Written by Melissa
October 13, 2011
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Indoor room, like a Clubhouse
Murder Mystery script or plan (can be bought online for about $25)
Invitations (electronic or paper)
Halloween decorations - it is fun to be extra creative and get your maintenance staff involved!
Lots of food (see menus below)
4 or more servers/runners
3 ovens (or more, if possible)
Plates & Forks, Knives, Spoons - We used paper the first year and wanted to "class it up" to we went to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul and bought nice ceramic plates and metal silverware for cheap. We keep these items in our clubhouse year-round.
For the last three years we have hosted a Murder Mystery Dinner for our residents. We put invitations by everyone's door or send out e-invites about 3-4 weeks prior to the event, and we usually get about 60 (!) residents who attend. We ask for volunteers to fulfill the roles in a murder mystery and they receive their scripts about 2-3 weeks prior to the party.
On the night of the event we have spooky decorations and table settings for everyone and we assign seats since we are really packed into the clubhouse! We serve a sit-down meal in courses, which seperate the "Acts" of the murder mystery quite nicely. We have participants stand and read from their seats while everyone tried to piece together whodunit. In previous years we have pasted clues to the bottom of everyone's plate so that everyone felt more involved (some mysteries are just not set up this way). By the end of the dinner, we called out the names of the characters and had people raise their hands to vote and defend their choice. Each year most of the guests got it right!
We did not require costumes, but most people wore them. Those who step up to act in the mystery almost always take it upon themselves to dress in character which is both funny and helpful to everyone listening. We never let the characters know who did it so they can participate, too - they receive the "reveal" at the end of the meal in a sealed envelope and read it for the first time, aloud.
Appetizers while people mingle - party rolls from Sam's Club, bacon-wrapped potato bites from Sam's, etc.
Salads - caprese (1st year) or garden (2nd & 3rd year)
Entree - choice of vegetarian or regular lasagna (1st & 2nd year) choice of fettucine alfredo or (3rd year)
Dessert - baked apple desserts or chocolate lava cake (all years - bought frozen)
*We put candies on all the tables for people to munch on
Planning the cooking times against the length of the acts is probably the hardest part, but a good murder mystery script will give you an estimated length for each section, which helps immensely!