The season of spooks and specters is upon us and what better way to celebrate Halloween than by embarking on a thrilling adventure on the high seas of mystery and intrigue? If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming a swashbuckling pirate, searching for buried treasure and solving a dastardly crime, then you’re in for a treat! Join me as we delve into the world of “Murder Among the Mateys,” a pirate-themed murder mystery party that will shiver your timbers and leave you guessing until the very end.
1. Choose your game:
There are endless options when it comes to hosting a murder mystery party. Night of Mystery, is an easy downloadable option with so many different themes to choose, from 1920’s saloon theme, to 80’s prom night, or even trailer park tragedy. After previously choosing their 1920’s theme, we thought a Pirate night was in order for Halloween. This storyline is set on the Jaded Jewel–a pirate ship captained by Redbeard, an old but dangerous pirate. As the pirates head into town to celebrate their homecoming and spend their gold and goods, a night of turmoil and trouble transpires. One of the guests is murdered and it’s up to the characters to find the murderer among them.
2. Mail your invitations:
Once you have purchased the game, a file is sent to your email for downloading. This file includes everything you need from a host guide to character descriptions, invitations and extras. Assign each guest to a character and create your invitation for them. For this pirate theme I wanted to get creative and handed out my invitations in ‘messages in a bottle’.
Within the invitations (which are given to you in your downloads) incorporate each characters profile. You can also include the character cast sheet so players can familiarise themselves with each member, however I just gave these out to each player at the beginning of the night.
3. Set the scene:
I highly recommend going with Night of Mystery as they provide so many great DIY decor options to set your scene such as pirate posters, liquor labels, the pirates code and fake money.
4. Setting the table:
Incorporating a dinner is not necessary when holding a murder mystery however with 7 of us, we decided on an intimate dinner party. I wanted to create the table space like a pirate ship. I sourced most of the decor like crystal ware from the opshop, skulls, material and cob web from spotlight, red bleeding candles from dusk and hired two wine barrels from marketplace.
Dress the part:
Dressing the part is essential plus extremely fun. Each person is given a guideline on how to dress like their character. Some of us hired our outfits from a costume shop, others brought bits and pieces from spotlight.
Meet the cast:
We began the evening with a citrus punch and seafood platter including salmon ceviche with capers, oysters and prawns.
When I think of a pirate feast, I reminisce to the scene of Pirates of the Caribbean when Elizabeth Swan eats aboard the Black Pearl with Captain Barbossa. Theres a huge banquet of meats, a suckling pig on the spit, rustic loaves of bread scattered across the table, chalices of wine and of course, rum!
We did a rack of beef ribs, chicken wings, potato casserole and salad.
Since we had such a large main, for dessert we had slices of coconut cake and lime cheesecake.
Let the game begin:
The game you purchase will lay out how everything that happens in order, ours went like this:
-Each character will be given a character case file at the beginning of the night, this includes a description of their character, the backgrounds of each character and the plot.
-Each member will be given two envelopes during the night. It is best to begin the night with the opening of envelope A which includes their mission for the first half of the night.
-We then had our entrée whilst we completed our objectives.
-After objectives A one of the members will be ‘murdered’, however they take on the role of the narrator (so don’t worry, no guest will miss out on the fun!)
-Guests then receive envelope B, at which point, one character is told they are the killer.
-The night continues with completing your objectives, reviewing evidence and bribing each other with money.
-The evening ends with everyone making their guesses as to who the killer is and voting on the awards that are given out.
The evening was such a blast, I won’t spoil who the murderer was incase you purchase the game, but I highly recommend hosting a murder mystery for your next games night.