blog Party Tips! The Art of Party Hosting

How to Use a SHOT Interactive Mingle Murder Mystery Kit for a Dinner Party

One of the nice things about our homicide thriller get together packages is how flexible they’re. You should use our mystery kits for any sort of celebration – including a sit-down banquet. If you buy a package deal, the directions you get are for the interactive, Mingle Mystery format, designed to be investigated in a cocktail party-style state of affairs. But, any and all of our mystery parties can be used for a multiple course banquet fairly simply, simply by following a totally different set of directions. If you need to host a banquet murder thriller utilizing one among our packages, simply buy the thriller of your selection and disrespect the Host Guide in your Host Materials. As an alternative, comply with the instructions under!

Thank You For Being A Host

I feel that celebration hosting is a uncommon artwork – one thing that many people don’t do anymore. As our social networks grow, it seems our opportunities to collect pals and family members collectively face-to-face are becoming fewer and fewer.

This reality turned startlingly obvious to me just lately, once I emailed a “friend” in a totally different city to ask her how she was and what was new. She replied with, “Hi Leigh! Great to hear from you! To know what’s new with me, just check my Facebook, it’s all current.” Ouch!

Now more than ever it’s so necessary to pull collectively individuals – actual individuals – face-to-face to create reminiscences that may get us by way of the months we don’t see one another.

Chances are you’ll be utilizing your thriller for a company event, fundraiser, a social gathering in your home or just an excuse to deliver together household or pals. Regardless of the purpose for your get together, know that we’ve got designed all your thriller materials with YOU, the Host, in mind. Pulling individuals together for some fun is noble, and I feel you’re totally rad for doing it.

Yes, You Can Take part Too

So, to answer the # 1 incessantly requested question I obtain: Sure, you as the host can play too – in reality, I would like you to take a character and have fun fixing the mystery with everyone else. You deserve it!

Your whole supplies are designed so that you simply don’t have to read by way of the mystery and danger “spoilers”. Your Host Supplies are in information utterly separate from every thing else so that you don’t get confused and by chance open something you shouldn’t.

“The Big Reveal” answer is contained in a separate file. In case your mystery came with Audio Information, you can see each Audio Information and the transcript (extra on that later) in well-marked information so you possibly can keep away from them. Each Suspect receives their own particular person Suspect Guide with their character, clues and directions on how to be a Suspect. Merely connect them to an e-mail and send them to the suitable visitor! You don’t even have to open the information.

Unsure which guest to assign to which position? Our exclusive Character Complexity Score (found for every character in the Suspect Record in your Host Supplies folder) will inform you how difficult every position is, so you’ll be able to higher assign roles for your wallflowers, curmudgeons, born actors and everybody in between.

In fact, should you don’t want to take part in your mystery, that’s high-quality too. Read via something you need! Some hosts choose to know what is going to unfold earlier than the social gathering, and that’s cool – it’s all a part of your distinctive internet hosting fashion.

The Host Checklist

Your Host Materials embrace a Host Checklist that you should use in case you like to show you how to get organized earlier than your social gathering, and before the thriller begins. Print off a copy and verify off the duties as you complete them. Also, at the Shot In The Darkish Mysteries Website, we provide a free Common Party Planning Guide with subscription to our free weekly e-mail publication, so be happy to enroll and luxuriate in this 46 page checklist to help together with your celebration preparations!

We Are Right here If You Need Assist

When you have any questions prior to the event, please ship us an e-mail at whats [email protected] We here to help both you and your visitors. I typically have friends message me to get clarification or help when they’re making an attempt to maintain the mystery a shock for their host.

Rent teenagers – youngsters of buddies, your personal youngsters or babysitters you realize, to serve you and your visitors for the night so that you don’t miss a moment of the motion!

About Your Mystery

Your thriller is assessed as an interactive ceremonial dinner mystery, designed to be experienced over cocktails and three programs: Appetisers, Principal Course and Dessert. We now have remained true to our unique, best-selling Interactive mystery format in our new line of dinner parties, which suggests it’s up to the visitors to question the Suspects, determine holes in their story and decide who had the motive, means and opportunity to commit homicide!

Listed here are the gadgets you have got, and can need, for the thriller:

  • Suspect Guides – to be delivered to each Suspect earlier than the date of the get together, or as soon as they arrive on the day of the occasion, though we do advocate sending them prematurely. The extra time your friends have to get accustomed to their materials and the instructions, the better.

  • Host Information – you’re studying it proper now!

Printing Your Mystery Materials

Your whole mystery supplies have been custom designed to be visually pleasing to you and your visitors, but in addition designed to hold printing to a minimum. By emailing your Suspects their info, you possibly can significantly minimize down on the quantity of printing you will have to do, which we encourage, as a result of everybody at SHOT is a proud tree-hugging, hippie-type.

Things to Print:

Elective Printing:

    • Announcement of Murder (Solely print should you’re not using the audio information)

    • The Huge Reveal (Only print for those who’re not utilizing the audio information)

    • Suspect Guides (We strongly advocate emailing each Suspect their info pre-party. Please see “How To Use The Suspect Guides” for extra choices)

    • Suspect Record for Introductions

So, depending on what you select to print and the way many individuals shall be attending, the number of pages you will have to print shall be between 10 and 100.

It’s greatest to have the materials printed at a printer or native stationary store (like Staples or Kinkos). This can ensure high quality and save you ink and wear and tear on your own printer. We advocate colour printing on a top quality inventory, but what paper and ink you determine to use for your thriller supplies is completely up to you.

What To Anticipate At Your Mystery Party

This is an summary of how your mystery is designed, however keep in mind that all of Shot In The Darkish Mysteries’ packages are designed to be versatile, so to combine them into your imaginative and prescient for your get together.

The Killer Doesn’t Know They Are The Killer

Some mysteries inform the guilty celebration that they are responsible. We don’t do this for two reasons. First, not figuring out permits all Suspects to be utterly trustworthy with the knowledge they receive. Second, it allows all members to piece together the thriller equally. With one Suspect not investigating, it shortly becomes clear to the opposite members who the offender is and your thriller ends up ruined. In our expertise, your mystery is extra successful when the wrongdoer isn’t conscious they are the offender.

Remind your friends to deliver reading glasses if they put on them to allow them to refer to their Suspect Guides and see what they’ve written on their Notes pages.

How to Use the Suspect Record and Character Complexity Scores

Your Host Supplies folder accommodates a file referred to as “Suspect List”. Under every Suspect is a “Character Complexity Rating”, which provides each character a three, four or 5 score. These are designed to assist you to assign characters to your friends based mostly on how “complex” the position is, with 5 being more difficult and three being simpler. You may assign a 3 position to someone who’s shy, apprehensive or frightened they could do something to jeopardize the mystery (which is unattainable, so don’t worry about that). A 5 rated position might go to someone who loves the spotlight, is outgoing or is absolutely enthusiastic about your thriller celebration. Use the four roles for everybody in between. Keep in mind, these are only tips. A “5” position just isn’t troublesome, there’s just more info than a 4 or a 3 character.

Many visitors and hosts typically assume that as a result of a character is a 5, they are in all probability the killer. I guarantee you, this is not often the case. A “3” position is just as possible to be the killer than a 4 or 5 position.

How to Use the Suspect Guides

Suspect Guides are offered in your thriller materials in a separate file for each position. These guides describe the character, their hidden motives, what info they know that may be shared with everyone else and directions for how to play. The Guides are formatted in individual information so you possibly can easily ship the .pdf file to each guest enjoying a character. Even higher, when you, as the host, would really like to take part, you don’t have to fear about dealing with the clues and probably spoiling the thriller for yourself.

Every visitor will obtain a Suspect Guide. These guides inform every Suspect what to do and anticipate… so that you simply don’t have to!

We strongly advocate emailing every Suspect their Suspect Information to scale back printing. Sending them their info ahead of time permits them to get conversant in their info. Some Suspects have a difficult back story, and most friends discover it useful to have time to let all the info sink in, however finally, what you do for your celebration is solely up to you. Some hosts like to e-mail the Suspect Guides and then print the very important info (found in the previous few pages of the Suspect Information) for their friends to refer to at the celebration. Others permit their Suspects to print their very own info, and nonetheless others print every little thing to give to the Suspects on the get together. Find the choice that matches your celebration, your friends and your hosting type and go together with it!

How to E mail Suspect Guides to Your Visitors

It’s straightforward to e mail the Suspect Guides to your visitors. Merely attach the Suspect Guides to an e mail to every visitor and click on “send”. We use a .pdf format because most computers have already got a .pdf reader program, like Adobe Acrobat, making it simpler for your friends to use their Suspect guides.

How to Use the Clues (found inside the Suspect Guides)

There are two varieties of info the Suspects will receive. The first is “Hide” info. This sort of info is to be stored secret as a lot as potential, and not provided freely. If the Suspect is requested instantly concerning the disguise info nevertheless, they need to answer honestly.

The opposite sort of data is known as “Share” info. Share info MUST be shared with others, and consists of things like alibis and suspicious issues they noticed others doing across the time of the murder. The Share info is what the Suspects will use to direct suspicion away from themselves and towards the other Suspects.

All clues are directed on the participant (for instance, “you saw the culprit running down a dark hallway”). For the sake of getting everyone into the mystery, share clues must be transferred into the primary individual (for instance, “I saw the culprit running down a dark hallway”) and into the participant’s own phrases.

How to Use the Audio Information

Your mystery might have include audio information. These audio information are optionally available, and we have now also offered the transcripts of these audio information (one at the finish of the Host Information and the opposite in a file marked “The Big Reveal”), which can be used within the case the place you don’t have access to an audio system.

Unique to The Sly Mr. Foxx is a third audio file (and transcript) of a telephone call. Play this audio file (or learn the transcript) after the Announcement of Murder.

How To Use The Notes Pages

While establishing your table, embrace at the very least one Notes web page for each visitor. Some hosts favor to set these to the proper of the plate as a part of their dinner place settings, together with a pen. Others will depart the mystery materials on prime of the plate, whereas still others depart it on each visitors’ chair. Where you place it’s, in fact, up to you. The Notes Pages ought to be folded in half in order that your friends can hold their notes personal from the individuals seated next to them.

You could have observed that you’ve two versions of the Notes pages in your Host Supplies. Each variations provide individuals the sample questions from the Announcement of Murder to get them started with their investigations, but the “beginner” model supplies a “Motive-Means-Opportunity” chart to permit sleuths to write the names of every Suspect in the applicable box as they examine. So, which one do you have to provide your visitors? That will depend on whether you need your mystery to be “Beginner” (The “Beginner Notes Pages” ) or “Intermediate” (The “Intermediate Notes Pages”). Decide the one you need and then print off one for each participant.

Ensure to present sufficient pens as you’ll have visitors, and that your pens are working in order that your friends can concentrate on chasing down the clues to clear up the mystery as an alternative of looking for a writing instrument!

How To Use The Flooring Plan

Your thriller package incorporates a Flooring Plan. This is designed to assist every investigator decide where the Suspects have been around the time of the murder as they investigate. Every Suspect receives a copy of the ground plan of their Suspect Guide. You’ll discover a file referred to as Flooring Plan in your Host Supplies. Some hosts select to print one for them to guarantee they’ve one for reference at the time of the thriller, and depart a copy at every visitors’ place setting with their different materials.

In case you are serving alcohol at your social gathering, start the thriller earlier within the evening. In our expertise, the longer individuals drink the less coherent the Suspect info turns into!

The Visitors’ Website

The Dinner Party Friends web site is a place you’ll be able to ship your visitors pre-party to get information about the mystery you’ve chosen. Here they will view the trailer, see the Suspect Listing, discover out what to anticipate and extra. Visitors’ Assets are all the time being expanded, and will range from mystery to mystery. The Dinner Party Visitors website is situated here:

Your visitors are offered this hyperlink inside their Suspect Guides, however you will have to advise them which version of the thriller (ie: what number of Suspects) they may expertise.


Costumes are an essential a part of a themed thriller social gathering, and for the “themed” mysteries, you will see that a dialogue about costumes on the PLAY! Website for your specific thriller. We even have costume ideas on our Pinterest boards at:

If Your Mystery is “Costume Casual”

Some mysteries have themes which are obvious (ie: A Flapper Murder at the 1920’s Speakeasy and The Masquerade Murder) and hopefully costume ideas for your visitors might be obvious as nicely. But in case you have chosen what we call a “Costume Casual” thriller, you will not have costume strategies, or they are going to be obscure. We do this on function so that you simply, the host, can set a theme as you see fit, and instruct your visitors accordingly with out having them limited by the restrictions of pre-set costume requirements from us. So, for example, let’s say you’re hosting The Getty Affair, The Birthday Party Murder, The Halloween Party Murder or The Christmas Party Murder. These are nice examples of mysteries which are designed to match into YOUR social gathering, not the opposite method around. You’ll be able to select costume themes for your friends or experience the mystery as-is, together with your visitors dressing of their road clothes. If your visitors still can’t determine what to wear for a “Costume Casual” mystery, we are all the time right here to assist!

When You’re Ready To Begin

Your thriller will probably be separated into 5 sections: Cocktails, Appetisers, Major Course, One-On-One Investigations and Dessert. Right here is how each course is designed to work together with your banquet thriller.

Before you begin your mystery dinner, have everybody put their cell telephones into a basket, switched to vibrate (in case of emergencies). Permit your visitors to access their telephone solely during breaks to maintain everybody’s thriller expertise genuine and stop the environment from being disturbed.


As your social gathering begins, your visitors will naturally want to mingle and catch-up or get to know each other. Begin your thriller get together with cocktails, and use this opportunity to have your visitors introduce themselves to one another in character. That is a casual assembly – a time for individuals to speak to each other outdoors of the mystery, whereas still integrating the characters they’ll play and permitting them to turn into snug with enjoying their character earlier than the mystery truly begins.

When everybody has arrived and had time to mingle, you want to transition them to the eating space, and the Suspect Introductions are the right means to do this. In the course of the “Cocktails” portion, have each Suspect introduce themselves to the other visitors, using the Suspect Description in their Suspect Information. If they didn’t deliver their Suspect Guide or you have got printed their pertinent info for them, you possibly can flow into the Suspect Record offered in your Host Supplies.

Some hosts and/or friends will want a second before the Suspect Introductions to learn by means of the directions offered to them of their Suspect Guides with the group, to be certain that they understand the process that may unfold. When you, as the host, determine this is a good choice for your group of visitors, go for it! The most effective time to assessment the directions in the Suspect Guides is during cocktails, before the Suspect Introductions.

Once all the Suspects have introduced themselves, have your visitors take their seat on the dinner desk. It’s time for Appetisers!


Once everyone is seated and cozy, serve the appetisers, and then if you end up prepared, play or read the Announcement of Murder. Your thriller might come with Audio Information. We encourage you to use the audio information, nevertheless they are elective (See “How To Use The Audio Files” section). In case you are using the audio information, press “Play” on the “Announcement of Murder” file. Should you aren’t, have somebody learn the transcript of the “Announcement of Murder” (discovered at the end of this guide).

Over appetisers, the Suspects can begin sharing their “Share” info and/or asking questions. If you’d like, you’ll be able to set the instance by asking a question of one other Suspect or sharing a piece of your Share info.

As individuals begin getting used to the format and begin shedding their inhibitions, the investigation and conversations ought to movement organically. In the event that they stall or should you want, you’ll be able to all the time go across the table and ask the Suspects the place they have been at the time of the homicide, or in the event that they saw something suspicious across the time of the murder.

How the Sleuths Ask Questions

The Announcement of Murder offers some questions that may get the investigators going. These are additionally offered for fast and straightforward reference on the Notes pages. Based mostly on what they study from asking these preliminary questions, they may naturally provide you with questions of their own.

If a sleuth asks something that isn’t explained within the Suspect info, the Suspects should reply with the reply, “I have nothing to say about that.” This phrase is designed to hold the questions shifting along and convey to the individual asking the question that they want to change their line of questioning without the interrogator or the Suspect having to break character to explain that there’s nothing of their info to reply the question posed. That is explained to the Suspects of their Suspect Information as well as to the members in the Announcement of Murder, and is offered on their Notes web page for quick and straightforward reference.

Beware The Tight-Lipper

There might be one Suspect at the celebration who needs to appear to be the guilty get together and can attempt to bait individuals to interrogate them more durable by not giving any of their share info away.

After critical psychoanalysis, we have now decided this individual craves consideration, be it constructive or unfavourable. But since we’re not throwing a thriller social gathering to cope with individuals’s personal issues, let’s just say this individual is just not cool. Don’t fret though, because all Suspects are advised of their Suspect information that they have to share their “Share” info. In case you have a tight-lipped Suspect who nonetheless insists on being evasive to the purpose of party-wrecking, gently remind them that the Share info needs to be shared or they’ll destroy everybody’s good time.

First Break

Once everyone has finished their appetisers, it’s time to take a break. Naturally, because the host, you’ll need breaks worked in in an effort to carry out host duties and serve meals and drinks. Your visitors may also want breaks to use the washroom, verify in with the youngsters or Tweet about what an awesome host you’re. Go forward and tell your visitors that the investigations will pause for a break, and that the mystery will continue once again following the break.

Whereas we’ve worked two breaks into your banquet thriller format, you could need extra in order to perform your host duties, or your visitors may have washroom breaks, so be happy to declare a break each time it matches your individual social gathering!

Select a signal, like a timer on your Smartphone or music that may signal your visitors to return to their seat.

Primary Course:

The primary course is the opportunity for your Suspects to actually shine. While they take pleasure in your foremost course, they’ll have the chance to really query one another concerning the Share info that was divulged in the course of the appetisers. There’s some strategy involved, because the Suspects gained’t need the others to catch on to their theories concerning the killer, but they may still be asking questions concerning the info, getting clarification about where everyone was at the time of the homicide and learning more about each Suspect’s hidden motives. Most sleuths will type their questions tactfully, as they want extra info to determine who to question, and what, specifically, to ask about through the one-on-one investigations through the subsequent break.

If in any respect potential, attempt to clear the desk whereas the top of this questioning is happening to be able to absolutely take part within the one-on-one investigations through the Final Break.

Last Break:

The Final Break provides the Suspects a probability to question each other one-on-one, with out everybody listening. This provides each Sleuth the chance to comply with a lead and get clarification on a principle that they had through the Appetisers and Important Course with out exposing their concept to the other friends.

Have your visitors rise up from the table and go to an space where they will mingle. Set a brief period of time on this ultimate break (we advocate 15 minutes) and then have everyone return to the desk – no exceptions!


The Dessert course is when your visitors will forged their accusations towards the Suspect they assume is the killer. Once everyone has returned to the table, serve dessert and occasional or tea. You’ll have to make them wait as you manage your dessert, however that’s okay. It’s not unusual to have visitors whispering with each other or making an attempt to gather last-second info, so this brief waiting time while dessert and occasional/tea are being served truly provides your friends one last probability to get a solution or collect info they could need. In the event you selected to play a Suspect, you could even discover that you’ve friends who’ve adopted you to the kitchen offering to “help” so as to pry extra info out of you in personal. Put them to work!

With dessert, ship every guest an Accusation Type. Have every individual write down their identify and the identify of the individual they accuse. Once everybody has written down their accusation, have everybody share the identify of the individual they accuse and the the reason why with the group en masse. The purpose of writing down the accusation before casting it’s so that no one can change their mind after hearing the others’ accusations and reasons behind their accusation.

When everybody has forged their accusation, it’s time for The Massive Reveal!

The Huge Reveal

The top of the thriller is marked by The Massive Reveal. As soon as everyone has forged their accusations towards the killer, it’s time to reveal the guilty get together!

The Huge Reveal is included in a separate file so you’ll be able to print it by itself without the fear of stumbling throughout it as you view the remainder of your Host Supplies. You should use the audio file titled “The Big Reveal” or learn the transcript referred to as “The Big Reveal”, included in your Host Supplies.

If, after studying this information you still have questions earlier than the get together, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll do every little thing in our energy to ensure your thriller runs smoothly. Having stated that, internet hosting one in every of our mysteries is straightforward – just chill out and have fun!

More ideas for how to host a murder mystery social gathering please!