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The Beginner’s Guide to Murder Mystery Maniacs.

Hello! If you are reading this then you are probably new to Murder Mystery Maniacs. Here are some tips, hints, and links for you to look at. We are super excited that you want to plan a murder mystery party! The first thing you need to do is figure out what type of party you want to have.

We offer events for:

–The Mixer: We got our start doing interactive mix and mingle parties! They include social gatherings, birthday parties, anniversary parties…really any type of party you don’t plan on inviting your boss to.

–The Show: This is the real deal… the big shabang.  With The Show we bring in the actors, the costumes, the scripts, and the accessories. Some of you play, while some of you watch. Everyone has fun. Your job is to sit back, relax, and bring out your inner Columbo.

–The Line Up: Just like it sounds…it is a line up. With The Line Up we parade 7 of your finest executives, employees, co-workers in front of the audience and do a good cop/bad cop routine that will have the most confident CEO shakin’ in her boots.

When you can identify who the event is for, the date of the event, and the type of event you want you are ready to talk to our Director of Events and Marketing, Mario Calhoun. He will guide you through from start to finish on how to impress your boss or one up your neighbor. He can be reached at 1.206.414.0453 or sent an email at mario@host-a-murder.com.

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Want more Engagement at your company holiday party? Skip the plated dinner!

By skipping the plated meal in exchange for hi-top tables with heavy appetizers & food stations you can increase overall engagement & organic guest interactions by more than 40%! 

Historically plated meals keep guests handcuffed to their seat. As a result they miss out on interacting with 90% of the guests at the party. In the last 10 years I have spoken with thousands of guests at corporate events. When asking them what they liked best about the event it was engaging with their co-workers. Not the stuffed chicken & frozen veggies from the hotel catering department. They remember learning that Tom from accounting speaks three languages or meeting a co-worker’s spouse for the first time. It comes down to enabling guests to build relationships. 

holiday-computer

What I love most about our murder mystery parties is watching the gradual change in atmosphere at an event. What starts out as a room of employees, transitions into a room of funny accents, laughter and most importantly, blossoming relationships. Contact us today if you are interested on how to grow relationships at your next corporate event.

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From Gatsby to Speakeasy: Why the Decade Continues to Attract Fans

550361_10151197546946680_1466231248_nFlappers, gangsters and the birth of mass culture in America make the Roaring Twenties one of the most romanticized times in history and one of our most popular murder mystery parties.

The 1920s was significant because of the cultural shift, the advancements in technology and the political shift that resulted in the popular archetypes and places we enjoy revisiting to this day.

The flapper was one of the most iconic figures of the Twenties, as she was rebellious, young and flapped when she walked (because of her oversized shoes). At the time, young girls cut their hair into a short bob, work lanky dresses and shed their “good girl” image that they were originally expected to uphold.

Speakeasies were also an integral part of the Twenties, as they came about due to Prohibition in the America that banned the selling, transportation and production of alcohol. In order to get around the law, underground speakeasies attracted people who wanted to enjoy the nightlife.  And in most big cities there was organized crime just around the corner, with Chicago and New York being the territories of Al Capone and John Gotti, respectively. Organized crime became the norm in cities due to bootlegging, and later included illegal gambling and other criminal activities.

The Great Gatsby and our 1920s murder mystery party place you in the heart of the memorable decade. Now we want to know–what do you love about the Twenties? Let us know!

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Truth Be Known: Trusting Your Gut Instinct

Trust your instincts when trying to solve the crime.

Trust your instincts when trying to solve the crime.

While playing a murder mystery game you’ll have to be aware of every little thing that happens, as you never know what might be a clue to the murderer’s identity. The rules of the game state that everyone has to tell the truth except for the murderer.

Your focus on finding out who is lying will put you ahead of the rest in solving the crime, but it’ll require knowing when an interviewed character is trying to weasel his way out of a conversation.

That’s not to say it’s always easy to detect a fibber. The other players have personality quirks that make it hard to tell when someone is lying, which means you’ll have to write down all the information you receive and double-check the facts to see if something doesn’t add up.

A great way to catch someone in a lie is to ask them to explain something they previously told you. The culprit is going to have to lie to everyone at the game (except for three people), which means he’ll have to be able to keep track of his lies and the people he told.

Lastly, the culprit might try to escape a conversation if it goes on for too long to avoid being caught. If the interviewed guest seems in a hurry, you should definitely write down his weird behavior and talk to the other players to get to the truth.

We’d love to know if you were the one who guessed correctly while playing our murder mystery games. Comment below to tell us if you were right!

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Stay Sharp: Getting the Facts in a Murder Mystery

Everyone's a suspect in our mystery games.

Everyone’s a suspect in our mystery games…

Most murder mystery games require you to read a script verbatim while being in character, but our games at Murder Mystery Maniacs encourage you to have fun while engaged with the other players.

Your character’s backstory is found in the character info card, which is the stapled document that your host distributes once the game begins. The backstory tells you how you knew the victim, what he or she did to cause ill feelings, and where you happened to be at the time of the murder.

The information provided also lets you know whether you have a gun or not. Don’t worry if your info card says that you have a gun but you weren’t given a gun prop, as part of the mystery is trying to figure out who has a weapon.

As a way to help you in your search for the murderer, we’ve also provided a few possible leads about the other characters in the info card. You should definitely ask those characters lots of questions, as they might be the murderer or lead you to the culprit.

...even those you least suspect.

…even those you least suspect.

One more thing to remember while playing: You have a limited amount of time to talk to everyone, so keep your questions short and to the point.

Did you happen to guess the murderer during the mystery? Let us know and show us a pic of your costume at our Facebook page.

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Murder Mystery Dinner 101: Interrogation and Critical Thinking

Everyone's a suspect in our murder mystery games.

Everyone’s a suspect in our murder mystery games.

Last week we covered the basics of getting into character, and today I’ll go into detail about how to make the most of your character’s role in the murder mystery. Your character’s personality traits, costume and character information are all useful tools to get a better idea of what your character is like in the murder mystery, but it is up to you to add your own personal touch to the character role.

We encourage you to add personality quirks to your character to make you and everyone else’s experience a memorable one.

Your character’s back story in the murder mystery is found in the character information card, and is there to provide the structure that’s necessary when answering questions. The other characters in the mystery are going to ask you a lot of questions. Your honest responses to the questions will make you more or less of a suspect in the crime, so don’t be surprised if someone thinks you’re the murderer (even if you aren’t).

The notepad and pencil provided in your murder mystery kit is used to jot down clues as you receive them from the other guests. You’ll notice that the first page of the notepad includes the game’s rules, and it’s there to remind you of what to do and how to have a good time.

One of the biggest questions asked about murder mystery scripts is if you have to reveal information you wrote down about other characters. Absolutely not! Remember, this is a game and you’re trying to win.

If you do decide to give up discovered information, be sure to ask for clues from the other person to make sure your exchange of information is fair.

Your mystery host will ask you to submit your final guess after you interview all of the characters in the game. If you’re not quite sure who the murderer is in the group, read over your clues and use your detective skills to determine who the murderer might be.

Who committed the crime?

Who committed the crime?

The host will announce the murderer once all submissions are turned in, and will distribute the following awards: best dressed, best actor and best detective. Good luck winning one of the awards!

We’d love to know what was your biggest challenge playing the game? Let us know in the comments section!

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Let the Games Begin: Getting into Character

Could you be the culprit?

Could you be the culprit?

Now that you’ve gotten past the outfit-planning process for the murder mystery, the next step is to bring out your best investigative skills during the game to solve the crime.

After reading over the character information card you’ll quickly determine if your character has a motive, weapon or opportunity that links him or her to the crime. Depending on your luck, you might even be the murderer!

As a suspect you’ll carry with you a notepad and pencil for writing down clues as you discover more information from the other players.

Throughout the interviewing portion, players will ask each other how they knew the mystery game’s victim. By asking and answering questions, more questions will come up that hones in your ability to determine the murderer. 

Suspicions are raised as everyone must tell the truth except for the murderer. The murderer will need to dodge questions to avoid being caught, which means he or she will have to keep conversations short and pretend to be just another suspect in the murder mystery.

Gather your clues to determine who's guilty.

Gather your clues to determine who’s guilty.

The catch, and there’s always a catch, is that there are three characters in the game who will know either the motive, opportunity or weapon that links the murderer to the crime. These “critical” characters won’t know they’re essential the game, as clues about multiple characters are included in every character info card to keep the mystery game interesting.

Remember: Each suspect has a motive, opportunity or weapon and only one person has all three that ties them to the crime. It’s up to you to figure out who is lying.

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M3: Character Preparation

Are you ready for your big role?

Are you ready for your big role?

It’s the night before the murder mystery party and you have your costume ready to go, but you’re not quite sure what to do once you get there. Thankfully, the costume idea card (or character username and password) given to you by the host is there to help guide you through the basics until you arrive at the mystery.

Near the bottom of the costume idea card is the link for your guest account, which pulls up your character bio along with the setting and crime for the mystery game. Although it’s helpful to know what you’re getting into ahead of time, it isn’t required to play the murder mystery as your host will explain the rules in at the event.

The three personality traits shown in the character’s profile page are there as suggested ways to act while in character. These traits are in no way necessary for having a good time, and can be adjusted however you see fit to make the character more enjoyable during gameplay.

In addition to character traits, the costume suggestions are ideas we came up with that seem to best fit your character. If you have an idea for a better look for your character, feel free to shoot us an email at info@host-a-murder.com along with a picture of you dressed as the character to help our editors!

Once you arrive at the party you’ll receive the following items: character information card, notepad and pencil, and a name tag that makes you easily recognizable among the other guests.

You’ll know when the murder mystery game has begun, as the host will simulate the sound of a gunshot to startle you and bring your attention to her.

Are you ready to discover the murderer in your group?

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The Unexpected Invitation: How to Prepare for a Murder Mystery Party

 

Are you ready for a night of intrigue?

Are you ready for a night of intrigue?

You were minding your business when your friendly neighborhood mailman brings you a murder mystery invitation with your name on it.

Attached to the invitation is your costume idea card with party details of the where and when.  At this point you’re probably thinking, “What? What do I have to do?”

Luckily, our  murder mystery parties are pretty straightforward to make sure your experience is an enjoyable one.

The mystery party’s host sends you a costume idea card that has your character’s bio along with a username and password to access the guest section of our site. This special section provides more details about your character such as costume ideas, personality traits, and even information about the party’s scenario to help you prepare for the mystery.

Unsure of where to begin? Most costume suggestions can be found in your closet or borrowed from a friend; Otherwise, you can pick up outfit accessories at a nearby party store or thrift shop.

Once your costume is ready, sit back and relax! The only thing you’ll need to do is arrive at the party dressed in character. The game’s host will provide the remaining info you’ll need to bring your character to life, and will give you this information once the game begins.

Access our site at www.host-a-murder.com/guest as soon as you receive your costume idea card to start preparing for your character’s costume. Have any questions? Call us at 206.414.0453 to help you prepare for the party.

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Be a Featured Host!

We know you love to throw a memorable party, so why not let everyone else know some of your insights into what makes a good host? We’ll read over each submission received and pick our favorite one for the month. As a featured host, you’ll appear on our site and receive 25% off any party you place with us for the year.

The featured host questions are:

-What is your name and profession?

-What is your favorite part of the party planning process?

-What did your guests like most about your party?

-Where do you get ideas for your next great party?

-In your opinion, what is essential for being a good party host?

Send in your answers and a headshot photo to: info@host-a-murder.com for a chance to be featured on our site!

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Party Faux Pas: Missteps in Party Hosting

For more party tips, click on the image above!

You’ve heard plenty of rules of what it takes to be a host, but what about the things you should completely avoid to prevent a disaster? Below are some party tips we’ve had to learn the hard way, along with popular party fouls.

Don’t…

…be stressed around your guests. Your guests easily pick up on the energy you bring to the party, and feel uncomfortable if you’re running around trying to control everything.

…exclude anyone from enjoying appetizers due to dietary restrictions. Appetizers that you enjoy is great, but it’s important to have a variety of snacks available for those who may be vegan, have a gluten or dairy intolerance to keep everyone happy. Ask your guests about their dietary requirements at least a week before the party to prepare.

…stay glued to your cellphone. In fact, a cellphone basket at your party encourages your guests to be present at your event. As they enter, have your guests drop their phones in a basket (and remember to return them when it’s time to leave!)

…have your guests bring an essential item for the party. There’s always a possibility of your guest being late, or worse, canceling at the last minute.

…do the dishes until everyone has left your party. It can be tempting to jump into cleaning up once the dishes start to pile up, but this activity takes you away from enjoying your guests’ company.

…try new recipes on your party guests. If you’re feeling bold and want to use a new recipe, test it out before the party date to determine if it needs minor (or major) adjustments.

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