Throwing an 80s-Themed Murder Mystery Party

by Robin Turnipseed

We are a party house. My entire family thrives when our home is full of people celebrating an occasion. It doesn’t even matter what type of occasion. If you need someone to celebrate an achievement, we are your people, and this is the house for you. One of my favorite memories is hosting a group of 60 for a Superbowl party three days after we moved into our new home. Yep, that’s how much we love a party. I had people sitting on folding chairs and unpacked moving boxes, which created great memories.

However, as one can imagine, the same go-to party themes become stale if revisited too often, so last year, we took a bit of extra initiative and went in a different direction for our Christmas party. After conducting some research, I landed on the idea of throwing an 80s-themed murder mystery party, and I must admit, it was the best party we have ever thrown.

If you are looking to celebrate the holidays differently this year, I created a list of all I learned to help you take the guesswork out of planning so you can enjoy the experience fully. Happy Holidays!

8 Tips for Throwing an 80s-Themed Murder Mystery Party

1. Allow Extra Time for Preparation. Throwing a murder mystery party requires additional planning and managing details, so lessen the stress by beginning the process early.

2. Choose the Correct Kit. Know your crowd. Some kits are a little more mature than others, so thoroughly read the descriptions. I chose the Masters of Mystery: 1980s Murder Mystery for our theme. I bought the package, including invitations, character guides, costume suggestions, game ballots, and scripts in pdf form. My only task was emailing the invitations and printing off all the scripts.

3. Invite Guests and Assign Characters. The guide will aid you in this assignment, but invite your guests, tell them who they are playing, and give them their costume suggestions. But the fun comes in keeping the secret, so tell them to keep it quiet.

4. Pick the Appropriate Space. Choose a spot in your house where you can watch and listen to the audio and video clips provided.

5. Decorate. In keeping on-theme, I ordered a banner and decor kit with an 80s vibe from Amazon. I have a friend who decked her entire living room like a ski chalet. The idea is to have fun with it all.

6. Script Preparation & Evidence. Each character gets a script to read throughout the night. Print off each script and place them in an envelope to hand out to each character upon arrival. Also, print off all pieces of evidence and have them readily available.

7. Buy Prizes. Have a few awards for those who can identify the murderer.

8. Get into Character. Encourage people to arrive already in character. The best part of the night is people fully embracing their character’s personalities! Serving as the hostess, I kept my attire simple and ordered this eight-piece 80s costume set complete with leg warmers and lime green lightning bolt earrings. Crimper not included.

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