How to celebrate a (Covid) Halloween!
Halloween is one of the most loved holidays of the year - especially if you have children who normally like to dress up. (Don't worry, we like to dress up too - no shame).
If you're feeling the lack of Halloween spirit with lockdown this year, why not create a spookily fun, zero-waste Halloween event for all your household to get involved with - all it takes is some creativity and a spot of arts and crafts. Introducing the create your own, Murder Mystery party!
You can let your imagination run wild with this one - and it's a great activity to get all the kids involved in.
Decide on the theme of the Murder Mystery party
This is important - your theme will determine how you're going to decorate your house. Popular choices include a haunted mansion, a party, a wedding or even something more fantasy based like a roaring 20's cruise ship (or a pirate one!).
When decorating your house remember upcycling is key, all it takes is a little imagination!
Develop the basics for each character
Grab some paper and a pen for this bit - you're going to need it!
Take one A4 piece of paper and fold it into 6 - then cut it up into the smaller pieces. You're going to write the following information for each character on the below:
- The character's name (I recommend using the actors first name and then changing the last name - why not make it relevant to their role in the mystery?).
- What's their job/the reason they're at this location (This is where it really gets creative - what is the characters purpose here? Are they the host, or the captain of the ship for example?).
- Brief background (Who knows each other, what is their relationship to different characters e.g. brother, friend, ex wife etc).
- Their alibi (This can be filled out once you have all the characters).
- Their secrets (Do they have any secrets which seem suspicious e.g. they have stolen jewellery on them?).
Decide who the victim is
This is important! The victim can come back as another character too if you don't have enough people.
Give every character a motive for the crime
There's so many different types of motive for crime (as I'm sure all the true crime enthusiasts reading this are aware!). Some examples are:
- Love / Jealousy.
- To protect a secret.
- A true accident.
- To protect a loved one.
- Has a connection to the murder weapon (it could be somebody's pen knife etc).
- Was with them at the time of death.
Create relationships between each of the characters
This is a good point to map out who knows what secret of each character. If possible, make sure at least two or more characters are aware of the secret, that way it can be acted out during the mystery. It's essential that you write down how they know the secret and when they found out.
Now you have enough to create a full on character sheet.
Creating your individual character sheets
- Introducing the character - something everybody knows about them.
- Brief biography of the character.
- What happened to this character in recent events? Went through a divorce, lost their house etc.
- Give each character something they must do during the event - this can be as flexible as you like! Maybe they might fight with another character or suspiciously be wandering around the house etc.
- What are this character's secrets?
Designing the crime
- Who is the murderer?
- What was their motive?
- What is the background to the murder (the why and the how).
- Create at least 5 red herrings - they'll help make things more interesting and so that the murder isn't solved as soon.
The best part - creating clues and riddles
You can make these up (or find some fab examples online).
They can range from having a police report of the crime, an unrequited love letter, a coded letter which needs to be decoded etc.
Decorating your home for the Mystery
Make sure everybody has a copy of their character sheet (with spares if they get ruined!).
Try to make your décor as upcycled as possible - see what you can find around the house and whether you can make it work. The more eco-friendly, the better.