It's the season for costumes and creepiness. But for us, anytime is the season for swinging and parties. We decided to get a head start on Halloween by hosting a swinger murder mystery party. This was a terrific event and would be great any time of year. This type of party can be a small or large, and as elaborate or simple as you like. In this article I will tell you about our party and preparations, plus give you ideas for hosting your own murder mystery swing party.
A murder mystery party is a get together for 8 to 100+ people. There is a party theme and everyone has a role which they are assigned ahead of time. Guests are encouraged to dress up or bring props appropriate for their role. During (or sometimes before) the evening there is a pretend murder. Each guest has secrets that they reveal or hide during conversations with other guests. The goal is to investigate and try to figure out who the murder is and their motive. Since this was a swing party, the secondary goal was to flirt and mingle, with the intent of playing later in the evening.
This was the basic invitation:
Sin City Murder Mystery! Be prepared for a sinister evening in a city known for its secrets, sexiness and scandal! What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but you'll be talking about this party all year… Join us for an extravagant evening of delicious food, flirting and fucking! (the fucking is optional, but we know you'll want to after playing our sexy murder mystery game.)
We have arranged a banquet room at a gorgeous hotel, dinner – including appetizers, salad, entree (choice of salmon, chicken or steak) and desserts, a fun, sexy mystery where everyone will be involved, and 2 large connecting suites for playing after.
This was an open invite to our online meet and greet group of couples and singles over age 30. We had many regulars and close friends attend. About one quarter of the participants had never attended a group event, or attend rarely. Participants ranged from swingers less than a year to 10+ years in the lifestyle.
We hosted the murder mystery and dinner in a hotel banquet room. This hotel knows we are swingers and has hosted our group for various events in the past. We had 21 couples and 2 single guys attend. The party included the mystery, a four course dinner and a double suite for playing after the mystery. The hotel catering service prepared and served the food. We also arranged a room block at the hotel.
The cost was $37 per person. Everyone paid the same whether they were single or a part of a couple. Everyone paid ahead by PayPal or in person to reserve their spot. We limited to 5 single guys and singles were required to be invited by a couple or play partner to attend the after-party. Alcohol was not included and we were not allowed to BYOB in the banquet room; the hotel bar was available.
We used www.nightofmystery.com for the mystery. They currently have 20 different mysteries to choose from. This site was recommended by friends on www.swingersboard.com. I looked at many different companies, but this one seemed to have the most comprehensive materials and best theme choices. We used the 20+ person mystery. There are 20 main characters and 20 minor characters. The minor characters are more generic roles and can be repeated multiple times.
One part of the set up that was really fun was assigning the main characters and creating names for the minor parts. For the main characters you definitely want to choose people who are outgoing and playful. The minor parts are more general roles (cocktail waitress, gambler, etc.) and you can make up your own names. We searched funny dirty names online and came up with some great ones like, Tara McClosoff, Peter Fitzinwell, Ophelia Balls, Juan Alaya…
Everyone received a character description and costume suggestion email ahead of time. This information is part of the Night of Mystery download.
Our event time frame was: 6:45pm check-in, 7pm Mingle and complete initial objectives with appetizers. 7:45pm salad course followed by dinner. 9:15pm murder, investigation and dessert. 9:45 Present evidence, voting, solution and awards. 10:00 Shots, play. The only lag was the time between dinner finishing about 9pm and the murder at 9:15pm. A few key players went to smoke and that delayed things a little bit. Otherwise the amount of time seemed to be good for completing the mystery objectives and flirting.
This party was a huge success! Everyone dressed up and played their part. It was hilarious and sexy and just all around amazing. The Vegas theme lent itself well to our group. There was an Elvis, several classy call girls, cocktail waitresses, showgirls, gamblers, lounge acts, card dealers, bartenders and politicians. The mystery was not scripted. Everyone, even the minor characters, had secrets and objectives and they put their own spin on it. As part of the game each person was given play money and they were encouraged to bribe, tip and gamble. This made for very easy flirting and mingling.
Once the evidence was presented everyone voted for the murderer, best dressed, drama queen/king and listed how much money they made. I counted the votes. One thing that worked great for us, was having our lead show girl take the floor and have each couple introduce themselves with screen names and first names during the vote counting. Another friend ordered shots for everyone during the vote count.
After the mystery was solved we made a little toast, had a group shot, gave the basic swinger rules and headed upstairs. Playing started right away with some people staying in the group suites and others heading off in groups to their own hotel rooms.
The compliments we've received after this party have been universally enthusiastic. It was something that was so unique and playful. Stay tuned for part 2 where I discuss the set-up and more details about hosting a murder mystery party.