A few years ago, we did a “Who Dun It” mystery for a Halloween party. My daughter suggested it, and I helped her do it. I am going to go through the steps we went through with you so you can create your own if you want this kind of party for Halloween. Ours turned out hilarious and lots of fun!
The first thing we realized was that we needed to know what kind of elements a “Who dun it” needed to work. To find these elements, I watched lots of Agatha Christy movies both with Hercule Poirot and Ms. Markle. I took notes. I wrote down all the different things that were needed to set up a mystery. I am not sure I remember all the things I wrote down, but here is a list of things you will need: a crime, victim, suspects, a criminal, motive, opportunity, evidence, a back story, and a weapon. You need a place and a time for the crime. It helps to have a back story that can slowly unfold in the investigation for the motive. If I have missed something this time, you could watch some Agatha Christy movies and take notes yourself to check to see if everything is there.
Who better to protect you than your brother?
We decided that we were going to set up a murder mystery. We decided that we would set it up so it looked like someone killed my daughter because it was Halloween, and it needed to be a little spooky. We began to think about why someone would kill her and who would do it. Our guests at our party were going to be international students from a Christian university. We decided to choose one of the Theology students and give him something in his past he wanted to hide. If you were a ladies’ man and a preacher, you wouldn’t want anyone to know, so we decided that he was a lady’s man. We decided that since he was a preacher, we didn’t think he would go so far as killing someone, so someone who wanted to protect him had to be the killer. We chose his brother, but his brother was in another country, but that just made it more fun because we decided his brother came just to kill my daughter and left. My daughter knows she talks a lot and gets pushy if she thinks something is right, so we decided that she would be threatening to expose the Theology student because she didn’t think he should become a preacher with his past of being a ladies’ man. We had to have copies of emails she wrote to the Theology student’s brother about it, and replies that he had sent arguing.
After that, we had to figure out how the brother would have an opportunity to kill her. We set it up so she was alone in the house just before the Halloween party, and when people came in, they found her in the middle of the kitchen floor stabbed with a bloody knife. It was easy because most of our guests came on the subway or on the bus, and I could be out of the house meeting them at the subway station while I left her alone in the house. We put a plastic knife next to her with ketchup on it and on her clothes. When the students came in and found her, they would be shocked, and we had it set up with one of them that they would pretend to call the police.
To establish the guy was a ladies’ man, besides the emails we created with an argument not to tell about what the Theology student had done at home, we also wrote several love notes in different writing styles to the Theology student and left them around for people to find signing the names of the girls who were coming to the party. The girls at the party loved finding notes they were supposed to have written. To connect it to the Theology student and his brother, my daughter made a fake plane ticket stub for someone to find from their home country.
The students came in and found my daughter in the floor with the plastic knife with ketchup on it, and we all went to the living room to try to figure it out. The guy fake called the police, and in the meantime, my daughter sneaked into the bedroom and dressed as an old fat man detective. She even gave herself a crazy mustache. She came in and began asking questions and gathering evidence. Everyone was sitting there looking at the others saying, “Who did it?” and laughing.
Our group was bigger than this. They were all trying to figure out who dun it.
My daughter stood in the middle of the circle and interviewed each person one by one. There were two other boys from the same country as the Theology student. One of them decided we were going to make him guilty, and he began lying about where he was that evening, etc. He was convinced he was going to be guilty, and he made it very funny! He was actually on the bus with a couple of girls during the time the murder was supposed to take place, but the girls wouldn’t give him an alibi. They insisted he wasn’t with them. that made it even funnier. The guy was squirming. Finally, one of his buddies decided to give him an alibi and lied for him saying they were together, but the others began saying he was lying, so he was making himself look guilty too.
Finally, through the questions and the evidence, my daughter (the detective) led the party participants to the conclusion that my daughter had been arguing with the brother of the Theology student threatening to tell because she didn’t think he should be a preacher, and the Theology student’s brother got on a plane, came to our house, and stabbed her so she wouldn’t tell anyone at the party about his brother being a ladies’ man because he didn’t want his brother’s career destroyed, and then he got back on the plane and went home before anyone could catch him.
After that, my daughter went into the bedroom and changed again, into a pretty witch’s costume this time because the mystery had been solved. The students were thrilled! They had a blast figuring out who dun it and they laughed a lot about the guy who threw a kink into everything by lying. They talked about the party for days because they had so much fun. You could set up a party like this too. Just remember the things you need to make it work. My daughter was so good a creating evidence! She made plane tickets on the computer that looked real, and the Theology student wanted all those love notes that were written to him, and he sat and read them lovingly. He loved all the adoration, and he kept saying, “Who really wrote these notes?” He wasn’t really a ladies’ man, but the girls did like him a lot because he has charisma. The party was a blast for everyone! Set your own up and have a good time!