80's Murder Mystery!

For my birthday party, I wanted to throw a murder mystery party!  This was my first time hosting one and I was very excited. We had a blast and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

I chose an 80's themed High School Reunion and had lots of fun planning the food, decorations and of course, my costume!

Make sure to pick a theme that people can have fun with and that isn't too difficult. I wanted people to be able to come up with costumes from home or thrifting (the 80's) versus having to buy things (flapper outfits). I also like all the fun personalities in this murder mystery kit: cheerleaders, nerds, cool kids, movie stars etc. It made for a really fun and diverse group for the costumes and personalities. Make you do pick a theme your crowd will have fun with it!

For those of you who aren't familiar with hosting a murder mystery, it works like this:

Every person who attends is given a character with a name and told to dress and act their part. They are also given a basic background of the storyline for the evening and told how the murder mystery part of it works.

The host can choose to decide if they know who the murderer and victim are, in my case, I wanted to make sure the murderer and victim would be fine playing dead and I also wanted to make sure one couple didn't have both parts.

Typically, guests arrive and mingle with drinks and appetizers for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. They also receive their first envelope with objectives (like talking to certain people and getting them to answer questions).

Then, the murder occurs when the lights go out! The lights come on and everyone is shocked! The victim is then removed from the room and given a new character for the evening so they can still participate. 

Next, everyone is given a second envelope with more secrets and some people receive evidence to present to others. Dinner can be served from any point. I served after about 20-30 minutes of mingling during this portion.

I also let guests take a break from their characters while eating since although it is fun, it can be tiring to stay in character for 3 hours! Just feel how your group is doing, if they are loving it, continue the characters, I thought people just needed a little break :)

Then once people feel like they have heard enough evidence and talked to enough people, everyone casts their vote for who they believe the murderer to be, as well as best dressed and best actor.

Finally, after tallying the votes, you reveal the murderer and the winners of the parts. I also served dessert during this time.

The End!

Now for the pictures.....


You can send electronic or physical invitations with all the information the attendees need:

 The information sheet
 The class reunion newsletter (provided in the packet)

 The description sheet with the background and what each person should wear.

 I wrapped them all up with some Pop Rocks and delivered them to my guests. 

I hunted all around town for cute 80's themed trinkets, prizes and decorations.
 I was pretty proud of what I came up with!

Caution tape and the flyer for the mystery on the door. 

 Favor bags
The prizes for best dressed and best actor along with those who guessed the murderer were all different kinds of fun neon candies: Mike and Ikes, gobstoppers, sour patch kids etc. 

 I tried to use neon colors wherever I could!

I found a bunch of bright knick knacks at a teacher's store and though these neon magnifying glasses were perfect for a murder mystery! 

 I had the food on neon platters and plates scattered amongst the pearls, neon toys and paper cutouts. 

 Back to the future, a classic 80's movie, was on in the background.

For the food: 

 Sausage and sweet potato bites. These were a hit! Gone in minutes. I liked that they were a little different than your typical appetizer.
 I also made my own little "Murder High" pennants.

 Texas caviar. My own recipe mixed with some others. Basically black eyed peas, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, cilantro, lime and red wine vinegar. Served with chips. 

 Grape, bleu cheese and walnut bites or "amuse-bouche" a rough translation meaning enjoyment for the mouth. These were different and I think most people liked them. 

Homemade Chex Mex in cute orange popcorn cartons

 Punch with balloons! 


Then for the main course I did a Macaroni and Cheese bar. Not only was this fun but it matched the theme if you think of it as a high school cafeteria food. I was worried about my macaroni and cheese recipe but it was people's favorite thing I made (so I was told). recipe to come!

 For the "bar" part I served bacon, ham, green onions, broccoli and crushed potato chips. 
Top guest picks: 1. bacon 2. potato chips 3. green onions

 I asked friend's to bring salads so people actually got some vegetables with their dinner!

 I made two of these pans for dinner for 16 people and nearly every bite got eaten. If you don't have a ton of appetizers, I would recommend a third one too!

For dessert, each person received a mini S'mores pie and of course, they were so good I didn't get a single picture and they were all eaten up!

 The evidence

I also made a homemade photo booth that provided lots of laughs!

 The hosts: "B.A. Barricade and Pamela Abdul"

My favorite ladies!

Our awesome guests!
The gang-being silly!

I hope everyone had as much fun as I did, because I had a blast!

Have you ever hosted a murder mystery? Any questions for me about the party?

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