Murder Mystery Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Game Night

Murder mystery parties are an increasingly popular way to spend an evening, combining the thrill of a good whodunit with the fun of a social gathering. Like most games’ nights, a murder mystery party comes with its own set of rules and etiquette to ensure everyone has a good time. This guide will delve into the dos and don'ts of murder mystery etiquette to help you host or participate in a successful game night.

At their core, murder mystery games are interactive storytelling experiences where players assume the roles of characters in a story, one of whom is the murderer. The objective is to solve the mystery through clues, dialogue, and deduction. These games offer a unique combination of role-playing, problem-solving, and social interaction, making them an engaging choice for a wide range of participants. At Masters of Mystery we have a lot of different themes and Eras for you to choose from, suitable for different groups and ages. You can have a browse through our game selections here.


The Dos of Murder Mystery Etiquette

Do: Fully Embrace Your Character

Getting into character is crucial in a murder mystery game. It enhances the experience not just for you but for everyone involved. Dress the part, adopt your character’s mannerisms, and interact with others as they would. This commitment to your role adds depth to the game and can lead to unexpected and entertaining interactions.

Embracing your character in a murder mystery game isn't just fun; it's a core part of the experience that lifts the entire event. When you really get into your role, through costume, mannerisms, and even adopting an accent, it makes the game more immersive and enjoyable for everyone.


Tips for Getting Into Character

  • Learn About Your Character: A little background reading can help you understand their personality, which influences your costume and how you act. Many characters in murder mysteries are parodies of real people or other fictional characters. A little Google search can help with your portrayal.
  • Focus on Key Details: Small accessories or a specific style of clothing can make your character come to life without needing a full wardrobe change.
  • Try an Accent: If your character comes from a distinctive time or place, then by practicing their way of speaking you can add a fun layer to your portrayal.

Below are some easy Costume Ideas for popular murder mystery themed games.


  • Men: Grab a suit, add a tie, and a fedora if you have one. A simple addition like a pocket square can create the 1920s flair.
  • Women: A dress with fringe or sequins works wonders. Accessorize with costume jewellery or a headband.


  • Men: Pair a long coat or blazer with a button-up shirt. Adding a tie or cravat made from fabric scraps can add a Victorian touch.
  • Women: Any long dress can be Victorian-esq. Add a shawl or gloves to elevate the look.



  • Think futuristic with metallic or bright coloured clothing. Accessories like DIY cardboard armour or gadgets can help create a sci-fi look. Even simple changes, like wearing your clothes in a slightly unusual way or adding some unique makeup, can suggest a character is from the future or another planet.

Making It work with what you have

You don't need to spend a lot or have a costume box ready. Most characters can be represented with a bit of creativity and what's already in your closet or they can be found at a thrift store:

  • For the 1920s, a basic dress or suit can be jazzed up with accessories like scarves, hats, or handmade jewellery.
  • A Victorian look might come from layering pieces you already own, such as a high-neck blouse or adding waistcoat.
  • Sci-Fi costumes offer the most creative freedom—think outside the box with materials like foil, LEDs, or repurposed items can suggest otherworldly tech or attire.

The essence of a great costume isn't accuracy but the effort and imagination you bring to it. Even the simplest outfit can shine when you embody your character with enthusiasm.


Do: Prepare Your Space

Setting the scene plays a significant role in immersing players into the game. If you’re hosting, take the time to decorate and arrange your space to reflect the game's setting. This doesn’t have to be elaborate; even simple touches can significantly enhance the atmosphere. Below are some suggestions for decorations, in some popular themed games.


Decorate with a gold and black colour scheme to echo the Jazz Age elegance. Simple gold tablecloths and black napkins can work wonders. Props like feather boas or faux pearl necklaces for guests to wear can help the overall vibe of your event too.



Elegant Details: Use lace tablecloths and floral arrangements for a touch of Victorian opulence. Place items that look antique, such as candlesticks or framed portraits, to suggest the era's richness. Mimic gas lamps with soft, warm lighting, using electric candles or vintage-style lamps


Sci-Fi Theme

Futuristic Look: Go for metallic and neon accents to create a Sci-Fi atmosphere. Silver tablecloths and LED lights can help set a futuristic scene. Decorate with posters of planets and stars or sprinkle tables with star-shaped confetti to create a night sky effect. Add playful alien decorations or homemade UFOs for a fun, otherworldly feel.

The goal is to transform your space with a few key elements that evoke the era or setting of your murder mystery game. You don't need to spend a lot or have perfect decorations, it’s all about creating an atmosphere.


Do: Be a Good Host or Guest

Facilitating inclusion goes beyond just ensuring everyone has a role; it's about creating an environment where all players feel valued and excited to contribute. As a host communication is key, you need to introduce the game rules in a way that's easy to understand and be ready to offer guidance or clarification as needed. Pay attention to the dynamics of the group, try and make an effort to encourage quieter guests to participate and ensure that everyone's contributions are acknowledged and appreciated. At Masters of Mystery you will be provided with a host guide which will help you run a successful event.  As a guest, actively engaging with others, showing interest in their character stories, and supporting a collaborative atmosphere is crucial. Remember, make sure you’re respecting the host's efforts. The goal is to make the murder mystery game inclusive and enjoyable.


The Don'ts of Murder Mystery Etiquette

Don't: Spoil the Mystery

Revealing clues or solutions prematurely can ruin the game's intrigue. Try to avoid disclosing information that could give away the plot too soon. The joy of a murder mystery lies in the gradual unravelling of the story. At Masters of Mystery the guests character books will tell you when to turn the page or read the next bit of information and in your host guide it will do the same.


Don't: Take It Too Seriously

Remember, the goal is to have fun. While it’s easy to get competitive or overly invested in the storyline, keep the atmosphere light and friendly. Avoid arguments over the game mechanics or outcomes. Laughter and enjoyment are the night's true objectives. On the flip side, don’t disrupt the flow of the game or derail the investigation.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having to abandon a game that everyone has put a lot of time into, because people aren’t taking it seriously enough. So, you need to find that balance.


Don't: Forget About Safety

Especially relevant for in person games, no ones safety should ever be compromised. Ensure the game activities are suitable for all players and respect physical and emotional boundaries. It's a game night, not a real crime scene, after all.


Tips for a Successful Murder Mystery Game Night

To ensure your murder mystery night is a hit, consider the following additional tips:

Select the Right Game: Choose a game that matches your group's size, interests, and age range. There are murder mystery kits for all scenarios, from historical settings to more contemporary tales.

Handle the Pacing: As the host, keep the game moving forward without rushing. Allow time for players to discuss and deliberate but be ready to nudge things along if there's a pause in the action.

Debrief Afterward: Once the mystery is solved, congratulate the winner(s), give out prizes for best costume, best character etc. This will make your guests feel like they’ve achieved something. Make sure you spend some time debriefing and discussing the night. What did everyone think of the storyline? Were there any particularly memorable moments? This can be as enjoyable as the game itself.

A murder mystery game night is an excellent way to engage with friends or family in a unique, interactive format. By following the etiquette tips outlined above, you can ensure that your event is enjoyable, memorable, and, most importantly, fun for everyone involved. Remember, the heart of a murder mystery game is the shared experience and the stories you'll have to tell afterward. So, embrace your character, respect the game, and let the mystery unfold.