then ask them directly do you have anything to ask anyone? Itís usually all about nerves, and the more comfortable they feel the better.

REMEMBER Ė this information page is very basic Ė more detail instructions of how to host our murder mystery games are provided as standard with all our games.

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How to run a murder mystery party

If you want to find out more about how the games actually work on the night you can watch part 2 of the video here: Part 2
01.Free murder mystery fundraising game - FÍte Accompli
02.Icebreakers for colleagues
03.Making the most of your character booklets
04.Icebreakers for total strangers
05.Fingerprint record
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