Murder Mystery FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You want answers, and you want them fast – Here they are!

Prices

What does a Murder Mystery cost?

Murder Mysteries are priced depending on how many guests will be attending.

We have different package options to suit different budgets and how exciting you want your event to be. For example, you can choose what costumes we bring for you, mood music and our photobooth when you choose your package.

To get an email with the packages for your event, let us know approximately how many guests you’re expecting using the form below and we’ll send you your package options!

Can I pay by credit / debit card?

Yes you can pay by card.

Since we’re not a retail store we don’t have a physical speedpoint machine, so we have arranged a facility with PayFast to facilitate online card payments.

PayFast is a top South African e-commerce payment facilitator.

If you want to pay be card, let us know and we’ll send you a unique link that you can use once you have made your booking.

Can I pay by eft?

Yes you can pay by eft.

You will receive an invoice with our banking details once you have made your booking.

Are all themes the same price?

There is no difference in price between themes.

Themes are the different Murder Mystery stories available, packages are the different features and accessories you can choose. All packages are available for all themes.

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Can people do this as a fund raising for a nonprofit organization?

Real crime in South Africa is no laughing matter. As such we have made a decision to support the Community Police Forum (CPF), and as a company with entrepreneurial roots we support events that train and connect entrepreneurs.

If you are organising an event that’s aligned with either of the two causes we support then we’d love to hear from you.

I want to host the party/game myself - Do you sell game kits like this?

The reason we don’t use the box game format is probably the same reason that retail stores here don’t stock them … They just generally aren’t very good.

We’ve bought and tried all the sets we can find, local and abroad. If it was a great format we’d do it, but we don’t feel it is.

Venues

Do you have a list of venues that you have used before?

Yes, to make your life easier we’ve put together a list of Venues where we have previously hosted Murder Mysteries.

This isn’t an exhaustive list yet because we’ve been hosting events for almost 20 years and this list is still quite new, but we’re continually adding to it.

Our list of Venues is also just a starting point for you. You’re welcome to use a venue that’s not on the list. We love discovering new crime scenes!

What do you need at the venue?

Privacy

You want a private room at your venue. You’ll be dressed up and having fun and you don’t want to feel self conscious because you’re in an open plan dining area, and you also don’t want to disturb other guests.

Seating

You need enough space to seat all your guests in teams. Often this is round a meal table, but can also be round a conference table or boardroom, on couches in a lounge, on the patio or around cocktail tables.

Tables

You need some tables upon which we can lay out your character costumes so that you can select your outfits with ease.

The number of tables you need for your costumes depends on the number of guests you have and the Murder Mystery package you choose i.e. how much kit we’re bringing for you 🙂

In practice 4 to 8 trestle size tables will work for most situations.

In homes people often use what they have eg, we’ll set up the costumes on the lounge furniture.

Lighting

If a Murder Mystery is held at night you want enough light to read your clues with ease. This is usually only a concern when your event is outdoors at night. For instance, patios and bush bomas often have quite dim lighting.

Weather

If your Murder Mystery is outdoors then you’ll want a plan in case it rains. This is particularly something to think about for those summer year-end lunches in Gauteng.

Few people are gutsy enough to host events outdoors in the Cape in mid-winter, but if you are, then a plan B is a good idea 🙂

What size room / venue is needed?

You need enough space to seat all your guests, plus some additional space for tables upon which we can lay out your costumes so that you can select your outfits with ease.

The most common tables that venues use for this are canteen-style trestle tables, but it depends what your venue has.

The number of tables you need for your costumes depends on the number of guests you have and the package you choose i.e. how much kit we’re bringing for you 🙂

In practice 4 to 8 trestle size tables will work for most situations.

Can it be done at our house?

You can certainly host the Murder Mystery at your house 🙂

Most birthday Murder Mysteries are hosted at private homes in fact.

Do I need to book the venue or do you do it?

You can make the booking directly with the venue.

To keep your life simple, once you have booked with them, we will liaise with the venue around the set up for your Murder Mystery.

Food and Catering

Who supplies the meal?

You supply the meal and we’ll supply the fun!

You can either provide the meals yourself or arrange a menu of your choosing with your venue.

What type of meal works best with the Murder Mystery?

We can structure the event around any type of meal. Most frequently these meals are 3 course plated meals or buffets, but we are very flexible.

Your Murder Mystery can be a lunch or a dinner, or it can even be as a stand-alone teambuild with no meal.

Can we do a lunch?

Absolutely. Lot’s of corporate Murder Mysteries happen over lunch, especially teambuilding events and year end parties.

Is a sit down meal ok?

Absolutely. Most Murder Mysteries happen around a dinner/lunch table.

I want to do canapés / cocktail style food – will this work?

Yes, it will work 🙂 Speak to us about help with timing for your food.

I want to serve hotdogs / pizza etc for my teenager's Murder Mystery. Is this ok?

Of course! Your teen Murder Mystery should be as simple for you to put together as possible 🙂

Serving of food – Does it happen throughout our murder mystery?

Your Murder Mystery can be facilitated around your meal and we’ll structure breaks into the Murder Mystery during which food can be served.

Alternately you can run your Murder Mystery before or after your meal. We still recommend a quick tea break in the middle.

Most clients choose to have their event facilitated around a meal, but this is entirely up to you.

Time and Duration

How long does the murder mystery take?

  • Teen Murder Mystery parties run for approximately two and a half hours.
  • Adult Murder Mysteries will run for approximately 3 hours.
  • A teambuilding Murder Mystery with no meal runs for 2 hours.

What is the best time to start?

For evening events we suggest starting between 6 and 7pm so that you finish between 9 and 10pm.

For lunch events most of our clients like to start between 10am and 2pm.

What time will you arrive to set up at the venue?

Our police arrive about an hour before the event to set up.

What is the running order?

The running order can change slightly depending on the meal you arrange with your venue.

If you’re having a meal then we’ll structure breaks for your meal into the event.

We’ll arrange the timing of your meal with your venue so that you don’t have to worry about it 🙂

Attendees

How many people can I have at my Murder Mystery?

We host Murder Mystery events for as few as 8 people, and up to 200 people!

How many people per table?

You want between 8 and 14 guests per table, and if you have more than one table then you want your tables seated as evenly as possible.

For example, if you have 21 guests then you want one table of 10 guests and one table of 11, not one table of 8 and one table of 13.

Do we need to have guests seated in specific places with place cards / a seating list?

A seating plan is not required from our side.

From your side there are benefits to going with and without allocated seats.

Allocate seats if you want to mix people from different divions, geographic offices or hierarchies within in your organisation, or if you want to seat specific customers or suppliers with certain team members.

If none of the above is a requirement for you, or for smaller teams, or birthdays then let everybody sit wherever they want 🙂

If someone doesn't show up, will it mess up the game?

Don’t worry, everything will be fine 🙂

We’ve build our shows to accommodate for life’s unexpected challenges!

Do you suggest I make it a colleagues only event or should we invite partners?

Part of your decision here depends on the logistics, eg. If you are having a strategy planning session at a conference that is 2hrs out of town then it may simply not be feasible to invite partners.

But let’s assume that you’re having a social teambuild at a restaurant close to your office and you want to include partners but aren’t sure if they’ll feel comfortable.

At a Murder Mystery every person gets a character, and those characters have facilitated interactions with one another. That means that even if you don’t know anybody in the room, it’s still easy to interact with everybody, because you aren’t strangers anymore, you’re members of the same ‘Gang’.

So with the case of colleagues and partners, your colleagues will all know one another but often their partners will not know anybody. Having a Murder Mystery vs a Wine Tasting or going to the theatre or ten-pin bowling etc is a great way to include partners without the pressure of small talk and lots of new social interactions.

Bookings

How long in advance must I book?

It depends on how flexible you are with your dates.

Sometimes you might be lucky and book a week in advance and we can help, it just depends on what other bookings there are.

Of course if you want a very specific date, eg. exactly on your birthday or for a year-end party on the last Friday in November, then it’s best to book in advance.

If you’re flexible then you have a good chance of finding a date that will work.

As with all live events, it’s better to book ahead, and remember that November and December is peak season for company year-end functions.

What is required to make a booking?

First contact us to check availability.

When you let us know that you want to confirm a date, we’ll send you a booking form. Get that back to us and pay your deposit and you’re booked. It’s that easy 🙂

I don't know the exact number of guests, can I still make a booking?

Yes, you can make a booking.

In fact, almost nobody knows the exact number of guests attending their event until we’ve sent out your invitations and got back the RSVP’s.

For this reason you only pay a deposit when booking and you pay the balance the week before your event when you know your final numbers.

I don't have a venue yet, can I still make a booking?

Absolutely, you can make a booking with us and then let us know the venue details once you’ve got it sorted.

This often happens when you want to reserve a specific date, eg. a birthday or year end function.

Teen Murder Mysteries

Is this party fun for teens, or more for adults?

We have Murder Mysteries crafted specially for teens!

Where can I see photos / video of teen Murder Mysteries?

As a company we have chosen not to put photos and video of children on the internet.

But if you’d like to get an idea of how our teen Murder Mysteries work you can listen to our teenage participants talking about their Murder Mysteries on our SoundCloud page:

Can children 12 / 13 years old participate in a Murder Mystery party?

We recommend Murder Mysteries for children at least, or turning, 13 years old.

If your children are turning 12 then it’s best to wait a year or two.

(In the meantime, you can check out Sally’s Party Services for entertainment for younger children. The craft parties are a great idea for children who are too old for clowns and jumping castles but too young for Murder Mysteries.)

Do you host these parties at the person's home?

We host lots of teen Murder Mysteries at private homes, but you can also host your teen Murder Mystery at a restaurant if you want.

You can check out our Venues page for ideas.

Do you have a family friendly game?

Yes, we have written themes which are suitable for the whole family.

Themes

Do we choose the theme?

Either you can choose a theme or we can suggest one.

The majority of our clients prefer us to do everything, including choosing the theme.

You can also go for something in the middle by giving us two or three themes that you like from our list and then let us prepare one for you, but keep it as a surprise!

Do you have themes suitable for Teenagers?

Yes, we have crafted Murder Mystery themes specially for Teens.

You can check out the Teen Murder Mystery FAQ section here.

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Can it be done at our house?

You can certainly host the Murder Mystery at your house 🙂

Most birthday Murder Mysteries are hosted at private homes in fact.

Do I need to book the venue or do you do it?

You can make the booking directly with the venue.

To keep your life simple, once you have booked with them, we will liaise with the venue around the set up for your Murder Mystery.

Got a question that isn’t listed above?

Ask our Murder Mystery Police using the form below and we’ll solve your mystery!

“Hilarious evening – absolutely loved it!”

MEGAN CAMERON – GD Biokineticists