8 Simple Ways to Draw Non-Suspect Guests into your Murder Mystery Game

Sometimes our guest lists are larger than the number of characters in our murder mystery game. Typically, as excitement grows about our parties, so do our guest lists. Follow these eight easy tips for drawing non-suspect guests into your murder mystery game so the number of people attending your party will only be limited to the size of your living room.1. Assign guests to read the introduction/chapter evidenceEach chapter in your murder mystery game begins with either an introduction or general evidence to be shared with everyone. Most hosts begin the chapter by delivering the introduction/evidence themselves. If you have additional guests not playing a suspect, consider assigning one guest to share the introduction or evidence for each chapter. In the average mystery game this would engage 4-6 non-suspect guests, pulling them into the plot by getting them personally involved.2. Assign a guest to be a clue master
A clue master delivers the clues at the start of each chapter. Clue masters always have a good time – they deliver exciting new information, drawing them into the fun – a perfect solution for those who want to attend but don’t want to be a suspect. Nine times out of ten the clue master has so much fun they elect to play a suspect upon the next murder mystery game.3. Create a “Notes” page
At the start of the mystery give all murder mystery party attendees a page on which to keep notes during the mystery (or if you’re really ambitious, provide little notebooks to each guest). The notes page will help each guest remain involved with the game and keep track of clues even though they are not being accused.4. Make a spectacle of the end-of-game accusations
My favorite part of facilitating or hosting mystery games are the accusations. By this point in the mystery game, everyone has loosened up and all are having fun. When it’s time to accuse one another, even the most withdrawn people find it hard to stay out of the excitement. When requesting accusations, focus on your extra guests – they are unbiased and have been watching everyone closer than you think. Ask them who they accuse and, most importantly, why. You’ll be amazed by how close extras pay attention, and accusing someone is their moment to shine!5. Offer prizes for correct accusationsDisplay your prizes on a small table and at the beginning of the game explain their purpose. When I facilitate a game, I’m always shocked at how crazy people go over even the silliest prizes – rubber balls, hanging Halloween spiders – anything you can imagine. I always enjoy shopping for little prizes; even a dollar store offers great, cheap prize ideas. Also, as a Host Help exclusive, email mysterymaiden@shotinthedarkmysteries.com to request a FREE MURDER MYSTERY GAME GIFT CERTIFICATE. Make it your main prize and watch the excitement mount.6. Asssign a Detective (if one not provided in your murder mystery game).
Certain mysteries, like Murder on the Mound, include an optional detective role, but any game can contain a detective. The detective reveals the solution at the end of the mystery. Think of this as Sherlock Holmes’ big reveal at the end of any of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. How little or how much your detective does is up to you, but here are some ideas. The detective could wear a badge, gather fingerprints as people arrive and read the suspects descriptions at the start of the game. As the game goes on and your guests mingle and share clues, your detective could interrogate people. Heck, at the end of your murder mystery game, the detective could even handcuff the guilty suspect and take them away.7. Start some gossipAnother one of my favorite things to do when facilitating a murder mystery game is to start gossip. As my guests mingle and share clues, I get a thrill out of whispering to an extra, “That Daisy Crook seems lie she’s got something to hide…” or “Did you see the way Ester Runner glares at Nicola Drake?” It’s so devious, and more times than not the person I approach shares their gossip and suspicions with me. Go on, start some gossip.8. Create a buzzThere is a very good reason I put this hint last. With the previous seven tips, your mind should be racing with ideas of your own. These ideas make it easy to create a buzz about your party. Creating a buzz is so much fun I have written an entire article on it!